#1
What are some methods that you use? I would like to be able to play by ear someday, but transcribing just makes me want to rip someone in half - what are some alternatives? I can *sometimes* figure out short very simple riffs, maybe the chords to an easy song with lots of trial and error. It's frustrating and I don't feel the improvement though.
#3
Well, if you know music theory pretty well, just keep working with the trial and error. The more you learn, the easier finding desired notes on the fretboard will be.

If you don't know theory, use the link above.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#4
Listen to some alkaline trio man, their chord progressions are hellova predictable. Work some of their songs out by ear, just 4 chords, maybe 5, the degrees of which being 1, 4, 5, 6 and maybe some 3's, in loads of different keys depending on the song. Good luck, this is how I developed my ear skills, and I'd say they're pretty average now
#5
Transcription mostly. Practicing improvisation solely by ear helps a lot too.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#6
Quote by jhj
What are some methods that you use? I would like to be able to play by ear someday, but transcribing just makes me want to rip someone in half - what are some alternatives? I can *sometimes* figure out short very simple riffs, maybe the chords to an easy song with lots of trial and error. It's frustrating and I don't feel the improvement though.


I've heard it's a good idea to prehearse playing something in your head before you play it...like you just finished practicing a lick and while away from your guitar you just play that lick and visualize the fingerings over and over in your mind. I've tried it before with drums and it seems to be pretty nifty

But other than that and the above posts it really just takes time...your hearing develops naturally and there aren't really any shortcuts
#7
I'd also recommend looking into theory, but don't feel like you need to go read a textbook or something. I learned a good amount of theory by just poking my head around here. Also, don't kill yourself with transcription. It's important, but at the same time looking at tabs when you get stuck and learning from them is a lot better than sitting there pulling your hair out by yourself.