How to play Piano by ear !!
Learn how to play piano by ear in this lesson. By now you must be having a sound knowledge about the piano scales and the piano chords. This section teaches you how to play a song by ear on the piano using both hands. The lead of the song is played with your right hand and the chords, which are used to harmonize the lead, are played with your left hand. So, once you have figured out the lead and the chords you can go ahead and play the piano version of the song, i.e you can a make a piano cover of the song. Sounds pretty simple right ?. In practice it is not all that simple, it requires a lot of practice and a well-trained ear. However there are a few basic tricks with which playing songs by ear becomes easier. This section covers all of them.
This section is divided into three further sub sections.
1) How to play the lead of a song by ear ?.
2) How to play the chords by ear ?.
3) Playing the entire song ?.
How to play the lead of a song by ear ?.
The first and the foremost step is to find out the key of the song. What do you mean by key ? For example if the song has been composed in the key of C, then it is either based on the C major or the C minor scale. Now how do you find the key of the song ? Follow these simple steps and you will be able to find the key of the song within minutes !!.
1) Listen to the whole song once.
2) Now try to listen to the last note of the song.
3) Hum along with it and try to find the last note.
4) The last note is usually the key of the song, for eg if the last note of the song is G then the song is either based on the G major scale or on the G minor scale.
Now the task is to identify whether the song has been composed in a major scale or a minor scale !!
1) By now you must have identified the key of the song. Let’s say the song is in the key of C
2) Play the song once and simultaneously play the C major chord. Keep hitting the C major chord and see if it matches with the tone of the song.
3) Now repeat the above step with the C minor chord.
4) Find out the one that matches exactly with the tone of the song.
5) If the C major chord is the one that matches then the song is based on the C major scale, else the song has been composed in the C minor scale.
By now you must have identified the scale of the song !! Now the task is to figure out the lead, i.e to figure out the all the notes.
1) By now you must be knowing the 7 specific notes(the notes of the scale) in which the whole song has been composed.
2) Hum along with the song, using relative highs and lows identify the notes by trial and error.
Remember this is not as easy as it sounds, this part requires a lot of ear training but with practise and a trained ear it is possible to easily figure out the lead of the song. The key is to practise, practise and practise !!
Now that you have figured out the lead, you should concentrate on ear picking the chords. Chords are played along with the lead by a pianist to harmonize the lead. They are usually played with the left hand while the lead is played with the right hand. Before we carry on any further, it is important for you to read the lesson on chord progressions.