Secret Techniques to Improve Playing Piano by Ear

The most intoxicating way to learn to play piano is listening via your ears and replicating the song via your fingers on the piano keys. If you looked into the history of few famous pianist of all time, you did not have any clue how to read a music sheet. Ever questioned -How have they risen to fame? The answer lies solely with their ability to play piano by ear.

While browsing through sites like YouTube, you also come across various artist who only play piano by ear, making it an awe moment to listen to them. Playing by ear is a skill which can be developed with practice. To excel in music sheets takes a lot of patience and time before one can play the right note on the piano. With the advent of this digital era, has given a lot of supporting aids like piano apps, YouTube tutorials etc to learn to play piano by ear for anyone in a short span of time.

Now how does this magic happen? – The first and foremost is learning to rightfully listen to the music.  Start with familiarizing with the ability of differentiating between various tones, weather middle tones, flat tones, sharp tones, bass tones and high tones. With little knowledge of major keys and chords try to understand the work of music.

It is on trial and error basis to match the notes with the keys of the piano. Always pick easy songs at the beginning like nursery rhymes namely twinkle twinkle little star. Then repeat the same song until you master humming the song without any support. Try to know the different parts of music like the piano chords, the intervals, the piano scales, the chord progressions, and the melodies. By ability to identify this, you can catch hold of the musical pattern. With the musical pattern deciphered, identifying the song itself is not far away. Then comes the stage to analyze which finger to use to play which key of the piano.

At the end practice is the key behind it all, so is the ability to identify intervals ( distance between single notes played one after the other) and harmony. Every song has it both and to be able to distinguish them by listening is one step closer to becoming pro in playing piano by ear

Once you have attended expertise in it, you will be able to guess and play a song within seconds of listening to it.

Here’s an interesting game I came across in various articles to sharpen your listening skills, thought of sharing it here with you:
  • Ask a friend or a member of your family to play two notes, one after another, on the piano.
  • Then, it’s your turn to tell if the second note was higher or lower than the first one.
  • At the beginning, ask them to play notes that aren’t too close together.
  • After a few rounds, they can increase the level of difficulty. Of course, you’re not allowed to look at the piano during the game.
  • Even if the person you’re practicing with doesn’t play an instrument, you can take turns. If they enjoy the exercise too, you can challenge each other!
  • After some time, try to work out which octave the second note was played in.
  • You can then take things to the next level by trying to work out how many tones separate the first note from the second.

This exercise is a fun and challenging way to enhance your listening skills. And great listening skills are exactly what you need to play your favorite songs by ear.

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Secret Techniques to Improve Playing Piano by Ear

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