Learn to Play Piano by Ear

Why Learn to Play Piano by Ear

Many people who learn to play the piano tend to take the long course.  They enroll in music piano playing classes and go through sight reading exercises.  All these things are well and good.  After all, most respected musicians are great in note reading.  These are the basic things that could never hurt anyone who wishes to learn them.

It Could be Boring  

However, there are many students who enrolled in such classes who end up not finishing them.  Why is that?  Well, for those who have a strong musical inclination, playing “Mary had a Little Lamb” just isn’t challenging enough.  It can be pretty boring.  However, many music lessons start with these simple pieces because those are the easiest to read and play.  Hence, there are people who simply prefer to learn to play piano by ear.

You Need Natural Talent

How in the world do you learn to play piano by ear?  In all honesty, while this course is great, it is not for everyone.  If you have a natural talent for music, then go ahead and attempt it.  However, if you are a bit tone deaf, then I’m sorry but you just can’t skip note reading (not that playing by ear is an excuse to not learn your notes).  Famous pianists actually have the combination of 2 skills- sight reading and ear training.  That is why even as you learn your do, re, mi, you must also train your ear to know if you are playing the right melody.


You can only learn to play piano by ear through one thing – practice.  Try doing this with your iPod beside you as you are seated on your piano chair.  That way, you can listen to the music as you try to play it on the keys.  Eventually, you will realize that you can “hear” a certain key in your piano even though you have not even played it yet.  People with musical talent can do that and with enough ear training, you will find your fingers automatically knowing which keys to press.  Again, this entails a sharp ear and a natural knack for music.

Just a word of caution, even though you are very talented in music, you will make mistakes from time to time.  This after all, is not a precise science like note reading.  So to avoid disappointing yourself, try to start playing simple music by ear in your piano.  Don’t go right ahead and do jazz.  That just might be too much.  Pick a simple ballad or a simple melody that you can play in your piano then work your way up to more complicated tunes as your skill improves.

Now, every good musical score is a combination of the G clef and the F clef.  The G clef is the melody but you will need to support it with a good base.  That is when you must know your chords.  If you are not very familiar with chords yet, a good tip is that most music can be played with only the C, F and G chords.

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