• Play Music by Ear

Play Music By Ear: How to Learn Songs by Ear


The ability to play music by ear is something you can pick up over time, but if you’re here, reading this, you want to just be able to do it. In this course, you’ll learn to play a song by ear in just 10 days. Nothing fancy, just chords and harmony, but isn’t that way better than…just wishing.

The Fastest Way to Learn How to Play Music By Ear

Play Your Favorite Songs, Jot Down the Music in Your Head, Be a Hit at Parties

Musicians who play music by ear are huge hits at parties and on social media, but they also have a huge advantage when it comes to composing music or accompanying themselves while they sing.

They can identify the tonal center of a song just by listening, figure out the specific intervals of the melody, find the correct chords that accompany the melody, see how the bass line interacts with melody and harmony, play it with the appropriate rhythm and meter, and do it all in a short moment.

Learn Piano from Home: Resources for your piano journey image of pianist at upright piano surrounded by 4 friends

It’s even more impressive when you line it up like that.

Most people believe that these incredibly gifted musicians were just born with this ability. Prodigies, perhaps, but most musicians with the ability to play music by ear studied each of these concepts on their own before putting them together into practice. When starting at a young age, it can take years for these concepts to take hold in their minds and practice, especially as they don’t see the end goal.

When you, a mentally independent human being, seek to develop your ear-playing skills, it won’t take as long, especially if you have a guide (like this course!) to teach you each independent skill and to continually point that toward the final goal of playing an entire song by ear.

What People Are Saying About Girl in Blue Music

What Will You Do with Your Newfound Abilities to Play Music by Ear?

One of my favorite parts about Christmas time is how families and friends join together in song. It’s one of the only times of the year when people who generally don’t sing suddenly do.

What you can do with your ability to play by ear is accompany the group! A cappella music is lovely on its own, but when you can add some piano or any other instrument behind it, it adds another timbre to the mix.

You can also develop the musical ideas that have been locked in your head for an eternity into full songs and pieces. When you can write down or see the notes on your instrument, you unlock the ability to think more about the phrases or chords in terms of the big picture of the final product: the full song.

One of the most rewarding experiences for a musician is when you finish writing a song. Learning a song is an accomplishment, but writing one from scratch? That’s something you created. That’s some form of goodness, self-expression, and potential to connect deeply with others that you have put into the world. It’s the light you get to share.

Learning to play by ear unlocks that gift for you.

With Such Big Benefits to Playing by Ear, Why Don’t More people do it?

Playing by ear involves a wide range of smaller skills, all which fall under the umbrella of aural skills. In most traditional lessons or online courses, aural skills are not a focus, they fall to the side, so you may train only one at a time over longs periods, so you can prioritize healthy technique and musicality.

These skills include: hearing the tonal center of a song, figuring out the interval (distance) between two notes in a melody, building chords, identifying chord progressions, hearing specific voices (Bass versus melody and accompaniment), and understanding rhythm and meter.

If you have sheet music in front of you, you don’t need to hear the tonal center of a song to identify it, so that skill often gets overlooked in lessons. The other skills are often overlooked for the same reason that lessons are traditionally taught from a sheet-music first philosophy.

This isn’t a bad or wrong thing, but the focus is just different than when your goal is to play by ear.

Play Music by Ear is Designed to Fill Those Gaps as Efficiently as Possible

Because this course focuses on only the skills required to play music by ear, the other myriad parts of musicianship won’t get in the way of your singular goal to play by ear. Play Music by Ear boils down the skills into 10-days’ worth of lessons and exercises, which means that you’ll be a musician who plays by ear in as few as 10 days.

You begin with basic intervals, learning how to accurately figure a melody out by ear before even touching your instrument or notation software. This is much more efficient that picking out one note of a melody at a time (and then forgetting it once you figure out the next 3 notes).

