Look, I’m not gonna beat around the bush, OK?

I need your help.


First of all, lots of people have been requesting some sort of play piano by ear course, and I just haven’t had/made the time to put one together in the last year or so.

Second, I’d like to take my family on vacation in about a week.

And just what do these two things have to do with you?

Well, the collision of these two events/needs in my brain made me decide to FINALLY put together a full course teaching people how to play the piano by ear.

Although I DO have time to put together the content (well, maybe with a couple of all-nighters), and I’m confident it will be VERY helpful, I DO NOT have the time to put together a bunch of fancy graphics and packaging, etc., etc.


I would also like to get your:

  1. Input before I put the first version together and
  2. Feedback after you’ve had a look at it


I’m giving myself a very SHORT deadline to get this done and out to you at a VERY special price in the next couple of days, but this will be a very limited offer, since I’m (hopefully) leaving on vacation next Friday.

My goal is to get this finished in the next couple of days and get it into your hands at an UNBELIEVABLE price, so I can:

  • Show you EXACTLY how to play piano by ear…
  • At a GREAT price that beats any piano lesson you could get anywhere else, and…
  • Fund my vacation! (Hey, just being honest) đŸ™‚

So how can you help?


In the comment section below, simply tell me what 2 or 3 things you would like to see in the ULTIMATE play piano by ear course.

That’s it.

I’ll be looking at these comments in the next 24-36 hours and incorporating whatever I can to make this one of the best instructional piano courses around.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Please leave your comments below – just 2 or 3 things that you would LOVE to see in a play piano by ear course.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress over the next few days.



My name is Bill Romer and I've been playing piano for as long as I can remember – probably since I was about 4 years old. My earliest memories at the piano are of my Mom teaching me how to read sheet music and sitting for hours playing through stacks of her old music. I took piano lessons briefly while I was in elementary school, but since I already knew how to play from sheet music, learning the basics was really boring, so I quit. Fifteen years later, after finishing school and starting life out on my own, I decided to study jazz piano, and it was the best decision I could have made. It helped me fill in a lot of theory I had never studied, and I could finally just sit down at the piano and play whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I learned all the chords and learned to improvise, too. It was great! These days, I play at dueling piano bars, weddings, funerals, church services, parties and other events and add new songs to my repertoire every day. I still LOVE to play.

    351 replies to "How To Play Piano By Ear… Fast!"

    • Ronald

      It’s nice to be able to do both.
      Getting a good idea of sound to create music.
      Your concept is greatly needed.

    • danny lowry

      i have read every comment. all are good in their own context, but i think it is impossible to create something that fits everyone. we are all at different levels , and need help in different areas.EXAMPLE: your lesson on “rock and roll” rhythm showcasing the 12 bar blues is the most valuable lesson i have ever found–especially relating it to “Johnny B. Goode” and “Old Time Rock and Roll”. NOW: do you think starting by showing us Middle C and the C scale fit the lesson? I am not being critical ,but anyone not knowing where Middle C is not likely to have a successful experience with the lesson. Please take this comment in the light that it is given. Also. remember that more lessons means more sales.

    • Gareth Evans

      GARETH E. July 9,2010 at 1:00PM PDT

      I liked Anne’s question about changing key in a song up or down!
      Next I would love to find chords like Southern Gospel use or Jazz
      chords. I do play some by ear now but it is limited to what I know others can do! Look forward to your lessons.

    • Bea

      I really need materials that I can refer back to . Simple music to play to begin with and then gradually progress so that I can learn to recognize the chords. I have never played before. So even learning a little could bring hours of satisfaction. Thanks.

    • Wayne

      Video,Video,Video…I purchased Prof. piano chords for everyday pianists and the most frustrating part of learning was the lack of video to match the fingering of the chords and to hear the chords.
      I will never purchase another lesson if it does not provide viseo instruction.
      Thanks for all your attempts at teaching us piano, Wayne

    • martha

      I agree with some of the comments, it is very hard to satisfy everyone, we are all at different levels. I am a beginner with a good ear. I love your lessons for beginners.

