Playing the piano by ear – Lesson 1

Playing by ear is about hearing, listening for the reaction the piano makes when you play. When you push the pedal, when you strike the black notes, etc. When you listen, you hear, learn and can respond. This openness to experimentation over time develops your ear and is very good for becoming a dynamic musician.

To get started find the middle C note on the piano in front of you:

The excercisepof this lesson is to play all of the C notes in order from middle to highest, down through till the lowest C on the piano. With the right-hand (sostenuto) pedal pressed.

Once you have heard the sound of the different ‘ranges’ on the piano, you can get a feel for the different tones of the high and low frequencies.

The C major arpeggio is our first harmony. In the form of a broken chord. A harmony is a series of notes sounding together to create a chord. 

Try playing the C, E and G chords in succession.

Then play these across the whole piano:

All the way down to the bottom of the piano, the lower you go the ‘muddier’ the sound. The higher you go the clearer and ‘shorter’ the sound. The middle is the piano’s sweet-spot.

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