#1
Hey everyone,
so, my problem is, I don't know what to learn next, don't know how to progress. My current goal is to learn to play by ear. I play bass and guitar. Quite often, I can't stay with a track, when trying to transcribe it for the bass, I can't figure out some parts and then I just leave it there. But I'd like to progress every time I pick up either my guitar or bass. Any suggestions? Thanks!
#2
Learn theory, songs and write your own stuff.

Simple, just do it lots.
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#3
I've learned some theory. I don't sing, thus instrumentals are the the only ones I can create, but creating something myself seems like something too far, I've come up with some little riffs or something, but doing a whole good instrumental, I don't know.
#4
Quote by Ints92
I've learned some theory. I don't sing, thus instrumentals are the the only ones I can create, but creating something myself seems like something too far, I've come up with some little riffs or something, but doing a whole good instrumental, I don't know.


I think you should spend some more time defining specifically into what you know and what you don't. Most people that write "I know theory" I usually find they don't and they've spent a week or two, on it reading or running through music theory.net , and now think they understand but they cant do much with it.

I mean can you tell me what the ii chord in D is? Can you assemble a Gm11 by citing the letters? Can you play an A major inversion in an open voicing?

Can you improvise over a modal interchange in F major, do you know reverse polarity? Cadences, voice leading? Have you ever played a song in your life?

You see?

I don't know your background, goals, playing history, what you know what you don't likes and dislikes, etc.

Best,

Sean
#5
Quote by Ints92
Hey everyone,
so, my problem is, I don't know what to learn next, don't know how to progress. My current goal is to learn to play by ear. I play bass and guitar. Quite often, I can't stay with a track, when trying to transcribe it for the bass, I can't figure out some parts and then I just leave it there. But I'd like to progress every time I pick up either my guitar or bass. Any suggestions? Thanks!



hi ints92,

i suggest you have creative goals and logical goals.

transcribing can be quite a logical process as can learning by ear (aural skills)
to feel like you are progressing i believe you will need to accomplish both goals.
#6
I want to train my aural skills to the finest. Mainly in the form of being able to transcribe for example the bassline of a song just by listening to it few times, maybe a bit more for more complicated basslines. Is doing for example 15 mins of aural training with Earmaster good way to start?

And about the theory, the ii chord in D should be Em, I don't know the answer to the next question. About the inversions, if I remember correctly, then for A major, there should be 2 inversions, which one did you mean, the 1st or the 2nd? And I don't know the answer to the rest of the questions. But what did you mean with the question ''Have you ever played a song in your life?''

All I want, is that every hour I practice, is good enough that it could be called practice, not just playing over the old stuff I've learned earlier.

I'm also planning on buying a djembe and we also have a piano at home, maybe you any good suggestions relating to them?
Last edited by Ints92 at May 26, 2011,
#7
Do what your not use to and constantly push your self

You said you dont sing.. so my advice would be get a keyboard, learn some cadence patterns and sing chord tones over the chord changes.

an inversion is a different Bass note for the chord
IE. A major Chord- A C# E
A Major Chord in first inversion (figured bass I6) - C# E A or C# A E
second inversion (figured bass I64) - E A C# or E C# A
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#8
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Do what your not use to and constantly push your self


this.
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#9
Quote by AeolianWolf
this.


That's basically what I asked in the first post. Not much help from it.
#10
Quote by Ints92
That's basically what I asked in the first post. Not much help from it.


then you're not doing it right. typically, when there's a failure to progress, it's because of complacency - i.e., you do what you're comfortable with and not push your horizons.

if you want to write instrumentals, study classical music -- analyze the form and how a theme or two can be utilized to create a 7 minute movement. classical music isn't just piecing together riffs like a collage. you take two or three riffs, use them as your themes, and develop them.

ear-training is like sight-reading: you have to do it to get better at it. there's no other way. there are no tricks or tips. no shortcuts. if you transcribe what you can and you don't do the hard parts because you can't really figure them out -- then you're not going to get any better. it ties in with my first statement. you're not pushing your horizons; you're doing what you can and leaving what you can't. change that and you should find some difference.
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#11
But what do you think is a good way to learn theory in depth? Preferably in internet or from a book, I can't start taking lessons.
#13
Singing while improvising? Seems really hard.
And about the intervals, do they really help in transcribing?
#14
Quote by Ints92
But what do you think is a good way to learn theory in depth? Preferably in internet or from a book, I can't start taking lessons.


Well I teach theory over the internet. The link is below. I think it's one of the best ways, but of course I teach it, and so I'm going to believe that, so my opinion is obviously with a bias.

I know of no good books. The problem I find, is that books don't teach. Merely stating factual information doesn't equate to teaching, in my opinion. Teaching invests heavily into the means of its delivery to make sure that you are following everything, that you understand, and that any questions that you have are being addressed specific to your needs. It also provides honest feedback so that you can have an accurate idea of how you are doing.

As in all teaching relationships, investment, namely of time and attention are required on your part as well.

