I've been trying to learn killing in the name of for about a week now and I eventually gave up and looked at the tab. Can anybody give me some tips or anything to learn songs by ear. (I learned to tune by ear last week)
Last edited by Everlong_17 at Jul 10, 2010,
It takes much time to improve learning by ear. Killing in the name of got lots of effects so its harder.. why dont you start with easier songs I started with RHCP-californication
yeah it may sound obvious but starting out with simple songs makes it a lot easier to tab more of the complex ones later
I'm sort of in the same boat as you, just starting to learn things by ear. What I've been doing is licks instead of whole songs, because it makes it more manageable and less daunting. I also tab out the vocal parts to songs as they are usually less complex and fast. This helps build your ear without becoming frustrating, and is very satisfying.
Don't start with whole songs. Try riffs. Like, the verse riff to Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth or something
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To train your ears, it's good to learn to recognize how various scales and intervals sound. To do that play stuff you already know and identify the scales used and the intervals that separate the notes.
What I did was start with chords, take a standard 4 chord song and figure out the chord progression and strumming. When your confident with that, start to learn intervals. If i remember rightly, the easiest way to do this is actually with nursery rhymes as theyre so well known.
From there start working out licks/phrases. Eventually join it all up.
Also, if you figure out the chords that match the song, it'll make it very easy to find the key of the song also. That really helps in figuring out the intervals
Learning by ear is just what it is.. learning by ear. There are no helpful tutorials that can advance your skill in this matter. All you can do is listen to the recording and TRY to play along. This is where the skill comes in. From the first note, you should sense how far you are from the key an be able to adapt to play what is on the record. The only thing you can do is play and play... nothing more.
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I rarely use tabs. I've been learning pretty much everything by ear since I was 11.
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The ability to learn songs by ear comes if you have the ability to recognize pitches/notes when you hear them.

Training your ear is pretty much the only way you can really "learn how to learn songs by ear."

Believe me, it becomes much easier to learn songs by ear if you can recognize notes.
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It also helps if you can sing along to "Killing in the Name". After, you'd want to do that w/o the track playing. Or you can sing it (out loud) and try to play at the same time.

Of course playing is the best thing, but if it gets too hard, don't give up.

There are, indeed, helpful things for you to do to advance your ear. It's called Ear Training. There are courses on it in Music schools, local guitar shops, and even on the internet.

I'm not sure you'd not appreciate this site, but www.musictheory.net's interval exercise is where you'd start (and perhaps chords too, but the track you've mentioned has, I think, only power chords).

Melody is made up of intervals; if you can recognize the intervals in "Killing in the Name", you would have no trouble figuring out the song.

Try learning scales shapes and working out the keys of songs and going from there. I've been doing it lately and it works really well for me
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