How to Play Music by Ear – Some Simple Steps to Playing by Ear

Learning how to play music by ear is an impressive skill for any musician – whether you are a budding musician or you have been playing for some time. Playing by ear is being able to play a song after listening to it, and because of this, you can actually play whatever song you hear without even looking for some notes or sheet music.

Many aspiring musicians find this skill important because it has a lot of benefits in the world of music. Learning how to play music by ear helps you to play with other musicians easily and it allows you to accompany any song that singers would like to sing. Of course, it also allows you to play your favorite songs by just listening to it, and without the need to find music sheets, tablatures, chord charts or any instructions for playing.

Another benefit of being able to play by ear is that, it allows you to improvise and use your creativity when it comes to playing music. In contrast to the more traditional way of learning music, playing by ear is more creative and entertaining and not relying on what is in the score sheet. Although it does not focus much on note per note, and the accuracy of each piece, it does focus on being entertaining, which is more contemporary.

To help you learn how to play music by ear, here are some simple steps that you can start with.

– Familiarize your instrument. Of course, the very basic thing that you need to do is to familiarize first your instrument. If you are just starting with your instrument, it would be wise to learn the basics first so that you know how to create melodies with your instrument.

– Learn to improvise. Indeed, improvisation is an important aspect of learning how to play music by ear. To help you with it, you have to understand the chords as these are the foundation of a song and the melodies. In playing by ear, you have to listen to the song, understanding that piece of music and be able to play it with improvisation. You can start learning from very familiar songs and even from nursery rhymes so that you already have that familiar tune in mind.

Learn to identify and recognize intervals and rhythms. Aside from your being able to identify chords, it is also important to learn to identify intervals or the difference between pitches and recognize rhythms as well. These basic elements in music will be your foundation in playing by ear.

– Find a training guide. Learning how to play music by ear can be easily done if you have a guide with you. It can be advantageous to have a tutor to help you learn the basics. You can find ear training videos and books that can be useful in your learning. Ear training software are also great resources to allow you to learn by yourself.

Teach Yourself to Play Music – A Very Basic Lesson for Music and Piano

Finding your way round on the piano is not difficult; all you need to know is one note. With this key note, excuse the pun, you can find every note on the piano. So I can tell you that this key note is the Middle C. To find this key note look to the two black keys left of centre on your keyboard, now the white key left of these two black keys is the Middle C.

From one elusive note, Middle C, this enables you to find every note on the bass and treble lines of your sheet music. These notes that you have on your sheet music relate to the piano by way of the white keys of the keyboard. Using the same process that we used on the sheet music you can find and name every white key on the keyboard. But first you need locate the middle C on your keyboard.

To find this Middle C however we must look at the pattern of the black keys. You will see that they alternate from two together to three together. Now if we place a finger in the centre of our keyboard or piano, you will see a set of two black keys to the left of centre. The white key to the left of these twin black keys is the Middle C. To help you find it easy if you remember that the white key at the centre of every twin black keys is always the note D.

This shows that the nearest C to the centre of your keyboard is slightly left of centre. It is called the Middle C because of its location in sheet music. At this moment do not concern yourself further with the black keys. Now you have your Middle C, to the right of the Middle C is the treble staff or stave of your sheet music and to the left is the bass staff or stave of your sheet music.

With this knowledge and using white notes only, you should be able to play and name every note on the keyboard, from Middle C, go right to D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D and so on to the end of your keyboard, then from the Middle C again go left in reverse alphabet mode to B, A, G, F, E, D, C and so on to the left end of your keyboard. Play and say these notes out loud often and in different order in your practice and you will soon be able to find them at will.

Summing up, in this article, Teach Yourself to Play Music – A Very Basic Lesson for Music and Piano; we found Middle C on our sheet music and from there we found all the notes for the treble and all the notes for the base. Transferring that knowledge to the piano we found Middle C and from there we found all the notes to the right, the treble notes, all the notes to the left, the bass notes and played and named every white key on our keyboard. This has been a very basic lesson in music but I truly hope that it helped to demystify the piano and music in general.

Can an Adult Learn to Play Music?

How often, now that childhood is but a memory, have you wished that you had learned to play a musical instrument? Maybe you wanted to learn to play the trumpet or the piano. Perhaps you were in love with the sound of a violin (whether played in an orchestra or as a fiddle by a Bluegrass or Mariachi group), or you dreamed of playing a saxophone. But those things just weren’t “cool,” so you caved in to peer pressure and learned to strum a few chords on the guitar. You and three of your friends sat in the garage and talked about attracting girls when you became rock stars. Or you idolized Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, reminding yourself that girls can do anything that boys can do. But you secretly longed to play in the band at football games, join the Mariachis as they serenaded the birthday girl in the early morning hours, or joined the vocalists in a performance of Handel’s Messiah. And as time passed, even the guitar you used to strum was relegated to the corner of the bedroom closet.

Now you are older, and the dream of learning to play music has never really gone away. You’ve never acted on achieving that desire, but visions of you and that instruments still inhabit your dreams. But you have finally come to understand and accept the idea that instrumental music is just a dream that you’ll have to set aside, right?

Absolutely not! It is never too late to learn to play an instrument! If you start as an adult you’ll probably never become an internationally known soloist, but you can certainly learn well enough to play for personal pleasure and as a member of most amateur groups. You may even be able to play professionally!

Reasonable Expectations

It’s not going to be easy, but it’s probably easier than you fear. You have an advantage many children don’t have. You actually want to learn the instrument! Many children take music lessons because their parents want them to. You are self-motivated. Expect to make progress slowly, but be assured that you can… and will… progress.

Step By Step is the Way to Go

As I’ve said, short of a miracle you won’t achieve immediate success, but you can achieve short term goals. Regular practice for reasonable amounts of time is necessary. Lessons from a professional, or a serious amateur, may be required. Perhaps you can learn using videos. A well thought out plan with regularly spaced lessons and rehearsals, as well as progressively more challenging goals will certainly help you reach the goal of playing the instrument.

Don’t Just Play Alone!

Join a group or find people with whom you can play! If you can find a group of people who are essentially your musical equals you’ll almost undoubtedly find support and learn practice and performance tips that will help your playing improve even faster and you would never have realized or implemented if you had only play alone at home.

Stay Inspired – Listen With the Right Attitude!

You got inspired listening to masters play the instrument. You developed your desire to play when you heard songs you enjoyed. Keep listening to that music. Hearing the songs you love will help you stay excited! But use the recordings or the concerts as inspiration. Understand that you are progressing toward that skill level. Don’t expect to become as good as saxophonist Kenny G, or violinist Hilary Hahn, or organist Cameron Carpenter in a week! (Or for that matter a month or a year!)

Have Fun

Remember, you are doing something your want to do, not something you have to do. Remember, when it comes to music you play your instrument. You don’t work, suffer, gripe, fight, struggle, or complain the instrument. How do you have fun? Find music you want to play. Don’t pick music that is beyond your ability. Play up to the level of your ability… and just a little beyond every now and then. Playing what you are able to play well is fun, and you’ll be thrilled when you achieve something you weren’t sure you could handle. And if you play in public you’ll almost undoubtedly receive the admiration you hoped for when you were fourteen!