Sunday, February 5, 2012

The rewards of playing by ear

     If you are new to playing Irish music by ear,  you may have a tendency to want to "play along" with a particular tune with the sheet music in front of you.  Please, I beg you, don't!   As I post the written versions of the tunes, do remember that it is just a reference point and that is it.  These particular tunes are taught to students by ear first before they receive the written version of them.  At a further date, we will discuss how to read sheet music without playing along with it on your instrument.  Sounds tricky, but the sooner you learn to play by ear, the easier this technique will become!    
      I can't stress this enough:  listen, listen, and listen again to the tunes you want to learn.  It is a process of experimentation on your part that is actually quite fun.  Once you pick out the notes that match the pitch that you hear in your head, you can then piece together this musical puzzle and VIOLA, a tune is discovered on your own without any aides.  Now that's a nice pat on the back, wouldn't you agree? 


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