So latest songs that are coming out don't have tabs for weeks after they come out,

Now how would i go about learning stuff by ear?

I've only been playing a year so would it be to early?

The songs i want to learn are metal and fast-ish

What programs are good to slow it down and listen etc?

How long would it actually take to become "good" at learning songs by ear, I want to start early but still
I would recommend getting the book Fretboard Mastery by Troy Stetina as it deals a lot with ear training and such.
There's no specific time it will take, you just gotta do it and you'll start seeing patterns to songs...

Work on learning intervals by ear, then triads, then scales & arpeggios. Fretboard Master deals with all of this.

You should also google learning songs by ear, as they'll give you some helpful tips with what to start with, like figuring out the Tonic and Key etc...

Amazing Slow Downer is also a good program to use, Mac & PC.

Hope that helps!
just start with simpler stuff like The Ramones, work that out by ear, then gradually work your way up to harder songs. trust me starting simple will help a lot.
no need to use books, or programs.
Believe it or not, you practice scales and it really trains up your ear.

I have been practicing scales every day since I started playing, and I can pick up most songs after the first chord.

Try it.
Try these links I found. They deal with listening to an interval (a couple of notes making sound together) and answering which interval it is. For beginners, I suggest playing with the interval trainer first:

http://www.musictheory.net/trainers/html/id84_en.h tml

Then try the audio-first quizzing version, where you have to guess what is heard:

http://www.musictheory.net/trainers/html/id90_en.h tml

Also, you really should start out simple with alternative rock songs or something that you can use as a stepping stone to faster songs that are harder to learn by pitches. Starting out with the hardest songs out there is not a good approach. I learned to play the songs on Metallica's Load and Reload albums when I was first learning to play. Those songs are a slower pace but have good riffs for learning some basic concepts & ear training.
Last edited by jjhand at Sep 4, 2010,
Quote by BoL7z
Now how would i go about learning stuff by ear?
First, make ear training a daily exercise.... In the mean time, just listen to what you wanna learn to play and try to duplicate it. It's really that simple. You'll get better at it the more you do it.
Quote by BoL7z
I've only been playing a year so would it be to early?
Nope. Now is a good time
Quote by BoL7z
How long would it actually take to become "good" at learning songs by ear, I want to start early but still
That depends on you. It's something you'll need to work at.

I was in a guitar shop once testing a guitar. I was just ringing out various chords when I realized another guy in the shop was repeating everything I played. After i caught on, I started trying to mix him up by playing the weirdest chords I could think of... I was just making up crazy s--t.... But no matter what I tried, he could instantly repeat it on the spot without even glancing my direction.
It was pretty cool.
A good way to train your ear is to record yourself playing a bunch of chords (major, minor, diminished, dominant.. etc) and a bunch of arpeggios.

Then, put the recordings into whatever mp3 player you use, set the playlist to shuffle, and try to guess which one is which.
Quote by carlosthegr8
most metal tracks are in the key of E if you know what im talking about

That's the most retarded advice I have heard someone give to a person trying to learn to pick up notes and chords by ear.

Yes there are an abundance of metal songs in E minor, but that doesn't help TS at all. Guess what? Most ACDC songs are in A minor! See how I didn't help at all there?
I think learning by ear is important because it helps you get the sound of the intervals into your ear as you're playing. If you read straight off a tab you don't get the benefit of knowing what playing it wrong sounds like.
To be good at learning stuff by ear, in my opinion, you need to learn basic theory. You can pick up stuff by ear but If you have an harmonic notion of what is happening, where the tonal center is, chord progressions etc. your job when transcribing and picking stuff by ear will be easier. The only way to do this is by practicing a lot and picking a lot of songs by ear. In the case of metal and stuff that it is fasta, some softwares to slow the track would be useful.

The way I do this is by first analizing the harmony and finding a tonal center and analize the chord progression. When you know what the chord progression is you know which scales work there and you can pick the melody by wobbling over the scale.

This is justa an organized method but the principal thing is to listen.
Fender Telecaster Thin Line

(For playing fusion as a solo project)
Ernie Ball VP Jr
Vox Wah
Korg DT-10 Tuner
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
Mxr Phase 90
Electro Harmonix Small Clone
Boss DD6 Digital Delay
This is what I personally use to slow my songs down and sound them out. Its a program called Transcribe. It only lasts for 30 days but when it expires i use this to run it.

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/run_as_date.html (RunAsDate)
http://www.seventhstring.com/xscribe/download.html. (Transcribe)

Also you can switch between the left and right mix using the effects tab. Its really useful if your trying to sound at a Harmony as it seperates the to guitar tracks. Its not to early to begin sounding out by ear as I've been playing for a year also and i usually sound my songs out for the most part. Its a strange thing but the more you sound out songs the better your hearing skills will develop. Also it helps amazingly if you learn all the chords and notes on the fretboard. Most songs for rhythm usually have just a bunch of Barre chords. Unless your talking about Steve Vai, Satriani, And Eric Johnson. Good luck with hearing it out! Trust me its much better than using tabs.Also everybody goes at there on rate, how long it takes you to get better depends on how much you practice it.
Last edited by MusicsMyHero at Sep 5, 2010,