so basically Ive been playing for close to 9 months now, and my teacher [of about a month and a half] is stressing the transcription [correct terminology?] of songs.

My first task was Maroon 5 Sunday Morning, and being completely honest, I'm having a ridiculously hard time. I mean, I got the intro and stuff down, but nontheless, I think I need to start a bit smaller. [yes, I know i can just look at someone else s tabs, but that won't help, as my goal is to develop my ear.]

Any suggestions on

-Transcribing songs in the first place
-Songs to start with
-Methodologies to enhance the process.

I mean, I essentially start off trying to find the key, sometimes I find myself using the Third as the key or something like that.

I made the mistake of as a bassist focusing on Technique and not so much playing wise.
So in a nutshell, I have really good technique and can cover songs if I look at Tabs fairly quickly, but I can't just listen to them and play.

-Also, I come up with basslines in my head, and can find the notes I want, which is certainly helpful, but I'd like to make that more acute.

Disclaimer- I know this takes time and I'm a raw musician, but any sort of direction would help.

If you want to give yourself some hints. Look at the guitar chords for the song.

This will give you a good basis for the rest of the song without giving the entire game away.

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That does sound a bit hard for a first song but if you're teacher gave it to you I'm sure he's confident in your ability to do it.
Yea, like, I have a basic idea of it, but Im having a hard time with the fills, and then the bridge part, I found some of the notes, but the movement of it kinda has me lost a bit.
You really have to know your theory for it. If you learn one note, chances are that the next one is somewhere in the scaleand things like that. I honestly cant do it myself because you really have to be able to pick it out and be able to tell clearly the note, meaning you have to know your fretboard.
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Last edited by alternitivebass at Dec 20, 2008,
Eh, I know my fretboard really well

I know the note names, ran the circle of fifths more times than I can remember, Know Major minor, pentatonics, blues, Mixolydian, Fridgian etc.

The arppegio patterns are imprinted in my fingers as well lol

Its more so my ear genuinly sucks
Like, I can tell when a note is off, I can tell whether its a one note interval or a two note interval etc.
But I cant like differentiate an A from an E
unless i play it, but even sometimes, Ill mess it up.
When I'm learning a song by ear it really helps to put the bass down and just listen a few times through. Being comfortable with the song on its own is my first step. From there it can go slow - figure a bit out, then reflect. Listen again and check to see if what you have is correct. Keep building and before you know it the songs will just come intuitively.

That might sound vague, but learning songs by ear just like every other aspect of music (and life, more or less) - it takes a lot of practice at first and the more you do it the better you get.