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Old 10-27-2012, 08:28 AM   #1
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Hearing it, knowing where.

This is mostly in regard to blues but it can be referred to music in general so im putting it here.
I saw the Master class with B.B.King hosted by robben ford.
To make a long story short BB explained that he hears what hes gonna play before he plays it. But what do you think is his aproach to effortlessly find those tones he wants to play on the fretboard.
He has surely played long enough to be super familiair with most of the stuff he does but in that masterclass he improvised alot on the spot. He also said he never learned all the pentatonic positions and since he mixes alot of major and minor all the time its all in the ears. Do you think he knows what each tone's interval is and connects the stuff he hears with the intervals?
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:08 AM   #2
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It's not really anything special, pretty much every jazzer can do this/does it. All you need to do is know how to play each interval on guitar (I still can't do anything above a 9th on all string groups), if you know your intervals (as in when you hear two notes you know what the distance between them is immediately), then it's just a matter of practice. Singing or hearing something before you play usually sounds more down to earth, rather than just playing the chord tones.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
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A couple exercises from Satch that still help me out are: "Finding the Note" and "Atonal Scat Singing" which are found in this: http://www.scribd.com/doc/28499449/...ts-Joe-Satriani

-It helps me to get relaxed before playing, even just taking a couple deep breaths (although, meditation is great). When you play from your heart, you have to be relaxed enough to be in tune with it.

-Play like you know what you're doing. Hear the flow of the music in your head and articulate like language with your guitar as your voice box. Phrase what you play or it will get old quick and turn in muscle-memory finger runs like most people do after tuning a guitar.

-Let thoughts pass from your head and concentrate on what you hear. If you hit a sour note, don't worry about it and play it like your mean it or move on to the next one.

-YouTube has jam tracks. I've been loving this recently.

Hope that helps
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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wow only on UG would someone ask about playing by ear and have people suggest satch and interval exercises

you get a strong ear by using your ear. you want to know chord construction, you want a good vocabulary and a grasp on the fundamentals of tonal music, but it's all for naught if you can't work off your ear. it's almost a chicken-and-egg thing, but as long as you can actively listen to music to a point where you can pinpoint dynamics, accents, time signatures, and basic movements and conventions, and as long as you transcribe music within a musical context beyond regurgitating sheet/tablature and beyond fiddling around on the fretboard, your ear will develop naturally and organically

how much architectural knowledge that requires depends on the individual learning and playing, but i assure you that someone like BB King understands the conventions of the music he plays, even if he can't necessarily verbalize it, and he can use his ear and his fingerboard to portray what he needs to portray.

exercises trivialize that sense of self-exploration and the work that comes with connecting little synapses of music until you reach a point where you can function musically as an individual. it's like the teacher saying "do what you want" and the student replying "how do i do that?"

just learn music. not shapes, not scales. intervals, chord construction, all these things are important information for understanding the functions of things, but learn these parallel and in tangent to learning music from people who inspire you, from music you want to explore, from genres you're unfamiliar with - whatever makes you want to make music, learn it, by ear, in context. there's simply no substitute.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignore
This is mostly in regard to blues but it can be referred to music in general so im putting it here.
I saw the Master class with B.B.King hosted by robben ford.
To make a long story short BB explained that he hears what hes gonna play before he plays it. But what do you think is his aproach to effortlessly find those tones he wants to play on the fretboard.
He has surely played long enough to be super familiair with most of the stuff he does but in that masterclass he improvised alot on the spot. He also said he never learned all the pentatonic positions and since he mixes alot of major and minor all the time its all in the ears. Do you think he knows what each tone's interval is and connects the stuff he hears with the intervals?


I don't know how to explain it, but the simple truth is the more you play, the more you work on your ear, the easier this gets. I've been playing for far less time than BB has and I seem to hit it pretty consistently, although sometimes I miss.

Of course, if I know what key it's in, I never miss. I orient myself and then go. That's the only tricky part, that first note. If you don't know what key you're in you have to guess. But usually you can look at what the other musicians are playing and combine that with your ear and guess.

Use the funtional ear trainer! (Free download from miles.be). This all seems impossible until you start getting that down. Then you glance over, see someone's playing an "A" chord but your ear tells you it sounds like a V so you know that you're in D. Voila! With practice and experience is just because intuitive and easy.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by HotspurJr

Of course, if I know what key it's in, I never miss. I orient myself and then go. That's the only tricky part, that first note. If you don't know what key you're in you have to guess. But usually you can look at what the other musicians are playing and combine that with your ear and guess.



good video
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:16 PM   #7
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That was a great video! Yeah i have noticed improvement in it too, ecspecially when im a few minutes into playing, i start to hear it alot better and also hit what i hear.

But then there are days or better said, times when i wanna play something right of the bat, picking up the guitar and i usually spend some time getting accustomed to the key or sound first.

I wanna reach a level where i can just do exactly that. I hear what i wanna play and then i know exactly where it is i have to go.

