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How to play piano by ear?

I've noticed that some people that play the piano in my church don't even know the notes to a song and they just get told what key to play in and they do like they've known that song all their life. They do it right on the spot in front of everybody. How is that?

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_pitch

It is a gift that some people have.

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Exactly right!
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i really dont know but im sure it its impossible to do

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wing
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*wrong
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I'm guessing they know basic chords. If you know those it's fairly easy to play hymns

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they might be able to just recognize the sounds and memorize them

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My friend can do that to, he explained to me how, and it is surprisingly easy. All you must do you play around with the keys until you find the sound that matches what it sounds like when others play it on the piano and go from there. It takes him anywhere from 30 min. to an hour to get a full song.

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There were the slaves who could neither read or write could play any songs they heard.My cousin could play at six instruments but couldn't read or write.It's a gift like painting or playing ball really good.

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I play by ear, though it's nothing extraordinary, just a few basic chords that I learned in music class (in like 5th grade, I'm 18 now) and a couple others just by how they match pitch-wise. (It's pretty easy to tell if they're not a good combo, you'll get a legitimate "sour note.") Then again it depends what you mean by "Piano" too. I have an electric piano so... It's gonna sound different than a real piano.

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I play a little by ear, but I don't think you can teach yourself to do it. I think it has to come naturally.

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It is a gift some people have. I have it. But people have it to different degrees. Some of them have natural rhythms in their body and some of them can just play by ear by what they hear and not even know what note it was because they don't know notes-only rhythms. I play guitar by ear & some keyboard by ear and I got a kit that is supposed to quickly teach me to play guitar by notes. Because I make up my own music-but I can't play other people's and I play by ear. It would be fun to be able to sometimes play a favorite song. I am one of those ones born with rhythm and I was taught in a hospital hot to synchronize with other instruments and it's tougher doing it along then have a band.

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