“If you want to play the piano by ear, the shortest path for adults is to start with piano accompaniment.” This is my advice for people who aim to play the piano by ear and no longer rely on sheet music.

One advantage of sheet music is that it is often very refined and sophisticated, so it requires the pianist who plays it to also be  sophisticated, precise, meticulous and perfect. Some disadvantages are that it does not evoke the creativity or emotion of the player. It can also be very difficult to find sheet music for the songs you love.

If you are a person who wants to express your personality through music, who has an independent, liberal, open and self-reliant personality and wants to truly play the piano with emotion and creativity, then playing the piano by ear is the way for you.

There are three directions for a person to play the piano by ear:

> Direction 1: From playing solo piano with sheet music to learning about chords. the left-hand chord is played by instinct and plays the notes and chords by ear. Playing by ear like this will take you an average of three months (for two-handed solo combination), with an additional three months of practice to play notes and chords by ear (through the method that I am working on in my Piano Solo Method course, scheduled to be released in February 2020)

 

> Direction 2: From piano accompaniment. When playing piano accompaniment, you must get used to playing by chords. Left-hand chords of accompaniment and solo are relatively similar, and playing chords by ear. When switching to solo piano it will take an average of two months (completing basic piano accompaniment), and the next two or three months (for playing piano by ear). That’s why I plan to release the Basic Piano Accompaniment Course (scheduled for release in March 2020) for those who want to approach piano learning in this manner.

 

The results of directions 1 and 2: The results achieved above will allow you to play by ear and play the songs you love in a simple way. To play more skillfully will take more time in order to learn run and fill-in techniques (it takes at least one to two years to master these techniques). These are two suitable directions for people who start learning piano late (from 22 years old onwards) with the desire to play piano for entertainment. These two directions are suitable for those who value creativity and have an open, liberal and modern personality.

> Direction 3: Follow the traditional piano learning method training to play with professional and formal techniques. Study music theory and finger practice (the first one to five months) and read and play with two-handed sheet music (from six months to two years). Each piece learned by the player will be considered a piece for life (because sometimes a song takes three months to complete), and even then they might have to depend on the sheet music depending on their ability.

There are people who will insticutlally learn to play by ear while others cannot, but if they want to switch to learning piano accompaniment or by ear, they will have to start from scratch because there is not a substantial connection between piano accompaniment, playing by ear, and classical piano. However, people playing piano by traditional and classical methods have certain strengths: they have good hand technique, good basics, and can play complex pieces that require fast playing. This learning method is more suitable for children than adults (or adults who are perfectionists and want to learn the formal techniques) because children have plenty of time to learn and practice. Adults often have work and family commitments, making it impossible to invest in studying and practicing piano continuously for one to two years.

For people who have played other instruments such as guitars and organs should follow direction 1 and direction 2. Those who have studied or played other instruments have an advantage over a beginner who has no music background in that they are able to read simple sheet music and understand rhythm and duration.

>> See the article about: Boi Ngoc’s journey to the piano