These Three Chords – Pure and Simple!


My father was a great musician, with a beautiful voice. He played several instruments from Cello to Trombone, and piano, guitar, and organ as well. He was the one who got me started on playing the piano and guitar by ear. He taught me thus basic fundamental truth about playing by ear.

Here goes: There are 3 basic chords that you can use to play any song, in any key. They are the chords formed by the First (1), Fourth (4), and Fifth (5) degrees of the scale. Using these chords may not be what the original composer may have envisioned for their masterpiece, but the three chords can be used to play any song, IN ANY KEY.


For example, in the key of C Major, which doesn’t utilize any of the sharps or flats, the scale runs through the following notes: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and then back to C. The first note of the scales is C with the corresponding chord of C Major. The fourth is F, with the corresponding chord of F Major. The fifth note on the scale is G with the corresponding chord of G Major.

The notes C, E, and G, make up C Major
The notes F,  A, and C, make up F Major
The notes G, B, and D, make up G Major

Now that you know this, the important thing to remember is that each chord has 3 notes in it. The trick is to play the chords that correspond to the notes in the chord. This is usually a good idea. However there exceptions to this rule. Sometimes holding your chord is the right thing to do instead of changing on each note that is different from the chord.

That being said, it’s time to smile and continue to Play It By Ear!

It’s Not Easy – It’s A Process!


Someone asked me today, “Has it always been easy for you to play by ear?” And my answer was no. I have had to work at it for a long time to get where I am today.

The product of what I am is the result of hours and hours of practice, performances, and lots and lots of mistakes. It’s how you learn – From a lot of mistakes! There’s nothing that life and music teaches better than mistakes.

The thing to remember is that when to u make a mistake, don’t repeat it. And keep smiling and continue to Play It By Ear!

Challenges – Bring It!

So I’ve gotten away from talking about music. And I’ve been talking about life and current events. That in and of itself is a challenge, that is finding my voice. Speaking about the voice, I had to sing the U.S. National Anthem – the Star Spangled Banner @ the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Class 203 graduation today. It was a challenge that I met gladly!

But in addition to the blogging, I’m also doing a Personal Transformation Challenge called the 28 Days To A New Me – Personal Transformation. It’s a journey of commitment, and it basically provides encouragement and accountability. It’s what I’ve been using for the past year to lose weight and become a better person. It’s enabled me to go out of my comfort zone and try something like the the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Here’s a picture of what a daily post looks like in the 28 Days to a New Me challenge – Completed Insanity Core Cardio And Balance DVD and 336 push-ups & crunches!

#Day1of28 Awesome!

Everyone faces challenges in life. Maybe you’re trying to do a new thing like this blogging challenge. Or you focus on your health and wellness. Or are you starting or continuing to run an enterprise? Or school? Or Domestic challenges? Or you may be facing a Medical challenge? Or maybe you are learning to play an instrument or sing? Or maybe you lost your job or a car recently?

Whatever challenge you face, it is what we do with those challenges that makes the difference between a great life, and a mediocre one or one that’s not so good. What are you doing about your challenges today? Some challenges require assistance from other sources. One of my sources is my Faith in God. I find all my strength there.

I know that I’m gonna smile, keep a positive attitude and face the challenge head-on while I Play It By Ear!

More Than Words!!

More Than Words - Excerpt

So this is my 31st post since I started the challenge to post a blog every day. It has been a challenge. I have learnt some interesting things about myself. I learnt that I could do something I never thought I could do – Blog for 31 days. OK. So I missed some and had to go into the other month. But there were days when I put up 3 blog posts. In The SAME DAY! WOW. There are no words. I’ve come to realize that it takes “More Than Words” to do a blog. And the words that you see on the blog is sometimes inadequate to express what I feel.

So with that said I took to the guitar instead of the piano to say that its really “More Than Words”

And Still I smile and use every day as an opportunity to Play It By Ear

You Raise Me Up!


As I contemplated the final blog posts for the month of October, I realized that there were a lot of people who made a difference in my life – My family, my favorite persons, my friends and coworkers, my Pastors, my church family, my fellow bloggers, First Responders, and my 28DaysToANewMe family. You know who you are. This little song excerpt is dedicated to you, because You Raise Me Up!

I Love You All and I’m taking this opportunity To Smile and Play It By Ear!

Falling Behind – Gotta Play Catchup!!


So I started with great hopes and aspirations for October 2013. I was going to participate in the Ultimate Blog Challenge and post a blog everyday of the month. Did I do that? No. Not yet. LOL. It’s the last day and I’m 3 blogs short. By the time I finish this blog, I’ll only need 2 more posts. What shall I write about? What to write? What To WRITE?

I’m open to suggestions on what to write. I Love music. I Love Life. I’ve tried to combine the two. In some cases it worked. In other posts it didn’t quite work. But I will continue to. I’ve got two more posts to go. Wish me luck. Or better yet –  Keep on smiling and take this day as another opportunity to Play It By Ear!