I read something about gypsy music, and what caught my attention is that they are able to adapt and play around others purely by ear, possibly without knowing any theory at all.
How do you go about learning this skill? Say, my friends are playing a song I never heard, how can I recognise its chords and play over them purely by ear?
EDIT: I meant to post this in MT, don't know how it got in the Pit
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Last edited by Tvrtko1 at Feb 6, 2012,
Recognizing intervals and chord patterns as opposed to the actual theoretical chord biology. Any musician worth his salt can recognize a I-IV-V or I-IV-VI-V chord progression. Then it's a matter of finding your scales and boxes on the fretboard and off you go.
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Just playing. It'll come eventually. Work out songs by ear. Don't bother working out intervals by ear. That's boring as hell and I found doesn't really help after a certain point. By all means learn the names and stuff but learning songs by ear will help you so much more than slaving over intervals.
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That just means you're not good enough at it. Working out melodies is so much easier when you can hear each note in relation to the root.

I just think that figuring out songs by ear will aid your playing more than intervals will. Figuring out songs will give your playing more personality and you'll be constantly adding licks to your solos and impro. After doing that for a while, like doing intervals, you'll be able to go straight to the next note without too much trouble.

That's just how I prefer to go about it. It's much more fun and rewarding I think. Different strokes for different folks I guess
Learning other stuff by ear def. if much better for you than doing intervals. The ear can recognize intervals, but from personal experience I can write a good solo after learning 12 albums (That's rhythm, lead, etc)

MUCH funner and much more rewarding when you get something out of it. A lot of it is practice and building a repertoire for what you like: I like to do bends in those sweet slide guitar style. I like to start a blues solo and rip on the minor third arpeggio. A lot of experimentation goes into getting a foundation that you can comfortably work around man.

Knowing intervals is important if you want to incorporate those sorts of things into your playing. root/4ths, sus2's, sus4's, 5th/7ths, just weird stuff that doesn't technically make any sense that you can incorporate into your playing.

And also chromatics. If used well it sounds dank

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Just try to find the lowest note and then from there pick out the notes that go higher, if that makes any sense.
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