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Playing By Ear: How to learn music and to play notes and chords by ear

Updated: Sep 23, 2022


How to learn music

Music may be learned without the use of sheet music or music theory

When you first begin to learn music, you may be expected to grasp the principles of staff notation, which may be confusing. It is one of the most crucial qualities that most students must acquire in order to master their musical instrument as they learn music, especially when learning to play the piano from sheet music.

Learning music is a lifetime endeavor, and learning to play music by ear is no exception. For those who are just starting to learn music, sheet music may bring hours of incomparable pleasure. But some of the world's best pianists were unable to read sheet music because they did not know how to read the chords in their compositions, despite being among the finest ever. What procedure did they employ? They perform purely by ear on the piano, which is possibly the most exhilarating manner of performing music ever devised.


For those who just starting started with music and learning to play chords by ear, the following are some suggestions:

A. Learn a piece of music that you heard somewhere else.

B. Create an enthralling introduction to a song

C. To adapt to changing circumstances, you can change your key instantly.

D. Writing or composing music is an easy process.

E. Create lovely melodies to accompany your chords by using your ear.

F. You will not be restricted to the same piece of music each time you perform.


There are various benefits to studying music by ear as you learn music. To develop your listening abilities, it is essential to grasp the strategy, practise (including trial and error time), and listening exercises.


What Is the Definition of Playing Music By Ear?

It is possible to refer to a range of distinct actions when talking about "playing an instrument by ear." It might be referring to one of the following things:

In one case, you would be playing what you hear exactly as it is, without any of your own music mixed in. In another case, as you learn music, you would be learning to play the chords of a song that you've just heard in order to duplicate or perform it.

The age of the internet has developed such a robust variety of self-help material that practically anyone can learn to play musical instruments by ear in a very short period, thanks to the development of the internet. NOW is the greatest time to study music and to pick up some new tunes to perform!


Step one: Is to listen to the music

Playing a single song repeatedly can help you to develop your ear training. Make it a catchy song with a powerful melody and pay close attention to the details in the music, such as the highs and lows, the stops and starts, and the nuances in the lyrics. Make a mental note of any change in tone, the shift in emphasis, or the change in emphasis. Beat out the melody and hum or sing the words out loud to create a more pleasing sound for the song's overall tone. Continue to practise until you can perform the song without the aid of a microphone and at pitch perfection. (piano lessons)


Step Two: Make a match for it

Repeat the process of humming or singing the melody out loud, but this time try to identify the notes that you are singing on the instrument as you are doing so. It will take some trial and error at first, but as you gain experience, you will find yourself instantly recognising the notes that are coming out of your lips and matching them to the keys on the piano or chords on the guitar with ease. Slow down and concentrate on just a few notes at a time, repeating over and over the same few short portions of the song multiple times before moving on to another area of the composition.


Step Three: Learn to Listen to Music in Order to Spot Patterns

The fact that you understand the song's structure - including the chords, the intervals, the scales, the chord progressions, and the melodies – will significantly increase your chances of success while learning to play by ear. After you've studied the different portions of music and how they're structured, you'll be more adept at identifying similarities between the songs you're listening to, noticing the intervals between notes, and recognising the sounds that correspond to certain chords.

It is the most critical stage in learning to play music by ear to recognise a melodic pattern. Once you recognise a pattern, you don't even need to spend any time getting to know the song itself!

Simply playing a game with a friend can allow you to significantly improve your auditory abilities without having to copy a song. Ask your friend to touch two keys on the piano. To win, you must make an educated guess on whether the first one is higher or lower than the second one. As a result, you will improve your listening abilities, which will allow you to discern the notes in a song. Play intervals, chords, and so forth to put each other to the test when things become too basic.


There are four magic chords

It is not necessary to be adept in music reading or to have a good grasp of music theory in order to play by ear. It is, on the other hand, advantageous. A very popular set of chords is used in a large number of pop songs. However, their tones are diametrically opposed to one another.

This is since chords may be played in a number of ways and in a variety of combinations, among other reasons. To define numerous forms of musical combinations, chord progressions are often used as a general phrase. A broad variety of tones may be generated by using chord progressions, which are the basis for this. The ability to comprehend the most common chord progressions used in pop songs may make it much simpler to figure out the chords for a song much more quickly while learning to play the guitar. Why? Because you will be aware of what you are looking for!


The Importance of Piano Chords in the Art of Playing By Ear

When you can play certain piano chords and guitar chords by ear - notably major and minor chords - it makes learning piano or guitar by ear much more doable. The ability to figure out the harmonies more quickly and readily will be facilitated because of having a framework to work with.

If you haven't previously, you should learn how to play chords on an instrument before you start learning to play by ear. The use of chords makes it significantly easier to play by ear than it would be without them.


The melody and harmonies that we play will be built around a series of chords. We want to be able to play more than one note at a time, which is something that may be accomplished via the use of chords, generally speaking. It is possible that they may aid us in recognising the key in which we are currently playing (which is really advantageous), and they may even point us toward certain melodic notes that may be present. Because it's probable that those notes constitute a component of the chord in the issue, they should be included.


Get Things Started

To begin learning how to play the piano or another musical instrument by ear, you should start with a song that you are already familiar with before progressing to something more challenging. Never fear, after you've mastered the technique, you'll be able to recognise unfamiliar music within seconds of hearing it for the first time. (piano lessons)

Consider giving it a try; you may be amazed at how well it works as you learn music by ear!

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