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Keyys
12-14-2010, 10:37 PM
Has anyone else found that playing the 'ukulele has improved your ear?

After playing for a month or two, I now hear a noticeable different in keys and notes and such. This is after years of piano having little effect on my innate musical ability.

Tor
12-15-2010, 01:42 AM
I've only been playing for two or three weeks.. so no :) But then again it took about 30 years of guitar playing before my musical ear started to improve in a noticeable way..!

mendel
12-15-2010, 03:03 AM
Prior to Ukulele, my musical experience was limited to percussion. I played drums for many years. Ironically, the melodies and harmonies come quite easily to me, and I am more easily able to recognize things in music I listen to. The irony is that the rhythmic strumming on the Ukulele is where I am having fits. I can match the chords to songs I like pretty easily, but the strumming patterns are completely unnatural to me so no song I try to ply by ear sounds right.

janeray1940
12-15-2010, 05:40 AM
Yes! I took piano and voice as a kid and despite the lessons, always had a terrible ear, but in the year I've been playing ukulele I've found picking out melodies by ear to come pretty easily, and recently was able to listen to a song (that wasn't in C!) and figure out what key it was in for the first time ever. I'm not sure if there is something about the ukulele that makes this easier, or if it's a matter of being older and being able to focus better :)

Dane
12-15-2010, 06:35 AM
My musical ear was terrible when I started (as far as tuning goes, some might still say it's terrible haha!)

The way I play seems to incorporate a lot of double notes on separate strings, and this has REALLY made me notice when something is just slightly off. I can get pretty close to correct tuning by ear any everything now, which I thought I'd never be able to do.

scottie
12-15-2010, 06:57 AM
One of my few students has difficulties with tuning, I'm asking him to use a pitch pipe rather than an electronic tuner in an attempt to get him to hear and understand when it's in tune and, as much as possible right now, the bits about the uke being in tune to itself. I have to tease him about being overly wimpy with the tension. . . tune that thing UP dammit. . . I guess he's afraid he'll break a string and put his own eye out. . . doesn't trust his ear . . . He knows I'm teasing and he knows he has to do something so. . . he learns to use his ears.

Dane
12-15-2010, 07:45 AM
One of my few students has difficulties with tuning, I'm asking him to use a pitch pipe rather than an electronic tuner in an attempt to get him to hear and understand when it's in tune and, as much as possible right now, the bits about the uke being in tune to itself. I have to tease him about being overly wimpy with the tension. . . tune that thing UP dammit. . . I guess he's afraid he'll break a string and put his own eye out. . . doesn't trust his ear . . . He knows I'm teasing and he knows he has to do something so. . . he learns to use his ears.

Hey I don't know about you, but I'm always nervous when I'm tightening up that A string and it just keeps getting higher and higher and higher and higher. I don't wanna lose an eye neither

SailingUke
12-15-2010, 11:37 AM
I believe if you learn chord progressions and what the changes sound like you will develop a "musical" ear.
After studying and practicing common chord progressions I find I not hear changes better, but I can learn new songs faster and am better in group jams.

Keyys
12-15-2010, 07:26 PM
I think the improvement for me has definitely been from learning to tune (as mentioned by Scottie). Losing my electronic tuner certainly pushed it forward a bit!
Interesting to hear people's thoughts and experiences.

Tor
12-15-2010, 10:38 PM
To me the ability to recognize intervals, hear what chords should go where, and what the chord progression is is one thing.. tuning is another. I learned tuning very quickly, but the other one took me about thirty years of guitar playing to start getting anywhere.

I have never used, or even seen a pitch pipe, but.. do they sustain? One of the great things about using a tuning fork is that it rings out, so that you can hear the beat note between the ringing string and the ringing fork, and then it's purely a mechanical job to tune the string correctly - at least if you first get the string to be somewhere in the right area to start with. And then tune the other strings against the first one by pressing frets here and there. If it's difficult to hear if your string is above or below then just bend it a bit, either the beat note increases its beat frequency or it drops, and that tell you which way to tune.

Loveandpeace
12-15-2010, 11:01 PM
I wish I had a better ear in terms of tuning and knowing keys of songs and such, but I've always been able to pick up the timing well when I've heard the song. I can say that I'm getting better at knowing when my uke or bass guitar is slightly out of tune. I was taught how to tune by ear, but I haven't really put it to much use since I get lazy and use the electronic tuner sitting in front of me. I should make it a New Years Resolution to reduce the amount of times I use an electronic tuner, haha!

CoLmes
12-16-2010, 04:44 AM
Def. I feel like I can hear music so much better, I now really can listen to songs.

dktoller
12-16-2010, 05:31 AM
Starting with grade school piano lessons and choir in school I've always had a decent ear. However, the uke has made me start thinking in terms of (and hearing) Chord Progressions. I don't think I ever really did that when playing piano music or singing a vocal line.

And lately sometimes my fingers just kind of float to the right chord as I hear it in my head. Granted, not often (and it's taken decades to get to this point) but it's pretty exciting.

OldePhart
12-16-2010, 12:52 PM
I think it's much easier to hear chord progressions and such on the uke - whether that translates into faster "ear training" I can't say. I think because the uke chords are never more than four notes, and very often two of them are not only the same note but the same pitch (i.e. when the G string is being fretted two frets above the A string) the "sound" of a chord is much more clearly defined. On a guitar you often have five or six strings ringing and it's fairly rare for even two strings to be at the same pitch, even if they are the same note.

John

itsme
12-16-2010, 01:27 PM
I have never used, or even seen a pitch pipe, but.. do they sustain?
No, they do not. They work more like a harmonica, where they only sound when air is going thru.