Play by Ear!
- what a great idea but how do we go about doing it? How is it possible to listen to a tune then pick up your guitar and belt out a fair version for you and your friends to sing along to?
The aim of the information I am presenting here is to provide a number of strategies and methods to apply that will enable you to understand how a tune is structured, how to anticipate what chord comes next and finally how to play along with almost anything. I hope to avoid any heavy theory, unfortunately some basics will have to be used, my real aim here is to present this information in simple and descriptive terms that avoid unfamiliar and often difficult to understand theory terms.
Believe it or not, this is not as difficult as most people think but it does depend on a few basics. These I cannot help you with here but with practice and patience, it is not hard. So what tools do we need? If you have a reasonable grasp of the following, you are well on the way:
- Chord Knowlege: Knowlege of all major, minor and seventh (dominant seventh) chords and fluency in changes. If you can do this, you can already play almost anything!!
- Knowlege of Keys:Knowlege of keys and relative minors. This will need some explaining but stay with me for a bit!
- Reasonable Sense of Rhythm:Again practice and patience - a lot will depend on your ability to apply yourself in practice!
OK - lets start with the following:
Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
(I know Elvis did this as well!)
First thing to do is listen to the entire song. I know this is an obvious thing to suggest but listen anyway. Drag it out of your old record collection, or new CD classics collection and listen. "Well is's one for the money, two for the show ..." Next page we will have a closer look at this song.