Play Songs By Ear

Skill Building Guitar Course from Don Ross

Your ears can be one of your most valuable assets as a musician. In this series, Don is going to show you how to translate what you hear into what you play. This series is designed to build your confidence and equip you with the valuable skill of playing music by ear.

13 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

97% Appoval

133 of 135 of our members have given this their approval.

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Full Course Breakdown

Learning to hear the music.


Series Introduction

Don gives an overview of what to expect from this series.

4:20 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


The Sound of the Major Scale

Utilizing the visual element of a piano keyboard, and your ears (of course), Don walks through the intervals of the Major Scale.

12:09 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Semitones and Whole Tones

As we begin to look at intervals, we start with the smallest classified interval, as semitone, and will look at 2nd and 3rd intervals as well.

18:52 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


The 4th & 5th Intervals

Don continues to explore the concept of intervals, now looking at the 4th and 5th scale degrees.

16:46 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The 6th & 7th Intervals

In this lesson, we're going to look at the last two intervals in a Major Scale, the 6th and 7th.

15:06 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Memorizing Intervals

In this lesson, Don teaches some helpful tools for memorizing the sound of the intervals.

11:06 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The Building Blocks of a Triad

Join Don as he breaks down the intervals that go into making a major or minor triad.

24:42 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Recognizing Major and Minor Chords by Ear

In this lesson, Don works on the skill of hearing the difference between a Major and Minor chord.

14:27 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


The Major I, IV and V Chords

In this lesson, Don examines three chords that are perhaps the most ubiquitous chords you'll find throughout mainstream music. Learn to recognize these chord intervals by ear.

10:29 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Recognizing the I, IV and V Chords by Ear

Continue strengthening your ear with Don with some listening exercises based around the I, IV and V chords in C Major.

9:53 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Overview: The Chords of C Major

Building off of what we've learned about the major chords in C Major, Don walks through all the diatonic chords and lays the groundwork for building progressions.

17:30 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Listening Exercise: Chords Sequences

Using our chord knowledge, we will start working on recognizing chord changes by ear through a number of listening exercises.

25:35 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty



Transposition, is a vital skill for any versatile musician. In this lesson, Don introduces the basics and demonstrates how it's done.

13:01 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

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Don Ross

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • Playing since 1968
  • 73 lessons at JamPlay

Don has toured regularly since 1989, across Canada, the USA, a dozen European countries, Japan, Taiwan, China, Australia, Russia and India. He has played with symphony orchestras in Canada and Germany, and collaborated live and on recording with Andy McKee, Canadian singer/guitarist Brooke Miller, & Toronto bassist Jordan O’Connor. He also composes scores for television, radio and film, and does production and recording engineering for a variety of other musicians. In addition to acoustic guitar, Don also plays electric guitar, slide dobro and lapsteel guitar, voice, piano, keyboards, bass guitar and drums.
Reviews & Feedback 97/100 with 135 ratings

This is a fun lesson in testing how well one can determine what chords, C, F and G, are being played because you can't see him playing them. I flunked big time. I'm amazed at how lousy I did on that. :)


Don has a great presentation style including talking about the difficulties people tend to have in general, which really helps encourage me to work through and practice, rather than give up.


I'm really enjoying this course. What an amazing instructor. Love how he builds upon the lessons putting it all together step by step making it all really easy to understand. Using the keyboard is extremely helpful as well. Thanks Don!!


Great explanation from a great teacher!


great lesson on harmony


great pace, analogies, examples, just non-geek speak on how to...


This is what I particular need to improve my playing. Learning to play by ear alone.


No confusing terminology, thanks for spelling everything out!


Seems like a sensible aaproach, clearly communicated. Unlike the other Ear Training course on Jamplay that was dissappointing.


Very well explained. Plain English and made it simple to understand. I've never heard the scale explained this way. Love this guy!


Supper way to get me to sing the intervals, I loved it and before thre exercise I never thought I could actually do it. Great !!


Thank you for this lesson! I have gone through several theory lessons in the past, but this one took it really home. Clear, logical, systematic and with the previous lessons as a build up, just great! Don Ross is a fantastic teacher too, I very


very good explained


Very well done