There is no better way to learn to play piano by ear than to use familiar piano songs to help solidify using your chords and picking out basic melodies.
You can explore the links below and learn basic melodies and how to use basic chord progressions to play hundreds of songs.
I truly believe that if you have the desire and you can hum along and clap your hands to the beat of a song that you can learn to play piano songs by ear.
In order to do this however you will need to know the basics of how to sit at the piano, and proper hand position as well as some of the musical terms and music symbols.
When I start new students at the piano or keyboard, beginners who have never played at all, with in minutes most of the time I can have them making music with both hand, and with no knowledge of how to read music.
Keep this in mind. Music is in the mind and the heart and not a bunch of specks on a piece of paper. For a good demonstration on how I do this check out this link.
If you truly go through this lesson and watch the video at the end there is a good chance that you can make great sounding original music right away. How cool is that?
A bit about reading music...
Even though I play mostly by ear and teach other how do do that, I must admit that is is wise if you intend to be a well rounded keyboard player that you learn at least the basics of reading music.
There are times in the beginning where melodies chords are a bit more complicated and reading the melodies and chord symbols can save a bunch af time and frustration.
Remember, the ear, like any other muscle needs to be exercised regularly.
My desire to play keyboards in a band as a youth forced me to sit at a record player (yes I am that old) and listen over and over again to popular music and try and pick out the chords and melodies of the songs we wanted to play.
As time goes by your ear will get stronger and the time listening and doing the sometimes tedious trial an error exercise will become shorter.
These two lessons will give you a very solid foundation and will greatly speed up your progress.
Once you feel you are ready you can go through the piano songs links below and start having some fun at the keyboard.
Play the far and away most recognizable hymn in the world "Amazing Grace". It is estimated that this well loved American gospel song is performed over 10 million times each year.
The song is in AABC form. "Autumn Leaves" offers a popular way for beginning jazz musicians to become acquainted with jazz harmony as the chord progression consists almost solely of ii-V-I and ii-V sequences which are typical of jazz.
Break Every Chain
"Break Every Chain" was originally written and performed by Will Reagan and the United Pursuit Band in 2009. The song was later covered by Jesus Culture in 2011. However, Tasha Cobb's interpretation of the song is the first commercially successful and accepted within the gospel community, of the trio.
Dance Like David Danced
This is a great time tested up tempo praise song by Fred Hammond. Not at all difficult to master!.
Georgia On My Mind
Tired of three chord blues? Georgia on my mind explores using more advanced and interesting blues progressions as well as using the blues scales for improvisation.
Hard Times by Ray Charles
The Genius Sings the Blues is an album by Ray Charles, released in October 1961 on Atlantic Records. The album was his last release for Atlantic, compiling twelve blues songs from various sessions during his tenure for the label. The album showcases Charles's stylistic development with a combination of piano blues, jazz, and southern R&B. Hard Times is one track from this album
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
This Christmas classic has some smooth changes and a great melody and holiday message. It is one of my favorite seasonal songs and I hope this tutorial is helpful.
How Great Thou Art.
A simple three chord spiritual classic that supports your knowledge of basic chord progressions and will help you use your basic keyboard skills
I Can Only Imagine ( MercyMe )
This song has a signature piano intro and uses only three chords in the Key of E major. # 1 on the Christian praise music charts.
I Offer My Life (Don Moen).
A very popular worship song that expands your use of diatonic chords and deals with modulations.
Make You Feel My Love
Adele took an unfamiliar Bob Dylan song from 1997 and turned it into a sad lovers hymn hummed by millions and millions all over the world. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think the song would have had such an impact with a different main instrument. Some songs just demand a piano to get fully delivered and this one is one of them…
Mighty to Save...Hillsong
Misty by Erroll Garner
Learning Jazz Standards such as Misty, a jazz standard written in 1954 by the pianist Erroll Garner, will help you with Jazz Chord Progressions and Jazz Theory in general.
My Life is in Your Hands by Kirk Franklin
Nobody Greater by VaShawn Mitchell
This Nobody Greater piano tutorial breaks down the piano chords and bass lines of this very popular inspirational song by VaShawn Mitchell.
This Christmas classic uses only three basic chords and the video will show you some "hipper" substitute chords you can use as well
This song is really pretty easy to learn. All the chords are diatonic to the key of C except for the II 7 chord (D7).
Silver Bells is one of my favorite secular Christmas Songs and is an example of how effective simple melodies and chord changes can be.
Take Me To the King.
This lesson with video breaks down the chord changes and arrangement to the popular urban gospel song by Tamela Mann
The Christmas Song
Play The Christmas Song on piano using this lesson which provides chords, lyrics, and a video breakdown.
"Unchained Melody" was written in 1955 with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret.
North used the music as a theme for the little-known prison film Unchained, hence the name. It has since become one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, by some estimates having spawned over 500 versions in hundreds of different languages.
When I think about the Lord.
Learn this popular Hillsong worship standard song, and review concepts such as diatonic chords and common chord progressions
White Christmas" is an Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.
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