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Old 03-02-2013, 01:37 AM   #21
fdsaevad
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I enjoy posting in forums for the reaction my opinions bring. I don't mean disrespect, i'm just waiting for my mixdowns to finish and I don't drink any more so my apologies if I'm slightly annoying.

Anyway, for the sake of argument, let's all agree that music performed on traditional instruments involves muscle memory. Let us also agree that the performance of said music, using muscle memory, requires practice. Practice is the slow evolution of whatever you're practicing (songwriting, muscle memory etc) brought about by repetition. You can't 'play what you hear in your head' unless you've previously rendered it into your repertoire of chops. 'what you hear in your head' i'm pretty sure is just a melange of your chops practiced a billion times previously, even the melodic stuff. Eventually we're all able to sing a melodic line and play it out on the guitar simply by ear, without stopping to figure it out, or we're able to sing along with what we 'improvise' on the guitar, but this is only a by product of having practiced our chops a billion times previous.

The way we build up our soloing to this point, is by learning other musicians chops and molding it into our own creation. Can't invent the wheel on your own, and you sure as f can't learn how to solo by listening to what's in your head.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:39 AM   #22
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... Imo. : )
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:49 AM   #23
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Anyway, my point is, to a beginner guitarist, there's only one way to learn how to solo, and that's by learning how other guitarists solo. If you're a beginning jazz trumpet player, you're going to learn Davis chops first, or whoever else inspires you. If you're a painter, you need to learn the techniques before you paint 'whats in your eyes'.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:35 AM   #24
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the worst thing for a guitarist is learning how other guitarists do things

because guitarists suck dick
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:14 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdsaevad
Anyway, my point is, to a beginner guitarist, there's only one way to learn how to solo, and that's by learning how other guitarists solo. If you're a beginning jazz trumpet player, you're going to learn Davis chops first, or whoever else inspires you. If you're a painter, you need to learn the techniques before you paint 'whats in your eyes'.

You are right. Of course you need to listen to how other people do it to know what kind of possibilities there are.

But remember that TS isn't a beginner. He has been playing for 8 years. So what I think his problem is is that he's trying to play too lick based solos. He has learned a bunch of licks that he's trying to put together. He's been playing for so long that he could just try to play by ear. Writing solo by connecting random licks is pretty much the same as writing a song by connecting random riffs. It doesn't sound good. So TS shouldn't rely too much on licks.

IMO everybody should start learning by ear as soon as possible. If you start playing the guitar only by relying on tabs instead of sounds, it's much harder to get rid of the tabs.

I'm a good example. I play trumpet and when I started, I only read notes. Learning to play from memory and without notes was very hard because I focused too much on notes, same as some guitarists focus on tabs. My brother plays flute and when he started, he learned all the songs by ear. He had this kind of CD that had flute songs. My brother just played what he heard on the CD. If I had started playing like this, I'm sure I could play much better without notes. (And it was a long time ago when I started, I was 7 years old back then.)
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:45 PM   #26
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Thank you for your help folks. I struggle to play by ear - I can tell something sounds off if I am playing something wrong and hit a bum note but I do struggle playing by ear. To the point where all my playing with other musicians comes from knowledge of what chords tey're using and what scales work with that. I am trying to do some ear training but reading some of the replies has made me realise it's more important I stop learning tabs so much and try using my ears more. I have a good idea where I need to head now thanks to all your suggestions, I shall take them all onboard and see where I end up. Thank you again everyone

Michael
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:45 PM   #27
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i'm probably an idiot. ... but what exactly is the benefit of learning how to play by ear?

i understand the ability to play by ear is a nice thing, but it's more a result and natural benefit of being a long time musician. i don't get why you would spend the hours and hours figuring it out on your own (like how they did it back in the day by turning down the speed on the turntable) when you have it so easily mapped out in books? the techniques are so foreign that it's virtually impossible for a beginner to figure out what's being played. even after 8 years, picking up a Clapton solo or any other solo by a guitarist known for his/her chops, isn't too easy if you've never learned those techniques before. anyway, whatever negligible errors there are in published tab books are of no consequence to the beginner when you consider how much quicker the techniques will come to when using them. there's notation of every Davis recording and solo for beginning trumpet players too.

