Minstrel’s Corner – By Ear
October 28, 2010
Something I’ve always thought as a neat ability among musicians is the ability to play music by ear. By this, I don’t mean those people who can replicate exactly everything they hear. That takes a certain level of talent that I’ll probably never achieve. I simply refer to the ability to think of a tune in your head and then produce it on your instrument.
In theory, it’s not a particularly complicated technique. You just need to be able to identify the pitch you want to play, and then it’s just a matter of pressing the right key. Once you get good enough, you’ll eventually skip the middle step and go straight from the pitch to the instrument.
Here’s a pretty cool program I’ve been using to practice this. It throws out random note(or chords) and asks you to identify it. Like everything else, it just comes down to finding the time to practice.