Yesterday I learned how to play “Cripple Creek” in the key of G major. Not only that, after getting it on the Mandolin, I repeated the process on my cello and on my electric cello.
The electric cello has five strings, C - G - D - A - E, so it shares four strings (albeit an octave lower). My acoustic cello has four strings, C - G - D - A, so I transposed the piece from G major to C major. It also works nicely in F major.
What fills me with satisfaction about learning “Cripple Creek” is how many of the music theory puzzle pieces I’ve had in my head that now fit together. Something about learning the piece largely by ear completely alters the way I think about it in my head. This morning if I hum the melody I can visualize each finger placement. Moreover, I can name the pitches, and I have a pretty good grasp on the intervals between them. All without any sheet music.
This feel so good. I wanted to learn Mandolin because I though they looked interesting, and had a pleasing sound. I had no idea that learning to play by ear was going to have such a powerful effect on my Violoncello playing too.