Play Piano By Ear- Anyone Can Play Piano By Ear If You Know This Secret

First off piano by ear is mostly based off your understanding of chords, and progressions. The ability to play piano chords, and know them by heart is a must have to pick out songs without sheet music. And anyone can get a chord chart, or better yet know the pattern to form chords and memorize them.

Piano by ear is pretty much, you hear a song and by just hearing it you can go to a piano and repeat what you hear. So what is the real secret to doing this. Most people say it’s a special talent or a gift that you either have or you don’t. But I say anyone can learn to play piano by ear if they just understand the concept of music theory.

First off you have a scale, and you should know how to make up a scale. But the first thing to do is instead of thinking in terms of letters you need to think of them as numbers. So in a C scale C would be 1 D would be 2 E would be 3 and so on until you get to 7 which is B. The reason for this is so when you change keys they numbers are the same and if you are using letters when you change keys the letters change.

So when I tell you that the 2 chord in a scale is a minor chord that applies to every key, I cant say the D is a minor chord because when you change keys the D will change.

The formula for which chord is off of what number is this the 1 chord is going to be major, 2 minor, 3 minor, 4 major, 5 major, 6 minor, and 7 is diminished. So from there you learn the major and minor chords off of those numbers of the scale. But the real mistake everyone makes when trying to play by ear is this.

They try to pick out the melody, that will not make a song sound like the real song you are hearing. The true secret behind playing the piano by ear is, after you know the scales as numbers, and know what kind of chord you will form off each number, major or minor. You listen to a song and don’t even really pay attention to the melody at first, listen for the bass note. You can write the song lyrics down and listen real close for the bass note and as you hear it change you can write the note number over the lyrics.

After you have the number over the lyrics on paper, you can then go to your piano and play the number based on a minor or major then put the melody note on top. And you will find that what you are playing sounds and feels just like the song you were hearing.

How To Play Piano Chords: An Introduction

Many people think they can fast track their playing by only learning how to play piano chords. They think that, this way, they’ll be able to play the music they want quickly and without effort.

Now, whilst it is possible to limit your playing in this way, and whilst you don’t need to be able to read music, you do need to be familiar with some aspects of how music is written and put together if you are ever going to play your favorite songs well. And the starting point to any study of chords is to learn scales.


Each note on the piano is the first note of a scale. Scales are groups of eight successive notes known as octaves. Each octave comprises just seven letters of the alphabet and each scale starts on a different letter, from A to G. (Of course, A to G measures only seven notes, the eighth is the first note an octave higher).

The easiest scale to understand is C Major. It’s easiest because it contains only white notes and has no sharps or flats (black notes). For example, to construct the scale of C Major, first of all find Middle C on your keyboard. This is the white key sitting to the left of the group of two black keys in the middle of the keyboard. The white note to its right is D, the next white note is E, then F and G. Because the letters of notes only go up to G, the next note starts from the beginning of the alphabet and is A, the seventh note is B and the eighth is C an octave higher.

So the scale of C Major is as follows (all white notes):

C – D – E – F – G – A – B – C

Congratulations. You’ve just learnt your first scale.


Chords are just a combination of notes taken from a scale and played at the same time. To find the chord of C Major, take the first note (C), the third note (E) and the fifth note (G) of the scale and play them all together like this:

C – E – G

This rule applies to every scale. So, if we start on the fifth note of the C Major scale, which is G, the G Major scale is:

G – A- B – C – D – E – F# (the black note above F) – G

To find the chord of G Major, play the first note (G), the third note (B) and the fifith note (D) all together like this:

G – B – D

The chords described above are the ‘root chords’ of the scales of C and G Major respectively. They are called the ‘root chords’ because they start with the key note of the scale in the bottom position. However, chords can be played in any combination you choose, depending on the sound you’re trying to produce. So, you could play the three notes of a root chord in a number of other ways.

For example, taking the C Major root chord, if you were to play the third note (E) in the bottom position and the (C) in the top position, this would be called a first inversion:

E – G – C

Similarly, if you were to play the fifth note (G) in the bottom position and the (E) in the top position, this would be called a second inversion:

G – C – E


The application of a particular version of a chord is largely down to personal choice, although it may be easiest to play a chord in a particular way when played with other notes, perhaps by the other hand. But music is about creating different sounds and moods. So you might play a particular chord inversion because it suits the sound or the mood you want to create.


There are 12 different major scales, so there are 12 different major chords, all of them following the same rules as for C and G Major. And when you’ve learnt all the root chords and their inversions, that’s when things get really interesting. Root chords are just the beginning, or one of the essential building blocks of music. Once you’ve discovered how to play piano chords in the way described above, the world of music creation and improvisation really does begin to open its doors.