Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Songs Are Great for Developing Your Ear

The ear training study continues.  I've only been at it a few days, but I'm already seeing results.  Last night before going to bed I decided I would try to pluck out Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas on tenor banjo. It actually came to me quite easily and I went to sleep feeling like I had it under the fingers.

This morning when I woke up I got out my recently strung up baritone ukulele, which I don't yet know how to play and which is tuned differently than the tenor banjo, and worked on picking the same melody in the same key (A) on the baritone uke.  As I was figuring it out on my lefty baritone uke, Laura got out her baritone uke and started to add chords behind the melody I was playing.  Just as we were starting to get it (or maybe a tad bit before) I clicked Record on an iPad app to capture it while it was still fresh.  Below is the recording.

As soon as I get done typing this I'm going to practice singing the solfege syllables along with the melody as I play it.  I started with the note "A" when playing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas on tenor banjo, so I continued with playing it in A when switching to baritone uke.  Here are those solfege syllables as I hear them:

Have (doh) your (mee) self (soh) a (doh)
Mer (soh) ry (fah) lit (mee) tle (ray) Christ (doh) mas (ray)
Let (doh) your (mee) heart (soh) be (doh) gay (soh)
From (doh) now (mee) on (soh) our (doh)
Troub (mee) les (ray) will (doh) be (tee)
Miles (lah) a (tee) way (doh).

I could have that wrong since I played it by  ear and haven't looked up the notation.  In case you're wondering, the "doh-ray-mee-fah-soh-lah-tee-doh" for the key of A-major is A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#-A.  Singing these syllables as you're playing the melody is great practice.  You can do it with any melody you hear or play.

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