Friday, February 5, 2010

Playing By Ear...

I've been trying to teach myself how to play the piano. I have a keyboard, so I figured how hard could it be?

Years ago my parents shipped me off to some woman's house for piano lessons. I only vaguely remember this; the memory is filed somewhere in the back of my mind. It's funny how people have such selective memory; there are reams of memories stored in the brain, but many can't be accessed no matter how hard one tries.

I recall learning how to play "I love coffee, I love tea" on the piano. I can still play it to some extent. My fingers have tried to remember the right keys. Not that there's any great need for me to be able to play this song in 2010. My father always played by ear and I'm trying to do it, too.

I only got so far with my childhood piano lessons. Who knows why. Maybe lack of money, maybe I was bored, maybe I didn't want to practice at home. Kids would usually rather play with toys than sit and listen to a grown-up try to teach them something.

So this morning I sat down at the keyboard and tried to play a song. I've got the notes figured out and now I just have to learn the chords. I'm stubborn like that. I'll keep tickling those ivories until I get it right.

There are plenty of self-taught musicians. Joni Mitchell is one I know of. She certainly did okay for herself.

Practice, practice, practice!


  1. That sounds very much like my experience with piano lessons. I know at some point, way in the past, I could read the music. Now, I think it just gets in the way. I could always play by ear.

  2. Good for you!

    I tried to learn the piano, but I'm not built for musical instruments, it appears. ;-)


  3. Good for you! My experiences with piano lessons were limited like yours, but I think I could relearn some of that. Maybe I'll try and do this myself.