How to develop the ability to play, what you hear in your head?

Discussion in 'Education' started by ArticStorm, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. ArticStorm

    ArticStorm Moderator

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    Over the couple of weeks i noticed that i am very bad to actual play what i hear in my head, when i am trying to come up with a new melody.

    So i researched a bit via google and i found a few solutions:

    1. Tonality: it was suggested to actual train certain notes by singing them, thats called for example solfège practice, i had that in elementary school, i never paid attention to it. Hope it doesnt feel silly to acutal sing do mi blabla?

    I think singing in general could help to actual get the idea out of the head and save it?

    I found this pdf here: https://2.files.edl.io/bq3OvgO9ULetXaJJHFAnHGXzZYYBPbYZwrYMxep0M53vUGLM.pdf
    its enough i guess to come up with your own questions for this practice.

    2. Intervals: I found a good app for this, its posted on the sister page - its called Functional Ear Trainer and i have it on my mobile installed for a while, but forgot about it totally.

    there is also a very outdated windows app:
    https://www.miles.be/software/functional-ear-trainer-advanced-discontinued/

    Started to play around with C-major today and only unison for now lol done 55 questions and well had a percentage of like 40% and sometimes multiple wrong answers are not even counted, so its far lower now with maybe 20%

    If you have other ideas, to develop this skill, i would like to hear them!
     
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  2. Kuuhaku

    Kuuhaku Producer

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    I am playing piano/keyboard without learning much about music theory since 2014 (in fact, I dont even know how to head a score, instead, I use Synthesia), I started producing in 2017 and I learned something that comes pretty usefull for me whenever I want to draw a melody: Learning another songs. You may be questioning "what other songs have to do with the song that is on my mind rn" and well, everything, the songs that you like fits in your taste, and at least for me, the songs that come from my head are easilly influenced by what I was listening, so, it comes pretty usefull to me to learn motives.

    This helps me too much when I am trying to write melodies that are inside my mind because when I try to sing 'em out I perceive what's the sequence of notes based on songs that I actually learned to play, like, if I find something inside my mind that is " D - D# - D " I associate that with an known guitar solo (actually, this songs has developen me almost half of my ear training skill, its so rich in melodic simple variations) that has the same sequence of notes ( ii - iii - ii ) but in a different scale, after discovering whats the sequence based on this, I just experiment notes until I find a scale that fits in my taste (or that I cant pull a thick bassline off hehe) .

    So, in short: Try to learn songs that you find wonderfull or that you just like, they will teach you the motifs that you most like and you will be able to figure out what's inside your head more easilly
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  3. naitguy

    naitguy Producer

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    This is something I'm able to do fairly well. But I wish I could tell you how, as it's somewhat natural now. I'll try though.. (and if you're talking about doing this in live music, well, I won't be of much help other than saying know your scale well, and do loads of ear training)

    All I really do is get the melody in my head, and then go through it slowly on a MIDI keyboard (replace this with your instrument of choice), note by note. I'm fairly decent and breaking down chords that way too, isolating single notes that I "hear" (either in my head, or in an actual song). Do your best to slow things down.. that's the key for me. If listening to a real song, well, play it back slower.. if it's just something in your head, it's a lot harder to do, probably, but try and slow things down there too :) Write notes down as you get them right.

    The only time I actually hum anything is if I won't be at my computer in quick enough time.. then I might just hit record on my phone and hum my idea for later. That might be something to do too if you think it will take a while to pull the idea out of your head (so you don't lose it).

    I've been making music in some sort of fashion for quite a while, so I supposed I developed my own ear training over that time. That might be what you need to do though, just play some songs by other artists and try and transcribe parts to music. Again, slow the tempo way down first, so it's easier to work with.

    Honestly, I think the harder part is getting the idea. You will get this technique down of being able to transcribe your thoughts, in time. Just keep practicing the ear training, as you're doing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  4. Ambar

    Ambar Ultrasonic

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    Nice to see this post, currently Im developing that ability, I have tons of melodies in my mind and is not easy for me to put them on the piano.
    I was looking for an app/soft for pc that for example first I hear a piano note then I have to play that note so the soft tell me that if it is right or wrong, like a training test. Is there something like that?
     
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  5. The Pirate

    The Pirate Audiosexual

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    I never was good at it. I was able to solve the problem by hiring an excellent musician. We have been working together for over 40 years. He is known in our circle as The Mind Reader. I don't know where I would be without him.
     
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  6. Benno de Bruin

    Benno de Bruin Noisemaker

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    These are two different things, although related: writing down what's inside your head and being able to identify things outside your head.

    What works for me on the inside part is indeed singing or whistling it, and tapping the rhythm with my hands or feet. It will make it a more integral part of you. Comparable to vocal hooks that are easier to remember by many, than f.i. synth patterns.

