Play by Ear

Play by Ear strip

play by ear

  1. Play a musical instrument without the aid of written music, as in By the time she was four, she could play a dozen songs by ear . [Late 1600s]
  2. play it by ear . ¬†Proceed gradually, depending on the circumstances; improvise. For example, I’m not sure how much we should say about our plans, so let’s play it by ear . [Mid-1900s]