MELINAR BUNDLE | Playing By Ear Tutorial Series

Do any of these statements sound like something you’d say?

“I really want to learn to play tunes by ear!”

“I really want to challenge myself to be less dependant on sheet music”

“I’m never sure if I’ve heard the tune or chords correctly”

At a certain point in your melodeon playing journey, you’re going to want to play tunes by ear.

You’ll probably try to learn it by yourself but you’ll more than likely experience feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and completely discombobulated at times.

Maybe you’ll crack the tune (hooray!) but working out the left hand chords and playing them at the same time is quite frankly frying your brain.

I remember being in that position and was so grateful for the help of a friend to get me started! And now I’m so pleased to be able to offer that help to others.

Mel to the rescue!

Allow me to combobulate the process of learning to play by ear for you in my slick Melinar tutorial series!

Melodeon + Webinar = Melinar

If you’re new here – hello and welcome! If you’re looking for fresh, new ideas to try in your playing, you’ve come to the right place.

Hi – I’m Mel – an expert in online Melodeon teaching with over 13 years experience – and my passion in life is being able to demystify the melodeon playing journey, wherever it is you’ve got to along the way, and help people level up their playing. (Read my Patreon Mission Statement)

Every month, I deliver two 30 minute Melinars (tutorial broadcasts) on one specific topic. You can join in live and play along with me, or if you can’t attend for whatever reason you can catch up with the video recordings in your own time.

With two 30 minute Melinars every month there’s quite a lot stored up in the archive just waiting for you to dive in and try! Unlock the archive upon signing up to either the Archangel or Cherub tiers.


Playing By Ear: Series Breakdown

At the end of 2021, I ran a Melinar entitled “Playing By Ear: Weaning Yourself Off The Dots” and it proved to be eye (ear?!) opening for those who were present for it. I realised this could become a whole series of short tutorials, taking different aspects of playing by ear and breaking it down into simpler, bite-sized pieces.

I have designed and delivered twelve 30min play-a-long Melinars, each teaching you one bite-sized step towards the goal of playing tunes by ear:

  • Learn to hear familiar melodic patterns and how to play them by ear.
  • Learn how to hear chord progressions and where to find them on your instrument.
  • Learn how to work out the time signature of the piece you’re listening to.

This series introduces you to The Mel Method and the principle of ‘Playing By Ear’. I teach you how to simplify tunes into bite-sized pieces of information that are easier to pick up and retain.

I’ll show you how to study these building blocks in isolation in order to hear them and correctly work them out on your instrument.

Build firm foundations

This deconstructed approach to learning improves your confidence and physical knowledge of a tune and how it fits on the instrument.

Following on, you’ll learn how to identify different chords and play them on your box, when to change chords and what rhythm to play them in.

With firm foundations now in place, the series leads on to teach you a range of different tunes including John Spier’s arrangement of Dearest Dickie, Cornish trad tune Plethan A Beswar, English Morris tune Fanny Frail, and trad English Christmas tune Sweet Chiming Bells.


  • Learn a methodology that is applicable to any piece of music you want to learn.
  • Pick up valuable transferable skills.
  • Develop and perfect your listening skills.
  • Improve your confidence making progress in your playing.
  • Enjoy learning as part of the Mel’s Angels community.



Click on the links below to go to the Melinar, but in order to access the post’s content please sign up to the Archangel tier – click on the ‘Become A Patron’ button below.

Playing By Ear: Weaning Yourself Off The Dots

Playing By Ear: Recognising Familiar Patterns – Scales

Playing By Ear: Recognising Familiar Patterns – Arpeggios

Playing By Ear: Plethen A Beswar – B music

Playing By Ear: How to Hear When to Change Chords

Playing By Ear: Know Which Chord to Change To

Playing By Ear: Putting It All Together Part 1

Playing By Ear: Putting It All Together Part 2

Playing By Ear: How To Work Out Simple Time Signatures By Ear

Playing By Ear: Working Out Tricky Time Signatures

Festive Folk: Learn Sweet Chiming Bells With Me!

Christmas Angels: Steady Speed Session


Here’s what Angel Nancy has to say:

“I really enjoyed todays Melinar! I love the tune. I come from a classical background where all music was written. I love that diatonic accordion is so right-brained and from an oral tradition. It’s hard for me, but I really enjoy it.”

Here’s what Angel Alan has to say:

This whole series on playing by ear has been quite helpful and eye opening”

Here’s what Angel Dane has to say:

“Super Melinar today… the pacing of the session was excellent – slow enough that I could keep up, but quick and “deep” enough to provide some real “homework”


Can’t make the live Zoom group every month?

The Melinar recordings are posted here on Patreon after the live broadcast has ended for you to look at in your own time.

What are you waiting for? Make 2023 the year level up your melodeon playing – and I’m here to help you.

How to join a Melinar

Once you’ve signed up to the Archangel or Cherub tier (follow the ‘Become A Patron’ link at the bottom of this post) simply wait for a post containing the Zoom link to join the Melinar on the night.

I’ll post the link to Patreon the day before, which will generate an email to you, OR you can sign into your Patreon account to find the post on my Patreon homepage.

Any questions?

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment on this post and I’ll get back you when I can!

Happy Playing!

[:]||| Mel |||[:]