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Old 09-17-2012, 12:41 AM   #1
LicketyBritches
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How do I develope my ear without using tabs?

Ive been playing guitar for like 8 years or so and i like to think im pretty competent in my playing ability. my problem is that there are some things i can pick out in a song just from hearing, but a lot of times i cant, and i really kinda feel like less of a guitarist for NEEDING tabs. I know thats kind of dumb but it is what it is. so how can i learn songs without using tabs? is it something i need to force myself to do until i get it? or shoudl i ween myself off of tabs?

PS. i dont mean this as any disrespect to anyone who uses tabs, i just personally want to train my ear enough to not use them.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:00 AM   #2
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slow it down, keep working at it. aural training, like most musical understanding, is cumulative, so you're constantly getting better while your ability to take in knowledge simultaneously grows. it's just a matter of keeping at it and taking breaks if you get frustrated, and in a few months you'll be shocked by the difference.

you can use whatever method you want, but i'd avoid weening because it's just really tempting to not actually put in the work, from personal experience. i'd recommend transcribing your own tabs of songs you've worked out if it helps you understand rhythms and such, though, on tuxguitar or guitarpro. it forces you to slow down a bit and can help you stay on track.

and don't worry about offending tab users, they should know it's a nasty habit by now
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:13 PM   #3
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Theres nothing wrong with tablature, if it helps you learn a song or part of a song then use it and if you feel guilty about it then learn more theory... like modal scale theory that should make you feel like a better guitarist!
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:36 AM   #4
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^ Leave, now.

+1 Hail.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:22 AM   #5
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+1 Hail!
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:12 PM   #6
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I can recommend this website.

http://www.musictheory.net/exercises

These various excercises dosen't even require you to have your guitar at hand. They are bound to improve your ear by some degree. Get practicing!
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavster23
like modal scale theory that should make you feel like a better guitarist!


No, just no.

Anyways, TS. Start simple is the way to go. As with technical ability and theoretical knowledge, you have to build your ear capability. Like people will never learn a shred or jazz song as their first songs on guitar, and they won't study whole - tone harmony when they have just started looking into theory.

Start simple. Take simple melodies (I've found that chorus sections of radio friendly pop is very good to start with) and break them down into sections, and try to find the notes.

When i started i learned Lady Gagas vocals on guitar, it was simple and good. (The one useage for that kind of music in my opinion )

As said, when you can do that kind of stuff well you can move along and learn more difficult things. Be it melodies or chords or riffs.

Hope that helped, cheers.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LicketyBritches
Ive been playing guitar for like 8 years or so and i like to think im pretty competent in my playing ability. my problem is that there are some things i can pick out in a song just from hearing, but a lot of times i cant, and i really kinda feel like less of a guitarist for NEEDING tabs. I know thats kind of dumb but it is what it is. so how can i learn songs without using tabs? is it something i need to force myself to do until i get it? or shoudl i ween myself off of tabs?

PS. i dont mean this as any disrespect to anyone who uses tabs, i just personally want to train my ear enough to not use them.


Relax dude - you're worrying unnecessarily. Tab / music is the guitarist's equivalent of an actor's script - it means you don't have to sit through umpteen performances learning the thing, you can just take it piece by piece. Besides, classical guitarists learn their pieces from the score. I'm fairly sure that neither John Williams, Julian Bream, nor Andres Segovia felt less of a guitarist for needing to read the score, and I'm pretty sure they all have/had an excellent ear for music.

I'm not saying you shouldn't try to work some songs out from basics - make your own tab for them - because working things out for yourself is a great way to develop your ear - but no sane person is going to expect you to be able to reproduce every single piece of music you hear just by listening to it.

As far as working things out goes, everyone will have their favourite methods. Personally I tend to stick the song in a wave editor and loop the tricky sections, unless it's really, really easy. You might find it more satisfying to do something else.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sempermore
I can recommend this website.

http://www.musictheory.net/exercises

These various excercises dosen't even require you to have your guitar at hand. They are bound to improve your ear by some degree. Get practicing!

This. I used this site for a while and I can now find a note straight away. Sometimes a semi/ tone out. Interval training and chords. First off, learn the interval names and find them on your guitar. Relate them to songs you know. For example, a minor second is jaws, jurassic park etc... It makes it much easier.

Also, AC/DC songs. All the same chords but it's an excellent place to start. Folk songs. They're the same four chords. Start easy. Nursery rhymes even.

Make sure you stop the song after each note. The last note you hear stays in your ear. Learning to stop the song at the right point is important.

Make sure you're right before you move on to the next part.

It's not gunna happen over night, it will take a while. Just keep at it.

When you've transcribed the song, compare it to existing tabs. See if it's similar.

Also, one of the most important, listen to the song about ten times before you try learn it. You wanna know the song very well. Think of your favourite song, you can hear every bit in your head can't you? You want to be very familiar with the song you're transcribing.

Just keep at it. Not enough guitarists do it. It'll improve your playing too. Being able to play what you hear in your head is an amazing thing to be able to do. That's when you really start becoming a musician instead of a guitarist,
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:00 PM   #10
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Try picking out the songs you like with your ear. It's not a reasonable goal to expect to jump straight to a very difficult song to pick out by ear (a song full of advanced chord changes, strange melodies, complex guitar riffs, etc.) and be able to do so easily. Instead, start with those songs YOU CAN pick out by ear. Don't select very easy/slow songs because I think you'd find those boring (and very easy), but on the other hand, don't work on songs which are very tough to figure out.

When you listen to a song, try to "really hear" the music, and try to focus on the guitar line. It takes practice and with time, you will get better at transcribing music by ear. These improvements will help push you forward. Good luck!

P.S: Windows Media Player's "Now playing" screen has a "slow-down"-er. On the Now Playing screen, right click on the mouse and choose "Enhancements > Play speed settings" to slow down a song you are trying to pick out by ear. I've heard the program Audacity is good for slowing music down too, but I've never tried it myself.

Take care!!!
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Last edited by zuhairreza : 09-22-2012 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:44 PM   #11
LicketyBritches
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thanks guys. im taking all of this into consideration. i work at a recording studio and ive heard my mentors say things like "you're going to the 4 there and you it need to be a 5" or whatever and i just really want that. i dont want to be a noodler, i want to be a real musician. this is not to knock on anyone who cant, im not saying they arent real musicians, i just have a certain expectation of myself and i want to get there. thanks for the advice, i will prevail!
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