#1
I've been trying to develop my ears, so to speak, by working on transcribing some songs by ear. The thing I am having trouble with is identifying palm muted notes vs normal notes. Normally this is not hard to do, but I am working on some metalcore type songs where the riffs are usually played fast with a lot of distortion.

I've normally been of the opinion "when in doubt, palm mute" for this stuff but a passage in a Parkway Drive song has me stumped. The song is "Dark Days" and the riff I am stumped on is at 0:55.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7lpftvYDMA

The riff goes something like this

(Drop Bb/A# tuning)
C ------------------------------------------
G ------------------------------------------
Eb-----------------------------------------
Bb------------5-7-----------5-8------------
F------5-7-8--------5-7-8---------5-7-8-
Bb------------------------------------------

I'm having a hard time telling if this is palm muted or not, given the speed and distortion. I'm just wondering if anyone has any tips, not just for this song, but for transcribing by ear in general with this sort of thing. This may be a minor detail, but I am really trying to work on my skills at figuring things out by ear. Thanks.

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#2
Well something very in general:
Does it sound good played like this?
Does it sound better like this?

...and so on...try both palm muted and not palm muted and see what sounds the best to you.
You can always go back to a section you're not sure about later on.

When I transcribe I tend to have a few variations of what I think a certain part may be, after a while I tend to settle down on one...and then I just go with that one.
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