Playing By Ear

Playing By Ear

Our most important tool as a musician is our ear. I recently picked up a song book from one of my favorite bands. When I started to learn one of the songs, I noticed a lot of differences between the tab and standard notation. At this point the only way to figure out which one was right was to listen to the song itself. In some cases the tab was correct and in others the notation was correct. This made the book a very unreliable resource in learning the song. 

There are many tutorials on Youtube and many tabs floating around on the internet. These can get you in the ball park but can’t always be trusted. I highly encourage all of you to first try to learn your songs by ear. It starts as a slow process, but in time you will get better and faster. You will make mistakes, but even I still make mistakes when transcribing. Every time we do it, we get a little better at it. If you get stuck or if there is something you can’t hear then find a video of the song being performed live and see how it’s played. Use Youtube and tabs as another tool to help you learn, but your primary tool should always be your ear.


Randy Naranjo, Guitar Instructor

Jesusa Pons-Garner

I’ve had both my children attend lessons at this location. The staff is absolutely wonderful. Mrs. Amber is an incredible piano instructor!

Jesusa Pons-Garner / parent
Jennifer Ortega

San Antonio Music Academy is very well organized. My daughter's piano teacher is wonderful! She's been taking lessons for 5 months and looks forward to each lesson. I really enjoy the recitals at the LOL Comedy Club.

Jennifer Ortega / parent
Esmeralda Saavedra

My daughter has been registered here since she was 7. Each instructor she’s had has been very friendly and great to work with. Currently she has lessons with Ms Maria and we are so grateful for her and the entire SAMA staff. I can’t recommend enough.

Esmeralda Saavedra / parent
Elio Maldonado Jr.

Jacob was an excellent guitar instructor. He was patient and prepared. I definitely recommend him to any person wanting to learn guitar.

Elio Maldonado Jr. / parent
Crystal Reyes

We absolutely  San Antonio Music Academy!!! All 3 of my children take lessons and they love it. My daughter Taylor has really improved her vocal abilities with the help of a wonderful vocal teacher.

Crystal Reyes / parent
Steve Dell

San Antonio Music Academy is awesome, my son loves the guitar lessons and is super excited to attend every week! He started with zero experience and progressed surprisingly fast. Randy is an amazingly talented guitarist/teacher. He is very patient, yet knows how to push students to the next level. Highly recommend all the instructors, the staff is great!

Steve Dell / parent
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