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  • Learning/Playing by Ear, and Patience

  • Amy Newson

    Member
    13 March, 2021 at 5:40 am

    It’s more in my nature to learn/play by ear, and I’m looking for tips from others who tend to go at things the same way for staying motivated to play pieces as written/arranged for the sake of building proper technique. Any ideas?

  • Tiffany Schaefer

    Member
    20 March, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    I’m more motivated to learn by ear too, but if I find an arrangement of someone else’s I really love, I want to learn that one. Remember once you learn it and get the proper technique in, you can totally play with it and change it up. That’s a good creative exercise too!

    How are you at reading music? I find memorizing landmarks and reading by intervals is easier for people (and myself) than just trying to remember Every Good Boy Does Fine. Making sight reading something easy part of your regular practice routine can help too.

    • Amy Newson

      Member
      21 March, 2021 at 3:03 am

      I’m proof of “use it or lose it” where reading music is concerned – once
      upon a time I was decent with treble clef (choir) and good with bass
      clef (cello), but I hit the pause button on my musical studies my 4th
      year of college and after that I lost a lot of ground. At this point I
      can read well enough to sound things out, and THEN I play ’em by ear. 😉 I’m definitely planning on practicing sight reading as I work on my
      harp skills, but tend to find myself noodling my way through the tune
      (DEFINITELY not the best way to build great fingering technique) and
      getting ahead of the tutorials. I’ve been binge-watching your by-ear and
      session videos this week while recovering from COVID (my harp lives in
      my bedroom, and by the time I climb the stairs I tend to feel more like
      taking a nap than like practicing for some odd reason!), and what you’re saying about learning the shapes of the intervals makes total sense. My brain doesn’t parse “this shape on this line/in this space” as “note name” on cello or fiddle, so it doesn’t make sense to expect it to do that with harp. I see “this note here equals this finger-placement.” It’s going to take a while to get there with a new instrument. 🙂

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