    For the outside part all i can advise is to practice, a lot. And yes this includes intervals, scales, triads, but also perfect pitch. Anyone can learn it. Once you've mastered perfect pitch, and perhaps 30 scales and 50 chords to start with, anything that comes up in your head will be supereasy to write down. And again, everyone can learn it, you might even consider it to be fun.

    Until you've mastered the outside part, the inside part will already bring you really far. Only more effort.
     
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  7. Benno de Bruin

    Benno de Bruin Noisemaker

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    Not exactly what you're looking for, but still some training: https://tonedear.com/ear-training/absolute-perfect-pitch-test
     
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  8. RealBananas

    RealBananas Kapellmeister

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    Install the app "Perfect Ear" (free, by Crazy Ootka Software) on your smartphone and use the "Absolute pitch trainer" mode under "Drills" with Instrument Range = full and the piano sound.

    Whenever you have to wait for anything in real life, or ride a train: train your ability to distinguish notes.

    In the beginning you will have to think about each note for several seconds. Later you will fly through the whole exercise and the decision will be subconscious (and correct :invision:).
     
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  9. RealBananas

    RealBananas Kapellmeister

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    Second advice: use earphones :grooves:

    It just gives you isolation and clarity, maybe also some psychological factors that others can not hear what you are doing.
     
  10. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

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    Like the topic. Whistling to MidiGuitar 2 and then ordering "make a masterpiece of that shit" doesn't work...
     
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  11. joem

    joem Producer

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    HUMMING
     
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  12. EddieXx

    EddieXx Audiosexual

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    yes, voice is the one instrument where all pitches come out (mostly) right without having had to learn the "instrument" so connecting your singing/hummin to keys will develop a magnificent tool, as everything it takes practice though.

    then again, basic theory, simple interval understanding will always surprise (me) answering most silly questions one didnt even know one had lol

    Pirates method is really one of the better ones, if you are sure you have easy for coming up with clear mature ideas then why not work with people who know their instruments and save huge amounts of lost time. double the fun at the same time!
     
  13. JMOUTTON

    JMOUTTON Platinum Record

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    :like:

    It is basically this.

    You don't need the app but you need to know what notes sounds like what and that app is a good way to start. What helps also is being able to read music, you basically have to associate certain tones with their names, letters, and later their numbers on a scale. Once you know what a Do=C=0, Di/Ra=C#/Db=1,Re=D=1... sound like you can start working in scales and once you do that you are there

    Whether it is by singing, humming, or sphincter exercises you just need to associate a tone with either it's name or if you are not interested in ever transcribing it you can associate with a position or a chord, most self learned musicians do this, it does make transposition more difficult to grasp though.
     
  14. Stevie Dude

    Stevie Dude Platinum Record

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    start dancing with the idea!
     
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  15. ArticStorm

    ArticStorm Moderator

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    have this app too, but not all features are free, luckily i catched the xmas sale a while ago.

    yeah i should get back to it, since well it works even offline, which not all apps do, where you can train something.
     
  16. Futurewine

    Futurewine Audiosexual

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    i find this app helps a bit.. https://www.audiblegenius.com/ kinda exercise workout / training that area.. :shalom:still saving for lifetime subs.. i hope i can sub one..
     
  17. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    You might mean "relative pitch". Perfect pitch is a fairly rare ability and not everyone can be at one with knowing that C# was the last note played. However, hearing a major third is extremely doable.
     
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  18. ArticStorm

    ArticStorm Moderator

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  19. Stevie Dude

    Stevie Dude Platinum Record

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    Is it weird that I can't tune guitar (even acoustic) without a tuner, and I protect myself from learning the musical theory (because my religion prohibited it :guru:) even after 20 years being active doing music (writing, band, touring) ? but I have no problem of translating everything in my head to the instruments.

    I never pay attention to the pitch, I listen to the thing in context. Let's say two bars (could be 4), or basically, a complete set of the rhythm.

    Most of the ideas sent (lol) to me while im the bathroom doing my soul cleansing but when I finally get to the instrument (or midi controller these days) 95% of the time, it is playable, translatable. I also believe (my mom confirmed it, lol) that I'm good at what I'm doing. People come to me to produce their music, even people older than me. I wish I can help but everything that is mentioned above is way beyond my knowledge. It is dumb to say I play it by heart, but I'm almost certain I am.

    But the most important piece of advice I've got back in the 90s was "don't memorize how it sounds, remember how it made you feel". It kinda change my life and how I view music.
     
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  20. livemouse

    livemouse Ultrasonic

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    it's not always interesting to listen to music played by people who are able to play what's in their head. but for the rest of us, 2 things happen when you start playing with an instrument, you try to make it do a thing and it does it's own thing and forces you to adapt to it. learning an instrument is about finding all the ways it doesnt work as expected, and then refer to those unwanted functions later down the road when such a malfunction is the only solution. this evolution period could span from a single composition to a lifetime.
     
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