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Simply put: is it better to learn songs, licks, chords by ear; or are books a must? I'm not a huge fan of realbooks, although I have one of my own. I think listening really helps more than theory (which is immensely important, don't get me wrong) and chord charts.
 

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Both. In this day and age, you need to be able to read music. Read really well. And you need to play by ear. You need to develop both. So, get materials that work on both. Learn songs out of a book, they play it without a book. Record yourself. Etc. But you need to be able to read music.
 

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Both. In this day and age, you need to be able to read music. Read really well. And you need to play by ear. You need to develop both. So, get materials that work on both. Learn songs out of a book, they play it without a book. Record yourself. Etc. But you need to be able to read music.
I can read music. I just think that learning by ear is something that people shouldn't overlook.
 

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I think listening really helps more than theory (which is immensely important, don't get me wrong) and chord charts.
I certainly learn a tune better if I learn it by ear. However, knowing some theory and understanding chord progressions and song form will make it much, much easier to 'hear' and learn a tune by ear. You don't need ANY theory or knowledge of chords to read notes off a page. I wonder why so many on this site equate reading music with music theory? They are very different things; you need the theory for improvising or composing, not reading music.

Having said all that, I see nothing wrong with reading a tune and the chords out of a fake book. But the next step is to memorize it, hear it in your head, and play it without reading it. Only then will you truly own the song, imho.
 

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Have tons of recordings at your disposal, listen daily, ritualistically and religiously.

Then books are terrific. Absolutely terrific. Because you want to build your listening experiences that when you go to the books and you're working on something that you heard played a thousand times it's like wooow so this is where it comes from!

something like that.
 

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Learning tunes can take many forms but I am always impressed by people who can play 100's of tunes by memory. It really shows commitment.

B
 

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Have tons of recordings at your disposal, listen daily, ritualistically and religiously.

Then books are terrific. Absolutely terrific. Because you want to build your listening experiences that when you go to the books and you're working on something that you heard played a thousand times it's like wooow so this is where it comes from!

something like that.
I have a different experience. i already listened to jazz before I started to play saxophone and I sounded nothing like anything is listened to when I played by "the rules". That was mostly because of me but also because the approach was just wrong.

But seriously, I highly recommend that book ear training for the jazz musician by harry pickens. It only cost 1,5 dollars so its not like you can waste your money on it and www.jazzadvice.com is great blog which deals with mistakes the writers made in the past and how to avoid them.

@simon196

Don't be like me and waste your time on stuff that wont help you. I have destroy a couple of alarm clocks, a metronome and my realbook out of frustration because i didn't know what to focus on. Don't look for shortcuts because there are none. If you want anymore advice send me a pm.
 
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