I recently came across the expression “to play it by ear” which means basically “go with the flow”; in other words – act according to the situation depending how it develops. What a lovely saying!
Having checked the derivation it confirmed what I thought. Musicians ‘play by ear’ when they reproduce music without written notes. It’s usually done from memory and the player uses his or her ears to work out whether the notes are correct.
When it comes to reproducing music by ear I think I am ok. In real life, however, I must say I’m not very good at playing things by ear. Improvisation is not my strength and I like to plan ahead. Maybe I should try to be more spontaneous.
How good are you at “playing it by ear”? Some people are prone “to winging it” but this is not the same. That’s another post I think 🙂