Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lessons: Learning Music by Ear


I have been working as a project manager for a steel fabricator in the San Francisco Bay Area. The job load and work pace can get pretty intense at times, that is, just about every day, 6:30am to 4:30pm (minimum). My free time is about 3-4 hours per day LESS than when I worked from home for the previous 9 years. So my playing/practice/blogging time has been deeply curtailed.

This weekend marks the 2 year anniversary of my return to the salaried work force. I started working there in September of 2012 the day after the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz Burning Uke #9. I will be going to Burning Uke #11 at Little Basin in the mountains near Santa Cruz this upcoming Thursday Sept 18 to Sunday Sept 21.

So with the time limits I now face, Jon Thysell's "How to Practice" blog post has had me inspired to create a regular, index card based practice plan. I have been working on scales and picking out simple melodies by ear recently. So I have been looking for criteria for developing a practice plan to develop my ears. Jim D'Ville has his site called Play Ukulele by Ear. Jim is energetic and a great inspiration for learning to understand music.

I turned to the internet tonight and also found a guitar-centric, called Maximum Musician. They have a 10-part series which takes an in depth look at learning guitar by ear. Here's the link to their part 1. As a part of my upcoming posts I may also share some of the things that I find most useful. There is a ton of information available on this site.

Please share anything you can about your experiences or benefits of learning by ear.

Jeff / Humble Baritonics


  1. +1 for learning by ear

    There's nothing quite like being able to just sit down and play.

    I need to get back into making cards - I've taken a long enough sabbatical getting to know my bari and playing DGBD - time to put some serious practice into it.


  2. Jon -- It's great to follow you and your accomplishments. You sound like your busy-ness level is quite like mine. Yet we both find time to share via blogging. I mostly just share videos which quite easy in comparison to what you do. I just posted a video about blues slide using the open G DGBD tuning. That is an area where I will be exploring further with much enthusiasm.

    I look forward to exploring your chordious. I looked at your screen shots. I want to see if they are cut-n-paste-able. I would like to have bari boxes at times.

    The funny thing is that I have to often avert my eyes from the chord boxes because the GCEA tuning is normally shown and I get led astray.

    Jeff / Humble Baritoncs