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TheSnowStorm

Songs That You Learned By Ear

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When I started playing bass I thought tabs from internet would be a good way to start and get the hang of it. After a very short while I threw them away because they only distracted me and were usually tabbed wrong anyway. So sheet music/tabs/whatever distract me, and probably if I tried to play with them today I wouldn't understand anything.

By ear is the way to go. I don't usually memorize songs anyway.. I'm not interested in getting it JUST right and playing it exactly like its played on the original song. I just get the basics and DO MY THANG with it. I think its much more fun.

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QFE bitches.

Learn "Violin Partita No.2 (BWV 1004) - Chaconne" by ear.

Then, and only then, can you call me a bitch by that method.

Sung songs are most of what I learn by ear.

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My limitation in terms of musical instruments is a piano (which translates into a keyboard for midi purposes). That having been said, I recently learned how to play L's Theme and Near's Theme from Death Note on the piano. They aren't particularly complicated, but figuring out which notes was pretty difficult.

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As a jazz musician and a classical musician, i find it important to balance learning by ear and reading sheet music. Sight reading is just as important of a skill.

And How. Adaptability truly makes us musicians, right?

The first song I picked out by ear was the Legend of Zelda Main theme on my trumpet. I had only been playing for a few years, so it felt really cool to figure out something, at the time, "complex" all on my own. Compounding things was the fact that video game music wasn't yet anything Like big in the States, so finding sheet music was pretty much a pipe dream anyway. This was a very long time ago...

Recently, I heard Star Wolf's theme for the first time. I didn't really get into the star fox games, so I missed it. At any rate I fell in love with it and gave it a try. It felt Just as good when I found out that I could nail the trumpet part in that too.

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I don't really play piano (no lessons blah blah blah), but on that blessed instrument I learned the following by ear:

Music A from Yoshi's Cookie

http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/gameboy/yc_1p_music_a.mid

Some of the FFMQ boss theme (the rest I learned from sheet music)

http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/snes/ffmqboss.mid

The battle theme from FF1

http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/nes/ff1battl.mid

I actually made a SHIDI remix file of it too about 5 years ago or so... (warning: terrible 30 seconds of music alert)

http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/nes/ffbatremix.mid

That's about it.

ETA: I forgot that I learned how to play the FF5 battle theme (best in the series, imo) on violin by ear about... whenever freshman year of high school was. 4 years ago, I think?

http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/nintendo/snes/FF5_battl.mid

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Learn "Violin Partita No.2 (BWV 1004) - Chaconne" by ear.

Bach should be pretty easy to learn by ear, especially something for solo violin where you can only play at max 4-6 notes at a time (not really at a time but really close together).. most of it is single note lines

i think the only things i DIDN'T learn by ear were violin pieces which i hadn't heard before, just started sight reading and playing notes... and orchestra parts, which in a lot of cases are pretty complicated and you wouldn't be able to pick out even if you heard it by ear (with the full orchestra playing)

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Learn "Violin Partita No.2 (BWV 1004) - Chaconne" by ear.

Then, and only then, can you call me a bitch by that method.

Sung songs are most of what I learn by ear.

That doesn't make sense, I don't play the violin :/

but okay, "bitches" was harsh :3

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There's been a few of em. Recently, it's been The Passing of the Blue Crown by Sixto, Steppo and zircon. Obviously, my guitar play is pitiful compared to Sixto's, though since he doesn't break out into crazy guitar solo in this one, it's easy to follow.

I think the majority of music I try to work out are ones made by the community here (or people who are close to it at least) since tabs and sheets are hard to come by.

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I still learn most everything by ear, but man, sometimes you really don't want to have to waste time figuring it out. Especially complex chords (I'm particularly bad at these) or fast runs. Now that I'm picking up music lessons again, I love having the sheet music there in front of me so I can play a song instantly, without even having to ever hear it. Also, I hesitate to admit this, but I've referred to a MIDI for more than one OCReMix. :oops:

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I play almost everything by ear. Classical piano pieces are typically too hard to do by ear, but that's not necessarily because of difficulty (I play at a level 3 or 4 grades below where I played at my peak; thanks tendonitis) but because Classical music requires precision. Sure, I can take something and make it sound pretty much like the original using ear alone, but that won't do it justice.

My playing style is generally to abstract music down to chords and melody (i.e. jazz fakebook style) and fill the rest in myself, or just stick to chords if I'm playing with someone else or as part of a mix.

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Also, I hesitate to admit this, but I've referred to a MIDI for more than one OCReMix. :oops:

I've listened to many remixes, and there's a fine line between interpretation and just getting it wrong. Sometimes your instincts will betray you. Like when you think that milk in the fridge is probably fine to drink...

Can't hurt to double check.

