Learning the Piano by Ear 101

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You can actually learn the piano by “playing by ear,” but it’s not the common route. The usual way to learn to play the piano is to learn and read music at the same time. No matter how they learned, most professional musicians can play by ear, but this was a talent most honed with many years of practice, reading music, listening, and imitating. Of course, playing by ear CAN be a born talent. It is said that Mozart could play and compose great and complicated compositions as a child before he ever saw a sheet of music.

Reading music, however, is an important basic and most beginning piano instruction will include music reading. It will give you all the basics you need to learn to play by ear. Without good playing technique and a thorough understanding of music theory, playing by ear will be very difficult for most people. So spend time with your scales and positions because it’s important. These seemingly mundane tasks should be a part of every practice session. They help to develop good habits, and just as important, they help to train your ear. We’re not all Mozart, but we can gain some of his skill with practice!

Once you reach an intermediate level, you may need to search for a teacher skilled in the art of playing by ear. This will give you another boost in your playing abilities. They can teach you tricks of listening that will help you pick out the chord progressions that form the basis of any piano work. They usually take this skill and combine it with teachings related to music.

Whether you want to play for fun or become a professional, or to make music for friends and family, you’re best bet is to first learn to read music and then by ear. If you’ve ignored either, it’s never too late to start. There are even Internet or computer-based courses, such as Rocket Piano Software, that teach these skills.

Start searching, keep learning and make sure you have fun in the process. Once you have a beautiful piano and piano desk lamp, and you can both read music and play by ear, you’ll be a complete pianist!

About the Author

If you’re looking for help to learn the piano, but don’t want to pay for expensive piano lessons, there are products available like Rocket Piano Software that can help.

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