thoughts

Playing by Ear

I like listening to music, I think I mentioned that in my author’s bio. The music genre I love varies widely from ballad, rock, to indie and even rap. I’m not much into house, I don’t like party music. I don’t think I have a favorite genre but I remember listening to alternative / rock in my early years. It’s mostly Matchbox 20, Vertical Horizon era. It’s also those years that I’ve learned to play the guitar and play by ear. No Spotify back then and I rely on FM radio because I’m scared of downloading from Limewire and I use ISP Bonanza where every second counts. I know. Kiddos won’t understand anymore.

Because I play by ear, I had to listen to the music a lot of times and to do that, I had to buy a blank cassette tape, record the music played on the radio, and play it multiple times. The recording would most likely include the DJ’s voice. What irked me the most is when they don’t stop talking until the first word in the lyrics is uttered which makes it harder for me to listen to riffs in the intro. They’re not DJs if they’re not talkative anyway.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Remember Unwell by Matchbox 20 back in 2002? Since I haven’t discovered Ultimate-Guitar.com yet, I tried to play the intro by ear. In Filipino we use the word “kapa” which directly translates to grope. LOL. But in essence, that means finding the keys by listening. I used to do that a lot in piano and I found out that the guitar (and other instruments) work the same way. Soooo… I did it! It’s not the exact riff but I got the correct keys and my mom and aunt was totally “elibs.” That was a Filipino slang word “bilib” which means amazed. This blog’s turning to a Filipino dictionary haha.

To date, I don’t to it anymore because why should I when there’s Ultimate-Guitar.com? The difference is, I know the chords or tabs in UG is not correct because I hear it. I don’t know if learned, but even the strumming pattern I do is through hearing. My ex-boyfriend aka my husband asked me how I know when to do the up and down strums when playing a song and I can’t answer him the way he wants to. Because the only answer I have is ” Because that’s how I hear it.”

It’s frustrating, right? Wanting to learn something not repeatable and seeing others do it like a piece of cake. Well maybe it is repeatable but you don’t have the right resources or the right teacher to tell you how. Although to me, that actually makes room for finding one’s own “diskarte.” Before you know it, you’re doing it your own way, playing by ear. 😎

Leaving you with Ed Sheeran’s new song featuring YEBBA to end this day. 🙂

But you love me, you love me, why the hell you love me so
When you could have anyone else? He loves me, he loves me
And I bet he never lets me go and shows me how to love myself

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