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#1204560 - 05/23/09 11:37 AM Need a practice plan/ learning to play by ear
RamblinRose Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/21/09
Posts: 1
Hello all,
I am new to the forum and would love to be able to play piano by ear.
I took lessons for over 5 years, but piano theory was not emphasized at all, although I can read sheet music decently. I never spent time learning piano without sheet music in front of me so I am lost without it, and cannot play anything besides a melody line when it's just me and a piano.
Right now I am trying to figure out the most effective way to learn to play piano by ear, so that I can play in a band or solo. I am interested in all modern music -rock, blues jazz...
What worked for you?
If you only had an hour a day and you were just starting out (without a teacher), what would you practice? Scales? My brother mentioned interval training, but what is the best way to go about that?
Should I try to imitate piano greats or will that be unproductive at this time because it is too soon?
It would be great if someone gave me some sort of a guide of what I should learn and in what order.

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1204599 - 05/23/09 12:52 PM Re: Need a practice plan/ learning to play by ear [Re: RamblinRose]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Welcome. Here is the link for some great online sources to begin playing the piano by ear with a great teacher with an easy method to get you started on youtube.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a2T2LuGe9k

http://www.youtube.com/user/shawncheekeasy

This guy is great and I wish I had a source like that when I was a total beginner to study with. But I started so long ago, home computers and the internet didn't exist, so try this out and it might put you on the right path.

katt

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#1204612 - 05/23/09 01:08 PM Re: Need a practice plan/ learning to play by ear [Re: nitekatt2008z]
knotty Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 3016
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Katt,

With 5 years behind him, these videos are probably too basic for Rose.

I would suggest a few things:
- play some sheets in the style you want to play, while singing the melodies that you play
- work out a few voicings for each chord quality. Find out a dozen voincings for am7, then Bbm7, then Bm7, etc... then Cmaj7, DbMaj7, etc... play them very slow while singing each tone.
- Find great solos in the style you want to play, and learn to sing them, note for note, as accurately as possible.
- Write your own tunes, and arrangements, while singing them.

This should get your ears in good shape within a few months.

take care

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#1204613 - 05/23/09 01:16 PM Re: Need a practice plan/ learning to play by ear [Re: knotty]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Hey knotty. No actually Shawn Cheek's online piano course goes in much higher advanced levels on his website.

https://www.webpianoteacher.com/library/

This is a link to beginning to very advanced studies. The guy asked for some help, I offered what I found that might get him started, although there many other sources but as a piano keyboard teacher my self with over a 1000 students in 25 years, some of these techniques I have used myself and they worked some fast results for my only ear players. I often refer to Shawn's site to see how he might be playing a tune I want to learn. Just my $$

katt

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#1204718 - 05/23/09 04:14 PM Re: Need a practice plan/ learning to play by ear [Re: nitekatt2008z]
knotty Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 3016
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
Katt,

I neglected to look in detail, and it looked basic at first.
Thanks for the extra info.

++

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#1205375 - 05/25/09 08:25 AM Re: Need a practice plan/ learning to play by ear [Re: RamblinRose]
majones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 331
Loc: Deep East Texas Piney Woods
Originally Posted By: RamblinRose
Hello all,
I am new to the forum and would love to be able to play piano by ear.
Right now I am trying to figure out the most effective way to learn to play piano by ear, so that I can play in a band or solo. I am interested in all modern music -rock, blues jazz...
What worked for you?

By ear- check out PianoMagic.com. It starts you off in the key of C - White bread scale. It explained how to get the first note, first chord and first word working together. I was amazed how knowing how to do that one thing got the song going. It also touched on what chord to use with what melody note - really very simple once you understand how. And spends some time on how to flesh out your left hand. You will be playing by ear, transcribing what you are singing, however, you will still need your "paper notes" to play the song tomorrow -- sitting down and playing with out music is going to take awhile. Playing by ear takes a lot of playing by ear. PM is not the magic pill, but it is a good how to play by ear course.

Play in a band - Google "piano chord accompaniment" or "how to play from a fake book". In a band you accompany till it's time for YOUR solo - when you finish your solo, it's back into the rhythm section and chord accompaniment. Chord accompaniment works great when it's just you and your piano - your voice providing the melody and your piano providing the harmony. Yes, it's a new World.
Quote:
If you only had an hour a day and you were just starting out (without a teacher), what would you practice?

You may need your scales right at first - get the fingers and ear functioning again. Probably need to look at playing from lead sheets or fake chord as that is what the band most likely will use. That will entail learning how to make your chords when only given the chord name - there is no bass clef - that is left up to you. Which solves one other problem........ you don't have to look down there. You mentioned interval training, people are always saying that. I'm never quite sure what they mean - an interval is the distance between two tones - OK I got that, wish they would be a little more specific? Interval training to do what? Improvise, compose melody -- that will take a lot longer.....

Good luck.

Malcolm


Edited by majones (05/25/09 09:49 AM)

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#1205472 - 05/25/09 12:59 PM Re: Need a practice plan/ learning to play by ear [Re: majones]
jotur Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 6032
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: majones
By ear- check out PianoMagic.com. It starts you off in the key of C - White bread scale. It explained how to get the first note, first chord and first word working together. I was amazed how knowing how to do that one thing got the song going. It also touched on what chord to use with what melody note - really very simple once you understand how. And spends some time on how to flesh out your left hand. You will be playing by ear, transcribing what you are singing, however, you will still need your "paper notes" to play the song tomorrow -- sitting down and playing with out music is going to take awhile. Playing by ear takes a lot of playing by ear. PM is not the magic pill, but it is a good how to play by ear course.

Play in a band - Google "piano chord accompaniment" or "how to play from a fake book". In a band you accompany till it's time for YOUR solo - when you finish your solo, it's back into the rhythm section and chord accompaniment. Chord accompaniment works great when it's just you and your piano - your voice providing the melody and your piano providing the harmony. Yes, it's a new World.
Quote:
If you only had an hour a day and you were just starting out (without a teacher), what would you practice?

You may need your scales right at first - get the fingers and ear functioning again. Probably need to look at playing from lead sheets or fake chord as that is what the band most likely will use. That will entail learning how to make your chords when only given the chord name - there is no bass clef - that is left up to you. Which solves one other problem........ you don't have to look down there. You mentioned interval training, people are always saying that. I'm never quite sure what they mean - an interval is the distance between two tones - OK I got that, wish they would be a little more specific? Interval training to do what? Improvise, compose melody -- that will take a lot longer.....

Good luck.

Malcolm


+1

Cathy
_________________________
Cathy

Practice like you are the worst; play like you are the best - anonymous

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#1206585 - 05/27/09 06:51 AM Re: Need a practice plan/ learning to play by ear [Re: jotur]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
In the adult beginners forum there is a jazz study group. I just joined it because I also want to learn to improvise. It would be great if there was another learner there too! smile
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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