Here's a really dumb question. But it's critical to me, since I really want to start tabbing stuff by ear.

How do I improve tabbing stuff by ear? Do I need to know loads of theory? Thanks in advance!
Not at all, you don't need to know any theory to train your ear. If you have a guitar, you can train your ear, thats how all the old legends from the 60s-90s did it. There are also various websites with free ear training. I think justinguitar.com has free ones and www.musictheory.net has all free stuff too. It is difficult at first and if it gets boring, switch to your guitar and try to listen to all your main chords, I mean really listen. It gets fun after a while and before you know it your throwing them together.

Music theory is just understanding what sounds good and why. It isn't necessary to make music though.
just play guitar a lot and make sure your guitars always in tune and learn a lot of songs so you can start recognizing notes and learn scales
Just a quick suggestion: open the song you want to tab with Audacity, split the stereo track in two mono tracks, then select one of them and use the invert feature. You will hear the rhythm guitar 10 times better.
Try making use of things like what Poglia said, and WMP's (And maybe iTunes, but I don't know if it can do this) slow play feature. Veterans will tell you that back in the day that if they wanted to play something slow to learn it by ear, they'd need to detune their guitar because tapes and vinyl dropped the pitch when they were slowed down (us kids don't know how good we have it!).

You don't need to know lots of theory, but it doesn't hurt to know some. With simpler stuff I'd start with doing some lead over the track to find the key. Once I know the key, I've just massively narrowed the list of possible chords. If I hear a major chord and I know it's in, oh, F# major or what have you, then I know that it's most likely 1 out of F# major, B major, or C# major (with a chance of being A# major). Finding out lead parts and melodies is usually a process of trial and error to begin with, but eventually you'll find it easier to pick out intervals with less guesswork. If you know all your intervals and their individual vibes and sounds this is a bit easier again. Here's a nice free website for this http://www.good-ear.com/.
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Last edited by TheBurningFish at Jul 9, 2011,
Tabbing songs by ear is really fun imo. I started doing it recently but i've improved quite fast.

I play the song I want to tab at 50% (you can do that by using audacity) and try to copy whatever being played on my guitar. When i've figured out one part, I write it down in guitar pro.

If you're having trouble tabbing from scratch, I suggest picking a tab that you know contains lots of mistakes and then trying to improve that tab. Its good practice when you're new to tabbing.
I might try that too, customizing tabs, but I'd really like to do the whole song by myself.
Use change tempo, not change speed. That way, the pitch will remain the same
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