In today’s music lesson, we will look at the three-step process for learning music by ear.
Learning by ear is a tradition that goes back to the beginning of man. In present times, learning music by ear takes on a different format due to the growth of technology. Most people nowadays learn a song by ear either from an internet source, such as YouTube or Spotify, or from someone teaching him/her by ear. If you ever want to learn a song by ear, find it on an internet source and follow this quick step by step process.
Write down the lyrics
While there are a handful of popular songs without lyrics, most will have lyrics which not only define the mood of the song, but also will help you remember the melody. Listen to the song you want to learn, and write down the lyrics while listening to the song. After you have them written down, try to sing along with the recording, and eventually see if you can sing along to the song without looking at your lyrics sheet. Once you can sing along with the recording while not looking at your lyrics sheet, try to play the melody on your instrument.
Write down the chords that you hear
While writing down the chords of a song can seem like a mountain to climb, the mountain is deceptively tiny. Listen to the song for about three to four chord changes and continue listening to that short passage on repeat. See if you can figure out what chords the band is playing.
If you are having trouble figuring out a specific chord, play chords on your instrument until you find a chord that sounds right. After this, play along with the recording to check your work. For additional help, a lot of internet sources have the ability to slow a song down. Use this frequently! It will help a lot!
Once you know the chords from this passage, write them down in the way that will best help you, such as writing the chords above or below the lyrics that you wrote down before. After you have all of the chords written down, play along with the recording! Remember: you can always slow down the recording if playing along with it is difficult.
Check your work
Most people listen to a recording to gather lyrics and chords, and many people make mistakes. Feel free to ask your teacher if the chords are correct and they will be able to help you. If you have a couple of chords wrong, that isn’t a problem at all because learning songs by ear is a process. No one ever gets it perfect their first time doing it. However, the more times you use the three-step process for learning music by ear, the better you’ll get at it.