Last edited by Ignore : 10-27-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:21 PM   #8
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good video



This video makes me so happy. Excellent demonstration.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hail
wow only on UG would someone ask about playing by ear and have people suggest satch and interval exercises
What are you talking about, ignoramus? All I did was share a few things that have helped me improvise and play what I hear. Those exercises make the fretboard very familiar and train your ear at the same time (provided you remember to tune before playing).
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by metal4all
What are you talking about, ignoramus? All I did was share a few things that have helped me improvise and play what I hear. Those exercises make the fretboard very familiar and train your ear at the same time (provided you remember to tune before playing).


yeah but satch is so 2004

and i don't like people to take him seriously at all beyond his music and playing cause when he gets into pitch axis it gets really really obvious that he only has a high school theory education
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ignore
I wanna reach a level where i can just do exactly that. I hear what i wanna play and then i know exactly where it is i have to go.


Nothing - and I mean absolutely nothing - has helped me with this as much as the functional ear trainer. Download it and use it. Multiple times a week for just a few minutes each time.

It's not a light switch, where one day all of a sudden you hear it all. Instead, with work, over time, you just get a little bit better at it and a little bit better at it and a little bit better at it. You get faster and faster are identifying where the note is relative to the tonic with less an less work and fewer mistakes.

And then before you know it you pick up a guitar and are doing exactly what he's talking about in that video.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:03 PM   #12
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I think that, along with functional ear trainer, you should transcribe a lot of music and see how it flows together.
Also, learn your scales - Not just in the way your fingers move, but with the actual notes in the scale, and the intervals. Learn all the notes on the neck, and sing your scales as you play them. Sing a line, and then figure out how it's played on the guitar neck. Know your scales physically back and forth, combined with a spoonful of solfeggi (i have a constant stiffy for solfeggi) will allow you to do this pretty quickly. Eventually you'll be able to do this pretty quick, and then without the singing part.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macashmack
.....Learn all the notes on the neck.....

+1
Fantastic advice. TS could benefit from your experience. How did you do it?
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignore
This is mostly in regard to blues but it can be referred to music in general so im putting it here.
I saw the Master class with B.B.King hosted by robben ford.
To make a long story short BB explained that he hears what hes gonna play before he plays it. But what do you think is his aproach to effortlessly find those tones he wants to play on the fretboard.
He has surely played long enough to be super familiair with most of the stuff he does but in that masterclass he improvised alot on the spot. He also said he never learned all the pentatonic positions and since he mixes alot of major and minor all the time its all in the ears. Do you think he knows what each tone's interval is and connects the stuff he hears with the intervals?

Most guitarists think about what notes to play before playing a phrase.

Instead, try conceiving the rhythm first and adding notes to it...

It works for Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Krantz and many, many other greats!
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:12 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by 91RG350
+1
Fantastic advice. TS could benefit from your experience. How did you do it?


I would just play and name all the notes on all the strings to the first three frets, then after a few days when i had than down, i would do another 3 frets up, until i hit the 12th fret, in which i pretty much had it all, but i continued up to (in my case) the 22nd fret.
It wasn't fun, but it was pretty effective. Took me a week or two to get a feel, and from there just playing and saying, "This note id Db" etc solidified it. After a while you just remember.
You could also probably print out a blank fretboard and write them out if you don't have access to your guitar for whatever reason.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Hail
yeah but satch is so 2004

and i don't like people to take him seriously at all beyond his music and playing cause when he gets into pitch axis it gets really really obvious that he only has a high school theory education


I'm hardly an expert, but in IMHO Satch is more of a blues/blues rock person. The ones of his kind that know theory usually know what they need to know and do well like that without having to delve deeper.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by CryogenicHusk
I'm hardly an expert, but in IMHO Satch is more of a blues/blues rock person. The ones of his kind that know theory usually know what they need to know and do well like that without having to delve deeper.


he'll tell you otherwise lol
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by CryogenicHusk
I'm hardly an expert, but in IMHO Satch is more of a blues/blues rock person. The ones of his kind that know theory usually know what they need to know and do well like that without having to delve deeper.

Oh my
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Hail
he'll tell you otherwise lol


Fair enough. There are opinions and he seems like a fairly down-to-earth guy, so I don't think he would be OFFENDED per se. He did decide to take the guitar upon being inspired by Hendrix (who was a blues rock player) is the story, no? I don't think he'd get angry at me . And although I see obvious influences from other genres, I certainly wouldn't class him as pure classical, neoclassical or jazz/jazz fusion (although I do hear a bit of those sounds on his music, sometimes more than others). And I hear a pretty steady big blues/blues rock influence in his sound. Not dissing at all, he's one of my favorites, btw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steven seagull
Oh my


Perhaps that wasn't the right way to put it. I guess what I was trying to say is that a blues/blues rock player MIGHT (or might not...) have a different perspective on things when compared to either a jazz player or a classical musician (both of which might also have different perspectives from each other, although I am well aware that lots of big names have training in both styles).

Last edited by CryogenicHusk : 10-29-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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