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Do You Play Your "Epiphone Electric Guitars" by Ear, or Education?


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Hi All,

I'm strictly a "play by ear" person...couldn't read a

score, if my life depended on it. Not saying that's

bad or good. Just a fact. But, it got me to wondering

what you all feel is preferable, or "best" for YOU?

I think a good music education is wonderful, and

makes things (quite often) a lot easier. But, it's never

been a "sure fire guarantee," to being a great player.

 

What do you think?

 

CB

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How do you get a guitar player to turn down? Put a chart in front of him! Thats me too CB....I'm an ear player and it's always surprised some of the Berklee cats I've played with how little theory I really know.....it just kinda comes naturally to me good or bad.:-k They say that opposites attract....my wife sight reads complicated choral arrangements by all of the masters and I'm just in awe of her ability.

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I have had a musical education for around ten years and it's a funny thing..... you learn music theory to try to forget it, if that makes sense? Probably not.

 

Music has no place on a piece of paper, music is taken in by the ears rather than the eyes. Theory should only be a supplement to what you can hear. You cant trust a piece of paper to tell you what sounds wrong, can you?

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C.B.

 

Started piano in 1954. Grew up reading music. Got an Epiphone Olympic in 1963. Took a few lessons. From the start I think the guitar told me what to do. Reading or not has little to do with it. To this day I have little occation to "read".

I think it's more about wanting to do the best you can with the situation you have to work with.

 

Reading is a tool.... So is heart, soul,creativity and about a hundred other things I can think of.

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I agree...not being able to read music, has never stopped me, at all!

And, in fact, most of my musical "hero's," when I was growing up, learning to play,

didn't/couldn't read music, either. I think it would be nice/helpful, though...at times.

But, it doesn't really inhibit me, at all...

 

CB

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i'm a little of both as well.

 

i got an acoustic (pretty much toy) guitar for Christmas of 8th grade in 1984. i went to ONE guitar lesson. bought all the books, etc. went back the next week for my second lesson and the music shop guy said:

 

"what, someone didnt call you? well, um, Steve (the guitar teacher) was killed in a car accident last week."

 

never took another lesson. taught myself from the books they had made my parents buy. funny thing, tho...i skipped all the scales lessons and went straight to strumming and chords so i could "play" and sing songs.

 

24-ish years later and i'm going BACK and learning pentatonic scales! ha! full circle.

 

anyway back on topic: i can read chord charts and simple tabs (getting better at the latter) but definitely cannot read staffed sheet music for guitar...no way. mostly playing by ear, which i'm decent at

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I learned with friends that knew how to play at that time ( 42 years ago ) I really learned from chords charts, tabs, but nothing better than my ears...Lolll

Hey CB...how long do you think this topic WILL STAY THERE...? Lollllll

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Took lessons early on but play mostly by ear. Being that the chords were so often

wrong (or in the wrong key) on sheet music back then, I started figuring out the

chords by listening to the record. I still bump into guys who play the "wrong"

chords because that's what was on the sheet. Not a lead player, although I've

developed my own right hand technique to complement my singing - strumming +

muting + percussive + finger picking.

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Took lessons early on but play mostly by ear. Being that the chords were so often

wrong (or in the wrong key) on sheet music back then' date=' I started figuring out the

chords by listening to the record. I still bump into guys who play the "wrong"

chords because that's what was on the sheet. Not a lead player, although I've

developed my own right hand technique to complement my singing - strumming +

muting + percussive + finger picking. [/quote']

 

I remember my father buying me a book of Ventures music. Every damned one of them was in 5 sharps or 5 flats. Even music lessons didn't help me there.

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First, thank you for asking this question. It's nice to see a thread about music instead of about guitars.

 

I started playing as a kid and learned scales, chords, basic progression etc. I could play many of the current rock stuff and was pretty good at soloing, and just plain jamming. But I only dabbled a little with reading music.

 

Many years later I started taking lessons with a very good and dedicated teacher. There was no question that I was going to learn to read music. And a couple years later I'm easily reading very complicated jazz scores. There's no tab, not even a chord chart on this music.

 

My main fear was that I would loose my ability to freely solo when jamming. However, it seems the opposite has happened, my solos are far better, and even though I know plenty of scales, all over the neck, (and I mean major, minor, modes, pentatonic, etc,) I never think about them, nor do I ever plan a solo with a scale idea in mind.

 

Learning to read music has opened up so much more music than I ever could have achieved in any other way. I highly recommending this. It's like quitting smoking, really hard at first, but gets easier quickly. If you are dedicated to playing and being a good musician, why not make the effort?

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I learned with friends that knew how to play at that time ( 42 years ago ) I really learned from chords charts' date=' tabs, but nothing better than my ears...Lolll

Hey CB...how long do you think this topic WILL STAY THERE...? Lollllll

[/quote']

 

Well, Norm...I used "Epiphone Electric Guitars," in the title! LOL!!

