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QueenOfNowhere's avatar

Is it normal to have a good ear but not play an instrument?

Asked by QueenOfNowhere (1868 points ) July 24th, 2011

I can’t play instruments… I think I don’t have that talent. But I can sing, and write lyrics and find the melody! Funny thing is I need to form a band or else I can’t do much on my own… But are there, musicians who aren’t good at an instrument but are good at ear still and sing etc? I can create a song in my head but I can’t put it on paper.

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6 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

You just need training. You can learn to write and play music. You might want to learn piano.

It is also possible to write down the lyrics and sing the tune into a recorder and let the other musicians work it out. There’s more to it than just playing the melody. You’ll need a chord structure and a head and an ending, as well. But those can all be worked out in band practice.

You might do well to find a band that is looking for a singer. Then work with them for a while, and gradually introduce some of the songs you’d like them to work on.

You’ll also probably want singing lessons if you’ve never had any. You need to take care of your voice. Singing isn’t just opening up and belting it out. There’s a lot you can learn that will help you lengthen your singing career, and you’ll also learn more about music theory as well.

Good luck.

GladysMensch's avatar

I sang in a fairly successful band for several years, and I can’t read music. Two of my band mates were excellent musicians, and could easily read and write music. However, I had a better ear than both of them, and I just sang the notes to them that I heard in my head. However, they also rarely used music… unless they wanted to tweak something on their own.

greenergrass's avatar

I have the exact same thing as you – I’ve got a good ear, but can’t go far if I don’t have a band and can’t write music!

I’d just go with @wundayatta said, practice…get some friends…practice Hey! Maybe you’ll be the next Peter, Paul, and Mary! ;)

Happy fluthering!

King_Pariah's avatar

As a former musician, I’m under the impression that the good ear talent is much more rare than the instrument virtuoso talent. So perhaps not “normal” but in no way would I say weird.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Walk into a music conservatory and ask the voice majors why they don’t play an instrument. After you regain consciousness, count how many of them there are. Then count how many composition majors there are in the place. This will give you an estimate of how many talented musicians there are whose main instrument is voice and how many talented musicians are actually capable of putting what they hear down on paper.

Yes, people who do not major in composition take music theory and learn how to write things down. Still, I had requests almost every week to help someone realize on paper what was going through their head. Notation and composition are not quite the same thing.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I am by far one of the biggest audiophiles I know. I love music far far more than most and can really see talent in any genre. I can imagine amazing songs in my head all the time. And thats where it ends. I have NO musical talent at all. Its quite a shame really.

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