Learn to play the Piano BY EAR using the powerful technique of
For those who have had traditional piano lessons in the past, this technique will enable you to break away from written sheet music and learn to play any song on the piano or the keyboard by ear.
For beginning piano students, this technique is an ideal way to quickly gain an understanding of music and learn to play any song on the piano or keyboard by ear!
In this website, you’ll get a chance to HEAR the Rhythmic Patterns technique in action. First, I’ll play one simple rhythmic pattern on the piano for you in three places –
- High on the keyboard
- Midway up the keyboard
- Down low on the keyboard
You’ll quickly hear that although this pattern is being played in different places on the keyboard, it sounds the same. And you’re exactly right – each Rhythmic Pattern is played in exactly the same way in any location on the keyboard!
Immediately, we’ll move into some piano music and play an entire song with just this one simple pattern.
Next, we’ll learn a second pattern and play the same song again – this time however, we’ll alternate patterns one and two for a unique sound on the keyboard.
Suddenly, you have some variety as you learn how to play the piano. Sound like your old piano lessons? No way!
The key here is that you’ll soon be able to mix and match all these patterns to come up with your own unique musical sound.
Click here to read more
As the piano lessons online begin to progress:
You’ll simply learn many more patterns, and learn to mix and match them – any way you like – to create fantastic arrangements of any song – BY EAR! Once you’ve got an arsenal of patterns under your hands, you’ll be ready to move into the Online Advanced Piano Lessons. These lessons feature “Style Development”, or learning to create different styles using specific voicings, riffs and patterns that are unique to each style of music. Our blues piano lessons section is one of the most popular sites on the net for those wanting to learn to play. It contains many hours of free piano lessons that will help you heat it up on the keyboard!
And you thought piano lessons were boring? Get ready – you’re about to enter a whole new musical world.
My story as a piano lessons teacher:
My name is David Sprunger, president of Music Unlimited Inc., based out of Southern Oregon, USA. Our principal piano lessons website begins on this page, and has grown over the years to facilitate over 100,000 online piano lesson students worldwide. Incredible.
My very first beginning piano lessons were with Mona. What a crush I had on Mona. At five, I’m sure I was quite impressionable, but I still remember running back home because I realized I might be late for my lessons with Mona. Every week she plays piano at my folk’s church, and I will never forget her inspiration back then. I don’t remember why my parents moved me on from playing piano with Mona to taking piano lessons with Carol, but I guess it was time for the next step in my piano lesson career, and Carol had a more formal music education based in classical music that would become my next musical stepping stone.
Carol’s approach to piano lessons was also the classic American lesson plan, but she also had quite an extensive background in Classical music from Europe as well as a solid grounding in music theory. I have many memories of Carol being surprised that I would say “The music doesn’t sound good that way”. She would always respond that the music was written a certain way and it was my job to learn it as written, and then modify it later to my liking. I always respected that approach, because she made me realize that it’s easy to improvise badly, but it’s hard to learn the solid grounding of legit music first which would lead to a great understanding of music, with the possibility to improvise well as a result.
By the time I hit my junior year of high school, it began to be “cool” to play music and my piano lessons were something I began to be grateful for. The great thing for me was that I got to play piano for the girl’s choir and go on all their trips. They always treated me like their younger brother though, so I was relatively safe. Plus, I was a geek. Thank God for that.
While I was busy taking piano lessons from Carol, Jim Howe was feeding me a steady diet of rock and roll tapes. One tape that really pushed my buttons was “Pretzel Logic” by Steely Dan. What was this new musical sound? It sure wasn’t Keith Green, but I loved it and began to sit and play the keyboard while listening to their music. I began to think that rock piano lessons were in my future… if you’re not familiar with Steely Dan, they are a fantastic mix of Rock and Jazz music.
In my senior year of high school, I had enough credits so that I didn’t have to go fulltime. In the afternoons, I took music appreciation, music theory and advanced piano lessons up at the local junior college, “College of the Siskiyous”, in Weed California. Now Weed is a town of seemingly little consequence. But great things come in small packages, and this town is no exception. COS turned out to be a fantastic music school!
My first introduction to jazz piano lessons came from Mr. Ron Hoopes, who vainly tried to get me to swing. Although I failed in that attempt, his piano lessons did infuse my head and hands with many of the chord structures and melodic invention styles of jazz piano. One of the greatest gifts that Ron ever gave me was the day he opened up our piano lesson time with a study of “voicings”, or ways to spread the notes of a chord out on the piano. I resolved to take the chord voicings that Ron taught me and play them around the circle of 4ths until they came naturally and I didn’t have to do the musical math in my head. An amazing thing happened! After awhile, my hands started gradually playing the correct voicing shapes without help from my brain! What a revelation.