    • john fish

      hi bill
      I play by ear all the time it is a natural gift.However whistling atune
      slowly whilst playing at the same time will help to develope ones ability to achieve this.I emphasizethis should be done slowly and
      I hope this helps
      regards john

    • Deidre Brunton

      My theory teacher is at me all the time to learn to play by ear using basic chords (6th, 7th, etc), relative minors & chords that belong with the key signiture – with the right hand & playing them in arpegios, jazz or blues scales as well as inverted & root position. I have great trouble with my oral hearing & remembering & trying to play a basic chord in a fancy pattern. So if your new piano by ear course could help with that, that would be a great achievement & help for us players who can’t play by ear.
      Thanks for trying to help us. Cheers Deidre, have a great holiday, it is nice to know you put you put your family as an important part of your life, that is rare with musicians & business people.

    • Rick

      Learning the different sounds of chords; major, minor, diminished, augmented so to be able to identify them in music and then construct
      them in playing. Each chord has a structure such as a diminished has only three forms because you play every third note. But knowing the sound of theses chords is vital so you can construct them automatically in your playing.

    • TOM

      I do have a gift for picking out tunes I know, but don’t know where to start with the left hand on them.
      Knowing the inner secrets and not so obvious tips would help
      in putting it all together.
      I guess a video would help in getting the RH & LH coordinated.

    • James Clarke

      could your method help in understanding really how to get ones timing on the keyboared,which I think is the main ptobleb with a novice.Generally viodeos are,nt good enough

    • Svetlana

      Hello Bill,
      Thank you very much for being so generous in your efforts to help people to improve their piano skills. And the following 3 items that
      I am looking forward you to include are:
      1. How to “melodize” a chord progression. For example: 12 bar Blues progression in key of C where no sheet music is involved.
      2. In your PATTERNS where you are playing the left hand boogie beat (I III \/ \/I) you played a dynamite right hand boogie passages.
      Can you, please show the right hand passages in a slow motion for the whole piece with your comments on how you design this passages ?
      3. How to dress up a song: one in key of C and one in A minor from the Fake book.
      I hope that I was clear.
      Have a good vacation with your Family.

    • james clarke

      I have a basic idea how to read and play music but watching a video my coordination goes way off if your method can change this thenits worth a try

    • Jerry Buckman

      The most difficult problems for me are;
      1. Time Signiture
      2. Key
      3. Chord and
      4. Chord Progression.

    • james clarke

      I read and play rery basic music but I find most videos dont help my coordinaton, if your method can solve this problem, then its really worth a try

    • james clarke

      I read and play on the basic level but my coordination is off say when trying to follow a video, so if your method can aid in this area I say its worth the try

    • Jim M

      I do not know if you will like what I write but here goes. I am over 70 years old and have been taking keyboard lessons at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside.

      It has taken me a long time to be able to read music and know what the notes are on the staffs. Now that I know this I miss the notes. I would like to have sheet music to back up learning to play by ear. I know that sounds crazy but it is reinforcement to me.

      If I learn by ear I must memorize every note, if I learn by sheet music the repetition makes me remember the notes.

      Another problem I have is making my hands do what my brain says it should,

    • kevin

      To create a course to play by ear got to be simple especial for novice, first you got to learn what key the song played in a then figure out the chords. I think video example is good, that’s my opinion has a novice piano player.

    • michele

      Video for raw beginners being mindful that I know NOTHING and u r teaching from scratch.

      Thnx in anticipation


    • Lela

      I play by ear now, but I would like to see the movement from one chord to another. I love the sound of music and I want to be the best at playing gospel music. I need all the help I can get. I think you should show as much as possible how to play by ear in your book.


