and Play Songs by Ear...
web site specializes in teaching people how to play the piano by ear. On their web site,
you'll notice one particular article that discusses the
differences between musicians who play piano from sheet music
and others who play by ear. Specifically, the article highlights the advantages of playing by ear.
Here are three of the many examples cited
in the article...
Playing Piano by Ear
can instantly recognize chords that are played in
songs even without being at a piano."
How does this help you? Because you are able to learn songs faster and easier because you
understand exactly why certain chords are played at certain points in songs.
not required to memorize chord progressions (pattern of
chords played one after the other) because once you learn to play piano by ear,
you'll automatically be inclined to know what chord to play next."
In other words, you'll just know in your gut what comes next. How does this help you? It allows you to improvise and add your own "flavor" to the song.
This is especially advantageous when playing in a church as you
can never predict how long a song will be sung or what key the
singer might resolve to. In a band, this might be helpful if the
leader simply instructs everyone to surprisingly repeat a part
of the song or change the key in which the song is currently
being played in.
3) "Playing piano by ear allows you to use the same methods to play virtually any
song you want (most songs, anyway; a composition by Mozart will likely take more practice than other songs)."
How does this help you? It saves you the money and time of having to go out and buy the
sheet music to a song, since you'll already know how to play using your ability to recognize melodies, chords, and
progressions. However, buying the sheet music isn't a bad idea
if you want to learn specific parts to songs that have high
levels of complexity."
I could really go on about this article,
but why don't you read the
article in its entirety yourself?
If you're serious about taking your piano playing
to the next level, you might want to consider taking Hear and Play up on
their 300-pg course, "The Secrets to Playing Piano by Ear").
All the best,
The Free Sheet Music
P.S. - There's also a little section in the article that talks
about major and minor scales, chords, and progressions. Check
out that section too.