#1
In all my recent attempts at learning songs by ear I've failed miserably. I can occasionally figure out a few of the intervals between notes in a riff although never what key to play it in so I can't tell whether I'm playing in the right key. For instance I can't tell whether to start the riff on an A or a B or C or whatever, and even playing along to music doesn't help because I can't even tell if I'm a tritone off from the actual note because it doesn't sound bad or even different from the original note, unlike playing both notes on the same instrument.

I'm guessing that my ear is just useless at figuring the notes out, and asking for tips on improving? I've got more than enough time to practise although I can't use any programs on the computer as the sound system is completely buggered.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
#2
Practice as much as possible, you'll get better at it over time. www.musictheory.net has an ear trainer for intervals. Do maybe 15 mins of these exercises every day. Start off with 3 intervals (unison, major third, perfect fifth [for example]) and add intervals as you get better at hearing the intervals.

Unfortunately it's not a skill you'll aquire overnight, so just keep at it.

Also a good basis on theory will help.
#3
Pretty much what Myshadow46_2 said. You have to practice a lot and work on it to be good at picking stuff up by ear. The kind of music you listen to also has a big impact on it. The stuff I listen to is pretty simplistic, so it's a lot easier. There are more chords (power chords) in one metal song than in an entire album of country music, for example.
My Gear

Fender MIM Telecaster
Ibanez Artcore AFS75T
Ibanez PF Acoustic Electric

Vox AC4TV8
Crate FXT 65

Various pedals
#4
Quote by Myshadow46_2
Practice as much as possible, you'll get better at it over time. www.musictheory.net has an ear trainer for intervals. Do maybe 15 mins of these exercises every day. Start off with 3 intervals (unison, major third, perfect fifth [for example]) and add intervals as you get better at hearing the intervals.

Unfortunately it's not a skill you'll aquire overnight, so just keep at it.

Also a good basis on theory will help.



Unfortunately my sound system is broken on my pc, so until I get my new laptop that program will be pretty much useless

Thanks anyway

EDIT: I figured that trying to figure out Necrophagist by ear would be a huge challenge atm, so I started with songs by Death, although even they might be a bit too technical for now. I'll try find the simplest songs in my small cd collection

"The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n"

- John Milton, Paradise Lost
Last edited by metallicafan616 at Nov 3, 2009,
#5
Take each riff in small bits, one note at a time if necessary. Play the note and figure it out. It helps if you sing the note, then determine where it is on the fretboard. After you get your sound problem fixed you can use software to slow down the recording. It helps to start with simple melodies and gradually work harder songs. Also, start with songs with a cleaner sound and a strong melody or riff. Some songs are harder if they have a lot of distortion and effects, or many layered guitars.
#6
Can you do really simple stuff from memory? Like happy birthday and twinkle twinkle little star? If not I'd start there, then work up to simple pop stuff and go form there.

If I'm trying to work out the key to something by ear I kind of cheat and noodle over it til I find the root, then noodle from that to find out if it has a major or minor 3rd and go from there.
#7
Quote by zhilla
Can you do really simple stuff from memory? Like happy birthday and twinkle twinkle little star? If not I'd start there, then work up to simple pop stuff and go form there.

If I'm trying to work out the key to something by ear I kind of cheat and noodle over it til I find the root, then noodle from that to find out if it has a major or minor 3rd and go from there.



^ good tip


it basically comes down to experience. learn as many songs as you can. Start simple. Be patient...... it's an acquired skill.
shred is gaudy music
#8
the music theory site
and search on google good ear the first link is another ear trainer

and also if u ahve like 20 dollars or so u can buy transcribe from i think theseventhstring.com

i cant remember the website but it can slows the songs down and makes it easier to figure songs, and fasters solos out



Quote by Gunpowder
Thrashturbating? Most metal of all ways to pleasure oneself.
#9
I've recently begun trying to learn things by ear, too. I bought The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory and while I look like a douche reading it, it really helps. It also comes with a CD that helps with ear training.

First song I learned by ear was "Free Me"- Goldfinger, so you could try to start with that.