Learning to play piano by ear is an interesting technique to learn but it surely requires more concentration, focused learning and consistent practices. Many of you may be thinking that how it would be possible to get their eyes off from musical notes and play by ear. We will be focusing on how you can learn playing piano by ear. When you are familiar with playing piano by looking at some notes, you would be needing sheets of music for any rhythm or song you might be interested in playing. But with the technique of playing by ear, you would be able to replicate notes and keys for a song over your piano by hearing the piece. In cases when you forget to bring the musical sheet or there is no sheet in front of you for whatever reason, you will find this technique most beneficial.
Learn to Play by Ear:
Many of the teachers and students prefer and are used to of teaching and learning with the aid of a musical sheet. However we recommend that you should learn both techniques. The only drawback if you know only reading is that you may not be able to play if piano is placed in front of you with no musical sheet or notes to read from. However when you learn to play by ear, you just need to know how the song is going and it would not be difficult for you to replicate. Pianists that have trained themselves and are capable of playing by reading and playing by ear are considered to be most versatile professional pianists.
5 Steps for Teaching Play by Ear:
Learning piano could not be done in a breeze but it requires dedication and consistency. Follow the steps and methods that we are sharing here and begin to learn play by ear piano skills. Piano teachers can also follow these methods to teach their children and you won’t need to go through other method books for guiding your students with piano lessons.
- Teach Magical Music Chords: Make students learn the magical 4 chords including I, IV, V and VI in Major C.You may have noticed that most of the well-known songs need you to use these chords quite frequently. These chords are used in varied combinations to play different notes and pieces.
- Teach Splitting and Movement of Chords: There would be no magic in learning chords if your students are not aware of splitting and movements. Teach them methods of movement between varied chords. Splitting between hands would make your work easier. The easiest method would be to let your left hand play the 5thand right hand play the With the use of these 4 chords, your students would be able to play for hours with varied combinations. These 4 chords can be used for playing most of the songs.
- Expand Chords for Variations: Piano players need to be versatile in order to make their performance more interesting. Teach students how they can add varied tones and rhythms between different chords. Teach them various ways of expanding chords that are broken and for solid chord expanding. Expanding techniques will give them options to play in different ranges with versatility. They will be able to play most of the pieces that they wish to play as a beginner to learning and playing by ear technique pianist. Most of the songs are built along these few chords.
- Practice on Familiar Notes: There may be some songs and pieces that your students have complete command on. Keep their practicing of playing by ear simple by choosing melodies that are familiar. Keep notes in C and do not worry about flats and sharps. Help them by giving them a startup note and encourage them to identify the next ones. This way you will be able to guide them how to pick up a melody line.
- Take Base and Lower Notes of a Song: You must teach your students to focus on base of a song. As they hear a song that they will be replicating, they should focus on hearing lower notes of the piece. Identifying the lower notes would place a good foundation for learning to play by ear. As they have now identified the notes, it will be easier for them to play the tone.
Important Tip for Students:
- Learning to play by ear is new to you and thus in the beginning your practices may be sounding quite simple. Let it be simple! The more you will play the piece, the more you will practice; you will be able to add different variations and effects for living it up. With time you will find yourself playing more comfortably.
- Method of playing by ear is not only effective for learning new pieces but you will be able to make corrections and expand further the songs that you already know.
- The most significant need in order to become experts at playing piano by ear would be practice, practice and more practice.
- Trial and errors are key to learning piano or any other instrument. You must never be discouraged when you make mistakes. During the beginning sessions, you will be making mistakes. One benefit of playing by ear is that you will be listening to what you are playing, would be identifying your errors and will be able to self-correct them.
Playing piano by ear may seem difficult in the beginning but this is one of the best methods of learning to play piano. Try to make it as simple as possible for your students. You need not to stick to rules but make learning and practicing more worthy by trying out new variations, expansions and splitting. Once you master at this skill you will find great improvement in your musical ability and your performance will no more be dependent on a musical sheet but will be guided by your own ears.