If you are relegated to only free self taught lessons, and learning from a free resource, check out Mike Dodge's Website. There is also a lesson series called the Ultimate Guide to Playing Guitar here at UG. There are thousands of lessons on UG in fact.

In doing so, you might make a discovery that most free lessons are basically regurgitations and rehashes of the exact same thing. If this is the case, then arguably you can find the exact ideas in one form or another in the first 5 pages of a Google search.

So, if this is the case, what is the problem with just following the content and information contained in those?

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at May 30, 2011,
#15
Quote by ShiningEntity
Absolutely. If you can identify intervals by ear, instead of having to "feel" for each note via trial and error, you can just hear that the next note is a perfect fourth up from G, thus a C.


But say, doing 15-30 mins of interval recognition every day, how much time it would take, so that I would be able to tell the interval right when I hear it, without thinking, and being able to adapt this to reallife transcribing?
#16
Quote by Ints92
But what do you think is a good way to learn theory in depth? Preferably in internet or from a book, I can't start taking lessons.



I like the Berklee books -- William Leavitt's 3 volumes on guitar and the theory books.

No, they are not perfect -- but they accurate and informative.

Another thing to try -- get a song book -- fake books are great (I play some jazz so I am a little biased). Forget books with tablature and "note by note" studies -- that is something different -- this is strictly about learning a lot of tunes and playing with them, creating voice leading exercises, arranging for several instruments, trying a familiar song in a different style and so forth. If you mix in your experience with ear training you might want to try reharmonization exercises.

Also -- get some people together and play. It is always difficult to stay motivated when you are alone and woodshedding.

HTH
#17
Quote by Ints92
But say, doing 15-30 mins of interval recognition every day, how much time it would take, so that I would be able to tell the interval right when I hear it, without thinking, and being able to adapt this to reallife transcribing?


My advice would be to start transcribing simple songs right now. You will get quicker the more you do it. Be patient with yourself.... allow yourself to acknowledge that it is difficult at first.... but I suspect your confidence will grow with each note you successfully transcribe.

Good luck!
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#18
I'm trying to transcribe as much as possible. I've gone through the first step, the transcribing children's songs step. But the problem is, often when I sit down to transcribe something and I can't get it going, only some few notes, then I can't keep at it, I just go to another song, try if I can get it. By the way, you can post some songs with good bassparts to transcribe, preferably funk, but others are good also.
#19
Its OK to move from song to song without completing it... look at it this way... you're transcribing! You are already doing more than many people do...so be proud of yourself.

Are you using any device or software to slow the music down without changing its pitch? That will make transcribing a lot easier, and is very commonly used by a lot of musicians. Ive got a Tascam GT-R1 that does it...only cost a few hundred bucks... and theres probably software out there that does it too...I just havent needed to look into that.

Childrens songs are good... also try transcribing music you love to rock out too as well...its fun

Funk? The blueprint was laid down by James Brown, among others, try some of his recordings...

The basic funk bassline goes like this:

Bass note on the first beat of the bar.... funky little chord/scale run.... Bass note on the first beat of the bar.... funky little chord/scale run... etc etc
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#20
Good luck to you man, at least you know you have an array of options to work from. follow the one that suits your needs best. All you'll discover is whether or not it worked out for you, but at least you'll know.

The reason you may not be able to transcribe may be that you're not spending enough time with it, that or you havent played and eartrained via exposure to playing through various pitch collections. When you hear and observe yourself playing through different pitches you'll start to gain an "ear" for where things are played. This skill can take years to decades to ultimately develop.

Best,

Sean
#21
Do you know any good samples of timetables for practicing? I thought, something like 30min of interval recognition and ear training, then an hour of transcribing and after that an hour of improvisation over a backing track.
#22
Well I dont know, I think consistency is the main thing. I'm not a believer in extended practice times. My best students spend less than 20 mins a day focusing upon what I teach them but by and large their progress is really good.

I also tend to stay pretty linear for a period of time in my approach. Might study one or two areas at a time, but you'll be saturated with information and ways to apply it. So, instead of touching upon a little of everything at once...I take a few areas at a time and go deeply into them with my students.

I think frequent short bursts is better. I've given this analogy before:

If you're trying to grow a tree, does dousing it in 200,000 gallons of water a day make it grow any faster?

Anyways, ints, you now have your original topic of concern answered: You know how to progress.

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jun 5, 2011,
#23
Consistency? In that case, I need motivation. But if I have enough consistency, then why not practice longer? I'm enjoying it and it's not like I can overwork myself.
#24
Quote by Ints92
Consistency? In that case, I need motivation. But if I have enough consistency, then why not practice longer? I'm enjoying it and it's not like I can overwork myself.


you'll find that you won't get much more out of it. there's no reason NOT to, but to get the most results out of the least practice time, you'll find that it's better to spread it out.

if you enjoy it, you enjoy it. no one says you have to practice exactly x hours a day.
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