      Anything would help me at the moment.
      I am learning from your ‘Piano Fast” DVD’s and although I am making very slow progress I am really enjoying it.
      I can read basic music and play the Electronic organ fairly well.
      I have recently acquired a Piano from an Elderly friend of mine and would like to learn to play it—I reckon any bit of advice won’t go astray
      John Hughes

    • Mark

      I can only repeat what Rick said:

      Rick July 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm
      Learning the different sounds of chords; major, minor, diminished, augmented so to be able to identify them in music and then construct them in playing. Each chord has a structure such as a diminished has only three forms because you play every third note. But knowing the sound of theses chords is vital so you can construct them automatically in your playing.

    • Liz Malaga

      I would love to learn some rules for voicing/building jazz chords: 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths. Also, to be able to recognize the sounds of these chords by ear. Harmonizing a melody can also be a problem. I can pick-out melodies by ear, but sometimes can’t pick-out the right chords to go with them. Thanks for your help.

    • alan

      Hi Bill, This may sound trivial but it really gets up my nose is when a teaching video breaks off into little jokes or stories. It’s OK first time round and may be funny but when you have to keep repeating the video (as I have to do to make things stick) it really does my head in and I loose track of what is being taught. I don’t mean with your lessons as I have found them beat by far on the web, but some are dreadfull

    • danny

      hi bill
      i would really like to be shown how to relate the left hand bass to the melody this gets me stuck all the time

    • Michael Robertson

      Left hand fake book patterns ( other than run of the mill ones )

      understanding how to hear jazz scales in a song

      The way to pitch your ears so you and recognize a 7th 9th 10th 13th major minor of said.

    • Dorcas

      Hi Bill,
      I do have some basic knowledge playing piano but I don’t think I am good in playing by ear. I like to learn to play chords in fancy pattern without sheet music. Thank you.

    • sab

      its nice to play with ear
      firstly, its beacause we can play our favaroute song.
      2.ndly, we an use it 2 play our parents favourite song 2 make it as a present. its gonna be a lot of fun ^^

    • GeneZuck

      Keep it simple! Assume the novice level and go slow!
      I’m 72 years young and just started learning how to play the keyboard.

    • Ted

      How to add harmony (left hand chording) after picking out the melody with the right hand. How to change the key and add the correct harmonies. How to embellish the right hand melody to add fuller dynamics (al a piano bar pianists). How to accompany a singer or other solo instrument who is playing the melody or vamping. And finally, how to learn the art of improvisation.
      Hope you have a great vacation. Can’t wait to see the new book.

    • Chantelle230

      It would be great if we wouldn’t have to miss out on the sheet music part while learning how to play by the ear. I think that would give us a wider range.
      Also, it would be great if you could include a wide variety of musical pieces/ songs from different genres, to play by ear
      Last, a good deal of video would be nice đŸ™‚
      Best of luck!

    • jaymee

      I really want to music from ds games. mainly gyakuten saiban and professor layton. try finding Iris- music box version and turnabout sister’s theme.

    • jaymee

      oh and practice a lot with all the keys. you eventually remember which key plays which note. but you have to do that a lot. it’s the only 1 i’ve got because i’m trying to learn aswell. sorry if this isn’t much help

    • david

      pls take the chord movement slowly for better assimilation. Take care Boss.

    • DAVID T.


    • Fontana PerĂ³

      Hi Bill
      Well I would like that you writte scales of jazz, also I would like to learn how to improvise.
      I know the different keys.
      I also want you to explain which is the best way to harmonize by ear.
      Fontana PerĂ³

    • alan

      Hi Bill, Look forward to your video, you may recall I asked a while ago if you could make one to go with your ‘Pro Chords’ book. You have a great teaching manner so I would be amongst the first to buy it, but please would you make it available as a download.
      PS have a great hoilday

    • john

      I would like to get both hands working some rhtymn patterns would be good.

    • Clyde Fredrickson

      Put the course on DVD that I can see on the TV. Include an explanation manual.

    • Cindy Darcy

      I would love cord sucsessions in the different keys ,like key of C and cords to move on to another key while playing the same song.

