learning to play the accordion by ear



Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby Soulsaver » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:28 pm

george garside wrote:
Soulsaver wrote:Thanks George - we're started.
Does the ability to remember the tune you've learnt BE (by ear) follow naturally? Or is there technique that you'll be commenting on, too?



If you can't remember a tune you've learned by ear then you havn't learned it by ear!

george ;)

I can learn to play a tune by dots, and forget it within a week. I can't sight read well enough to play in on-sight, so it needs a bit of work again to get it under the fingers. Is it the same for by ear or something different?
Last edited by Soulsaver on Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[b]Music Game full rules are on the original (first) post in its thread...viewtopic.php?f=12&t=444

Chinese Accordion Manufacturers - list post #1 here viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1584

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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby JIM D. » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:11 am

I read and sight read well, but a tune I work out by ear tends to last forever and will stay in my repertoire. :tup:
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby donn » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:24 am

I can forget anything!
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby goldtopia » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:12 am

Teaching an old dog new tricks don't always work but if you've ever played a mouth organ or similer by ear then there should be that inate inner musical abilty somewhere, that will enable with a bit of practice to play by ear. The difference is that an accordion involves listening to the bass as well, whereas a mouth organ and other treble instruments are easier. For the younger generation learning is quicker because the neural pathways of the brain are still forming but as we get into our much later years we lose some of our neural marbles and we don't get them back, so it takes longer to learn. It would not help those who have had no musical history or musical ability at all like some (not all) you see on X Factor that are allowed on there just to amuse the public. Fortunately none of them are on the forum. But for anyone to have an interest of matters on the forum shows that there is musical aptitude to having an interest to play an accordion. Although I have played instruments most of my life , I'm having some problems getting the bass buttons right in learning playing by ear. Playing by ear has an easier set of chords than from sheet music which should ultimately make playing much easier. I think anyone on the forum even us of the older generation with a few marbles missing can do it, it just takes a bit of practice and time

As for Donns forgetiing. I told the doctor about my poor memory, not being able to remember things. He said forget about it.
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby Pippa » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:44 am

goldtopia wrote:As for Donns forgetiing. I told the doctor about my poor memory, not being able to remember things. He said forget about it.


:lol:


I will be following this thread with interest - I go to a weekly session at the university (with my violin - sorry!), we have a 2 hour "practice" session with the books at the union followed by a "proper" session at the pub afterwards. I'm always the one who gets the book out at the pub and people always roll their eyes at me... :roll: As you were saying it's definitely about not being able to memorize the tunes, if I can hum it I can generally play it. If I had more "by ear" skill I think I could listen and join in more easily, currently I rely quite heavily on the book. I've not been brave enough to take my accordion yet, the chords is a whole extra level of complicated!
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby Glenn » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:04 pm

One thing you do need in these pub sessions Pippa is courage.
Just close the book and muddle through during a pub session.
You'll be surprised what comes out. Especially after a few drinks (optional) :ch
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby Soulsaver » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:14 pm

Oh I give up on topic... :D
Last edited by Soulsaver on Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:49 am, edited 3 times in total.
[b]Music Game full rules are on the original (first) post in its thread...viewtopic.php?f=12&t=444

Chinese Accordion Manufacturers - list post #1 here viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1584

b]
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby Pippa » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:34 pm

Soulsaver wrote:Oh I give up on topic...



Nothing wrong with a little off topic, that's how discussion works. Bringing it back on topic is as simple as writing an "on topic" post. Edit: :D

george garside wrote:
I will post an easy way into the bass when I've got the right words in the right order!




Eagerly awaiting this, as that's what I struggle with most!
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby Soulsaver » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:42 pm

Pippa wrote:
Soulsaver wrote:Oh I give up on topic...



Nothing wrong with a little off topic, that's how discussion works. Bringing it back on topic is as simple as writing an "on topic" post.


Edited with :D
[b]Music Game full rules are on the original (first) post in its thread...viewtopic.php?f=12&t=444

Chinese Accordion Manufacturers - list post #1 here viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1584

b]
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Re: learning to play the accordion by ear

Postby donn » Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:38 pm

Pippa wrote: As you were saying it's definitely about not being able to memorize the tunes, if I can hum it I can generally play it. If I had more "by ear" skill I think I could listen and join in more easily, currently I rely quite heavily on the book. I've not been brave enough to take my accordion yet, the chords is a whole extra level of complicated!


To me, this sounds like graduate level playing by ear. I've been to events I suppose are like this, mostly fiddle players running through a variety of folk tunes. Someone will call a tune and start playing it, and the rest will lean up near that fiddle and listen one time through, bring up their fiddles and sort of play along hesitantly, and the third time through they walk away playing the tune. Coming to it from the outside (tuba player), it's impressive. But they benefit from a lot of practice doing that kind of thing, and a large part of that is an ingrained familiarity with the musical idiom, to the point that they know some of a tune before they even hear it. I mean, after you hear the first bar, you might be able to guess pretty well how the 2nd is going to go, and of course overall repeat structure etc. So ... I'm thinking this "graduate level ear playing isn't so much an arcane faculty that is available to a few mental mutants, it's just a matter of endless repetition of similar themes.

As for the bass side ... if it's hard, it's totally worth it in my somewhat biased opinion. Even when you get a written melody, the bass that comes with it will often be pretty perfunctory -- whether written out, or just chord names -- and I think it's fair to say, that's done with the expectation that a good rendition will sort of connect the dots and make it sing. By ear.
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