if you find yourself a long term guitarist and still doing covers (like the guitarist in the american idol backing band for example), you've most likely been playing for over 20 years, are versatile and studied in all music styles of the world on multiple instruments, and can play back a tune exactly how it's played on the album the first time you hear it because you've previously studied the techniques, chord voicings, chops etc used by all guitarists. being able to playing by ear is just the natural progression of things. regardless, you're given the required repertoire months in advance, so it's not as if anything is done on the fly while on the stage. you can write operas or jazz charts, but you're doing garbage corporate pop cover tunes because it's a nice gig. (edit: thinking about it, if you're in the cover band realm probably a lot is done on the fly, but being fluent in all those tunes is your specialty i guess. cover songs aren't for everybody)

imo, learning by ear seems more of a pain in the A and waste of time when exact notation is so readily available.

no shame in it

Last edited by fdsaevad : 03-02-2013 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:43 PM   #28
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Are you a actual idiot or do you just act like one for the sake of causing a bit of controversy?

Just curious
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:51 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by fdsaevad
i'm probably an idiot. ...



Last edited by Hail : 03-02-2013 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:55 PM   #30
fdsaevad
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a bit of both at times, but in this case i think there's some logic to my argument.

i mean, suuure, learning by ear probably has benefits, but for a guy on a forum who says he wants to learn how to solo, i think learning solos in tab books is probably better advice and less intimidating/confusing than that or 'listen to what's in your head'.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:56 PM   #31
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lol


k im done
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:40 PM   #32
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learning by ear allows you to internalize sounds beyond regurgitation. it also forces immersion into the piece itself, forcing you to internalize the ensemble as a whole rather than "just" the guitar.

being able to interpret and understand consonance/dissonance/harmony on a wider scale than your individual instrument is the prime difference we talk about between a guitarist and a musician when we differentiate the terms.

you can learn the principles of functional harmony through textbook studies, but it's important to realize that analyzation, a proper ear, and common sense will almost always be the most effective method of deriving meaning from sound and finding the essence of the composer's musical logic in that given passage (as well as, of course, how that passage might coincide with passages related to or within the same piece).

your ear is the most valuable tool you have for composition and performance, and neglecting to hone it will inevitably lead to roadblocks in your understanding of theory (which in turn reflects on your understanding of music). at most, a beginner guitarist will attribute a solo to a scale - rather than sounds generated by contrasting movements, timbres, accents, dynamics, and the role that the harmony plays beneath to bolster those effects.

regardless of your experience, in terms of taking in and internalizing a piece (which should again be the goal - to break down and assess music in real-time and use the relationships and logical processes to be reciprocated via your own inspirations) scales, tablatures, numbers, shapes, they're all inherently going to be inefficient because of the sheer lack of encapsulation and translation between composer and performer, and performer and listener.

efficiency is your argument for tablature or sheet providing the piece for someone without the tools to find it for themselves, but that's simply because it's an uphill battle training yourself to use those tools. the abilities you earn by forcing yourself to acquire these tools are infinitely more useful than tablature or sheet music.

if you're in a pinch? sure, look up the tabs, but even on official printings they're very often wrong in some regard or another. plus, considering you'll have to listen to the piece anyway to loyally perform it, you'll probably spend more time picking apart numbers and understanding how they relate. but this is only valid if it's your call to make. if you don't know how to transcribe, do it! even if simply for the virtue of learning a new skill, and a new avenue to understand music, and by way of that a new way to eventually create music (particularly by the relationships in your head - solidified by honing your ear!)

even on a technical standpoint, my ear has been my greatest aid. it's a muscle like anything else, and getting it up to bat has let me hear my tone and be able to make the executive decision that it's not what i want, and how to assess the situation to be self-reliant and hone my technical abilities. just like hearing through an incredibly transparent set of monitors, you're forced to clean up your technique and become better for it. at that point it's just troubleshooting and executing economy of motion.

and to diverge even further, i'll point out that this is perfectly palpable with legitimate pieces of music - to a point where it forces you to learn to do "as the recording" in an unerring exercise that 1-2-3-4 and major scale runs never allowed.

musicality is key, and any shortcuts will compromise that musicality. you don't have a stadium gig in 3 days - you don't have any excuse for shortcuts in your education.

tl;dr scales and tabs are bad, ear is good, music is good, christian bale's fuckin rad, i shouldn't have had that 2nd glass of wine, PUNK ROCK
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:25 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdsaevad
i'm probably an idiot. ... but what exactly is the benefit of learning how to play by ear?

