I'm trying to start training my ears and I tried to transcribe some songs (standard tuning songs) off of a CD and it was incredibly hard and then when i looked up tabs to check myself on how close i was to the way it's played I was way off is there a reason why?Should I be doing a different exercises to train my ears or is there any easier ones. I heard singing a note and playing it on the guitar at the same time is helpfull but I have no singing talents what so ever.
Donnell McKnignt
Click on the link in my sig that says "Want to learn theory?" and select "Interval Ear Trainer" under "Trainers."
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^

"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.

Try some easier songs, and work up to harder ones.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Keep trying.

Just figure out small things, I remember what I did at the very start of my "ear training" so to speak, my friend was playing on some game for the gamcube (some years back) and I was just noodling round with my guitar, heard a similar note to what was in the music in the game, as as video game background music is on a constant loop I kept using the process of elimination to find which notes were right, it took a bit too long for a small few second loop, but I then did it for a few other bits from that video game.

Stuff small like that helps build up to bigger stuff, eventually (I've recently been able to do this) you'll be able to imagine the guitar fretboard as you listen to certain music, like you'll be able to identify notes and chords when you aren't at your guitar and through that figure out the music without a guitar.

It'll take a while, but if you slowly ease into it you'll be there in no time, I was doing simple stuff probably about three years ago, now I'm quite good at that stuff, it's all about practice, as with everything else.

Also, even though any internet ear trainer, such as interval trainers or whatever can be useful, they'll probably end up seeming more of a chore than training your ear through the music that you like, so do them in small amounts, but I've always thought the best ear training is through identifying music in a musical context.
There is also a possibility that you're simply transcribing the song onto a different part of the guitar neck, or that the tab could be incorrect.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
^Nice sig!

If you want really easy songs to practice with, Early AC/DC is about as simple as it gets. Sow power chords, mostly.

This sig is colored just to annoy the UG classic users.

Trying to think of witty things to put in my sig. Message if you have ideas.
Actually, Nirvana is as simple as it gets.

Okay, so here are ways you can train your ears.

1. Relative pitch training
- This aspect is being able to identify a note or cluster of notes relative to another note. Start by learning the simple intervals. Play them all starting from the same root note. Keep doing this until you can identify all of them by ear. Then, add compound intervals and repeat the process. Then, work on chords. If you don't understand a term I used, wikipedia it or search the forums/lessons.

2. Perfect pitch ear training
- This aspect is being able to identify specific tones. Somebody with perfect pitch can listen to a tone, then tell you what note it is and what octave it's in. They can tune a guitar by ear perfectly. However, it is my opinion that relative pitch is more important at the start as its benefits are more easily applied to your playing. I'd practice this using the natural notes in the 4th octave and just memorize their sound. If you don't know what the 4th octave is, basically start on the lowest A you can find on your six string guitar and work up through G. Once you've got the 4th octave, move on.

3. Transcription
Yup, you already know this. Unfortunately for you, it's probably the hardest way to train your ears without having an ear for relative or perfect pitch. Once you've got those two things mastered, transcription is the way to continue to train your ears - it will accomplish more things at once. By transcribing melodies into standard notation, you will be exposed to a lot of rhythmic patterns and you will become better at sight reading in addition to further improving your ear.

Boomshakalaka. Get to work.
Last edited by STONESHAKER at Jun 21, 2010,
Not looking for an argument, but perfect pitch is not something you can learn.

Focus on relative pitch, get it as best as you can and then you will be able to play damn near anything by ear
Quote by Guitardude19
The world is a fucked up place.


"Oh I'll play the blues for you"
If perfect pitch is not something you can learn, how do professional musicians have perfect pitch?

Whenever you say you can't learn something, it is akin to saying, "I don't want to put in the time and practice necessary to learn this."
Professional musicians don't have perfect pitch bud.. They have extremely good relative pitch. Perfect pitch is a freak thing, you are born with or you don't have it.

There was a girl in our high school band who had perfect pitch. She said it was a curse. When the band was tuning (big band, not rock band), she had to step into the hall, otherwise all the pitches that are barely off would make make her dizzy and puke, literally. That's perfect pitch.

When I say can't learn something, I mean you CAN'T learn it. Period. Impossible. Not through laziness, but through genetics.

Poster: Practice relative pitch. Get it damn near perfect and you can fool people and say you have perfect pitch. But you need relative pitch for any type of playing by ear. One thing that I found helps a lot is do those exercises on the websites above, but don't only label the interval, find it on your guitar. Find the 2 notes it's playing, label it, then try different octaves. You'll be surprised at how quickly the ball can get rolling.
Quote by Guitardude19
The world is a fucked up place.


"Oh I'll play the blues for you"
Last edited by Blurry 505 at Jun 21, 2010,