How common is this music ability? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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ithaca_deerslayer
10-17-2012, 19:59
This story is about the piano teacher'ability.

Driving my 7yr old to his piano lesson, I was playing Black Sabbath in the car and told my son there was a song coming up that he would know. He liked "War Pigs" quite a lot, but no that wasn't it. No not the next one either, you'll know it when you hear. No, not this one, I said you'll know it no doubt about it when you hear it. "Oh, I know this song!".

So when we get there I play the CD on that song for the piano teacher for a minute. She liked the drums on War Pigs. But anyway, getting to the song in question, she had never heard it before, and hadn't seen the movie, and obviously had managed to avoid the promos. She's a good egg, but not overly exposed to popular culture.

During that one minute of listening to the song, we were talking about a variety of stuff, especially the lyrics of War Pigs which we had heard on the way to the 4th song, the song in question. I explained to her how my son has seen the movie about 20 times, and he says "yeah, it's a good song!"

Ok, so here's the question. How many of you musically inclined people, or musically inclined people you personally know, could hear a song for the first time, only a minute of it, while gabbing about other stuff, and then sit down at the piano and play Iron Man perfectly?

I told my son his piano teacher is like a super hero, with a super power of music :)

ithaca_deerslayer
10-19-2012, 06:01
I guess it must not be common at all :)

686Owner
10-19-2012, 06:05
I'm not sure how common it is, but I couldn't play it with a week's worth of lessons I don't think.

I just wonder what Iron Man would sound like on the piano.

costanza187
10-19-2012, 06:05
I have a cousin who can pretty much imitate anything he hears on the guitar. He won't read tabs or anything, just listens to it and does it. Darnedest thing I've ever seen.

JMarch
10-19-2012, 06:50
Iron man should be pretty easy for any teacher worth their salt. Was it just the main guitar line, or did the teacher go all the way with harmony and everything?

Adjuster
10-19-2012, 07:08
I think its pretty common for musically inclined people.



/

Mrs.Cicero
10-19-2012, 07:08
I'd have to play it repeatedly, no way could I do it on one listen, or while having a conversation through the song.

I did manage to freak out my mom when I sat down at her dulcimer (which isn't an instrument I've ever played) and plinked out Ode to Joy for her. The mathematical progressions of the strings on the dulcimer made it surprisingly easy that day. I've never been able to do it since.

Bullwinkle J Moose
10-19-2012, 07:13
Not uncommon for a musician. I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around BS being played on a piano.

texasglong
10-19-2012, 07:14
My wife has a Dr. degree in Piano performance and could do it.

Bilbo Bagins
10-19-2012, 07:26
I think its pretty common for musically inclined people.



/

If I verbally tell you a story, could you type it out and post that same story later on GT?

Same thing if you understand music and notes, its the same concept. I seen a guy on PBS that taught musicians how to play the Piano. If you already play something like guitar or violin, understand musical notes, and are musically inclined, switching to the Piano is not that hard, if someone shows you the basics.

I wonder if its a nature or nurture thing. I had a lot of exposure listening to all types of music as a kid, but no exposure to formal music lessons. I can tell you if two tones or songs sound the same, and I can hum or whistle any song I heard, but I don't know what an A sharp or a B flat is or how to play any instrument.

Dennis in MA
10-19-2012, 07:45
Yes, common.

Several decades ago, I knew my way around the tenor sax and clarinet. I had a REASONABLE ear, but I also had a feel for that instrument. I definitely could play better by ear than read a completely foreign composition.

Today: I'm 18 months into futzing with a guitar. I wish I was 12 again, just to learn the guitar as intuitively as I knew those instruments. I watch people on TV playing guitar. They move their hands like I used to on the windies.

But there is no way I want or could commit the time and energy into playing the guitar at even NEAR the level I played clarinet. Just not in the cards. 30 years and a life get in the way.

Dennis in MA
10-19-2012, 07:49
Interesting "by ear" story: I was listening to Don't Fear the Reaper by BOC and thought, "That's a cool riff - I wanna learn that."

I have this app called Songster on my iPad - it does tabs for any song I can think of. Pretty cool to learn pieces - esp. since my ability to read music from that long ago is COMPLETELY lost.

I could listen to that song 100 times and I'd say those are 3-note runs.

Nope. The high note (a. . . G?) rings so loud it masks any work you do on the low E string. It's 4 notes played equally as long (eighth notes, I think).

I tried playing triples and skipping the low-E string notes - it sounded like utter crap. LOL

I'll say this: It needed more cowbell. :rofl:

frizz
10-19-2012, 07:51
For a simple melody like Iron Man, it isn't hard to play it right the first go 'round if you have experience playing.

I remember hearing Werewolves of London on the radio & thinking that the piano part would sound cool on guitar. I figured it out in my head how to play it right there while driving.

And I'm not "all that" when it comes to guitar.

frizz
10-19-2012, 07:58
I'm not sure how common it is, but I couldn't play it with a week's worth of lessons I don't think.

I just wonder what Iron Man would sound like on the piano.

Accordion is pretty cool. FF to 3:15.... (Be sure to look at the dude in the brown Honda Civic in the background.)

Buddyhead Presents: BLACK ACCORDION SABBATH - YouTube

automatic slim
10-19-2012, 08:06
Once you understand music, and know the difference in intervals by ear, and also familiarize your ear with the sound of different chords, it's not that hard. It takes practice.

