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Jul 2, 2022 - 5:08:16 PM

299 posts since 12/2/2013

No I've been listening for chord changes since the 50's so I can hear the changes and figure out the key in my head by the inversions that are being played on the rhythm instruments.
To teach others to "hear" the I IV V changes I tell them to find the 3rd of the key and use that as a type of home base. Keep playing that pitch until it sounds bad which will signal either a IV or a V chord. Then move to the 4th of the key which will sound perfect of course with a IV chord or it will be an extension of the V chord (b7). To double check that a V chord is being played I tell them to move to the 2nd of the key.
Since I've been playing music for over 60 years my "ear" has developed RELATIVE PITCH so I can basically play along with any song without having heard it before.

Jul 2, 2022 - 7:37:37 PM

2764 posts since 10/22/2007

Thanks Richard! For years I've used Pete Wernick's list, broken into two and three chord song standards for jamming. I appreciate your list. Hope you didn't have to finger-bone all that text in. But the last post about the 3rd tone, wow! I've never heard or thought about it in such a way, but I'll try it. There's can be a dissonent sound to a minor chord compared to a major chord. There's got to be something about the dissonance/sour sound of the wrong chord against the proper chord.
I know several tunes where the 4 sounds as good as the 5 chord. Those are the cases for a later date.

Many have mentioned 12bar Blues progressions. I'll tell all, that's what I started the student with. With much success. The issue occurs trying to escape such a powerful progression. Simpler as some other tunes seem. But the crutch of counting rather than feel, or hearing prevailed. I think if there's a modicum of dedication, time in the grind will pay off. Early success is important, I believe. But sometimes it's a task to keep the ball rolling. It wasn't tuff to get me hooked on music lo those many years ago. But Grandchildren and spouse, have a priority. Sometimes I let the grass grow, if there was a jam. John Hartford used to say, "Many a good crop was lost for fooling around with a fiddle."

Jul 2, 2022 - 9:06:10 PM
like this

2380 posts since 8/23/2008

Interesting how many ways there are to learn how to hear the chord changes, and they all boil down to 'listening', just listen long enough and you'll develop a good ear to pick them correctly.
I began with picking out the key/tonic note of a tune so I would know all the notes of the scale to play, then realized the interval relationship between the key note and the root note of the chord would indicate which chord the harmony changed to.
By using the 'key note' as a reference it eventually becomes like a subconscious drone where the harmonic changes can be detected in a single melodic vocal line without the accompaniment of a chordal instrument.

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