Welcome to the third and final post in our series teaching you how to play by ear. So far we’ve covered what it means to play by ear and the benefits that come along with it. In this post we’ll get into the important stuff: how to do it.

There are 3 skills that you need to master if you want to play by ear. If you master all three of them you’ll be playing by ear like a pro. If you’re struggling in any one of them it will hold you back and stop you from achieving your goals. So let’s go through them.

1. Recognise the notes you hear in music

This is the big one. It’s the focus of most ear training because it’s the area that stops most musicians from ever learning to play by ear.

To recognise the notes you hear in music you need to develop a sense of relative pitch. There is a second way that some musicians do it, called perfect or absolute pitch but I strongly recommend you steer clear of this path.

To find out how to develop relative pitch check out my series: Relative pitch: the secret to musical super powers.

2. Hear each note in music clearly

This is the second part of ear training that a lot of musicians ignore.

You may not know this, but you don’t hear everything clearly when you listen to music. There’s a lot going on in music. There are usually many notes flying by each second and most of us only make out so much of it.

If you want to play by ear confidently you need to spend some time working on hearing each part of music clearly. The melody, the bass line and each note in between.

Fortunately this is also something we can work on and develop quite quickly. For more information on how you can do it, see my post: Develop your musical hearing.

3. Connect your ears and your fingers

With the first two steps you’ll make sure your ears are working perfectly. You’ll be able to hear each note in music with crystal clarity and you’ll be able to recognise each one as you hear it.

The final step is simply connecting your ears and your fingers. This involves making some minor changes to the way that you practice your instrument so your fingers will be ready to jump to the right note when they hear music.

The fastest way to master these 3 steps…

…is with Ear Training HQ.

All the training materials at Ear Training HQ focus on taking you through these steps as quickly as possible. If you’re interested in training your ears quickly and effortlessly there’s no better way to go about it.

And the best way to use our materials is with an Ear Training HQ All Access Pass. The All Access Pass gives you complete access to everything in our members’ area. And you can try it out for the next 3 weeks for just $1. So there’s absolutely no reason to try it out for yourself and see how well our materials work!

For more info you can sign up for our free ear training lesson series: Ear Training Made Easy. You’ll learn about the 3 ear training mistakes that cause musicians everywhere to fail with ear training and you’ll also get some tips that will help you to make these tweaks easily so you can take a step towards playing easily by ear every time you pick up your instrument.

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