One way to practice, is to set in front of the TV and play everything that comes on. You have 30 seconds to learn that stupid, obnoxious commercial.....:supergrin:

jtmac
10-19-2012, 08:43
It's not something everyone can do, but there are quite a lot of good musicians who are capable of this.

The dirty secret is that MANY people are capable of learning to do this, but traditional methods of teaching music makes it tremendously harder to achieve. It's the same reason most people struggle with music and find themselves unable to succeed. (Many people will disagree with me on this point, and they are wrong.)

Someone who practices scales and intervals, trains their pitch recognition ability (contrary to popular belief, most people are capable of perfect pitch), and practices playing songs by ear will likely have success in this endeavor.

Chiefret
10-19-2012, 08:58
These Tibetan Monks seem to be on to something. I don't think they have even heard of Black Sabbath. :rofl:

Chanting Monks and Ozzy - YouTube

Gallium
10-19-2012, 10:08
It is relatively easy. I know 2-3 dozen people who can do this.

I know 3 guys who can do this, and immediately on the fly transpose into a different key, for say, sax or trombone.

I know one guy who can do this on any of 5 instruments (he also speaks 6 languages fluently, but has trouble tying his shoelaces)

I know one guy that can not only play stuff on the fly (he is a lefty guitarist) but could play on the fly on a righty guitar playing righty, or playing a rightie guitar lefty. He has played for everyone from Paul Simon, Luther Vandross, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, George Benson, Ziggy Marley, Whitney Houston, Bette Midler, Gloria Estefan...etc etc.

ithaca_deerslayer
10-19-2012, 19:40
(Many people will disagree with me on this point, and they are wrong.)



Oh my, that is awesome sig line material!

Your one line just totally killed my whole story :)

ithaca_deerslayer
10-19-2012, 19:44
Iron man should be pretty easy for any teacher worth their salt. Was it just the main guitar line, or did the teacher go all the way with harmony and everything?

Just the main line, but with chords and melody together, in a way that sounded full and right on.

She prefers classical, so it was a treat to hear her do metal :)

jtmac
10-19-2012, 19:48
Oh my, that is awesome sig line material!

Why thank you. :supergrin:

Your one line just totally killed my whole story :)

Haha, I didn't intend it that way. Consider my ranting encouragement for your son! It's definitely something he can achieve. It is definitely something you have to work for (and that talent helps), but the main reason more people can't is just the paradigms we use to teach music. Those who really want it and work at it can get it! As the people who insist it's just not possible except for the super-special few... may a pregnant camel give birth in their hot tub!

clancy
10-19-2012, 20:08
I used to work as a job coach for mentally retarded adults. The PC term now is developmentally disabled. I worked with one guy who could listen to a song once and play it perfectly on a piano. if you were to give him a date, any date, and he could correctly tell you what day of the week it was.

glockdoc21
10-19-2012, 20:24
Go hear any decent jazz ensemble..the good ones are basically jamming around a known chord progression, but during solos can be all over the place, and if the lead takes off on come crazy tangent, the other guys won't miss a beat. This is WAY harder than playing iron man. Sabbath based most of their music off of tried and true minor pentatonics or "blues scales" in 4/4 time. These are condensed minor scales (5 notes instead of 8). The good jazz guys, and some progressive metal bands, are on a whole different level. They are playing and transposing in more difficult scales and in odd time.

frizz
10-19-2012, 22:25
Just the main line, but with chords and melody together, in a way that sounded full and right on.

She prefers classical, so it was a treat to hear her do metal :)
Iron Man isn't exactly complicated.

ithaca_deerslayer
10-20-2012, 05:06
Iron Man isn't exactly complicated.

I guess it is common enough then.

I don't know if Iron Man is complicated or not, but it is awesome!

Wish I could play like she can. I'm at a 1st grade level and can barely read music. Soon my son will pass me. And he doesn't even like music much, yet.

Yeah, I make him go. But once the routine has been established it is just what we do, no big debates or whinning about it. When he is 10, he can quit, I've told him. I figure by then he'll know enough about it to decide if he wants some other instrument or nothing at all. His life, his choice. Just didn't want him to grow up as ignorant as me :)

frizz
10-20-2012, 06:02
I guess it is common enough then.

I don't know if Iron Man is complicated or not, but it is awesome!

Wish I could play like she can. I'm at a 1st grade level and can barely read music. Soon my son will pass me. And he doesn't even like music much, yet.

Yeah, I make him go. But once the routine has been established it is just what we do, no big debates or whinning about it. When he is 10, he can quit, I've told him. I figure by then he'll know enough about it to decide if he wants some other instrument or nothing at all. His life, his choice. Just didn't want him to grow up as ignorant as me :)
Good for you for encouraging playing. If he decides to play guitar later, the background in piano will really pay off, since music theory is easiest to understand when you know even a little piano.

As for me figuring out the guitar version for the piano part of "Werewolves of London" in my head, consider that the descending melody and chord progression is similar to "Glory Days" or "Revolution" played backwards.

lethal tupperwa
10-20-2012, 06:34
I know 2 that can.

One of my sons can play anything he hears on the radio,

the other an older man(when I met him 30 years ago)
told me he tried to learn to read music.
But as soon as he recognised the piece he would play it without looking at the sheet again.

He could do this with an organ,piano,guitar,violin,trumpet or a comb with waxed paper.