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My playing style is generally to abstract music down to chords and melody (i.e. jazz fakebook style) and fill the rest in myself, or just stick to chords if I'm playing with someone else or as part of a mix.

I love fakebooks because they give you the chords right there such as a CM7 chord. But if I can't figure out a chord, I'll trty to make up one that sounds right. And with me fooling around with jazz, the chord and the pitch just has to be right.

I wonder, if you train for a while learning basic songs via ear traninng, will you soon figure out chords?

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Depends what you mean by "learn". I transitioned from classical to playing with a worship band at church where I was given just the chords and lyrics to play with; jazz came a bit later. So when I got to jazz, I knew my way around the basic chords (major, minor, sus4 and 7) without having to think about it, and could find good voicings and so on. With jazz, I didn't really connect theory and playing. I listened to a lot of music and started developing other voicings and chords on my own, and when I play now, I often ignore the given altered tones of the chord in the fakebook and do something that sounds right (often the same chord, although I don't realize it as such unless I listen to a recording of myself playing and analyze what I've done).

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I'm really a shameful keyboard player, but I've learned a few melodies... it's really fun to figure out the music by ear.

Saria's Song (Zelda OoT)

Song of Healing (Majora's Mask)

Wood Man (Megaman 2)

Mr. X's theme (Megaman 6)

Wily Castle 1 and 2 (Megaman 3)

Skull Man (Megaman 4)

first town theme (Chrono Trigger)

600 AD theme (Chrono Trigger)

Ryu's theme (Street Fighter II)

Balrog's theme (Street Fighter II)

Viridian Town (Pokémon RBY)

Fighting and Death music (NES Karateka)

The list stopped growing because I need a new keyboard.

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I learn almost everything by ear. I don't read sheet music (can't), and very rarely will I resort to tabs for guitar. Only if the guitar is buried in the mix in a song so badly that I can't hear it will I resort to tabs.

Otherwise I can listen to a song once and within 15 minutes nail 75-80% of it (bar any huge solos, those take some practice).

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I learn all the video game stuff I know by ear with a few exceptions (like the Big Bridge music from FFV and some of the Suikoden II stuff). And I transcribed Come Sail Away mostly by ear (I had a choral reduction, but it wasn't very faithful to the original and was honestly of limited use).

I use sheet music for all the classical stuff since I haven't heard most of it before anyway.

And people who want sheet music for simple stuff drive me up the wall...

But people who brag about not knowing how to read sheet music are equally irritating. Not knowing how to do something is all of a sudden favorable? Hey guys, I'm a great public speaker, and I don't know how to read! Isn't that awesome? That's totally better than being able to do both, right?

And if you learn both, you can then get to work on a very handy compositional skill: Knowing what stuff sounds like when you look at the sheet music, without listening to it.

EDIT: Where this post is placed makes it look like it's about someone in this thread. It's not. There was a big argument on vgmusic.com (or it might have been here actually) a few years ago that annoyed me enough to stick.

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My piano style is similar to kLuTz (sp?), though I'm nowhere near as good as he is. Never taken any sort of lessons, blah blah blah. Most of what I play entails root-fifth-root bass arpeggios and it has to be translatable to that for me to be able to play it well (To Zanarkand, Dire Dire Docks, etc)

In short, I'm really not that good at piano, but I can fake it well. :)

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I learned to play the following on guitar.

By ear: Everything from Guilty Gear, including the harpsichord solos on Writhe in Pain ^_^

Several songs from Testament's Demonic album

Several Valkyrie Profile and Star Ocean songs

Tons of Amon Amarth songs

By sheet music: Some stuff from Handel's Messiah and Verdi's(I think) Dies Irae,

All the parts of Symphony of the Night's Wood Carving Partitia (That's the library BGM)

Several other video game tunes that I can't remember right now

Most of my original songs (Yes, I write them first and then learn to play them).

Of course there are more, but it's probably not a lot more because I don't often practice other people's music.

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One of my favorites that I learned by ear was Brahm's Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118 no. 2. I only learned the middle section where it's three against two between the hands, but it's a wonderful section I like to play whenever I'm having a crappy day. I should learn the entire piece one of these days, but I'm pathetic at reading piano music.

On the clarinet I can read far better, but I also enjoy learning jazz music by ear. One of my favorites I learned was Take 5, a definite classic.

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Playing the Irish whistle, I came to find that learning by ear is actually the traditional method by which one player passes along a song to another. Sure, there is plenty of sheet music covering the likes of the Silver Spear, Lark in the Morning, Garrett Barrys, The Foggy Dew, and The Kesh, but each person who plays those songs, plays them differently. One player adds their own crans or taps or other flourishes, and those changes and habits are passed along to the next player. We all stick to a basic framework, which may be provided by sheet music (or the dots, as we call them), but learning by ear gives a song greater life, as it breaths and greows and changes over time.

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