Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Everything You Need To Know To Play By Ear


Everything?  That’s the plan.  I am in a unique position to teach you.  Maybe you're just like I was.  You feel like you don't really know anything, lost in learning and everywhere you look they want to teach you “Für Elise.”  Where to go?  Right here's a good place for you. 

Maybe you took lessons as far as you could and got discouraged.  You’ve got skills but now what?  Maybe you thought you just don’t have it -whatever that is!!!- to see the light.  But if you could play by ear that would be different.  But again, where to go?  Here.

Maybe you’ve taken lessons far and and are the fastest, most accurate gun in Dodge.  You’ve got twitchy fingers and your advanced knowledge of musicology is acknowledged.  When it comes to dedication and years of practice and pedagogy, scales and knuckle-rappin’, I respectfully bow to your degree.  You know your music, no doubt.  You're up there.  I am but a humble servant. 

I ask you.  “Do you really know your chords?”  The basic 12 major and minor chords and all their inversions?

I’m not asking if you can figure them out, the question is comfort.  Do you know them like the back of your hand?  Do you know them like you know your scales?  Are you in command of the piano this way?

If you say “Yes,” then I say “You know what I know (and probably more)."  We’re going to have a good time here.  Please check in from time to time.

But if you honestly answer “No,” then no matter how good you are (in the way you are good), you’re still lacking in this one area and you need to learn something new.  By following me you’re going to get there fast because it is oh so clear that . . . you’re the fastest gun. 

I never aspired to classical greatness.  I wanted to be a rock star, that’s all.  I didn’t study music in college.  I learned music theory on my own and that kind of ignorance-to-enlightenment experience brought about some unique insights that most people have never thought about before.

I never took a class but one.  My 6th grade teacher Miss Edwards (who was quite old) taught the concept of scales and notation and I paid attention.  Like a lot of good music teachers out there, rest her soul, she’d be pleased to know that she made such an impact.


Joseph Pingel is a pianist, teacher and musicologist.  Click here to get the free companion book to this blog.  See his other sites at www.KeyedUpPiano.com and www.PlayByEarCentral.com. 

© 2011 Keyed Up Inc

1 comment:

  1. Great blog Joseph. Very informative.