Category Archives: Music

OK. I’m Listening! Now What?


OK. I’m listening. Now What Do I Do? The answer is very simple
– Active Listening – Focused Listening!!

What is Active Listening? It is the act of Listening Deliberately! It’s making a conscious decision to pay attention to the source of the sound that you’re Listening to; To give it your Undivided Attention… In Active Listening there are no distractions.

For example, you can’t be analyzing and learning to play Chick Corea’s “Spain” while watching TVs and eating a burrito. Its just not possible, for most people at least!

Active Listening means your engaged in what you’re listening to. You look for the nuances of sound in the context of the auditory mosaic. There are no shortcuts in this listening process. Every decibel is examined to provide a framework of reference in deciphering meaning.

Sometimes even when you listen as intently as you can, you may miss stuff. How do you combat that? There are tools out there that can help you listen better than you can on your own. Tools like Audacity for PC, Audio Speed Changer for Android, & Music Speed Changer for IOS…

OK. So I’m listening! Now What?
Listen AGAIN and then Play It By Ear!

P. I. B. E

Today is another opportunity to Play It By Ear

Shut Up and Listen – YES!

As a kid I learned this in school. Before you cross the street you need to:


The same exists for Playing By Ear. In learning or playing a piece, it’s one of the most critical skills to learn and master as it is in life. But it’s crucial to the whole process.

My mom always said that you have one mouth and two ears for a reason. So we have to listen to 2x as much as we speak.

But seriously, the art of listening is important. I daresay it’s the most important part of this process.

So keep it a little quiet and LISTEN, so you could Play It By Ear

P. I. B. E

Today is another opportunity to Play It By Ear

On One Ac-Chord – The Next Steps

Today was a good day. I had three opportunities to Play It By Ear.  The best one was at a fund raising concert in Dedham MA. It was great being able to sing with my family – together! We were on one Ac-Chord!


The next thing after knowing your scales is to put chords together. What is a chord? A chord is three or more notes played at the same time. They come in 4 main types – Major, Minor, Augmented and Diminished… Each one of these chords are defined by the intervals between each note…

What’s most important is playing the right chords. And that produces a lifetime of Playing It By Ear!!!

P. I. B. E.

Today is another opportunity to Play It By Ear

Upscaling The Walls – Get A Move On!!!

So yesterday I talked about musical scales and its effect on playing by ear. I thought about it for a little while and I came to the realization that in order for anybody to succeed in life they have to Upscale The Walls that surround them.

What do you mean Mr. Play It By Ear? Well, its simple. When ever you have to do anything in life, no matter what it is, you have obstacles in your way. In other words there are Walls around you that prevent you from doing that thing.

Walls of Laziness.
Walls of Resistance.
Walls of Nay Sayers.
Walls of a Lack of Funding.
Walls of Your Own Fears of Inadequacy.
Walls of Just Plain FEAR.

To get your task/goal accomplished you have to Upscale The Walls that surround you.  It may not happen all at once. The easiest way to get over the wall is one handhold or foothold at a time. You just keep climbing, grabbing hold and you will get over the walls before you know it. There is no other way. Dory from the the movie, Finding Nemo, had the ultimate Wall Upscaling Strategy (WUS) with  her mantra, “Just Keep Swimming. Just Keep Swimming, Swimming!!!”

My mantra to you is Just Keep Climbing, Smiling and Play It By Ear!!!


Scaling The Walls!!!

What do you mean I have to learn scales? Can’t I just play like you play? Huh?

Simple Answer?


You have to scale the walls. Playing by ear is a lifetime endeavor. You will always be learning as a musician and as a person. So one of the things that help you learn to play by ear is knowledge of the different musical scales that currently exist. In most modern popular music, there are two main scales that everyone should learn [Drumroll]

They are Major Scales and Minor Scales. They are the foundation of all the modern popular music. So it behooves you to learn them. Why?

It helps you to Play It By Ear.

So until next time keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars


It’s All In the Bass – The Foundation

So I’ve been asked, “How do you play by ear?” I’ve thought about this for several years and I’ve decided I’m finally going to answer this question, once and for all. The answer is really, really simple. [Drumroll]

I practice!

What? That’s it? Yes. That’s it! There’s no easy way to get to playing the piano, or guitar, or saxaphone or what ever it is you’re doing unless you practice. Now there are some people who are able to get it right away. But they may not be able to tell you what they are doing or how to reproduce what they’re playing.

Now the title of this blog post gives away one of the tools that I use when I’m trying to learn a song by ear. I listen to the Bass Line. Yes, I listen to the bass line of the song. The bass line is what is used to form the chord structure of the song. It is THE FOUNDATION of the harmony and the underlying structure of the song.

Well so there you have it. The secret is out. Now all you have to do is Play It By Ear!

Till Next Time

Playing It By Ear

I created this blog as a response to the Ultimate Blog Challenge for October 2013, with the goal of 31 blog posts in 31 days.  It’s pretty daunting to think about doing. What do I write about? Will people like it? Will anyone even ready it? I don’t know the answers but I know that you will never do something unless you start it.

So here I am. Playing It By Ear!

I think that i will focus on Music, and playing musical instruments. It has been a passion of mine for a long time and I love to share about it. So that’s gonna be my main focus. From time to time I will get some other motivation to write something else.

Thanks for listening and have a great day always remembering that today is an opportunity to create something new

PIBE is my response to the