Just ONCE How to Play Guitar by Ear
Learn one of music's deepest mysteries: how to play songs without relying on music. A very practical presentation of music theory that includes predicting chord progressions, learning from recordings, and transposing-all expressed in everyday language. This is an ideal follow-up to the "Just ONCE Guitar" class and is open to anyone who has a basic understanding of chords on any instrument. Expand your musical horizons, and free yourself from sheet-music dependence, and be the life of the party! Prior experience with guitar chords recommended. Materials fee of $29.00 for the How to Play Guitar by Ear Book and Practice CD will be collected in class by the instructor.
- How to find the starting note of a song
- How to determine when chords change
- How to predict the chord progression
- How the melody helps you find the correct chords
- How to learn songs from recordings in all keys
- How to transpose
- The Universal Key Signature
- How to use the Circle of Fifths
- How to recognize the most common chord patterns
There is a registration fee collected by the sponsor (college or recreation program) ahead of time. This fee varies from location to location. For the exact fee contact the class sponsor listed on the "enroll in a class" page on this website. Often this class is offered on a Saturday afternoon back to back with the Just ONCE Guitar class. A discount is usually offered to students who attend both classes on the same day. This discount is usually around $10.
Additionally there is a $29 materials fee for the workbook and practice CD collected in class by the instructor. Everything covered in the class is also covered on this CD which is designed for home practice and study. (Often these 2 fees are combined and collected by the sponsor. If you have a question about the materials fee be sure to ask your sponsor about this fee.)
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you mean by "Playing By Ear"?
When we talk about "playing by ear" we are talking about creating music without the use of any written material of any kind. You simply have a song memorized in your head and you want to play it.
What is the difference between the Just ONCE Guitar class and this second class on "Playing By Ear"?
The first class - Just ONCE Guitar will give you the basics of how to strum simple chords on your guitar. This second class - Just ONCE Guitar by Ear - builds on the information in the first class and will teach you how to pick out simple melodies by ear without the help of written music of any kind. It will also teach you how to put the chords together with these melodies and make your music into a song (again, without the use of any kind of written music). When you understand some basic facts about how music is put together this is easy to do.
I have often asked people who play by ear how they do this and they can't even begin to explain it. Don't you have to have a really special talent to do this?
This is a very common misconception about playing "by ear". The reason people think that people who do this are "musical geniuses" is a combination of things. First, this concept is almost never taught by instructors, and in addition when people are asked about how they do this, they almost always give a very unhelpful answer like, "I don't know, I just do it". The truth is, no one is born "playing by ear". It is a LEARNED skill and actually very easily learned.
I am an absolute beginner. Is it really possible for me to take this class and learn this skill?
If you can hear and remember music and you know a little bit about scales and chords you can learn to play by ear. Many guitar players have never played any other way. The joke is often made, "If you want to shut up the guitar player, put some music in front of him because he doesn't know what it is."
How can I remember what you teach when I go home?
Everything covered in the class is also covered in the book and also on the practice CD you take home with you. There are 15 songs to learn "by ear" on the CD. You follow along with the book and imitate the recording.