i understand the ability to play by ear is a nice thing, but it's more a result and natural benefit of being a long time musician. i don't get why you would spend the hours and hours figuring it out on your own (like how they did it back in the day by turning down the speed on the turntable) when you have it so easily mapped out in books? the techniques are so foreign that it's virtually impossible for a beginner to figure out what's being played. even after 8 years, picking up a Clapton solo or any other solo by a guitarist known for his/her chops, isn't too easy if you've never learned those techniques before. anyway, whatever negligible errors there are in published tab books are of no consequence to the beginner when you consider how much quicker the techniques will come to when using them. there's notation of every Davis recording and solo for beginning trumpet players too.

if you find yourself a long term guitarist and still doing covers (like the guitarist in the american idol backing band for example), you've most likely been playing for over 20 years, are versatile and studied in all music styles of the world on multiple instruments, and can play back a tune exactly how it's played on the album the first time you hear it because you've previously studied the techniques, chord voicings, chops etc used by all guitarists. being able to playing by ear is just the natural progression of things. regardless, you're given the required repertoire months in advance, so it's not as if anything is done on the fly while on the stage. you can write operas or jazz charts, but you're doing garbage corporate pop cover tunes because it's a nice gig. (edit: thinking about it, if you're in the cover band realm probably a lot is done on the fly, but being fluent in all those tunes is your specialty i guess. cover songs aren't for everybody)

imo, learning by ear seems more of a pain in the A and waste of time when exact notation is so readily available.

no shame in it

How can you improvise if you don't know what you are doing, if you don't know how it's going to sound like what you are going to play? If you don't know how it's going to sound like, then your improvising is hitting random "safe notes" and you hope for the best result. And also you need to have trained ear to compose. You may hear a melody in your head that you want your song to have but if you don't know how to play it, you can't compose the song you want to compose.

Also isn't it cool when you hear a melody somewhere, you can instantly play it? For example you are in a band and the bassist comes up with the coolest bass groove you have ever heard. If you come up with something in your head that would fit it perfectly but you can't transform it into notes on your fretboard, you can't play the cool thing you came up with.

If you can't think in sounds how can your playing sound any interesting? You are just playing numbers on fretboard. IMO that's not music. You need to be able to think in sound to make something sound good.

I have been playing the guitar for a bit over three years and I can play many things by ear. That's because I started learning the songs by ear. Back then I listened lots of Metallica and I learned every riff i heard. I knew about tabs but when I had looked at them, they all seemed so wrong. They had lots of mistakes and I thought I can do better just by learning them by myself. I also started doing my own tabs. It's not so hard to play by ear and you definitely don't need 20 years of experience to be able to do it.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine : 03-03-2013 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:37 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Ferinos
Hi there and thanks for taking the time to read this. I have been playing for about seven or eight years now and admittedly I don't know as much theory as I should. I do however know basics and some scales (I am currently working on learning more.)

When it comes to rhythm I'm good, I can learn something get it down and I enjoy it.


When it comes to soloing I feel like I am crap. I can come up with my own licks and chord progressions but I can't make a solo, or fit my licks to a chord progression.

I really want to be able to improvise but so far it feels like I am banging my head against a brick wall, I play an Em. Pentatonic scale over an Em chord for example. Watch someone play on youtube and they can make it sing. My sound like a series of disjointed noted slapped together.

What am I doing wrong? I hate not being able to improvise, please help me out here! I can hammer on, bend etc although admittedly I do need to work on these techniques but surely after seven years, not being able to improvise means I am doing something drastically wrong?

As a sidenote, I really like a bluesy rock sound and that's what I enjoy playing annd trying to create.

Think Guns N Roses, Eric Clapton, Richie Sambora's solo work etc etc.

Someone please save the wall

Thanks,
Mike



Have you ever taken lessons, or bought a book, or sought to learn music theory? Reading your frustrations, it more or less looks like this.

The amount of time you've been playing, doesnt amount to much. I have a student that comes to mind now that, 5 months ago had never picked up the guitar. Now, he could claim to be playing for about 3 years, and people wouldn't suspect a thing. It's all int he quality of the instruction and the commitment that you put into it, on your end. He gets up at 5:30 every morning and applies and practices exactly what was taught in whatever lesson he took from us that week. He puts in about 15 minutes each morning like clockwork.

"I don't understand or know anything about music theory, and therefore am lost and unable to execute upon things, that having those skill sets would have allowed for."

It kind of answers it's own question to me. You might be a great candidate for upping your game and learning about the guitar, scales, chords, keys, and how all these things fit together. You can invest in this in terms of time, where you might take ages, and have to be both teacher and student, or financially, if its meaningful to you, to maybe learn it faster and have someone else overseeing your progress and fixing hings before they go wrong.

Best,

Sean
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