#1
I'm terrible at listening to a song and figuring out how to play it. I'd love to be able to listen to a song and then sit down and tab it out. What steps do you all take to figure songs out? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
#3
sometimes it helps to split up your listening into two channels, such as through ear pieces
this way you can figure out different guitar lines easier depending on the pan that they are set on
#4
Quote by Punkable_Tabs
Develop a really good ear.

Most of the stuff I found out myself just came from playing random ****.


Yeah, I've gotten lucky accidentally a couple times. I want to actually know how I did it for once though.
#5
Start by listening to and figuring out freakishly easy songs, like Twinkle Twinkle, Jingle Bells, etc. Then start getting to progressively harder songs. its all about practice
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#6
Quote by Jango22
Start by listening to and figuring out freakishly easy songs, like Twinkle Twinkle, Jingle Bells, etc. Then start getting to progressively harder songs. its all about practice


And also learn your scales and modes, it's pretty near impossible to just pick frets by guesswork/learning every note on the fretboard.
#7
Hearing and singing go hand in hand. Not necessarily singing with great tone and projection, but at least being accurate with pitch and intonation, relatively speaking.

Try singing what you hear, and then singing what you play. Quietly, to yourself-- no need to embarrass yourself.

Developing your ear is crucial to being a complete musician. Any really great player that you listen to all the time has great ears and can sing what they play, at least generally. I guarantee it.
#8
I always slow the song down to about 50% to pick out the hard bits. You can do that easily on windows media player or goldwave.

I find lead parts alot easier that chords. For chords, try and work out the root note first, and then whether its major or minor. Then you can work out the picking/strumming pattern.

Start simple and then build it up. Also listen to the song alot. I find it alot easier to tab a song that really like and that i've listened to alot that one that im tabbing just because someones asked me to.
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#9
Uhmz listen better to a song?

Seriously if 1 note makes u feel different then the other note, then you know the difference and u can figure it out.

I'm still dazzled why so many people have a hard time with using their ears, since this is what you use to hear a song in the first place

Everyone already has a good ear, or else every song would sound literally the same.

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#10
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Uhmz listen better to a song?

Seriously if 1 note makes u feel different then the other note, then you know the difference and u can figure it out.

I'm still dazzled why so many people have a hard time with using their ears, since this is what you use to hear a song in the first place

Everyone already has a good ear, or else every song would sound literally the same.


You can't just simplify it like that and say its easy for everyone. Of course some people have a better ear for music than others. I've got a friend whos practically tone deaf, but can obviously tell the difference between two songs.

And even if you have a really good ear, sometimes it can be hard to pick all the parts out of the mix if your listening to a really layered song.
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#11
Quote by nugiboy
You can't just simplify it like that and say its easy for everyone. Of course some people have a better ear for music than others. I've got a friend whos practically tone deaf, but can obviously tell the difference between two songs.

And even if you have a really good ear, sometimes it can be hard to pick all the parts out of the mix if your listening to a really layered song.


I can probably not simplify it like that, but it's true. You need to listen better to a song.


You already have a good ear. If I talk to you in person (completely random speech about groceries an spacecrafts), you can probably say exactly what I said immediately afterwards. Our voices have different accents, our words can be phrased differently and we talk in 10000+ different "pitches". Music only uses 12 notesn and about 70% of music or so uses quite "simple" phrasing. You have a good ear so don't come with "Good Ear BS". You just use ur ears "Wrong".

Either that, or you don't really know which fret/place on the guitar makes "x" guitar sound/music note.

It's because of how most people grew up with music. Most people grow up with music as a background or 2nd activity. I bet most people with "bad ears" are people that do exercises while watching tv or who play guitar for 30 minutes, go on msn/google/youtube/forums for 10 minutes and play some more guitar etc. This is not effective, and ur brain will be "a mess".


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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Dec 27, 2008,
#12
A lot of the times if I'm listening to a song and have a guitar handy, I'll do a slide from nowhere to a note. If it sounds good then I'll know I'm close. I'll look at what note it is and I'll generally use that as my starting point, works well for me.
To be brave is to take action in spite of fear. It is impossible to be brave without first being afraid. To take action without fear is not brave, it is foolish.
#13
Quote by xxdarrenxx
I can probably not simplify it like that, but it's true. You need to listen better to a song.


You already have a good ear. If I talk to you in person (completely random speech about groceries an spacecrafts), you can probably say exactly what I said immediately afterwards. Our voices have different accents, our words can be phrased differently and we talk in 10000+ different "pitches". Music only uses 12 notesn and about 70% of music or so uses quite "simple" phrasing. You have a good ear so don't come with "Good Ear BS". You just use ur ears "Wrong".

Either that, or you don't really know which fret/place on the guitar makes "x" guitar sound/music note.

It's because of how most people grew up with music. Most people grow up with music as a background or 2nd activity. I bet most people with "bad ears" are people that do exercises while watching tv or who play guitar for 30 minutes, go on msn/google/youtube/forums for 10 minutes and play some more guitar etc. This is not effective, and ur brain will be "a mess".




You seem to know nothing about aural skills and developing them.
#14
Ok, here goes..