Besides, playing them is what we love to do most, right?!

So, hopefully they won't burn down this thread?

 

CB

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I have had a musical education for around ten years and it's a funny thing..... you learn music theory to try to forget it' date=' if that makes sense? Probably not.

 

Music has no place on a piece of paper, music is taken in by the ears rather than the eyes. Theory should only be a supplement to what you can hear. You cant trust a piece of paper to tell you what sounds wrong, can you?[/quote']

 

Someone has said (it might have been John Scofield) that reading music is something you have to do until you can play ear.

 

I'm enjoying the challenge of trying to learn theory (in the way other people do crossword puzzles), but music is about sound isn't it - not the theory of sound. If you want to be a writer they reckon you need to have something to say (something worth saying). Maybe the same goes for musicians - if you want to play the guitar you need to have something to play (some idea worth playing). Theory will help you say it, but it can't be a substitue for saying it.

 

Old Bob

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First' date=' thank you for asking this question. It's nice to see a thread about music instead of about guitars.

[/quote']

 

 

Thanks for your posting, Nic...

 

We would all like to do more diverse topics related to Epiphone Electrics,

but they seem to end up deleted, all to often. But, maybe if we can

incorporate enough references, to Epi guitars, within the threads, they'll

grant us their "blessings?" ;>b But, time will tell...

 

CB

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Thanks for your posting' date=' Nic...

 

We would all like to do more diverse topic related to Epiphone Electrics,

but they seem to end up deleted, all to often. But, maybe if we can

incorporate enough references, to Epi guitars, within the threads, they'll

grant us their "blessings?" ;>b But, time will tell...

 

CB[/quote']

 

Hey I even changed my avatar to my EPIPHONE Joe Pass:d/

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i skipped all the scales lessons and went straight to strumming and chords so i could "play" and sing songs.

 

24-ish years later and i'm going BACK and learning pentatonic scales! ha! full circle.

 

anyway back on topic: i can read chord charts and simple tabs (getting better at the latter) but definitely cannot read staffed sheet music for guitar...no way. mostly playing by ear' date=' which i'm decent at[/quote']

 

Same here. Started playing in the late 70s in grade school with a teacher who made us buy and read the Mel Bay book and play Mary Had a Little Lamb and stuff. I had such a hard time and my parents sold my guitar because I wanted to play Beatle songs.

 

Bought my own guitar in HS and took some lessons to learn to play songs. First song I ever could play was And I Love Her spent hours learning all the barre chords and changing on time until my fingers hurt plus my first guitar had 1" action.

 

Quit taking lessons when I realized I could pretty much figure out what chord follows another or keep trying them until I found the right ones. Learned the riffs like Day Tripper or The One I Love from tab. I can play set solos but still get lost on improvising plus I have played with many good guitar players I'm happy just to play rhythm and I'm amazed at how many good lead guys can't tell you what the chords they are playing are named. Most bands I'm the one who stands next to the bass player and lets them know the chord changes to the songs so they can learn the song also.

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Hmmmmm ..... I tend to rely on my education (i.e., lessons some 30+ years ago ), meaning I can play a vast number of chords, as a base for playing, but rely on ear and "feel" for what I thinks sounds/feels right at the moment. Name a reasonable chord, and I can play it..... play a song, I can jump in by ear....hand me sheet music, it takes a few moments to decipher the written notes and get them out to my fingers...heh. I might at some point re-educate myself, but, since I play for fun and "non-profit" (that'd be the occasional hippy sessions at my liberal church=d> ) I don't feel the need as I can pretty much fake it, one way or another.

It's only rock'n'roll, but I like it !!!!

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Well' date=' Norm...I used "Epiphone Electric Guitars," in the title! LOL!!

Besides, playing them is what we love to do most, right?!

So, hopefully they won't burn down this thread?

 

CB[/quote']

 

And it's amazing that someone hasn't said "I read music for the Epiphone electrics but just play by ear with a Gretsch."

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Started with lessons about 15 years ago, to learn chords and fingering/strumming technique. Went to a couple different teachers, but didn'y really absorb their theories due to my knowing everything at my age (12 years old). I mean, damn, I already could play Sweet Home Alabama!

Now though, I would benefit more from the theory and educational approach to composition. I've always been able to play by ear, but I'm now beginning to be able to recognize patterns while I hear them. Its amazing what we can do, as people, the emulation and cognitive thinking skills, that allow us to reproduce what we've heard, and even add our own flare to it, to make our color of music

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Any musician must be able to play by ear. I'm a poor reader, but the value of being able to read includes the ability to write, and therefore communicate with other musicians who may not be able to play a guitar. It also opens the door to classical and jazz. Any guitarist who can read will have far more doors opened to him than on who can't, be it studio work or teaching. Its a valuable skill and one I greatly admire in others.

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