Musicians like to classify themselves in many different ways including whether or not they “play by ear”. It’s funny to me that so many are quick to say that they “play by ear”. I think that it is a defensive attitude which really means “I can’t read music”. The reason I say this is because music is an aural art form. All musicians, whether they read music or not, have to be able to hear what they are playing. I’m not saying that you have to read music to be a good or great musician. The point is that “playing by ear” is not the opposite of reading music. If you aren’t “playing by ear” then you are simply not using your ears. Clearly there are some people that are more aware of subtleties in music than others. I’m always astounded by musicians that have perfect pitch or even a very strong relative pitch. Perfect pitch is the ability to identify exact frequencies with no comparison to other notes. This is also known as absolute pitch. People with perfect pitch are pretty rare. It is said that you must have attained an ability for perfect pitch by the age of 3 or 4 years or it will never develop. There are some that will disagree and say you can learn perfect pitch at any age. David Lucas Burge is the creator of The Perfect Pitch Training audio training course. It contains exercises designed to unlock the keys to perfect pitch recognition in anyone who practices it. Relative pitch is the ability to identify scale qualities, chord qualities and intervals. Relative pitch training always uses a reference note that allows you to judge other notes in comparison. Many musicians, including those with perfect pitch, will typically say that their relative pitch training is more useful to the practice of music and their understanding of music all together. Usually “play by ear” people don’t learn any relative or perfect pitch training. When someone identifies themselves as a playing by ear, they are most commonly referring to the process of learning an instrument by trial and error or sound imitating. These methods can be very useful for the right situations. People naturally have different musical goals and sometimes it won’t be necessary for someone to learn to read standard notation or music theory to enjoy themselves and advance in their playing ability.
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Grosse Pointe Music Academy Staff
Grosse Pointe Music Academy
Guitar Lessons, Piano Lessons, Drum Lessons, Violin Lesson
5880 N. Canton Center Rd.