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Playing by Ear

Learning to play by ear is the ultimate goal when learning any musicial instrument. This series of lessons is designed to get you to that goal. Whether it's melodies or chords, it can be done.

PUBLISHED: Jan 1, 2003 UPDATED: Jan 1, 2003 • VIEWS: 6 • SERIES CODE: UL06

4 Lessons in the “Playing by Ear” Series

Playing by Ear - The Ultimate Goal • Updated: Oct 8, 2015

Playing by ear is the ultimate goal for any musician when playing a musical instrument. It’s true whether you’re singing, banging a drum, strumming a guitar, or our favorite instrument, the ukulele.

If your fingers can already interpret and follow what your inner ear commands, you’ve obtained your goal and are playing by ear. However, the fact is that it's actually very uncommon for individuals to be able to play by ear with no apparent effort.

Playing by Ear - Melodies • Updated: Jun 11, 2019

Playing melodies, licks, riffs, motifs, single note lines by ear is all about getting your ear to recognize intervals and train the fingers-the hand to follow your inner ear and play these melodies on demand.

Playing by Ear - Chords • Updated: Oct 6, 2016

Playing chords, chord progressions, and songs by ear is all about getting your ear to recognize the sound of chords and chord progressions and just like melodies, train the fingers and the hand to follow your inner ear and play these chords, chord progressions, and songs on demand.

This training involves the mind, hands and ear. Of the three the hands always need the most work as they can't hear or understand anything - only what they have been trained to do so.

Playing by Ear - Rhythm • Updated: Jun 18, 2016

Playing rhythm by ear is all about getting your ear to recognize the sound of rhythm and just like melodies, train the fingers and the hands to follow your inner ear and play these rhythms on demand. Learning to play rhythms using a monotone, one note or sound is a lot easier to learn than learning to hear and play melodies.

Rhythm is best learned using Chuck Anderson's Modular Phonetic Rhythm System. I've had nothing but success using this system with my personal private students.

Modular Phonetic Rhythm represents a significant advance in the teaching and application of rhythm. Eliminating many inefficient aspects of rhythm education, Modular Phonetic Rhythm streamlines the traditional educational approach, resulting in a reflexive reaction when play rhythm.

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Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

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