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Play Piano By Ear

Play Piano By Ear

By Morgan Showalter
Learn how to play piano by ear! In this podcast you’ll learn the “secret” those people seem to have who can just sit down and play a song they heard! Everything from practice ideas, to ways to start as a beginner, to advanced improv techniques, this podcast is for the music lover with a passion for learning!
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PIANO EXAMPLES: How to Play Any Song in Any Key
OF ANY EPISODE, LISTEN TO THIS ONE! A lot of you have requested that I include piano examples in my podcast. This episode is it! It’s a piano lesson on how to play any song in any key. I literally walk you through the steps and practice exercises to take the first step in understanding this seemingly “impossible” skill. There is a very tangible way to learn to play by ear, and this episode outlines and demystifies the thought process behind that!
September 19, 2022
Finale and GarageBand Tutorial
I use Finale and GarageBand to write digital sheet music. Here’s some great tips with getting started (and things I wish someone else would have walked me through when I was first learning these programs.)
September 12, 2022
Life Updates / Live Lessons Opportunity
Hear what I’m up to this summer, ways you can take lessons with me in June 2022, and a behind the scenes scoop on running a business!
June 02, 2022
Composition Lesson
Recently I taught a student how to compose a song. This episode takes you through that whole process along with us!
April 29, 2022
Life Updates / Keeping a Song Flowing / Student Story
The title says it all. :) I’m exited to share some life updates as well as offer 4 keys to keeping a song flowing when you make it up on the spot. Stay till the end for a fun student story.
June 26, 2021
Why the I, IV, V Progression Resets Your Ear to a New Key
This episode covers sooooo many fun things!!! What is the I, IV, V progression? Why is it played so often before a song? Where does the “one, four, five” come from anyway? And some cool bonuses: what does God have to say about harmony? What is a minor diminished chord? How does the minor diminished chord relate to the V7 chord? And lots of examples on the piano with a song composed on the spot.
May 16, 2021
Chord Examples at the Piano
I’ll be playing through some favorite chord progressions (dramatic/happy/calm) and using the piano to describe how chords sound different depending how you play them.
February 20, 2021
Great Ways to Begin Chord Charts
In this episode I tell you what to google to find great piano chord charts. I also explain ways to begin playing the chord charts on the piano.
February 07, 2021
How to Count Rhythms You Make Up
As playing-by-ear musicians, we often come up with fun little tunes in our head. This episode describes how to take one of those tunes and figure out the rhythm. Listen til the end to hear a clear, easy example! (It starts with a harder one!!)
January 13, 2021
What My Practicing Looked Like
This episode describes how I would practice - by ear and also with my piano books. There’s a great way you can use each technique to lead into the other. Guidelines give opportunity for creativity! Learn effective ways to enhance your practice time!
December 29, 2020
Hymns by Ear - 3rd Instrumental
Variation/medley of well-known hymns - all by ear. Includes: Great is Thy Faithfulness, A Mighty Fortress, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, Blessed Assurance, Amazing Grace, Morning Has Broken, and more. 😊
December 20, 2020
Songs from My Heart
This is the second episode of 100% piano instrumental music - songs from my heart. It’s all by ear and I’m just playing wherever the music flows! Listen for a variety of key and rhythm changes.
December 13, 2020
The Circle of 5ths Within the Circle of 5ths Within the Circle of 5ths!
Personally, this is my favorite topic to explore when it comes to the piano! I didn’t learn about the circle of 5ths until after 5 years of piano lessons. Once I learned it, it was like a lightbulb went on in my head! Chords made sense, and I could play any song in any key by ear! This episode explores the amazing connection of the circle of 5ths - there are circles within circles! I so wish this concept was taught in every introductory piano book!
December 08, 2020
Inside My Brain for a Song by Ear
Ever wonder what goes on inside someone’s brain when they’re playing by ear? Here, I’ll take you on a little tour through my mind as I play a song by ear and I’ll explain each segment of the song at the piano.
December 05, 2020
Play Your First Chord Inversion!
This episode is basically a free piano lesson on playing your first chord inversion. There’s 3 ways to play the same chord!! I’m at my piano and will be playing along so you can hear the notes!