    • Rich Crose

      Hi Bill,
      I think you need to broke down your lessons into three different
      parts, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced because you will have
      students at different levels of piano playing. Also I believe that a
      student should know major scales, melodic minor scales, and harmonic
      minor scales. I also believe that major and minor triads are important
      especially if you are going to learn to play the piano by ear.
      Have a good vacation with your Family!!!


      I would love to see gospel songs made simpler with theleft hand chords written plainer for beginners….as Amazing grace,and some of the chords in C,BFLAT,G WITHOT A LOT OF SHARPS AND FLATS….LIKE SOME OF THE BAPTIST GOSPEL CHOIR SONGS….FOR ME TO BE ABLE TO FIGURE OUT THE CORRECT CHORDS TO PLAY,AND I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE CHORDS FOR BLUES PLAYING,WHICH CAN DOUBLE AS A GOSPEL SONGS.

    • John

      I would like to know more on matching melody with chord progressions as well as chord substitutions from the relative minor and an others. I can improvise slowly but somehow they all kind of sound the same. Different bass patterns would also be helpful.

      Thanks for your lessons

    • john

      If you want to get rich teaching paino, this is the way to do it. Ask people what songs they would like to play and they will give you some song titles. You then, play these songs in a number of arrangements and give us some things that we can do to make these songs sound better than what we are playing. At first it will take you some time to work out some requests but as you do more and more you will build up a library of songs. Rock and roll of the 50s is nice and I would love a course in that. On line lessons, start with a few songs and add more each week until people will have a choice of different styles, ie a little jazz, 50s, tunes with a beat, lounge piano, gospel, etc. There are a number of us that are over 50 and we love the old time songs, the favorites through the years. We want to learn to play them. By ear is tough. I play be ear. The ideal way is to teach the simple one line melody like the organ books with chords on top, and then you have to teach us how to make something sound gorgeous out of it. Something we can transpose to the next song. Go on line, U tube, punch in “I Cant Stop Loving You.” Some of these people play this song just gorgeous but they dont teach it and it is tough to pick it up by watching them play these songs. These are my thoughts…..

    • Marian Ladia

      I did order your E-book, and was impressed until I had to read it…I don’t think I have a musical ear, but I want to play sooo bad, for my church. I need a teacher that will take me step by step and explain then maybe I’ll grow an ear for mucic. I do much better in classroom atmospheres, rather than to left to my own accord….

    • Des Rouse

      Hi Bill
      Thank you for your ettorts to help improve my piano skills. My playing level is on the basic level and yes I would love to play by ear but do not know where to start. As others have said a vidio would be helpfull. I look forward to your next set of instruction and my next chalenge.

    • jim

      Hi Bill
      Thanks very much for all your help.
      My first must have has to be rock n roll as from one set of chords lots of songs are easy to adapt.
      I also think a beatles tune pos yesterday inc melody as this tends to almost play itself.
      Finely some well known classical short and simple.
      Overhead shot works well (no shorts)ha ha
      Put any jazz stuf on its own disc (for cats only)
      maybe some finger exercises to aide dexterity
      Sorry this is late hope it helps.
      many thanks good luck

    • Patti

      I’d love to be able to have a few gentle and beautiful chord patterns that I could use to play along while I sing. I also think a quick and easy guide that shows what chords sound good together in different basic keys would be helpful. For example, in the key of C – I, iV, V, and VII are what I have had drilled into my head, but I’d love to know what chords always sound good together… when I’m singing and playing and I don’t really need the melody. I just need filler for singing. I’ve been taking lessons for a few years and I still need help with this.

    • Betty Roope

      I would like to know how to add the left hand to the right hand notes with out sounding bad. Also how to add runs and add some spice to the sound. Also some help on rhythem. I know basic cord just need to know how to put them together to sound good. Have a good vacation. Then help us.


      Love all the vids and short lessons, seeing and hearing is always helpful..keep it up.. thanks! Tone

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