Playing Piano By Ear: Complete Guide for Aspiring Musicians
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Playing Piano By Ear: Complete Guide for Aspiring Musicians

Learn to play the piano by ear and to read chord charts. Practical lessons anyone can learn.
4.6 (19 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
266 students enrolled
Created by Roy Denton
Last updated 12/2015
English
Current price: $10 Original price: $150 Discount: 93% off
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Includes:
  • 4.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Have a base knowledge to build your own creative ear
Know scales in every key
Play chords
Read Chord Charts
Play piano by ear
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • You will need access to a keyboard or piano for this course.
Description

This course is designed to take you from no knowledge of the piano to becoming a musician. And not just a musician, but one who can play by ear. Impress people by hearing a song and being able to sit down at the piano and play it without sheet music.

This course is structured starting as if you have no knowledge of the piano at all. This does not mean this course is not for people who already have some knowledge of the piano. There are many people who play by note, but would love to learn to just "hear" it and play it. This course if for both of these types of musicians and anyone in between.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for anyone with a desire to play the piano with emphasis on playing by ear and chord charts
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 59 Lectures Collapse All 59 Lectures 04:21:51
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Introduction
1 Lecture 02:02

Hello! My name is Trey and we will be learning the piano together throughout this course. In this section I give an introduction to playing the piano by ear. This lecture will give an overview of what playing by ear is exactly and why it is beneficial. I also go over the curriculum and the things that we will learn together through this course.

Preview 02:02
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Understanding the keyboard
1 Lecture 09:20

In this lecture, we dive into the layout of the keyboard. We take it step by step in understanding where the notes are as well as their names. We also talk about the sharps and the flats. By the end of this section, you will know the layout of the keyboard, where each note is, and what you are looking at when you look at a keyboard.

When you complete this lecture, download the blank piano diagram and use it as practice to write down and become familiar with the notes on the keyboard.

Preview 09:20
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Scales
13 Lectures 48:29

We will learn what Major and Minor scales are as well as taking a look at how the two differ. We also start into learning scales by learning the C Major scale.

Major and Minor Scales (C Major Scale)
06:45

In this lesson, we learn to play the D Major Scale.

D Major Scale
02:46

In this lesson, we learn to play the E Major Scale.

E Major Scale
05:30

In this lesson, we learn to play the F Major Scale.

F Major Scale
05:32

In this lesson, we learn to play the G Major Scale.

G Major Scale
03:37

In this lesson, we learn to play the A Major Scale.

A Major Scale
04:08

In this lesson, we learn to play the B Major Scale.

B Major Scale
03:26

In this lesson, we learn to play the C# (or Db) Major Scale.

C# Major Scale
04:04

In this lesson, we learn to play the D# (or Eb) Major Scale.

D# Major Scale
02:49

In this lesson, we learn to play the F# (or Gb) Major Scale.

F# Major Scale
02:47

In this lesson, we learn to play the G# (or Ab) Major Scale.

G# Major Scale
02:31

In this lesson, we learn to play the A# (or Bb) Major Scale.

A# Major Scale
03:38

Continue to learn scales with these practice excersizes.

Practicing Scales
00:56
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Nashville Number System
3 Lectures 14:59

We learn in this lesson what the Nashville Number system is, why we use it, and the benefits of knowing how to use it.

What is the Nashville Number System?
03:40

We will go over the Nashville Number System in this lesson. We look at what numbers in any given key are assigned to each note. We look at it in a couple of keys to show how it really applies to whatever key you would like to play in.

How to apply the Nashville Number System to keys and scales
09:21

Here, I will give you some practice exercises with the Nashville Number System.


I have attached a chart as a reference for you in all the major keys of what the numbers and chords will be. You can use this throughout the next several sections to refer to.

Practice using the Nashville Number System
01:58
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Chords
5 Lectures 29:29

We begin to dive right into chords in this lesson. We will learn what a chord is, how to piece together a chord using notes, and what it looks like. We also go over what a major chord is and how to play the major chords. This is where we start putting all of what we have learned so far together.

Major Chords
10:48

Now that we have gone over what a major chord is, we look at minor chords. We see the difference between a major and minor chord and also learn how to play your minor chords.

Minor Chords
05:15

After looking at triad chords in the previous 2 lessons, we learn how to add a 4th note to our chord. Sometimes chord charts call for this and we learn what it means and how to play them when they do.

4 Note Chords
05:04

Now that we know the chords and how to play them, we look at a couple of different ways to voice or play these chords. These are called inversions.

Inversions
04:31

It's time to put all we have learned about chords together in a practice exercise. Here I give you some ways to practice using chords.

Chords Practice
03:51
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Rhythm
5 Lectures 29:16

In this section we will be covering rhythm and timing. We go over what measures are and take a look at a couple of the most common time signatures.

Measures and Timing Basics
02:05

We look at what 4/4 timing is in this lesson. I will also give you a rhythm pattern in 4/4/ timing to practice and get use to playing and hearing 4/4 timing.

4/4 Timing
09:58

In this lesson we go over 3/4 timing, how to play a pattern with it, and look at an example of a song with 3/4 timing.

3/4 Timing
04:44

We learn what 6/8 time signature is in this lesson. We learn a rhythm pattern and I show you a song that has 6/8 timing.

6/8 Timing
10:15

Practice what you have learned in this section with this practice exercise.


I have added a link to a metronome where you can select 4/4, 3/4, and 6/8 time signatures as well as change the bpm (beats per measure) or speed. Use this to hear what the rhythms sound like and to play along with.

Rhythm Practice
02:14
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Left Hand Basics
2 Lectures 10:33

We move from to using our entire left hand. We expand from what we have been using in our left hand.

Left Hand Basics
07:38

We start to put it all together in this practice section. Put the rhythm, chords, and left hand together.

Left Hand Practice
02:55
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Chord Charts/Nashville Number System
2 Lectures 10:39

We learn how to read chord charts as well as Nashville Number System charts in this lesson.

Reading Chord Charts and the Nashville number System
08:14

Here is some practice for you on chord charts and Nashville Number System charts.

Chord Charts Practice
02:25
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Song Keys
1 Lecture 09:05

We will look at how to examine and analyze songs to determine what key the song is in. We look at what chords are major and minor in any given key.

Determining the key of a song
09:05
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Breaking Rhythm & Using the pedal
2 Lectures 17:50

In this lesson, we will learn how to break away from the rhythm patterns we have learned. We use the rhythm patterns to keep us in time, but do not actually play them out.

What we're learning in Breaking rhythm and Using the pedal
02:02

In this lesson, we will learn how to break away from the rhythm patterns we have learned. We use the rhythm patterns to keep us in time, but do not actually play them out. We also look at what the sustain pedal does and how to use it in our playing.

Breaking Rhythm
15:48
5 More Sections
About the Instructor
Roy Denton
4.6 Average rating
19 Reviews
266 Students
1 Course
Musician

I learned to play the piano at a very young age and now have over 20 years of experience in playing by ear.

I have a passion for music, especially the piano. I have had the opportunity to play all over the world. I love to share my knowledge and teach people music. It is rewarding to see people develop skills in an area that they have always had a desire to do.

I am currently the music minister at my church and I have had the privilege of directing bands, choirs, and teams throughout my music tenure. My experiences have lead to a developed skillset of how to teach and direct in music.