You’ll learn basics of chord building and harmony, so you can understand how to parse out chords by ear, which is one of the hardest parameters to hear and reproduce. You don’t need prior knowledge of chord building; this course includes a comprehensive look at chord building. You’ll be able to easily tell the difference between major and minor chords without batting an eye.

Next, you’ll look at how harmony interacts with the melody: what are the most likely chords to line up with parts of the melody? Since you can already hear the difference between major and minor chords, you’ll be picking out chords in time with hardly a thought.

Finally, you’ll line these parts of the song up with rhythm and meter. You will look at the two categories of meter – simple and compound – and identify which is happening in the song you of your choice.

Additionally, throughout this entire process, you’ll practice your skills with exercises that give you immediate feedback. Need more practice on interval practice? There’s an interactive exercise that’s infinitely long that gives you immediate feedback on whether your answer was right or wrong.

Need more practice on hearing the difference between major and minor chords? There’s also an infinitely long exercise for that.

Play Music by Ear is built to give you the strongest, most efficient foundation in playing music by ear, so you can get to making the music you’ve always wanted to without the hassle of going note by note or getting overly frustrated when it doesn’t sound right.

Course Content

⮟ Welcome!
⮟ Day 1: Introduction to Tonality
⮟ Day 2: More on Tonality and Thirds
⮟ Day 3: Fourths and Fifths
⮟ Day 4: Sixths, Sevenths, Octaves, and Inversions
⮟ Day 5: Let's Build Some Chords!
⮟ Day 6: Chords and Tonality
⮟ Day 7: Bass Line and Inversions
⮟ Day 8: Rhythm and Meter
⮟ Day 9: Two Kinds of Rhythm
⮟ Day 10: How to Put it All Together
⮟ Congratulations!

Money-Back Guarantee

I promise that this course will teach you the skills you need to play music by ear.

If for some reason, you feel that the course and its community aren’t a good fit for your learning needs, then let me know. All courses come with a 30-day money-back guarantee because I want to make sure you are getting everything you paid for.

Frequently Asked Questions About Play Music by Ear

Can I really learn these skills in 10 days?

Absolutely, you can learn how to play music by ear in 10 days if you truly apply yourself, especially to the practice exercises. The only way to improve these skills is to practice listening and identifying patterns. The more time and effort you invest into the practice exercises each day, the better off you’ll be.

What is the time commitment?

Like any skill, learning to play by ear does take time. The course is designed with lectures and videos that don’t span longer than an hour per day, but the amount of time it takes you to feel comfortable with the practice exercises will determine the rest of time it takes for you to learn these skills.

I recommend watching the materials, taking a break, doing a few minutes of the exercises, then going about your day, and coming back to the exercises for a few minutes a couple more times. This makes it feel less like work and will keep your brain from getting super exhausted.

What if I get stuck?

It happens to all of us! Sometimes your brain just won’t make sense of a topic, and that’s totally normal. That’s why I’ve included a community here with check-ins, so you can ask questions, and maybe other members of the community will benefit as well.

I’m also here to help. If you’re super stuck and need another explanation, just send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll help out! I’m here for you.

What if I just don’t learn how to play music by ear?

If you follow each of these steps and work the exercises until you consistently get them correct, then I promise you’ll be able to play music by ear. This course is intended to be approachable to any level, beginners included, but if you feel that it’s above your level, let me know, and we’ll work something out just for you: whether that’s one-on-one time or a refund.

Again, I’m here for you.

About the Author

Amy King is a music theory and piano instructor currently residing in the Chicago area.

She holds a Master of Music in Music Theory and Cognition from Northwestern University (June 2020) and a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance and English Literature from High Point University (May 2016), where she received the Outstanding Senior Music Major Award, which is awarded to one single graduating music student per year.

Amy has been teaching private piano lessons for 12+ years, taught classroom music theory for 5 years, directed choirs spanning ages 4–25, led and arranged for a university a capella group, and composed and arranged music for various soloists and ensembles.


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