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Transcribing Music

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    Hey guys,

    I was wondering whether transcribing the music would improve my ear and over a period of time, make interval recognition instinctive? As some of my previous threads show, I play saxophone and now I have finished sight-reading exams etc I'd like to fine tune my ear to play without sheet music. This is the procedure I take during my transcriptions:
    1) Find a song I like. It could be a sax solo, or even just a simple pop song in which I would write out the melody
    2) Listen through the whole song and hear what is going on. Sing it along the way. I do this a couple times
    3) Using Transcribe! (software), begin learning it sections by section. If I struggle, I slow the music down. Each bit I listen to, I sing it and then attempt to play it on my saxophone until I'm confident I hit the right notes.

    If I were to keep doing this in my practice sessions, would I get to a stage whereby interval recognition becomes instinctive?

    One other important question. When transcribing songs, is it best to write down the notes or just try to remember them and continue trying to play through the whole song without sheet music? I don't know whether this would increase my internalization, as I hear that it makes your brain think a lot between what the next note could be rather than getting the answer from a piece of paper if you forgot it.

    Hi, I'm working towards grade 6 clarinet and grade 5 theory (and I'm attempting to teach myself sax). Hope this helps...

    Ive been playing music by ear since started playing -I sort of do it by trial and error and don't write anything down. I don't know the names of intervals really, but I must know what they sound like because I can work out a tune by listening to it in a minute or two.

    If you had a keyboard that could help... My sis used to play keyboard and now I use it to help with theory, working out chords to songs I like, etc. I did a pop song transcription for concert band for my GCSE music and I started by working out the chords and tune on piano.

    And something I just started doing to remember scales could work for intervals:
    I look through one of my grade 6 pieces, and when I see an arpeggio, or part of a scale I write it down. Then I practise those scales, and it helps me memorise the scales and also play difficult fast passages in the music because I know what they're made up of.
    Could work with intervals to help you get used to the sounds of those? If you went through a piece and looked at some of the intervals it could help you remember them by associating them with music.Like how people remember octaves by saying it's the first two notes of Over The Rainbow.

    Also maybe you could memorise some pieces you know with sheet music to get you used to playing by ear.

    My teacher tried to get me into jazz using the AB Real Book, which has jazz standards with improvisation sections which have suggested notes to improvise with. Improvisation might help with playing by ear. Although if you play sax you probably already play jazz? So sorry if I'm just repeating stuff you know.
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