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Play Guitar By Ear - Musical Form And
If you happen to ask a person who can play the guitar by ear ..."how
they do it", they most likely will be unable to tell you. However,
whether they know it or not they are conforming to certain rules
of musical 'form' and 'content'.
All successful songs are built on solid musical foundations,
these underlying musical principles make it easy for the
listening audience to remember the piece. By the way, all
unsuccessful writers either chose to ignore these principles or
don't know them - that's probably a clue!
Music form is the framework to the piece, it's the skeleton upon
which the musician builds their composition.
Since people have, two arms and two legs it's only natural
for us to want to have our music in an even mathematical format
in order for us to clap, tap, dance and march to the music.
The eight bar song form:
The best place to start is with the eight bar song form. Whilst
there are a number of popular song formats, the eight bar song
structure will be ideal for developing our ability to play guitar
Why the eight bar format?, I hear you ask ... since we are trying
to stir up that part of our brain that contains our memory for
sounds, we will be starting with simple tunes that go back to
our childhood. Most of these children's songs are eight bars in
Before you head for the nearest exit at the mention of children's
songs, please keep in mind that we are learning to play by ear,
which is really a trick of your memory, if you can't play simple
eight bar tunes with two or three chords ... there'll be trouble
ahead with more complex pieces.
Four beats to the bar:
Just as we have discovered the eight bar song format as being the
most popular song format to begin with when learning to play by
ear, we will also find that the majority of popular songs contain
four beats to the bar.
Here is a sample eight bar song form template, each bar contains
four beats, each beat equals one tap of your foot.
| //// | //// | //// | //// |
| //// | //// | //// | //// |
Notice the layout of the template with four bars to each line,
this makes it easy to see (and hear) repeated patterns, which
ultimately makes high speed memorization and recall ... easy.
In the above example, the single vertical lines are bar lines and
the oblique slash lines represent each tap of your foot.
Every sound you have every heard is stored in your memory, our job
is to learn how to be able to recall, identify and catalogue
these sounds. Once, you know how to do this learning to
play guitar by ear will be a simple process.
How to Play Guitar
Rave Reviews for Express Guitar:
a student of Mike Hayes since 1999, I have found his teaching methods
and products to be first class. Whatever style or area of music I have
been interested in, he has provided me with useful information, advice
and study materials. His style of teaching and teaching products
enabled me to progress through his guitar course far quicker than I
ever imagined. He also helps in teaching yourself to find and develop
your own style of music. Mike’s teaching gives his
student’s the ability to become useful musicians, not just
Stephen J Reid
Guitarist & Musician
course teaches us how to learn, how to retain, and how to recall
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Ken C Simpson
Business Owner & Guitarist
course is varied, in-depth and well-structured, making learning and
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Karl J Ricker
Sunshine Coast, Australia