As you whistle...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by belaxa, Feb 6, 2013.


  1. belaxa

    belaxa

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    La Plata, Argentina
    Many people sing a melody in tune, many people wistle in tune. Some of them make simple arrangements, but none knows about music theory, or what note they are playing.
    Put an instrument to those people and no one can play it without exercise and practice.
    So, i think there is a disconnection between the brain and the instrument.
    I know the 12 notes, but no reading and no knowledgement about music theory. But sometimes I find myself playing the bass or guitar in front of TV and following the commercial melody without problems.

    Is there excercises to improve the brain to fret connection ?
  2. temmrich

    temmrich Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    It's the same as illiterate people knowing how to speak. If you want to improve brain to fret connection, treat it like speaking. Think of a melody and figure it out. Do this A LOT! Just like we learn to speak by thinking and forming words your brain will begin to make the connection between the ideas in your head and the way to move your hands to make those
    sounds.
  3. Bainbridge

    Bainbridge

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    How often do you use your voice? How often do you use your instrument? Therein lies your answer.
  4. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    Three tunes by ear - no peeking at sheet music - this week.
    Start with Happy Birthday.
    Mary had a little lamb.
    Some where over the rainbow.

    One verse is enough for now.

    [​IMG] Yes tunes on the keyboard are much easier to work out. Everything is on a straight line. [​IMG] If you are going to use a keyboard write in C major - just the white keys, leave the sharps and flats for later.

    If you will be using your bass, let the box help you.
    Code:
    Major Scale Box. 
    Code:
    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
    D|---6---|-------|---7---|---8---|
    A|---3---|---4---|-------|---5---|
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string
    
    Write them down using standard notation - no tab allowed. http://www.blanksheetmusic.net/ When you get the treble clef work up a bass clef, i.e. the harmony chords. Yep, harmonizing the melody notes should turn on some light bulbs.

    Three more next week. Three per week is a realistic number.

    It's fun, get started.
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  6. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    London,NewYork,Paris,Braintree
    You already have that skill down, you relate what you hear to a fretboard tuned in a specific way.
    Great stuff, but theory is just relating what you see to music, using your ears to make it tunefull.
    As is reading music, you just relate to the fretboard what you see on the page.

    Do not make the classic mistake of developing what happens natural and believe its a great skill, its a skill and that's all.
    Develop you skills in relating it to aspects of theory if you want to improve all your skills.:)
  7. bander68

    bander68

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    This is a very interesting topic for me. I have perfect pitch. Some people say it's a genetic thing, but I disagree. I learned it by accident when I was a kid...I had a trumpet and a book to learn to read, but nobody was there to tell me if I was right or wrong, so I just memorized the way the notes sounded. I also didn't have anybody there to tell me I couldn't memorize notes. It just happened.

    Fast forward to now (34 years later), and I am a beginning bass player. I know what notes I want to play, but I don't have the skill set yet, but I know what I'm doing now. For me (and I know I'm in a minority), it's all about exercising over and over until the bass becomes a natural extension of my mind. The ear will take over when the technique becomes automatic.

    During the Super Bowl, I sat with my bass in my hands and watched the game, often picking out music from the commericals. I got that Fox Football lick down cold, LOL. If you want to get there, you just have to do it and do it and do it, and eventually you'll just go there without thinking. And as a musician, that's the best place to be - playing without having to think anymore. I consider my book-work practice and scales and arpeggios and everything else to be "getting the thinking out of the way" so I can relax and be a musician later.

    I agree 1000% with MalcolmAmos too. Play familiar tunes until you own them. It's just like my little beginner brass players I teach now. We've been playing Twinkle Twinkle for a while now in Bb...a couple of days ago I gave it to them in Ab, and in just a few tries they got it. I made them go back and forth between the two keys and (since we've been practicing both of those scales a lot), they were able to just play without much effort. I'll do the same with virtually every little folk tune and melody we play...and we'll eventually play it in all 12 major keys. But it takes time.

    To answer the original question - is there an exercise to get there? Yes. Play a lot, and be patient. I know that's where I'm at right now too...and I'm trying to enjoy it like I did as a kid.

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