Play Piano by Ear 1 | Chord Theory | Anton Dann | Skillshare

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Play Piano by Ear 1 | Chord Theory

teacher avatar Anton Dann, Pianist and Content Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. How to play by ear

    • 3. Interval Basics

    • 4. Thirds

    • 5. Major and Minor Thirds

    • 6. Building complete chords

    • 7. Example 2: F-Major

    • 8. Recap

    • 9. Seventh Chords

    • 10. Major Seventh Chords (maj7)

    • 11. Feel of Seventh Chords

    • 12. Final Recap

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About This Class

Ear Training 1: Music Theory Crash CourseĀ 

"Ear Training" is a series of online courses about hearing and understanding music by ear.

You will develop a feeling for different chords, understand their progression and be able to hear a song and replicate it on the piano. You first go through a short music theory crash course, then followed by hearing the different chord types (major, minor, seventh, maj7, etc...) and some intervals.

After that we take a look at some songs and their chord progressions to get a feeling how some chords work or might not work together.

Thank you for your interest and have fun learning! :)

Meet Your Teacher

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Anton Dann

Pianist and Content Creator


My name is Anton and I am a cinematographer and pianist from Germany!

I am truly passionate about teaching and sharing my knowledge and experience with you, so if you want to learn to play the piano and pick up some film making skills on the way you are in the right place.


Check out my courses below and start learning right away!

