How to Play Music by Ear

Knowing how to read music is an important skill for any musician, but sometimes it can be even more fun to know how to play music by ear. Playing music by ear is the skill required to hear a piece of music and play it back on an instrument without sheet music. Some people think that this is something they will never be able to do, but there are a few things they can do to improve their skills.

The best way to get better at playing by ear is by jumping in and giving it a shot. Do not expect to be able to play a piece of music perfectly on the first try. At first, playing by ear requires a lot of trial and error to find the right notes and intervals. Beginners need only to be patient and eventually they will get quicker at picking out the right notes.

It is also important to focus not only on the individual notes but on rhythm and intervals as well. Pay close attention to how the melody of the music moves for clues to how it might be played. It is also important to be aware of the rhythm and play accordingly. A song may be played very close to correctly, but it will be hard to tell if it is much slower or much faster than the original.

It takes a little bit of work and dedication, but ear training can drastically improve someone’s ability to play by ear. There are ear training programs available, or it can be done independently by listening to simple melodies. Listen to a melody and practice determining the exact interval. Being able to hear intervals correctly will make it simple to translate the knowledge to an instrument.

Learning how to play music by ear is a challenge, but it is not impossible. Techniques such as ear training will make anyone an all around better musician. With some practice and patience, it is possible for any musician to play what they hear back on the instrument of their choice.