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How many of you learned to play by ear?

Scooga D.
Posts: 7
10 years ago
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At first I thought the bass was easy to play boy was I wrong!!!! I would sit in my livingroom playing to the CD player I notice that I sounded like a bunch of bees in a pop can just a hot mess! How ever I'm a big fan of Funk so my first song I had to learn was a tune by The Brothers Johnson called Strawberry Letter 23, it took me 3weeks. A friend of mine asked me what note I was playing…….. I said don't know nothing about notes. My in house lessons started their. I'm still teaching myself and believe me I have a lot to learn things like the 1 4 5, 1 3 5 7, chord progression, pentatonic scale, along with other Major & Minor scale, I found out that this things you must know. I play 300+ songs I have charted in my song book so I'm using them to help me learn music. I can't believe I got this far with out knowing this things…… Keep it groovy brothers PEACE!!!!!
Posts: 1499
When I first started playing, it was all by ear - I didn't read music or have any musical training. Just listen to the song and try to sound the same! Got better at it the more I played and tried to learn new songs - ear training!
@sidsquishus now I'm working on things I should know like some theory people told me that it was useless because a lot of it you will never use and I believed them stupid me!!!
Posts: 1499
I'll bet you already know a fair bit of music theory. By learning and playing songs, you have probably come to have some expectations about what comes next in a song. That is music theory in action!
Posts: 1
I had training on a stand up base in my towns public music school in my teenies. Then nothing! Now, I'm in the mid 40's and have joined a band (more dragged there by enthusiastic band members wanting to replace a missed bass player really )
Now, to the point: This band plays bluegrass and BOY! That does the guesswork really hard because this genre makes odd turns in the songs!
Anyway, I have gradually became more and more aware of the workings of music (and the theory behind) but I have still really, no knowledge = I'm playing by ear.
I'm now working on playing without looking at my fingers, because its more or less needed if I'm to play from tabs, which I really like to do. (check out "Sting - Moon over bourbon street).
A final suggestion for you who are curious about the nuts and bolts of base role in music:
On YouTube, look at “How music works base Howard Godall” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grDl2aFJUrM
Cheers 2 all of you phat stringers:
\ \ Staffan
b.t.w: How the *** can I change the profile-picture?! That ain't me !!
johnny [staff]
Posts: 1007
hey staffan, welcome to the forums, just click on the avatar and you can change it
Posts: 2
am learning the bass…..would also like to join the forum?how do i go abt ths.
TheDude [staff]
Posts: 287
bassabz, i think you've already joined.

to change your avatar to something a little less justin bieber-ish, click on it and upload your own image!
Posts: 2
theDude,yes by chance i managed to join..thx.
Posts: 15
... A final suggestion for you who are curious about the nuts and bolts of base role in musicn YouTube, look at “How music works base Howard Godall” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grDl2aFJUrMCheers 2 all of you phat stringers: \ \ Staffanb.t.w: How the *** can I change the profile-picture?! That ain't me !!

Awesome documentary - It puts perspective on how the bass works with all types of music. A must see if you are a bass player. Thanks for sharing Staffan!


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