Staying In Tune


At the beginning of each year, people make resolutions. They resolve to lose weight, write a book, be more spiritual, quit smoking, record a music E.P. or mix-tape, among other things. In order to accomplish these goals they have to stay in tune with their resolution and have it resonate with the rest of their life.

One of the instruments that I have learned to play by ear over the years is the guitar, which has 6 strings. In order to play correctly the strings have to be tuned to the correct pitch – E, B, G, D, A and E (from highest to lowest). Sometimes people use alternate tunings but they still have to be tuned to those tunings. If they’re not tuned correctly, then the music does not sound beautiful. The picture above is from my tuner – Snark. It is a beautiful piece of technology that allows me to very accurately get the pitch that I need in place. I love it.

Playing by ear invariably includes keeping in tune especially when you’re using an instrument that requires precise monitoring of pitch, such as the voice or a stringed instrument like the violin or cello. It could make or break your performance when you’re out of tune. Similarly when you are accompanying someone on the guitar or piano, you have to listen to make sure that you are in the same key and that you’re staying in tune with the rest of the ensemble.  The key to all of this is staying consistent and focused, always checking your TUNER to make sure that you’re in tune.

As a christian I always pray that I stay in tune with my Creator, just like when I’m playing my instruments. One of the main ways I stay in tune is to pray as often as possible. I also SCHEDULE time to read the Bible and other devotionals. If you can schedule your dentist appointments, you can schedule your devotional time. It’s important for your journey through life and you need it to stay in tune

So keep on praying and playing. Keep on practicing your instrument. Keep on smiling as you Play It By Ear!!! Stay In TUNE!!!

Happy New Year – I’m Ba-ack!!!


Happy New Year to one and all. I’m back on the blog. I took a little leave of absence during the holidays for 2013, but I’m back on the wagon now. One of the phrases that you hear at this time of year is the phrase that I started this blog with – Happy New YEAR!!! It’s a phrase that means something. It implies a new start, which is exactly what I’m doing for this year. Part of this new start involves being resolved to do new and greater things and be a better person than you started the year.

In doing this I have resolved to do much this year. I’m going to write more consistently on this blog about music and life and playing by ear. I have also resolved to working out more consistently through out the year. There will be several blogs about that. Additionally I am determined to read through the entire Bible this year as well. There will be blogs about that as well. It will be a great year. And so I leave you with a song that my family recorded on Christmas Day! (It took a little over an hour to put together!) We wish you all the Blessings for 2014 and our Hope is that you find what you need this year.

I Wish You a Happy New Year and hope that you keep smiling as you Play It By Ear

Finding your voice – Timing!!!

Find Your Voice!So recently I had a conversation with my wife concerning this issue: When is it a good time to start learning to Play It By Ear? Or even when is it a good time to start learning to play music? Or if you are a singer, how and when do you begin training your voice? After a little back and forth we concluded that it was up to you.

How do you know when your voice is ready? How do you know when is a good time to begin Playing By Ear? The answer is really EXTREMELY subjective. There are some children/people that can grasp the concepts associated with making music at a very early age, and with the right coaching can excel. One case in point is Mozart. There are others who blossom later in life and they wouldn’t have understood the concepts if they had started as early as Mozart did.

Additionally one of the main issues here in finding your “voice” concerns the coach or music teacher that is helping you on your journey. It is imperative that you find someone who is skilled in playing the instrument as well as skilled in teaching the instrument. As far as is possible find someone who is skilled in imparting the knowledge needed to help you find your voice, to help you find your way. There will be more on this later. But in the mean time just keep smiling and Play It By Ear