See full profile

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1. Introduction: hi and welcome to this online course. In this course, you gonna learn how to play any song you like, just for listening to it by ear on the piano. So you might be interested for a long time to Yeah, just listen to a song and then played on the piano without learning the boring theory. And this may be confusing jazz and pop music theory. So maybe I can teach you with just the basics about courts and melody, about listening to songs, analyzing them a little bit and then getting to the piano and just play without learning notes without learning the theory behind it. Just we just gotten covers like a little bit of theory, only melody and courts. So just the basics. Don't worry. It's gonna be very short. And you will be ready to play on the piano just by listening to songs and just what year? In No time. So, yeah, let's get right to it. All right. So modern pop songs are more in Western music. It's usually built like you have a melody on top and then the courts below. So the courts and that fact are the feeling of a song. So I think we all know what ability is exactly. It's like sang by the singer or plate with the instrument in the band. So in most songs we have nor the on top and below, we have something called like Hearts Course. Our harmony is used to support the feeling of a song you want to convey to the audience. So cards or, in other words, harmony. It's the feeling of a song. So if you want, or maybe why a song sounds happy, are said, it's because they use major or minor courts were going to go into that a little bit later, so it doesn't have the Melby. It's the thing that you here that's the most prominent in the song. The melody in front, for example, like that. That's Melody. You hear that? A line going through and the carts? We'll all that. That's the feeling So that play it Theis Melody, for example, that I just made it up and I play It feels happy EMS and that again a bit. Maybe I was a minor Corton that it's on the live with more moody in the middle a little bit said actually, so this feeling this sad are happy. Feeling is achieved with harmony with courts. You can think, of course, are harmony, like the seasoning to food you can eat like plain rice, for example. It works your get fool, and you're satisfied. But it's boring, and it doesn't taste delicious. So you need sauces and seasoning and all that stuff to enjoy the food. So the melody is like the plain rice, for example, the plane pasta, I think I don't know. And the sauce and the seasoning that's the cars around it. It gives you the feeling that you enjoy it so or it can think off like a drawing. Drawing without color is only the melody, and if you add color so wrapped blue and shades and everything, you make the whole picture complete, then you at the courts like harmony is the color to a drawing are the seasoning to foods you can think about like that 2. How to play by ear: Okay, so we know all that. But now what's the plan for learning a piece just by year? So the first I would be to find the first note the person of singing are playing on the lead instrument in the band because when we know that step that key that note where the song begins, we can just go from there and just look at the steps. They're going with ability. So if the first note would be this a and the person sings, Ah, uh ah, sorry, I don't have a singer, but try to find the baby and instincts and then we have to find way. Have to find the note, which the person singing. And then we can go step by step and find every Mel of you note that the person is singing our plane and just by that, just but that the interval steps. So each step, from one note to another, we confined the whole money off the song. It may be trickier. Sometimes, if they're person is singing with many flats or sharps, then it's not easy to find out. But just try to step us that find melody. If you're very new to playing songs just but here. It's not that easy to to hear. The courts are the harmony below a song because for the big for beginner, kind off piano player than our into music, it's very like you're only here, the melody on top and there's something below it you don't really notice are recognized what it is. But when you know the melody, for example, the first note, let's take this a again. There are only limited options, which courts on which court can be below that note. So we haven't a now. The first logical thing would be to try a major because it's in a right, but maybe it's sad, so it's a minor. So try to listen to the song. If it's more on that note, if it's more sad than my probably minor and if it sounds a little bit happy, are energetic, it's probably major. Now we have a in the melody and a in the melody, but we can have several calls not only a major and a minor as the harmony we can have F major, for example, because it contains in a a major, for example, they see sharp e the lowest notice A. But in F major, for example, the middle note isn't a for example, D Minor also works with eight because the highest note in D minor is also a So, as you can see, several calls can contain the same note. So watch out which court is below the note you're trying to find trying out the major and minor caught on the note is the first step. But you shouldn't stop there if it doesn't sound right so you can have seventh cards on top . Like which you don't hear it in the first place, maybe, or you have diminished carts on top. So, yeah, I need the court. Is the more horror part on trying to play by ear? Okay, here's an example. So we found the first court on the first note off the song, so we know in which key the sound starts on the first note. But when do we know if there's a key change Harmony change in that song. So so harmony change is noticeable when there's a change in feeling off a song. So maybe it starts happy in Major, and then it goes to that. No again now, playing that only in the first course. So letting that first F major chord remained through the whole melody and don't do any change, it stays happy. So if you listen to a silent noticed that something like that that happens now, it sounds head heavy set. So if you notice there's a change in the feeling of a song, it goes from happy to sad all from happy to dramatic. Then there's a changing cars in new harmony, so then you would have to find a new court for. 3. Interval Basics: Okay, let's start with the basics. So, like I said, I just want to teach you the basics off theory and harmony theory. So let's stick with the ability again, because remember, it was the first step to play any song by year. So the melody, like I said, it's just intervals. So what are intervals? Intervals are just one key to the other key to another key. So this was would be 1/4 R. That would be 1/3. Okay, don't worry. Just the basics. We only and I have to learn. Some intervals are the most important ones. So I think the most important interval in music is that hurt. So, for example, from C, you can count the notes three notes. So this is the third or other way to arrive in just a few, just for three years. Okay, so why is the third so important? 