Lugging It

Lugging It

'Lugging It' was Matt Seattle’s term for ‘learning by ear’

This article was provoked by a discussion on the Bob Dunsire forum regarding the delicate question of teaching tunes in workshops, and whether this should be done by ear or from ‘the dots’.

I am convinced of the value of being able to learn ‘by ear’, but for many this is a challenge. However, I feel that there are ways in which music can successfully be taught without ‘dots’; the following is a sample ‘lesson’ which explores one of these ways. It is not meant to be an actual lesson, but aproposal for the kind of lesson that might help. It is here for you to comment on.

There are sound files which attempt to substitute for a tutor’s playing, but since I had to record them myself, they are for guidance only [it may help to play them on a loop using windows media player settings].

Go to part one this sample lesson by clicking here [opens in new window]

Please leave comments etc below:


# billyboy 2012-10-01 21:55
i luv learning by ear -- more or less effortless & memorization is built in.
# wbeardwood 2014-11-27 04:34
I can still play a sax piece by Charlie Parker that I learned by ear in 1974 note for note.
Now I am using this technique and have 3 tunes under my belt and will probably still be able to play them 40 years from now.
Note by note, measure by measure, phrase by phrase is the best way to learn and keep a song.

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