Playing By Ear Ear Training | Easy Ear Training

Playing By Ear Ear Training

Playing By Ear ear training

"You hum it, I'll play it" is the classic response of the bar-room pianist to an unknown song; but why is it that some people seem to have an innate ability to instantly play anything they have heard while most of us struggle?

Virtuoso musicians like Mozart or Jaco Pastorius gained fame for being able to recall hours of complex music after a single listen, but for the average musician that's only a pipe dream.

Like 'Perfect Pitch', playing by ear is often talked about as if it's some kind of innate gift which only some people possess (and it's true that some people seem to develop this skill without really trying) but as with all aspects of music, hard work usually beats talent in the end.

If you want to develop some serious playing by ear skills nothing beats time spent with a CD player or iPod, wearing out the rewind key while working out your favourite tracks. Working on your aural skills with dedicated play by ear training will give you a serious advantage and speed the process up considerably though!

Ear training skills which can help you play by ear include:

Using ear training exercises to develop each of these key listening skills can help your overall play by ear training and make it faster and easier to play music by ear.

Playing by ear is a wonderful skill to develop and one which is often neglected in the classical tradition, where players can become reliant on having the sheet music in front of them. With a bit of ear training under your belt, a limitless repertoire of music opens up to you.

Ear Training Resources for Playing By Ear

Start Playing By Ear eBook

Many musicians assume that playing by ear is a gift you have to be born with. This is simply not true.

"Start Playing By Ear" explains how you can learn this most impressive and satisfying of musical skills.

Chord Progressions ear training eBook

Thousands upon thousands of songs use the same 3 or 4 chords - knowing about this makes learning to play them by ear much easier!

"3-Chord Songs and the 4-Chord Trick" is your all-in-one guide to these essential chord progressions.


Pitch and Harmony

The Learn to Play by Ear series explores the what, why and how of learning to play by ear, featuring a range of top guest experts to share their perspective on how to become a natural play-by-ear musician.

Questions about Playing By Ear

Articles about Playing By Ear Ear Training:

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What’s the point of the Circle of Fifths?

What’s the point of the Circle of Fifths?

Have you ever wondered why there is so much fuss about the “Circle of Fifths”? Most musicians have heard of it, but few take advantage of its power… You can learn it quickly, and apply it in a lot of helpful ways. Although it looks complex and...
Spell Intervals Fast: How To

Spell Intervals Fast: How To

Interval recognition is a core skill in ear training because it develops a powerful sense of relative pitch. Yet, as much as learning to recognize intervals you develops your ear, you must also train your brain to recognize them, too. This means learning to “spell”...
Play Along, with Stefan Hall

Play Along, with Stefan Hall

Stefan Hall taught himself how to play guitar by ear. Now he has a thriving career as a performer and a university instructor. In this second part of our fascinating interview with Stefan, we asked him to go into greater depth on his play along by ear method of...
Improve Your Musicality with Audiation

Improve Your Musicality with Audiation

Being able to analyze music aurally and process everything you hear at once is a very important skill for a musician. Learning to hear more parts at once and comprehend what is happening in each of those parts simultaneously can be done with what’s called “audiation”....
Tension and Release: When Scales Meet Chord Progressions

Tension and Release: When Scales Meet Chord Progressions

Melody moves through its harmonic surroundings creating varying degrees of tension and release. As we train our ears to perceive tension and release, we gain deeper appreciation as we listen to music and greater mastery in composing, improvising, and playing by ear....

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