As much as I don’t believe you need to be able to read music to play or record, I do think that knowledge is power.
Wow what a bad starting line pretty cheesy…
But that is, in a nutshell the truth of it for me.
If I try and read and play at the same time I get motion sickness and my nose bleeds(oh the dramatics).
->Reading music and understanding the principles is important to me.
If you treat music as a language then being able to speak is the first priority.
A musicians priority is being able to play.
But if you need to advance, learning to read in that language be it german, french or music is very useful indeed.
A musicians most important tool is their hearing – a good set of ears is more important than virtuosity or an understanding of theory.
Get all three and you’re laughing.
So that said let’s combine theory with hearing.
The C Major Scale:
The notes: C D E F G A B C and then backwards C B A G F E D C
We’re going to use C Major as an example…[audio:http://www.untidymusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/cmajor.mp3]
Take a listen – a musician should be able to recognise a major scale.
This is the first step to developing your ear.
The major scale is made up of (T)ones and (S)emi-tones like this,
T T S T T T S
C D E F G A B C
An ‘interval’ is the distance between 2 notes.
The above picture shows the intervals of C Major played seperately.
The intervals are named in this way,
Major 2nd, Major 3rd, Perfect 4th, Perfect 5th, Major 6th, Major 7th, Octave[audio:http://www.untidymusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/cmajor_intervals1.mp3]
Take a listen – it’s an idea to download all the mp3s available and listening to them in a relaxed state.
Getting experience of these intervals makes understanding melody much easier.
If you’ve ever tried to learn a piece of music by ear you’ll know that it can be incredibly tricky to do.
Knowing your intervals helps make it easier.
The above picture shows the intervals of C Major played together.
Again the intervals are named in this way,
Major 2nd, Major 3rd, Perfect 4th, Perfect 5th, Major 6th, Major 7th, Octave
Learn the names and try and associate them with the sounds.
We’re only learning the intervals not the pitch.
Perfect pitch is incredibly difficult to attain but a sense of pitch is not with practice anyone can recognise a major chord, a minor scale or in this case an interval.
For more Theory go to BigRedTheory