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How To Play Piano Or Guitar By Ear

Jun 13, 2008
Are you impressed with people who are able to play the piano, guitar or any musical instruments by ear? Do you think that these people are born with the talent to play music by ear? You know what? Play music by ear can be learnt. There are many methods to learn how to play piano or guitar by ear and in this article, we will explore one of these methods.

Are you able to recognize chords or scales without looking at music notations? Do you happen to know that the same chords are often repeated in most songs over and over again? If you do, then you are on your way to playing music by ear.

Playing by ear is not a matter of memorizing every chord and note in a song but by just being able to recognize the chord patterns of the song and being able to predict what chords or progressions will occur next. If you can do that, then you will be able to play by ear on any musical instruments.

Playing by ear is not a well kept secret nor is it a complicated process. On the contrary, the techniques and principles are simple and easy-to-understand. If you are a novice and is struggling to learn music theory, you will understand that the conventional method on learning how to play the piano or the guitar is a real challenge and will need to take years to master the musical instrument.

To put it candidly, learning, not to say mastering a musical instrument is not an easy task. It requires an intensive level of comprehension, application of the techniques and skill and most of all, a dogged determination.

Furthermore, it can never be really be mastered because there will always be something new to learn such as unused chord progression, unfamiliar music theory, or exploring different genres of music. So by learning how to play music by ear, you will then be able to cut through all the complexities in learning how to play the piano or the guitar in the conventional way.

The following are some simple techniques you must understand in order to play any song by ear. The first step in learning to play by ear is to learn how the melody is constructed. Especially so when learning how to play jazz piano or the lead guitar because of the solo runs involved. This is because when you know how the melody line is constructed, you will then be more able to predict where the notes of the melody are going to be.

For instance, if you know that a melody is being played in the key of say, G major, you will then first assess whether this melody sounds like it is created from a major, natural minor, melodic, minor, harmonic minor, blues, or any other scale that you can think of.

So by knowing all of these scales and being able to recognize the scales with your ear, you can then eliminate notes that are less likely to be a part of the melody in most cases.

After recognizing melodies from scales, you will be more experienced and will be able to immediately play any tune in your head!

For example, if you recognized that a song is played in G major, by knowing the notes of the G major scale, knowing what notes are most likely to be played and knowing what notes are not likely to be played, you will then be able to predict what notes will be played and what notes have already been played. It is just that simple.

By knowing what scale the songs are created from, by knowing what notes are immediately eliminated or less likely to occur in a melody or tune and by knowing what notes are most likely to be repeated, you can learn and play any song on the guitar or piano by ear. Of course, there are more to this if you want to be an accomplished play by ear musician.
About the Author
Chris Chew is the webmaster of a music learning website at Learn How To Play Jazz Piano By Ear and Learn How To Sing In Perfect Pitch
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