Roadmap – 12 Day Practice Plan

Day 1-2 (Scale and Chord Memorization)

Start by listening to the song to learn the key and ask yourself this question. “Do I know the scale of this key?” The answer to this question should be on this wise. “Yes, I know the scale notes and I know the scale good enough to use those notes to find the progression.” If you don’t know the scale then you are starting off at a major disadvantage. (If you need help learning the basic’s of the major scale then use our scale course)

When beginner’s skip mastering a basic understanding of the scale they skip past the most basic tool they need for playing by ear. Skipping past this simple step will cause you to pause, fumble and hesitate in the songs. The scale has to be so second nature that you don’t think about it. You should know the scale as good as you know your name.

Days 1 – 2 are designed to help beginners to gain confidence with the notes of the scale. If you are absolutely confident that you understand the scale then proceed immediately to the next step which is Chord memorization. (Note if it takes you more time to learn the scale notes by memory then take as much time as you need)

Chord memorization

There are two simple things you need to do. First, If you don’t know your basic major and minor chords, you need to dedicate some time learning the major and minor inversions for the key you’re in. Second, if you know the basic major and minor chords then simply listen to the song and focus on the bass-line.

This will give you the progression. It may help to listen to the bass then write down the number. Using the Major Scale, listen for the 1,2,3,4,5,6 or 7. Really slow down. Play, stop and rewind the song as much as you need to. Day 1-2 are days beginners are developing their ear.

Remember this: The progression is found in the scale, therefore you need to listen to the song to get the progression then put the chords with the progression. Use day 1-2 to figure out the key, the progression and the chord. Do it in that order. The key, the progression then the chord. Memorize it when you get it.

Day 3-6 (Apply and Analyze)

After the know the key and the chords it time to apply it. First, play chords section by section. Part by part and step by step. Take your time. Apply the chords until you have it practically. Next play the chords with the rhythm needed to put the musicality into the song. After you have the groove, analyze what you need to do to perfect this song. Use as much time as it takes to apply the chords with rhythm at the speed of the song. Analyze your musical weakness and make sure you take breaks to keep your emotions in check and your brain sharp.

Find a day or two to take a break then use the rest of your time to perfect and polish the song. Many of you will discover that you complete this process in three day. Others will need all 12 days to get the song. It will always depend on the degree of difficulty a song has. Harder songs naturally take longer. Undeveloped beginners need to take the entire 12 days or even longer. Whatever the case, this learning method will help you get to where you are trying to go.

As always, if you need personal coaching, we have the songs and resources you need to play by ear right here on