Playing Music By Ear


After a long tour with X factor winner Joe McElderry Last year, it was great to be back after a while with one of the preliminary dates of his Northern Lights Tour.


Joe, currently on tour with the hit musical Joseph across the UK performed a live date in his hometown South Shields to raucous applause for which I was the Musical Director and Keyboard Player for.


One of my favourite bits of the show has to be the classic Jukebox Joe Section! This is where the audience members get to pick out some songs – any song that springs to mind for that matter, and Joe does well to remember the lyrics and sing a quick verse and chorus of it.


The tricky bit for me however, is to bring in the music in the right key, and try to play the song that the audience member selects, having had no preparation – (quite a hard task), but its all about having a good ear and listening to where the melody of the song goes.


This is a skill that takes years of practice in truth, but the basic concept of it is working on the basis that any key has 7 main chords which we can use to accompany a melody. Working out which ones these are does takes some practice, but if you watch the video, you will see that the practice has paid off! For more information on learning about this or any other techniques, you can always get in touch, or check out my piano tutoring section and I will be happy to help


Ross Wall