4. Thirds: gonna do a little bit off course here. So to build a court and music, you need three notes and three very specific notes. You start with the first note with a bass note. So we have a CEO. Who So the court we're building here has to start with a C. So we're building a C chord here. We don't know if it's major or minor yet because we only have two first notice. So the lowest note in a chord gives information about its A C major f major battle blah. So, see, I see. Okay, now the next step to build accord, we have to use the third. So this is why the third is so important. Okay, so third brought iffy. Seemed to CS and E. 5. Major and Minor Thirds: and now this part is a little bit confusing. At the beginning, there are major and minor intervals, so 1/3 can exist in major or in minor position. So this, for example, see and e if, major So a major third and the other one just play it with a black here. So we just do the flat here to make that into a e flat. So you use that black Blackie. Now we have C and E flats, and this makes it, um minor third, So three minus. Okay. So in the beginning, I said, we don't know if it's, ah see, Major or C minor court. So a C major court sounds happy. And the c minor sounds a little bit sad, a little bit moody. Okay, Yeah. We didn't know if it's major so happy or minor. But now we know because we used either a major, major third. So this what bills into a C major card or into a C minor card 6. Building complete chords: now the last, nor that we needs to make it a complete carte in Music is the next one. The fifth just always relatively seem to the first night of the bass note. So the next one what be the G? So C g is 1/5 C and G. Okay, it doesn't matter if it's a major or minor court, it's always the fifth. So the first, the bass note and the highest note to the fifth in the case. It's always the same, the one that would be changed to make major or minor if the middle notes. So this would be a perfect C major and this is a C minor court. The only difference is the middle note in that case is naturally and here and since your flats. But the other notes, uh, sorry are exactly the same. See, e g and C E Flachi. Okay, so this is major and this murder So maybe not, you know, by the third is so important because of C in the major or in the minor key, we have only thirds from C to E is 1/3 a major third, and from eat to G is a minor third. So to fill major courts use the major third in the beginning from the base note and then the minor. So see first major, then minor and with a minor car, it's the other way around. First the minor and then from B flat to G is a major third. It's not that visible in the beginning, if you're just starting our with music, but you just can count the half steps in each interval. So take the see to you again. What can I scroll? Helo? Okay, CTO my company. All the house. It's so see 1234 So from sea to sea we have four hall steps health steps and from e g e. So e 123 So major thirds have 4/2 steps, half steps or it's 4/2 steps and minor thirds have 3/2 steps. Okay, now that may be a little bit confusing with all that stuff, but remember, I can just delete everything here. Now if you want to have Ah yeah. If you want to have a major card, use a major third in the beginning, not the third to fifth Some of the middle middle notes to the highest note. But the first interval the bass note to the middle note should be a major are minor. So my name card equals minor. Third, OK. 7. Example 2: F-Major: So now we know how to build major and minor chords. So, for example, just for practice on the gun that's ugly doesn't matter. So, for example, we want to build a F major court. Then, ofcourse, the first note. The bass note should be in F right now. You can write down F now one major, so we need to build a major third on top. Talk about that F. So from that f we count 1234 and I'll relent on a no. We have a major third here and now we need the highest note, the fifth from effort. This is C and just know that we have a major cars to make it minor off course. Remember, we have to make that major third into a mile in sector, 1/2 step lower. So we just have to use the flat here on the A. Becomes a flat, and we have, if that's what corrects, we have have Mylar knowledge 8. Recap: Okay, So I hope you understand the basics off off major and minor calls and major and minor thirds. This is very important to be able to play major and minor courts. Because if you start to listen to a song and try to find the harmony and you notice Okay, there's a a sad card in the beginning and we know the like, The first example I had first notice A Okay, let's try out now. How do I pulled a minor court? Now we know you just take the and build the minor thoughts and made it 1/3 on top to make a major, of course, way have to raise it up 1/2 step. 9. Seventh Chords: all right. We covered major and minor courts. So these kind of courts cover the majority off all harmony and music. No. I want to give you three more examples. Of course, that can exist in music but are a little bit more rare than just major and minor. So the basic are major and minor calls, and now this builds on top of them. The next court I will teach you is the seventh card. Now, just by the name of it, you notice there's a seven in the name. Now, if you if you build a cart, for example, this C major court very basic. We have Step one, Step three and step Saif. So 13 size now, very logic. The next step would be to just go to the seventh step. So 1234567 No, just like that would be a different court that comes next. But just for the moment, stick with me. And except that there should be in a flat because we need a minor third from the fifth to the seventh step. Okay, that should be mine. Now, this car So see e g on B flats is called in the seventh card. So this would be a C seventh. You know, maybe if you already saw some sheet music off pop off jazz music. You see this thing? The key with a seven on top. This is very common. So this is the seventh cars. 10. Major Seventh Chords (maj7): now another thing very similar to that one. That you're already solved. Maybe if something like that C major seventh. Now, remember, was one major means. So this is just the seventh home. Sorry. Decision to seventh. And this is a major seventh. So of course, everything stays the same. See, e g. But now, from the fifth to the seventh, we have a major seventh. So this should be a major third. Of course, because now see Teoh be natural is a major seventh. And that's where that we have ah c major cards. 11. Feel of Seventh Chords: now how they feel, and this is very important. But this is very important for listening to songs and trying to pay them back here. This doesn't sound relaxed or happy. It sounds buildup with tension. It turns 10th. It wants to be released just like that. So the natural seventh course builds up tension. This he made the major seventh car like that. I think it sounds very relaxed. So, like it's floating and it doesn't go anywhere. So I call it the floating Court because Ramon, the natural seventh, it wants to be released. Tension, and then release this. The key thing off 1/7 chord and the sea mater it's just floating into it can be resolved, but I don't need to be just floating, okay? 12. Final Recap: Okay, Good. Now we don't all the basic that we need to cover the majority off modern pop songs in Western music. Now recap for a moment. Okay, we have major. We have made our courts. We have minor cards. We have seventh and seventh calls are also in natural seventh. So in minor Seventh, actually, and in a major seventh now, major course are usually just displayed with capital letters, and minor courts are usually display with, um, behind them. So major minor and seven courts you this. And if we have the more relaxed one with a M a G, I made J Sorry for Major. Okay, So major minor and both seventh courts. So this is actually enough to learn all music. There are some more complex on some more detailed versions off major and minor calls. For example, with sixth at it, this sounds already very last. You can already You can also have minor seventh courts. So with that, But just for the second of simplicity off this course, we're going to stick to the four basic course we just learn here. So I think now we're ready to tackle any peace. Andi. Yeah, In the next. In the next episode, we're gonna analyze a song or a piece and try to find first the melody and then the cars and just play it by ear without learning the notes. So this will be a challenge. But with a little help and practice, we can do that. So see you there and thank you for watching this episode my way.