One of the biggest struggles we go through as pianists is coming to terms with how long it takes to learn a song at the piano, especially at the beginning stages. Practicing certain things over and over especially if it's taking a while to get it down can be hard work.
The good news is with working smarter you can get better and faster. The best news is you can save a buttload of time today by learning the #1 secret I use every day to learn songs quicker than anyone around me.
Have you ever wondered how some musicians can encounter a song for the first time and within a few seconds be able to play the same song as if they’d been playing it for years?
Imagine yourself sitting at the piano to play a song you’ve never played before and within a matter of seconds playing it the way it sounds on the recording. No tricks, no tactics, no years of lessons and no sheet music.
Skip down to the video below to reveal the first step. Read on to hear the secret.
Now I want to make sure you’re ready to hear it before I tell you and you understand how powerful this is.
Constantly still to this day I am asked how I know what to play immediately, in real time, after hearing a song without having to practice it AT ALL.
I’m asked this by my students and by people who see me perform songs live on the spot having never played them before.
The first time I shared this info. with my students they were able to play full songs within a couple of weeks. Now they can play a full song in the time it takes to have a lesson.
Can they play it perfectly the first day? Of course not. They need to polish it just like anything else and in time they’ll be able to play on the spot. But they’re playing it! But with practice they have been able to get to the point of playing what they want and making it sound like they’ve known it for years.
Understand however that we’re not talking about some simple reduction that a child can play, we’re talking learning the song and making it sound authentic and like the original.
Okay…are you ready? Here it is.
My ears. That’s it. I use them every day when I ACTIVELY listen to music (and there’s a difference between ACTIVE and PASSIVE listening but that’s for another post.)
Now ears are the “what” and that’s not as important as the “how.” How to use your ears is the key to mastering learning a song quicker than you ever thought possible.
I’m talking about listening to it ONCE and getting it DONE.
This is an actual piece of advice I found on the internet from someone trying to instruct someone else how to learn piano by ear.
"Think of a song that you have never played before. Now try to play it without sheet music. Find a new song and repeat this again and again. As time goes you get more accurate with both melody and chords. When you become comfortable with playing basic songs by ear I recommend to start improvising."
Now there’s nothing wrong with the idea of what this person’s trying to convey but do you really think this is going to help the other person actually learn this way? No! They’re going to look at the comment and say “oh, okay I’ll do that” and then forget about it forever.
Or worse yet they actually DO take action but then they run into a problem and get stuck. How do they know how to overcome that problem? How do they know if they did something wrong or even where to start?
Eventually they get frustrated and stop trying. That’s the worst and I will NOT let that happen to you.
Now let me get this cleared up because right about now you’re saying but Harry, it’s different because you were born with the “gift of music”. FALSE.
I wasn’t born with this skill. I worked really hard at it. I stumbled upon learning by ear almost as a mistake at a really young age so there is an element of accidental luck but I still had to work my ass off.
You see I didn’t know how to read music at 7 years old but I really wanted to learn my favorite songs so I did the only thing I could do.
I listened to and I meticulously played EVERY single note I heard coming from the cassette player (I’m dating myself here) onto the piano. This was hours and hours and hours of work for me.
But in time I developed a strategic system that worked for me and that’s been proven to work time and time again with my students and others I’ve helped over the years.
This helped me master my ear training with absolutely zero experience. However had I known what to listen for it wouldn’t have taken me that long.
And it won’t for you either.
I want to show you the first step in learning how to use your ears to learn music faster with this video.
Harry L. Rios
Founder of HarryLRios.com
Harry L. Rios.com