Music Theory & Learning to Play By Ear

As many of you know, I’ve been playing music for over 20 years. I have a strong music theory background and have often said that I can read sheet music better than I can read a book. I still think this is true. Sight reading (playing a sheet of music you have never seen before) comes very easily to me. In fact, at nearly every audition I would get high marks for sight-reading (in most auditions you need to play a prepared piece, sight-read, and play 12 major and minor scales).

With all my music experience, the one thing I have never really been able to do is to hear a song and play it, without looking at the sheet music.

I’ve known people who can. My step-dad could hear anything, sit at the piano, and play it. TV commercials, video game music, ANYTHING. I was always amazed by him. Even my husband who has ZERO musical training can somehow figure out how to play songs easier than me. I often wondered if reading sheet music was almost stopping me from being able to play by ear. That was, until I found this book.


The ONLY Music Theory Book You’ll Ever Need

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Garage Band Theory for free and was compensated for my time.  As always, all my opinions are my own. This post also may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.

Garage Band Theory is an AMAZING book. It took the author 13 years to create and edit this book, and it shows! It’s super comprehensive. It teaches both music theory (which I knew) AND how to play by ear. So whether you’re coming from a place of having a strong music theory background, like me, or a place of being able to play by ear but can’t read music, this is the book for you (or your kids if you’re thinking of having them learn music)!

What I absolutely love about this book, is that Duke Sharp, the author of the book, has found a way to merge both understanding how to listen and play by ear with understanding music theory. For me, it’s like being able to SEE the music I hear, which is the opposite of how I’ve always done it. I have always been able to hear the music I see on the paper. It’s nice to be able to do both!


Great Way to Teach Music Theory in Your Homeschool

So if you have older kids (or yourself) interested in music, you MUST check this book out! It’s a keeper for sure!

If you have little kids interested in music I have two resources for you. My FREE music education e-course teaching you how to teach music or my Ukulele Course for Kids. I’ve written many times about why ukulele is a great beginner instrument but it really is. 😉 And ukulele isn’t just for little ones, I recently had a mom tag me on Instagram playing ukulele saying she bought my course just for her! 🙂 I LOVED IT!

Also Friends, I have a GIVEAWAY to tell you about!!

Duke Sharp, author of Garage Band Theory, is giving away 11 copies!
Garage Band Theory

Please note, hard copies of the book are only shipped to US residents.