#1
Hello

I've been playing guitar for about 4 months now, where i've mostly concentrated on playing a variety of songs by the use of tabs.

But now i've decided to try and figure out a song by ear, more namely this one "Dido - Thank you"

I don't really care about the rythmic stuff, i want to learn how to play the the vocals or melody i think it's called

So really, i'm just looking for some guiding on how to start out (figuring out chords, scales) all that good stuff

Thank you!

PS. i just found this guy playing it and it sounds awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_ehow0R4Co
Last edited by doode94 at Apr 6, 2012,
#2
Quote by doode94
Hello

I've been playing guitar for about 4 months now, where i've mostly concentrated on playing a variety of songs by the use of tabs.

But now i've decided to try and figure out a song by ear, more namely this one "Dido - Thank you"

I don't really care about the rythmic stuff, i want to learn how to play the the vocals or melody i think it's called

So really, i'm just looking for some guiding on how to start out (figuring out chords, scales) all that good stuff

Thank you!


Sure, well to start with, nearly all tunes are in one key or another - Major or Minor. So, Knowing what tonality it is in, for example, you know your Major scales, and Diatonic harmony, I am assuming? Because, yeah, to get far, you'd probably want to know that. You'd also want to know your Minor scales, and possibly at times (though not often) Modal interchange concepts.

So, now that we have these things under our belt, the next thing to do is apply it. Take the melody and start to figure it out on the guitar.

Since scales and chords tend to play well together, by notating the melody, you might find the marks of the scale and key the song might be in by taking note of where the half steps in the melody line fall.

For example, let's say that the melody line had an E and F....I might check that F to see if the song wants to "resolve" on that F. If it does, that, then hey, I have my key, and with that key I can start constructing all the chords that are diatonic to the Key of F major.

From there, I might listen back to the song and see if I can hear the changes, and then determine if the chord sounds Major or Minor etc.

That's 1 way. There are many. For example, Cadences. A common Cadence is V-I - Common progressions in many songs are a I IV V, so, I'd listen for that kind of motion. There's also I vi IV V that's very popular.

Having these basic theory tools can really go a long way into how to accomplish the goals you have set out. I don't know what if any theory background you have, but if you don't understand any of this, we teach this stuff online at the link below. If I can be of assistance or help answer any questions, feel free to contact me.

Honestly, time, and understanding and exposure to lots of songs and working them out, will help a lot. Also, learning songs and how certain chords always seem to be found together, can help greatly.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Apr 6, 2012,
#3
Thanks for the reply

Well the amount of music theory i know is very limited, i've only looked at a few major and minor scale patterns, but i've never heard of that diatonic harmony you spoke off

Thus, given my lack of any real knowledge on music theory, i was looking for more of a step by step or walkthrough in which i'd be able to slowly accumulate the theory behind

.. and again, i've never really concentrated on the theory, because i felt like you have a go at driving the car before learning how the car works mechanically, if that makes any sense, hence why i sounds so clueless
#4
I don't really have a clue about music theory, but I never have much problem working out vocal melodies and stuff on guitar, I do it all the time First thing you gotta do is find out what key it's in, you can probably do that easiest by looking at the chords online and finding out what the key is from that. For example, if the chords are G, D, Em, C then it's probably in G major, if there are no sharps and the minors are D, A and E, then it's probably in C major. Once you've done that, take your major scale pattern and play it in the right position for that key, (google it if you have to) and just play around.

Working things out by ear is mostly trial and error. The more you do it, the more you'll learn to recognise intervals between notes, like how much higher or lower one note is from another, but it all comes from practice I'm afraid
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#5
Quote by makutoid
I don't really have a clue about music theory, but I never have much problem working out vocal melodies and stuff on guitar, I do it all the time First thing you gotta do is find out what key it's in, you can probably do that easiest by looking at the chords online and finding out what the key is from that. For example, if the chords are G, D, Em, C then it's probably in G major, if there are no sharps and the minors are D, A and E, then it's probably in C major. Once you've done that, take your major scale pattern and play it in the right position for that key, (google it if you have to) and just play around.

Working things out by ear is mostly trial and error. The more you do it, the more you'll learn to recognise intervals between notes, like how much higher or lower one note is from another, but it all comes from practice I'm afraid


alright thanks man, i'll try it
#6
Quote by makutoid
I don't really have a clue about music theory, but I never have much problem working out vocal melodies and stuff on guitar, I do it all the time First thing you gotta do is find out what key it's in, you can probably do that easiest by looking at the chords online and finding out what the key is from that. For example, if the chords are G, D, Em, C then it's probably in G major, if there are no sharps and the minors are D, A and E, then it's probably in C major. Once you've done that, take your major scale pattern and play it in the right position for that key, (google it if you have to) and just play around.

Working things out by ear is mostly trial and error. The more you do it, the more you'll learn to recognise intervals between notes, like how much higher or lower one note is from another, but it all comes from practice I'm afraid


alright i've determined the key of the song to be in G major, does this mean all the notes for the melody is in one gmajor pattern?
#7
haha only took me 30 min to figure out the melody, thank you so much!