Get something like Cool Edit Pro or Adobe Audition or (maybe even Reaper?). Then you can queue up the song into blocks. Your current level of skill divided by the amount that is going on in the music will determine the size of block you can handle.

Now loop the first block, and if necessary - use the stretch function to slow down the music. Have a tabbing application, or a pen and paper, ready to write out the first block. Muck around until you know every note in the block is absolutely correct, don't worry about positioning too much yet. Now move on to the next block and repeat until the end.

This will give you a rough tab of the notes and maybe even rhythms (depending on the tabbing method - I recommend Guitar Pro) and the next step is to actually learn to play that rough tab. Play along with the song, at whatever speed is comfortable, and try different fingerings where it doesn't feel or sound right. Update the tab. Repeat..
#16
I just play where i think it would be played and usually pretty close the fisrt time but iv been playing a while.
#17
I noticed that it's infinitely easier to figure out the song if the song is playing, and your guitar is in hand. you can match up the chords or notes, and it's a breeze.
#18
try to start by looking up the first few notes on tab, and then try figuring out the rest.
im currently at that "stage" and im getting better each time i try
#19
Quote by acoustic_guy7
You seem to know nothing about aural skills and developing them.


Lol

I'm not even going into this. I transcribe EVERYTHING by ear.

Test me, put on an recording of like 5 minutes of ur own stuff I will transcribe it within 10 minutes depending on the piece. If I can't do it then I will leave these forums forever.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Dec 28, 2008,
#20
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Lol

I'm not even going into this. I transcribe EVERYTHING by ear.

Test me, put on an recording of like 5 minutes of ur own stuff I will transcribe it within 10 minutes depending on the piece. If I can't do it then I will leave these forums forever.



Tab this.

/matrix parody
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#21
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Lol

I'm not even going into this. I transcribe EVERYTHING by ear.

Test me, put on an recording of like 5 minutes of ur own stuff I will transcribe it within 10 minutes depending on the piece. If I can't do it then I will leave these forums forever.


I'm not doubting your ability. I disagree with your views of aural skills and how to develop them. I also disagree with your analogy of speaking aural skill vs. musical aural skills. I know great musicians who do not have very good ears.
#22
Quote by nugiboy
I always slow the song down to about 50% to pick out the hard bits. You can do that easily on windows media player or goldwave.

I find lead parts alot easier that chords. For chords, try and work out the root note first, and then whether its major or minor. Then you can work out the picking/strumming pattern.

Start simple and then build it up. Also listen to the song alot. I find it alot easier to tab a song that really like and that i've listened to alot that one that im tabbing just because someones asked me to.

+1 that sounds pretty solid.

I've always put off working on my ear, I just never have the patience to sit there and figure everything out while it's so easily accessible on UG or something. However, over time and just by playing my guitar for countless hours, it's kind of hard not to pick up that skill. Improvisation is really a link between the two I think. As you improvise, you kind of think out in your head what you want to hear, then you know where to go after that. As that progresses, you can eventually apply it to music you aren't playing. That's kind of how it's gone for me, now I can get most of what I need, and I definitely have a much easier time with solos than chords. And obviously knowing the pentatonic and major scale solidly will help a ton.

Also, work on identifying intervals, there are a few free programs you can google for that will help a lot with that.


My mind is going. I can feel it.
#23
Quote by acoustic_guy7
I'm not doubting your ability. I disagree with your views of aural skills and how to develop them. I also disagree with your analogy of speaking aural skill vs. musical aural skills. I know great musicians who do not have very good ears.


I still disagree. If you really listen to music, all theory comes far easier and you understand WHY some particular thing is categorized in a musical theory.

You can and some people need to develop it. I was just pointing out that the problem is NOT in the ears, but in the mind set.

1 human doesn't have a better ear then another (unless you do have physical eardamage and can't hear some frequencies).

Every human has a great ear, you just need to have the willpower to use it. It's exhausting and probably frustrating if you can't transcribe something fast enough, but you need to be focused and stay concentrated.

It's just that people think ur "Born" with a great ear. Anyone who doesn't have "damaged" ears, already has "good ears". You just need to focus more and listen harder.

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#24
Quote by xxdarrenxx
I still disagree. If you really listen to music, all theory comes far easier and you understand WHY some particular thing is categorized in a musical theory.

You can and some people need to develop it. I was just pointing out that the problem is NOT in the ears, but in the mind set.

1 human doesn't have a better ear then another (unless you do have physical eardamage and can't hear some frequencies).

Every human has a great ear, you just need to have the willpower to use it. It's exhausting and probably frustrating if you can't transcribe something fast enough, but you need to be focused and stay concentrated.

It's just that people think ur "Born" with a great ear. Anyone who doesn't have "damaged" ears, already has "good ears". You just need to focus more and listen harder.


Everyone has the POTENTIAL to have a great ear unless they have handicaps or learning disabilities. It is their job to DEVELOP their ear to a musicians level. But the road is different for everyone.

And of course the problem is in the mindset. Listening itself is a mental capability. You only use the ears to channel the sound, not to comprehend it. Any moron can tell in a interval relationship quiz that there are two different notes playing, they just don't know what notes those are or how far away they are from eachother. That takes development and practice.
Last edited by acoustic_guy7 at Dec 29, 2008,