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I work as a driving instructor, so it would be nice to be a learner for once Can anyone give me some advice on where to start, maybe recomend a good tutor in SY.
No you haven't left it too late - I started when I turned 40, again something I always wanted to do. I am now grade 5.
Go for it (sorry can't help with teacher info as I'm down south)
In a nutshell, playing by ear depends on having a good musical ear coupled with a good understanding of chords. It's a rather contemporary method but develops purely from this improvised approach. No music reading is required at all which is why I think it's easier.
However, if you want to be able to sit down and play a piece of music written in standard formal music notation, then piano lessons are going to be a must. Results will take longer in terms of seeing a meaningful outcome.
I'm trying not to comment on either method because they have their own strengths. Speaking from my personal experience, having the ability to do both is extremely beneficial and amazes those around you - not that that is the main thrust for learning the piano!
So based on this can anyone suggest where would be a good place to start
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=PZYnz3voGlY (Tom Willet)
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRj6C_SWF7g (From Expert Village)
Yoke Wong is geared more towards folk who have some classical training and who want to develop playing by ear. This is by no means an exhaustive list but there is plenty there to start with. With reference to the Youtube videos, be aware that these have a series of videos progressing in content and difficulty.
I'll try to get a list of good starter resources for playing piano by ear soon but as I say, this is loads for now!
I 've sent you a PM too