#1
Hello my people.

I've been reading about ways to practice and learning by ear seems to be recurring for much more rewarding results. Understand I have no previous training except for the fact that I know some chords and bits of pieces from songs through tabs.

I've got some questions about the method:

How long does it take?

Is this extremely hard?

Is the pay-off really that beneficial?

My top artists have to be Breaking Benjamin, Rise Against, Slash, and artists similar. Do you all have any suggestions of songs by them that would be easy to start with learning? Maybe my Last.Fm will help for you to make suggestions. I appreciate everything. Thanks!
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Yea thats what i thought.
#2
umm you learn systematically and methodologically and you learn by ear as you go along.
there's no way to discipline yourself to the extent that older musicians had to to learn it the old way.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#3
Train your ear to Identify music intervals that will make everything much easier.
Divide the song in various sections.
Try to get the bassline of the song so you can know the Key of the song. Usually it also gives you the chords.
From there go by instinct try to figure out the first note of the song and use your intervals knowlwdge to discover the notes one by one or play ramdom notes from the scale used until you get it right.

There's no secret I think it's mostly by instinct as you play your intrument you will get to know it and you will have at least a basic idea of the sound of each fret. The sound of each chord and how changing notes from a chord changes the fell of the chord.
#4
^ +1 and knowing your theory aswell,most of us that aren`t tone deaf have relative pitch only a few have perfect pitch, if you can tune you ear to recognise one note then everything else is going to be (x)interval(s)away.
#5
was in a hurry b4 and didn't have time to explain.
learning by ear is fine but it's too easy now.

back even in say the 80s or 90s songs weren't as accessible as they were now.
Now, I can put my itunes on repeat and spend all day figuring out a track or a bunch of songs.

back in the day if you owned a radio you got to hear a song once every few hours if you were lucky.

even with records and cds scrubbing, repeating, and seeking weren't nearly as easy as it is now. You had to force yourself to pay attention and get it right. It's hard but the upside is that you couldn't **** up or you'd be out of luck. You had to remember tones, riffs, rhythms. Not so much anymore.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Having more resources means that can take different routes. Players back in the day couldn't just go on the internet and learn some chords or scales or look up a tab. Take advantage of what we got now.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#6
Quote by AcousticMirror
was in a hurry b4 and didn't have time to explain.
learning by ear is fine but it's too easy now.

back even in say the 80s or 90s songs weren't as accessible as they were now.
Now, I can put my itunes on repeat and spend all day figuring out a track or a bunch of songs.

back in the day if you owned a radio you got to hear a song once every few hours if you were lucky.

even with records and cds scrubbing, repeating, and seeking weren't nearly as easy as it is now.
You had to force yourself to pay attention and get it right. It's hard but the upside is that you couldn't **** up or you'd be out of luck. You had to remember tones, riffs, rhythms. Not so much anymore.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Having more resources means that can take different routes. Players back in the day couldn't just go on the internet and learn some chords or scales or look up a tab. Take advantage of what we got now.


we used tape with tape counters and with vinyl just dropped the needle onto the relevant position if anything it`s harder imo with mp3s and CDs
#7
really? I mean I've seen people that are proficient at it do it real fast. My friends that dj with vinyl can find things in ways I never thought possible.

But, still you guys had a one up on players that only had access to radio or live performance which was a big impetus for getting it right the first time, at least from what I've read.

I mean having a program like http://supermegaultragroovy.com/products/Capo/ and mp3s must still be something like having a cheat code.

Like I have no doubt that somebody whose proficient in a tape deck or a turnable could find, rewind, repeat as fast or faster but with something like capo anybody could do it without any thought at all. I've been forcing myself to listen to a part of a song and hum it and keep it in my head and then try to figure it out. When I as using capo a lot more it was just way to easy to just cut a section slow it down and repeat it until I happened to hit the right note on the guitar. I'd get the song figured out eventually but didn't really learn anything.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#8
Quote by BBB Banana
Train your ear to Identify music intervals that will make everything much easier.
Divide the song in various sections.
Try to get the bassline of the song so you can know the Key of the song. Usually it also gives you the chords.
From there go by instinct try to figure out the first note of the song and use your intervals knowlwdge to discover the notes one by one or play ramdom notes from the scale used until you get it right.

There's no secret I think it's mostly by instinct as you play your intrument you will get to know it and you will have at least a basic idea of the sound of each fret. The sound of each chord and how changing notes from a chord changes the fell of the chord.


