#1
So I know that the only way to get good (or decent even) at transcribing and playing by ear is to practice a LOT but I was wondering if anyone here had any songs that they would suggest starting on. I thought maybe just stupid little things like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Silent Night and Voodoo Child (Slight Return) would be good places to begin, and then hopefully move on once I get good at it and transcribe Neil Young's 'Live At Massey Hall' album, because it's not SUPER advanced but it'd certainly be challenging, plus it's one of my favorite albums ever so listening to it over and over wouldn't be a big deal.

Anyways, yeah, anybody have any suggestions for getting started?

(Sorry if this was already a thread. I did a search for the thread title, and didn't really see anything...)
#2
Do exactly what you said. Learn shit like Happy Birthday, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, etc. I think the first song I actually learned by ear was A Whole New World, ya know, that song from Aladdin?
#3
Why do you have to start on easy things? If you're driven and you really like the music, why wouldn't you go for it? Slow it down if you have to.

This isn't about levels, it's not a video game. If you're willing to do it then whats going to stop you? You might need to know a bit of theory and how chords specifically sound to transcribe chords but what difference is there in transcribing melody?

You can figure out stuff like happy birthday because you already know it by heart but don't start learning songs you arent interested in just to "progress". Just take the songs you like and take them bit by bit, and you'll improve because it's actually stuff that sticks in your head because you like it.

One of the main reasons a lot of people never get to learning how to read or transcribe is because they aren't interested in the music they're given to practice on. On top of that, transcribing sucks sometimes, it takes hours and hours to get a solo down on some cases and if you aren't driven, you're never going to finish it.
#4
try songs that have a 5 star tab on UG first so you can check yourself
Quote by razorback91
Im sorry, I just don't see how you could argue that hardcore isn't metal. That just seems arrogant to me.

Yes, its its own kind of metal, but its still metal.
#5
get very good at recognizing intervals. try googling interval ear trainer
#6
Build your repertoire, you start reconizing riffs by ear because you've played them yourself so many times. And transcribe over and over and over again.

As well Tangled is right too. Hit www.musictheory.net .. train your ears for intervals and scales. chords too if your doing rhythm parts. Its hard shit.
#7
When you recognise where notes would be on the neck it becomes pretty easy.

Do start off fairly simple, personally I didn't insult myself with simple little jingles at the start!
If you listen to simple songs (one of the first I transcribed was "Dis-United Kingdom" by Carbon/Silicon, it's one riff throughout and fairly simple) and try them you'll build your ear.
Also, what's helped me a lot, is figuring out basslines.
A great band to start figuring out basslines of are bands like the Gorillaz which use maybe one or two basslines throughout the song that are really obvious.
That sort of stuff gets your ear working pretty well.

Also, if you're having a bit of trouble with the speed, I use this software which is intended to slow down lectures for transcribing what you professor or whoever has said, works equally as well with MP3s and whatever, there are loads out there, and some dedicated to transcribing music (I think there's one called "Transcribe!" or something, but you need to pay for it, but it's top drawer).

All I can say is don't start too easy as you may get stuck in a lul of simplicity, but don't start with Frank Zappa solos! (I attempted the latter and managed to get like...5 bars in before failing miserably )

But some other great practice that I actually hear a lot of people doing, is trying to transcribe TV advert/commercial jingles as they come onto the TV, and try to do it before the advert's finished, as a kind of challenge.
Though you don't need the challenge aspect of it, it's still great as it helps you get it first/second time (depending on how much the jingle is repeated) as opposed to constantly listening to a piece.

Work hard and you'll be transcribing in no time
#8
The best ear training, in my opinion, is with Reel Ear, this awesome software that let's you program exactly what notes you want to practice and then does call and response dictation with you. You can work on real simple stuff like just DO and RE or you can get funky using all sorts of scales and long musical phrases. I start every practice day with this little beast and I've learned more in the last 3 months that in my whole life. I'm a believer.

You can find it at www.reelear.com. It's got a 30 free trial.

-St. John
#9
The way i started was by listening to my favoite bands Ramones/NOFX/Reel Big Fish, when you find the first chord in the progression the rest just makes sense.

Basically learning crap like 'twinkle twinkle little star' is boring, it probably feels like a chore to learn stuff you dont want to, so it will be more fun to figure out a song you like.

By no way am i saying that learning happy birthday is a bad way to go about it but learning something you like gives you motivation to carry on.