Playing by ear in worship | Music theory made easy

Learn to play by ear and understand music theory

Do these questions apply to you:

  • Are you lost without the sheet music or a chord chart?
  • Do you struggle to work out the chords when you listen to a new song?
  • Do you panic when the band goes off piste and you don’t know what notes to play?
  • Would you like to be able to hear a song and know what the notes and chords are without sheet music?
  • Would you like better understand chords so you could transpose, rearrange songs?
  • Would more knowledge of music theory help you choose chords for song writing?

With a better understanding of music theory that unlocks the secrets of playing by ear you will be able to confidently play without the sheet music and chord charts.

You will understand which chords appear in any given key and gain a deeper understanding of what you can do with chords to improve your playing. Great for transcribing, arranging, transposing, improvising, songwriting. It will even teach you how to substitute chords to change the mood or feel of a song.

This 8-hour course, designed for church-based musicians, will guide you through the process of working out what chord comes next in any song by ear. It explains music theory in an easy-to-understand way.

Perfect for working out chord charts from CDs. Great for song writers, worship leaders or anyone wanting a thorough understanding of chord theory.

Features in-depth demos, play alongs and 16 helpful tests to maximise your learning.

You’ll learn about:

Keys, notes and scales

  • Finding and understanding keys
  • The major scale
  • Three types of minor scale
  • Improvising

Chords – their notes, sounds and construction

  • Major, minor diminished and augmented chords
  • Suspended, add9, & power chords
  • Extended chords
  • Inversions and slash chords
  • Other types of chords

Ear training

  • Hearing diatonic and chromatic intervals
  • Hearing the sounds of different types of chord
  • Hearing chord progressions & bass lines
  • Hearing chords outside the key
  • Playing songs by ear


  • Working out a song by ear without sheet music
  • Songs in both major and minor keys
  • Songs with chords outside the key


  • Putting songs into other keys by ear
  • The Nashville numbering system
  • Key transposing for orchestral instruments


  • Chord substitutions
  • Developing chord knowledge for song writing
  • Suitable for guitar, bass, keyboard & orchestral players, even singers!

Presented by:

  • Andy Chamberlain – founder of Musicademy and previously guitarist for Matt Redman, Tim Hughes and Vicky Beeching
  • Tim Martin – former high school music teacher, graduate of London School of Theology, now music minister in Bristol and presenter of the Musicademy Keyboard and Orchestral Instrument, Band Skills and Worship Leading courses.

Musicademy Director, Andy Chamberlain says: “This is the most comprehensive video series we’ve ever made. It has the potential to transform the musicality of your entire worship team“.