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Play Piano By Ear

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A picture of an ear.

In this piano lesson you'll find information about playing piano by ear. Learning to play the piano is much easier when using the system I show in here. We will first practice finding popular melodies on the piano. Later on we will learn to use play chords by ear.




When we play piano by ear we find the first tone of a song and then we compare it with the next tone.
We go on and on until we have the whole song.
In order to do that we have to distinguish between one note and the other. Let's take the song "Merrily We Roll Along" for example.





RECOGNIZING A TONE

How to place your hand on the piano in the C position with the correct fingerings. So The first finger goes toe middle C and the rest of the fingers play respectively.

This song contains only three notes. C-D-E. In order to play it we use the middle C Position.
for now we're going to only use the first, second and third fingers.


An image of me pointing at this next paragraph


Don't mix fingers! Always press on E with your third finger and on C with your thumb. You want to improve the independence of your fingers and to be able to follow the answers below which are based on these fingerings.

Listen to the song and try to play piano by ear by figuring out which key sounds like the first tone of the song. If you can sing the first tone it's much easier. Try to hum it at least. Did you get it? It's the E key. Now we continue to play piano by ear by moving on to the next tone and try to figure if it's lower or higher then E. In our case we have only two options. The D and the C. Both or lower... But try to figure which one it is.


An Image of David (me) postering a pause of a thinking moment.

Do you hear it? It's the D key. Easy huh?
Start by singing the "mer" part slowly and then go to "ri". Hear the difference?
Great, now continue to the "ly" part. Is it lower then D or higher?
It's lower and yep... It's the C key. Continue like this until you have the whole song. Some get it right away and some need some more time before they get the hang how to play piano by ear but that's all there is to it.


TIP: Sometimes when the two other options you've tried sound wrong it just means you have to repeat the same tone you played before. Pay attention to it.

Want to check if you got it right? Do you need some help? Here's a PDF file with the answers. It contains the suitable fingerings and some Letters to indicate the beginning note and some exceptionals that demand your extra attention.



Lesson 1 = Merrily We Roll Along(pdf)

, = The end of a musical Phrase
__ = longer notes. the longer the line the longer the tone length

Playing the Melodie on Different Places on the Piano

An cartoon of a silly man making a mess while playing the piano.There's a line of Letters which state different keys in the last part of the file. The idea is to try to play the melody starting from different keys on the piano.
For example... If you play "Merrily" starting the melody (third finger) with B it sound well (using B-A-G). Same goes when we start with A (using the A-G-F).

If we start with G for example we get the keys G-F and oops... The E is wrong... Maybe the D then?
Nope! It sounds wrong as well. How about the black key in between? That works well. Keep going like that and circle every letter when you get it right until you have all letters circled.
It gets quite challenging but as you continue to further letter but it improves your ability to play piano by ear enormously.

Done? Great!

Here is a list of many great songs you can practice in order to learn how to play piano by ear. They are arranged in a gradual order.


Click here if you haven't signed to Piano Playground, our free E-zine yet. Make sure you do that in order to get the username and password codes for the piano tabs I provide here under (And I'll keep you posted with the new piano lessons and videos in the site).


File NamePdf FileMp3 File
AlouetteDownload
Bach - MusseteDownload
Beatles - With a Little Help From My FriendsDownload
Big Ben ChimesDownload
Deck the HallsDownload
God Save the QueenDownload
Jingle BellsDownload
KalinkaDownload
Lightly Row Download
London BridgeDownload
Mozart - Sonata in ADownload
Ode to JoyDownload
Old McdonaldDownload
Piano Man (Billy Joel)Download
Smoke on the WaterDownload
The DonkeyDownload
We Three KingsDownload
When The Saints Go Marching InDownload

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