#1
What are the pros & cons of learning songs by ear or tabs because Im not certain which one I should do exactly. I want to learn many songs fast and correctly but I need your opinions everyone. What are the benefits of learning songs by ear too?

Thanks
#2
i hear you will get flying powers if u learn by ear. i never had the guts to try it you should!
#3
for riffs in songs try ear and tabs but if its solos and you want it perfect use tabs. For solos you can use your ears but you need to know what key the song is in and maybe you can figure out the solos by the scales used in that key.
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#4
learning via tabs is a lot less tedious, but learning by ear will help your playing more.

Quote by bfredder92
for riffs in songs try ear and tabs but if its solos and you want it perfect use tabs. For solos you can use your ears but you need to know what key the song is in and maybe you can figure out the solos by the scales used in that key.


Eh I don't think this is really valid, because most tabs you find are transcribed by ear anyway, a lot of them are pretty imperfect and people end up learning them at least partially by ear anyway (or they just play them wrong)
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Last edited by Kid_Thorazine at Mar 26, 2009,
#5
Combine the two. Learning by ear will make you a lot better at improvisation, as you will actually find a way to play things, rather than learning "the" way to play them. It's about experimenting. Tabs are often guidelines, whilst the exact detail that makes the song sound like it does, cannot always be tabbed. I usually just play along to music a lot of the time, working my way into it. If I can't really figure it out, I check a tab to get the basics down.
#6
i use my ear for almost everything, i noticed tabs are not accurate all the time and i find it more for filling to figure it out on my own, some people have no ear for music so they need tabs but when i stated played 15yrs ago the internet was just starting out and i had no choice but to learn from listening.
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#9
I've never been able to find the discipline to sit down and spend time reading a tab when I have a guitar in my hands and a song in my ears. I've always eared it out, and I don't plan to stop unless I go deaf. But if you don't have a good ear, then definitely read a tab.
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#10
I say learn the riffs and other rhythm stuff by tab, unless you can figure it out by ear. Then figure out the key and improvise the solos yourself.
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#11
There is no "vs" ...even if you're learning from a tab you should still be using your ears, you ALWAYS use your ears
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#12
Quote by jking948
I say learn the riffs and other rhythm stuff by tab, unless you can figure it out by ear. Then figure out the key and improvise the solos yourself.


that works for some things, and doesn't work at all for some stuff (mainly classical inspired and progressive stuff that relies heavily on intricate composition)
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#13
There's one thing about tabs and that they are transcibed by someone. Now how good is his ears?

Tabs are handy though but you should use your ears. I found that by moving some licks to a different area on the fretboard (still same notes or not) it sounded better or more smoothly.
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#14
I work them out by ear but refer to tabs if I get stuck. The less you use tabs the better you'll become at working them out by ear, you'll then become better at improvising.
I played a gig once and we had a guest come up on stage and played Hey Joe. at the end of the gig the other guitarist came up to me and said that he didn't know I knew the solo to Hey Joe, I told him I didn't I just improvised, I found that While playing the song I could hear the tune of the solo in my head and re-creat it pretty well.
Mark is right though, there is no verses, you need your ears for both.

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#15
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
that works for some things, and doesn't work at all for some stuff (mainly classical inspired and progressive stuff that relies heavily on intricate composition)

Let me start by saying I have never played classical, I am mainly a hard rock/blues kind of guy. But my thought is that if the "solo" was actually part of the song you wouldn't improv it, but if it is an actual solo you can learn it. It is my opinion, and just my opinion, that when you play a cover song, unless you can't figure out the solo a little bit by ear, you should still try. It is the only way you will get better at improving if you improv to other solos, you can't just wake up and suddenly be good at it.
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#17
Quote by jking948
Let me start by saying I have never played classical, I am mainly a hard rock/blues kind of guy. But my thought is that if the "solo" was actually part of the song you wouldn't improv it, but if it is an actual solo you can learn it. It is my opinion, and just my opinion, that when you play a cover song, unless you can't figure out the solo a little bit by ear, you should still try. It is the only way you will get better at improving if you improv to other solos, you can't just wake up and suddenly be good at it.


Yeah I'm all for figuring the stuff out and winging it a little bit in rock and stuff like that, which is why I said sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.
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#18
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
Yeah I'm all for figuring the stuff out and winging it a little bit in rock and stuff like that, which is why I said sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.


That's normal.
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#19
I don't know if its true but sometimes it seems that learning a song by ear helps also one's creativity and in the process you kinda get the idea how the musician approaches to writing music.
I personally use tabs. I mostly just don't have so much patience to figure songs out myself, especially when there are some weird chords or some parts are muffled by unusual drumbeats and vocals.