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#2026677 - 02/04/13 03:29 AM Best playing by ear program
jared novio Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/14/12
Posts: 1
Hi all
I've been playing the piano since I was 11 but didn't progress to more substantial classical pieces until I was 15. I reached ABSRM level 6-7 but then stopped because I had an accident and didn't progress further. I'm 20 now.

Meanwhile I had flirted with other music, trying to compose a little, trying to play pieces I liked by ear, reading fake books or even sheet music for easier soundtracks. I have always been fascinated by people who could pick a melody by ear and then create a full sounding arrangement for it with amazing left-hand patterns and arpeggios and flicks but that wasn't the case for me, my left-hand patterns never progressed to more than boring repeated block chords and 2 octaves arpeggios and I never learned to use 7th, sus and other chords.

It has been more than a year since I've played the piano and now I want to start again, now that my arm is fully healed and maybe eventually I will get back to classical to progress on my ABSRM grades but for now I want to take it slowly and to have some fun in the process and would like to finally learn to play by ear like a pro.

I was wondering what program from the web would you think I should use to learn to play by ear properly? Or else, if you're an online teacher or would like to try your first experience at online teaching we could have a deal if you want to help me, that would be great.

Edited by jared novio (02/04/13 03:30 AM)

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#2026871 - 02/04/13 12:17 PM Re: Best playing by ear program [Re: jared novio]
dannac Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 601
Loc: USA
I like to use "Transrcibe" to help me learn songs.

Check out the video of what this program teaches.

Check the free videos at

#2027993 - 02/06/13 10:09 AM Re: Best playing by ear program [Re: jared novio]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1228
Loc: Southern California
There is only one reply on this subject, so I will chime in with my novice comments.

Youtube is where a lot of people go. Search for a piano rendition of what a person wants to learn and start going through them. Audio quality is not the best, but almost all popular tunes are on there. Some that are not so strong with ear, will seek renditions where the fingering is shown or at least hinted at.

I recently found MuseScore, a free composition program. There is a user library chock full of uploads. For sight readers this can be a bridge of sorts. Find a score, download it, and then have MuseScore play it. The audio quality is low, but it can be enough to pick out the notes by ear. The good thing for sight readers is that the score is available if a person gets stuck.

I mention getting stuck because picking out melody lines can be extremely slow, especially for those that don't consider themselves to have good ears. It might take 30 minutes or more to pick out four bars of a simple melody line. Compare this to a Grade 7 sight reader that can glance at the sheet and play the melody line cleanly in 15 seconds. Do not get discouraged by the amount of time it takes, because it does get better. If a weak or average ear person expects ba-da-boom, instant like a strong sight reader gets with the sheet, they can become discouraged with their ear training.

In addition to melody lines, there are computer programs that train for chords, and intervals. If a person goes the teacher route, this sometimes becomes the focus of the ear training.

However, for most popular tunes and fake book renditions, finding the key, and the melody are plenty. Most experienced pianists can work out a chord progression or some kind of harmony. If not, some work with fake books will give a person some simple ideas. It won't sound fantastic or professional, but it will be recognizable as the popular song. With some work it will sound pretty good to casual audience.
my piano uploads

#2028093 - 02/06/13 01:02 PM Re: Best playing by ear program [Re: jared novio]
dmd Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 2208
Loc: Pennsylvania

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5


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