#1
I've recently been trying to learn alot more stuff by ear and I've hit a snag when trying to do some of King Crimson's songs:

1. He's a very restrained player: I often have to listen to a song a few times to pick out his guitar parts. This is made especially difficult by David Cross's distorted violin parts.
2. His tone is very unusual and makes the notes he plays sound much more different than what they are. I've heard that he only uses 3 pedals (Fuzz, Wha, Volume), should I try and acquire one of these somehow?
3. He uses very strange chord shapes, which sort of leads me onto the next point
4. King Crimson's work is surprisingly difficult to 'key'. I resorted to looking up a tab for 'Lament' and 'LTiA Pt2' and realised that there is no real key centre for most of the stuff.

The main thing I've noticed that is quite common with RF is his use of tritones in many songs.

Is it normal to find this kind of music difficult to learn by ear? Am I in over my head? If so, should I resort to learning something easier?

Btw, I'm only trying to learn the 'Wetton' era of KC
#2
Heh. I was just thinking the other day how much I'd love to be able to recreate larks' tongues part one. My ear isn't nearly developed enough to try something like this but I imagine trying to pin point Fripp's intervals is quite a challenge.
#3
the only thing i know about robert fripp is that he doesnt use standard tuning, which is why you think he uses weird chord shapes.
he uses "new standard tuning", which has the strings low to high: CGDAEG.
i bet if you tune to that the songs would be much easier to figure out.
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#4
From a 1974 interview:
As a basic scale I use a diatonic major scale based on the second or the Dorian mode which enables me to play in either a major scale, by taking the root note of the scale down one, or also as a basis for minor. I also enjoy whole-tone scales.

Hope that helps, I really want to learn The Night Watch solo but I'm not good enough yet.

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Fripp started using the new tuning in 85, so it doesnt apply to the Wetton era, 73/74.
#5
Crazyedd, what's your experience with learning songs by ear generally? If you're just starting King Crimson will pose quite a challenge. Also do you have a firm grasp on tonal harmony, major and minor scales, use of accidentals etc?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#6
Quote by AlanHB
Crazyedd, what's your experience with learning songs by ear generally? If you're just starting King Crimson will pose quite a challenge. Also do you have a firm grasp on tonal harmony, major and minor scales, use of accidentals etc?


Ah, good point. I think I am in over my head.

I know pretty much everything you've mentioned. However, I used to rely alot on tabs until about a year ago when I started composing my own music and getting a better feel of the scales/modes, this also includes abit of dabbling in 'Harmonic' scales.
I know the chromatic scale and whole-tone scales, although I rarely use them when composing (aside from abit of chromaticism).

I've only really started learning songs by ear, I think I over-estimated the difficulty of it, it's really not that hard. I say this mostly because songs are often in a specific key, occasionally changing during the chorus (Nature Boy by Primus) or most bridges.
But when I sat down to learn Lament and LTiA Pt2 I was astonished at how much it changed key.

What I played by ear was quite close to what was on the album, I just used tabs to refine what I was playing (I played the first chord of LTiA Pt2 as Gm7, whereas it was actually C,F,A#).

I had some other stuff to say but the post looks TL;DR already.
#7
I would invest in some kind of slow downer program. There are a bunch out there. Being able to loop and slow down a part really makes learning anything by ear much faster, so I figured I'd point that out.

Thanks for reminding me of King Crimson though. It's been awhile since I've listened to any of that.
#8
Quote by STONESHAKER
I would invest in some kind of slow downer program. There are a bunch out there. Being able to loop and slow down a part really makes learning anything by ear much faster, so I figured I'd point that out.

Audacity, slow down without shifting pitch. Any tabber's best friend, really.
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