The music faculty of COS boasted other internationally acclaimed teachers that really shaped my musical education: “Roger Emerson”, who rocked the school with his passionate vocal jazz program, was (and still is) the number one pop music writer for school choirs (Hal Leonard Music, Inc.) One of the most influential things Roger taught me was “You perform like you practice”. Boy did I ever find that to be true. Thanks Roger. “George Mattos” is another music teacher from COS that is famous in my mind. Although I never heard him play piano, this wonderful man had a passion for music theory like no one else I have ever met! In fact, now that I am doing piano lessons on the internet, I frequently will produce a music lesson video that has some tidbit of George’s in it. Thank you, Mr. Mattos – I appreciate and have benefited greatly from your musical passion.
Benefits of Online Piano Lessons:
- Fantastic course of study for home-schoolers – an ideal way for homeschool kids to learn piano is to study online piano lessons. Browse our extensive online Video free Piano Lessons library covering a wide range of musical styles.
- Children who are taking piano lessons with a local teacher usually get the basic skills needed to build a musical foundation. However, the skill of learning to play piano by ear is very specialized, and teachers with this specialty cannot be found in most local communities. Online beginner piano lessons can be a great supplement to their education.
- Adults and Piano Lessons – Local teachers that have the ability to teach adults to play piano by ear are few and far between. Instead, look for piano lessons online which can be self paced and quite extensive.
- Maybe you have a desire to take piano lessons, but think that you may just be too busy. Online music lessons are an ideal way to fit music into your schedule! For those that do not have a teacher at all, look for online easy piano lessons that begin from the ground up. A great place to start is at the top of this page. (Our “Original Course”)
- For people who already have a piano teacher, online piano lessons are a fantastic way to gain the additional skill of playing piano by ear. If you took piano lessons as a child, are now returning as an adult, and would like to learn to play piano by ear – you’ll find that this is a fantastic way to quickly get your hands on some music. Again, our “Original Course” (Top of this page) is an ideal place to start.
- If you are not sure you are ready to commit to a local music teacher, going through our online piano lessons is an excellent way to check if the piano will be the right instrument for you.
- If you are already involved in music, but want to expand your knowledge of music theory, go through our piano lessons at the top of this page. The first 20 minutes cover the fundamentals of music – how piano chords work and interact to form a song.
- Self paced – this is a hallmark of online learning. Since you can study on the computer (or via DVD) on your own time, your music study can be as intensive, or easy as you like. Maybe you are on the road all day and would simply like to practice music at home without having to go out to yet another appointment. Online Piano and Keyboard Lessons fit the bill here: fire up your computer and practice!
An Overview of the “Rhythmic Patterns” Course:
Traditional old style piano lessons require you to play the melody in the right hand and chords in the left. As a result, the right hand is forever obligated to “plunk out” the melody while the left hand must carry the bulk of the chords. Using these old techniques, there is a limit to how full your arrangements will sound as you play, because your primary hand is taken up with the duty of always playing the melody. There’s a better way!
Professional keyboard players learn to play complimentary PATTERNS “around” the melody and let a 2nd instrument (or voice) take the melody, staying out of it’s way. This is where creative, full arrangements come from. This is what I will teach you.
So for the beginning of the course, I’ll teach you to simply SING the melody while your hands play full, rich patterns. A whole lot of fun and you can do it right away. This course has proven to be very effective for absolute beginners, as well as seasoned players who would like to be able to learn to play piano by ear. When you become an accomplished “pattern” player and you would like to play solo, (no singing or other instruments), you will be able to insert the melody back into your patterns and maintain full, rich arrangements. These are not the piano lessons your grandma had!
Question: “I’ve noticed that some people can sit down and play by ear without having to refer to sheet music. Are they using PATTERNS to do this?”
Answer: Exactly. Although they may not be able to articulate it, (“I’m not sure how I do it… it’s just a gift…”) many times they’re instinctively using patterns to create new song arrangements “by ear”. Once you understand this technique, learning to play the piano by ear without the need for sheet music is no longer a mystery, it’s a skill that can be mastered quickly.
Question: “How can I take these simple ‘patterns’ and really make the music come alive?”
Answer: You’re about to learn the number 1 secret to this course: After learning just a few simple patterns, I’ll teach you how to combine these simple patterns in an infinite variety of ways to create your own unique, rich arrangement of any song.