December 04, 2020
The Fun Non-Traditional Way to Learn Scales
Did you know you can take 3 chords on the piano and instantly turn them into a scale? In this episode I’m super excited to share a non-traditional way to learn scales! I also compare it to the traditional method and describe the differences and pros and cons of each.
December 03, 2020
Can Playing by Ear Actually Be Taught?
I get this question all the time! I love answering this question! It is not a scary question! This podcast episode is my answer to the question.
December 02, 2020
Instrumental - Piano Christmas Music by Ear
This episode is pure instrumental music!! I’m playing by ear at my piano. :) Listen to a medley of Christmas songs blended together in a variety of keys.
December 01, 2020
How to Group Chords Together to Learn and Memorize Quickly
The 12 major chords can be broken down into 4 groups of 3. This helps to learn and memorize the chords quickly! Find out what the patterns are in this episode.
November 30, 2020
Why “Happy Birthday” is Not Easy to Play by Ear
Join me as I go through “Happy Birthday” note by note and explain why this song is not as intuitive as it seems!
November 28, 2020
All the Weird Chords
If you look at a chord chart, it appears that there’s a huge variety of chords like D2, G7, Asus, F#m, Bm and so on - not as easy as C, G, D, and the basic 12 major chords. In this episode I explain all about those chords. All you do is take the basic chord and alter it. Here’s how.
November 27, 2020
Backwards Piano Teaching - Let’s Jump to the Fun Stuff!
Hear me thank my dad for my car oil right at the beginning of this episode! 😂 This episode is about the way piano should be taught - forwards AND BACKWARDS!! There’s a lot of knowledge that is not tapped into until someone has taken YEARS of piano! This needs to change! I’ll be talking about all the “juicy piano stuff” that should be taught earlier on in lessons!
November 26, 2020
How Many Chords Are There?
There are 5,286 chords on the piano! (Just kidding!!) Actually, the answer might surprise you! Also, don’t miss the free giveaway described in this episode - there’s not just one winner - every listener can get it!
November 25, 2020
How to Instantly Play Any Song
This episode explains how to “predict” what a melody is - in other words, how to hear and melody and know what notes to play on the piano.
November 24, 2020
So Easy You Can’t Miss! - Learn Your First Piano Chord
In this episode, I reveal all the tips and tricks of the method I use to teach students their first piano chord! This is so easy that I even have 5 year old students playing chord arpeggios in just a few weeks!
November 21, 2020
Why First Guitar Lesson is More Fun than First Piano Lesson 😮
Learn what guitar methods got RIGHT that piano methods MISSED!! So, I am biased toward piano, but I’ve got to say, guitar teaching methods have one up on the piano methods! Guitarists are doing something right that pianists NEED TO LEARN! Find out what it is in this episode!
November 20, 2020
Q&A: Do You Practice Playing by Ear?
True or false: People who play by ear - they just, POOF, play anything by ear - no practice, no effort, no knowledge, no idea how they do what they do... is that really how it works? (NO!!) So how do you practice playing by ear???
November 20, 2020
You Need to Know This Cool Chord Connection!
This is something not taught in traditional theory piano books! The diatonic chords from the major scale parallel to the major chords on the circle of fifths and their relative minor chords! Understanding this connection will boost your ability at playing chords by ear!
November 20, 2020
How Classical Training Helps OR Hinders Playing by Ear
There’s a lot of ways classical training is beneficial to playing by ear but also a lot (more) ways where it can hinder someone from making the change from sheet music to improv! Here’s a variety of pros and cons!
November 19, 2020
Demystifying Worship Team Chord Charts
Here’s the things I wish I’d have known when I began to play piano on a church worship team. There were a lot of things that were assumed or expected that I didn’t know which were totally different from my classical background!
November 18, 2020
What Does it Mean to “Play by Ear?”
There’s a lot of different ideas that might come to mind when we think of playing piano by ear. In this episode I go through a lot of those ideas and also give my definition of what it means to play by ear!
November 18, 2020
My Music Story - How I Learned to Play by Ear
There are 3 influential experiences that helped me learn to play piano by ear. In this episode I share those experiences!
November 18, 2020