I didn't ignore every other comment but this is the one that I had more of a response to... How would I start with the bassline? I'm terrible with theory. It's easily my weak spot.
Put this in your signature if you've ever saved a child.


Yea thats what i thought.
#9
If you really want to start learning by ear, I'd strongly suggest learning theory. It will really help with your playing and writing, and it'll train your ears too, making jamming feel more natural, so you'll get a lot more enjoyment from playing.
#10
When I get the bass line I try to hear the bass really hard because I have hearing problems and I don't have a perfect pitch sense so I try to start at the fret that seems closer to the first note from the song then I try to discover the intervals after discovering all the intervals I transpose it to wherever fits better in the neck until I get the perfect pitch.

Hope you understood because it's kinda hard to explain without showing.
#11
Quote by ibanezgod1973
we used tape with tape counters and with vinyl just dropped the needle onto the relevant position if anything it`s harder imo with mp3s and CDs


Yup. People got it too easy today. Back then my tapes were all stretched and albums all nicked from being over worked. You could hear how the the sound quality was deteriorated on the songs I'd been learning.

I had quit playing for several years, and picked up again a little less than 2 years ago. I still had to do it old school, learning from CD's though. This wasn't from an attitude, but because it actually took a while to occur to me that I could YouTube up someone all ready to show me pretty much any song.

Anyway, I still learn from recordings, but now I do remember to Google things that give me any trouble.

More specifically to the TS's question, you should start with some easy songs without a lot of clutter in them. Just work on the rythmn parts until you get it. It's often easy to find the chord base by finding it on your E & A strings. The nuances of finding the 5ths and 7ths and whatnot are a little harder, but you can probably major or minor over them until you figure each one out.

Use your EQ to bring out the guitar you are trying to work out.

Knowing theory will help you anticipate what's coming next.

The lead in a lot of classic rock and stuff can be pretty easily worked out. For more difficult stuff you can use some s/w to slow the song without changing pitch. And this works well for finding the chords as well, if you need it. I got "Guitar & Drum Trainer". Cost about $50 I think. http://renegademinds.com/Default.aspx?tabid=65

Sorry for the long post. I got carried away....
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#13
Difficult question. Learning by ear takes a lot of practice and a lot of very close listening to pieces of music. It takes quite a bit of time and effort to master.

You can practice by listening to songs and trying to play along.

ron666
#14
You have to have some theory. Then, usually you listen very carefully until you can associate the chords you learned in theory with the actual chords played on your stereo or MP3 player.

It sounds simple, but it is much more difficult than it sounds. You just have to have the patience to keep going.

ron666
#15
You'd be a lot better off just playing than trying to learn by ear. I don't think you can really learn to learn by ear. But by playing more, you will become more and more acquainted with notes and the way they sound. It just takes time. I can't learn by ear to save my life, even though I can look at a tab and get it down in minutes. I don't know what's wrong with me, haha.

If you really want to be able to do that, Then just keep on playing, as much as you can.

I have to agree with AM here though. Why purposefully put yourself in a disadvantageous position when you have so much available to you? One way or another, it will come to you in time, whether you like it or not. You shouldn't try to strive to learn by ear, it will just come to you with time.
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#16
Quote by Rcasa630
I didn't ignore every other comment but this is the one that I had more of a response to... How would I start with the bassline? I'm terrible with theory. It's easily my weak spot.


Learn theory, you are going to have a hell of a time figuring out songs if you don't know it. There are many books you can buy and free websites that will teach you the basics of theory.
#17
www.musictheory.net is a great place to learn some things, and practice interval training. I have to do that for homework in my theory classes in college, and it's really helped me out a lot.
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#18
I like to figure songs out by ear. In the beginning I found whistling useful. You can only whistle one note at a time but it seems obvious when I whistle a melody if the next note is lower or higher in pitch. Also slowing a song down is great. I use Fruity Loops and there is a built in plugin called Edison that slows the music down without altering the pitch. You can even loop small parts over and over. And certainly knowing scales and what chords are in the scale helps. And knowing that A minor (A C E) and C major (C E G) could be confused with each other since they both have 2 notes in common. Also F major (F A C) could be confused for A minor since there are 2 notes in common. This was my most recent understanding break through 8-) So if you think you know the right chord but aren't certain. Try the 2 other chords in that key/scale that are very similar before you call it done. I hope this helps, it's an old thread maybe you are already figuring out the fancy stuff by now.