ello everyone, i just want to ask how to learn a song by ear??

actually im a 6 months guitar player and im just want to know why those ppl learn a song by ear??

is that becuz of there experience??

im just curios about it, i got alot of friends usually learn a song by ear but not those tabs

sori for bad english, i hope you understand my own point
Listen to the song and sing along to the guitar parts.

Keep singing, and find the notes on the fretboard.

Trial and error until what you're playing matches what you're singing.
well some songs have really horrible tabs...some dont have solos, etc. The way i see it its experience, all of the sudden i could hear riffs, find the notes, play 'em. Its really good if you can do it but at your point in your playing its not the most important thing to focus on. It does help though when some pansies post the whole song except the solo because they were "lazy"
The best thing you can do is just turn on your radio and play along with the songs as they come up. This will help you learn to hear and match chord changes to your guitar playing while making sure that you havent played most of the songs before.
I remember the first piece of music I learned by ear was the intro of Ides of March by Iron Maiden, check out that song!

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I found that some rudimentary knowledge of key signatures and chord progressions was very helpful when figuring out songs by ear. Yes, I mean music theory. The circle of fifths will give you some conceptual background.
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Learn some theory and then learn by doing. If you have a good understanding of theory you can tell where a song should be going so you have a foundation to work from as long as you can find the key.

From there on it's a question of experience... and the learning curve is harsh; you'll be very bad at it for a long time.
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youtube vids of live performances of the songs, watch where the guitar players hands are, and guess/check
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youtube vids of live performances of the songs, watch where the guitar players hands are, and guess/check

annnd how would that be playing by EAR? :P
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It can be a long, grueling process but I'll try to break it down step by step. The first thing you want to do is identify the key of the song. A good way to do this is to listen to the last note/chord of the song. Quite often the song will end on its key. It naturally wants to reside to its original note. For example, if you play an Am scale, it just won't sound right if you end it on E or F. Then figure out whether it's major or minor. From there you will have to know the chords associated with the key. And you will have to figure out what scales are being used. From there, it's just a matter of going through the song and figuring out the chords. Good luck.
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Once you get a grasp on how rock normally goes, the changes soon will become natural, and you will know what will come next. The circle of fiths have a massive effect here.
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annnd how would that be playing by EAR? :P

because you're not using tabs. Sometimes the quality of the video isn't good or they don't zoom in on the hands. So you end up finding a general place for the notes they're playing (For instance, it might around the 5th and 7th frets) then you take it from there. It helps when starting out, then as you progress you grow away from watching live videos of people playing the song.

Just my opinion, atleast, and it's how I used to and sometimes do it.
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Once you start to understand the Frequency of notes, and understand the rythym and Intervals it gets easy. Its mostly dependant on How long you play, and what you play.


It's always best to start by learning power chord rhythms from pop-punk bands. Great thing for beginners to do.
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Quote by Life Is Brutal
Once you start to understand the Frequency of notes, and understand the rythym and Intervals it gets easy. Its mostly dependant on How long you play, and what you play.

This. Rhythm and Intervals. If you know what the distance sounds like between two notes and the value of the note, the only thing you have to guess is the first note. But seeing as you can't learn intervals and rhythm without knowing some theory, might as well kill two birds with one stone.
The best way to learn how to play by ear is to just start learning tabs normally. The more you understand about which notes to play to get certain sounds, the better you'll become at processing what you hear and playing it.

The other, and much harder way, is to just spend hours listening to a song and then messing around on the fretboard trying to pick out the notes. Thats how I did it, but I'm definately not an expert.

I prefer the latter method, because I feel like I have a deeper understanding of a song if I pick it apart personally. Thats just me though.
Last edited by Busproof at Sep 25, 2009,
a lot of it is experience...its hearing stuff over and over again and knowing enough guitar to have an idea how each fret sounds