#1
when transcribing do u first figure out the key of the song? can you figure out the key just by listening to it? or is the key figured out for improvisation. how do i go about transcribing im very confused.
#2
transcribe the root motion/chords first. then transcribe the melody/solo. you can do it the other way. but I think the chords first helps narrow down the melody/solo notes if you're having difficulty with that at first.

I had a teacher who said narrow it down to the bass notes and melody notes. then fill in te chords in between if you're having difficulty hearing the changes.
#DTWD
Last edited by primusfan at Dec 17, 2012,
#3
Yes I figure out the key first. You should be able to hear the tonic note, it sounds the most "Sweet" for lack of a better way to explain it.
When you start transcribing start by working out short melody lines. Then start wiring on chords. I don't actually transcribe to work on my ear i find singing works my ear better than transcribing. I transcribe when i want to figure out a specific lick or just want to learn a song. Why do you want to transcribe?
#4
i basically want to train my ear to figure out songs without the use of tabs
#5
Think of it this way. A particular note is the same no matter what key it is in, so technically, you can transcribe a song without ever knowing the key. What the key does for you is help you to guess what a note might be. Even a trained musician might have difficulty identifying whether a note is a G or a G# without a reference. The key of a song gives us that reference to make the transcription a little easier.

Hope that helps
#6
Quote by joeythedrummer
Think of it this way. A particular note is the same no matter what key it is in, so technically, you can transcribe a song without ever knowing the key.


I can testify to this

When transcribing, the first thing I do is to find the lowest note or chord that's being used in the song. It is useful as a reference so that I know which tuning I can(not) use or which one is most likely used in the song. I admittedly transcribe without knowing the key But you can probably be much more effective if you do.
Transcribing the bass early is very useful. Because of harmonies and what not, depending on the song it's sometimes hard to tell which root notes of chords are used, and generally the bass line will give you a great idea of what's going on
#7
Quote by danyal92
i basically want to train my ear to figure out songs without the use of tabs

What songs are you working on?
#9
... and how are you getting on with that? Any ideas on the key and chord progression yet?
#10
i basically figured out the lead dont know if im correct. i think its in the key of G. i slide from the 12th of the G string as the opening note.
#13
Play a Gmin chord where it occurs in the song, i.e the very beginning and again at 7 secs (just to get you started.

Now play a G major chord in the same places.

Which one sounds better?

Here's a little tip:

When transcribing the melody, listen to it in small chunks, then hit pause. If you can sing it back perfectly, both pitch and rhythm, then you'll be able to play it perfectly.... just find the notes on the neck.

If you can sing it, you can play it. Cuz it means you have it internalized, and that is what's important.
Last edited by mdc at Dec 17, 2012,
#16
how do u do that? am i on the right path and will more practice make my ear as good as yours?
#17
Quote by danyal92
how do u do that? am i on the right path and will more practice make my ear as good as yours?

You don't need a good ear to work out the key of a song like that. No offense. S'just that comment of yours is a bit too much sugar for me!

Sure, I guess it's hard for some, I mean... dunno, man. Guess it's "in the genes" or something.

Believe me, though, there's some hard stuff out there.
#18
mdc do you have PP? Or just really good tonal memory? You were able to hear G without checking on a tuner?
OP, that song is a good start. Its easy but it's melodic.
#19
No, just relative pitch. This is why transcribing real music (as opposed to exercises) is so good for the ear.

The more you transcribe, you'll digest/assimilate music in larger chunks (what you labelled as tonal memory I guess), as your ear develops.

Unless you're Danny Gatton.
#20
So basically, you could hear it was in G because you transcribed and memorized music in G and (due to the Levitin effect) you could hear it was in the same key as those songs?
Thats cool. I can hear when songs are in Db sometimes. But only sometimes.
#21
Quote by danyal92
i basically want to train my ear to figure out songs without the use of tabs


Good!

Once you've trained your ear to hear a resolution, you'll discover than finding the key is really really easy. (ANd yes, I say this all the time but: the functional ear trainer from miles.be. Download it).

Sometimes I have to think about it for a second. But it's almost completely intuitive for me now. I put my finger on a note, listen ... and then almost always find it no later than the second note. Sometimes I play a little scale run to be sure, to check for major/minor, etc.
#22
No no, you got the wrong end of the stick, and so did I when I answered post 14.

I need a instrument (guitar) to transcribe. It's nothing to do with Levitin effect, or PP.

I can transcribe easily with a guitar to hand cuz I have good relative pitch.

I can't recognize pitches out of thin air, which is PP.
#23
Oh so you did check it. I feel dumb now.
Like hotspur said, use functional ear. Im pretty sure after a few days the tonic will be very obvious in most songs. In some jazz the key changes every second but i don't think you'll need to be worried about that yet.
Sing it as you play. you'll internalize the sounds faster.
#24
mdc can tell the key because he has practiced learning songs by ear.... he was once in the same boat as you TS... so dont feel inadequate or anything...

imo you can tell the key to most songs by the time youve worked out the chords to the first verse and chorus.... and generally...they'll be major or minor chords... im talking super sweeping brushstrokes here... but that'll get you started on many basic songs
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#25
Quote by mdc
Play a Gmin chord where it occurs in the song, i.e the very beginning and again at 7 secs (just to get you started.

Now play a G major chord in the same places.

Which one sounds better?

Here's a little tip:

When transcribing the melody, listen to it in small chunks, then hit pause. If you can sing it back perfectly, both pitch and rhythm, then you'll be able to play it perfectly.... just find the notes on the neck.

If you can sing it, you can play it. Cuz it means you have it internalized, and that is what's important.



well i use the note F. so i think its G minor?
#28
What part? I don't quite understand your question. The power chord riff before the vocals start, or the clean channel arpeggios when the vocals first start?
#29
Quote by mdc
No no, you got the wrong end of the stick, and so did I when I answered post 14.

I need a instrument (guitar) to transcribe. It's nothing to do with Levitin effect, or PP.

I can transcribe easily with a guitar to hand cuz I have good relative pitch.

I can't recognize pitches out of thin air, which is PP.


Since I assume you've been doing this for a while and seem to have good knowledge, I have a question

The song that was posted first, I could "hear" the key note (this is actually the first time I'm even consciously trying to find a key since I don't quite understand what it's used for) and that it's "obviously" minor - I think hearing difference between minor and major is clear to most. It's kind of weird even, that just a semi tone can make that much difference in sound. I was note sure exactly which note, so I estimate-guessed A and held the note in my mind. When I found an instrument and played it, it was a G. This made me a little bit sad.

My question is this, can you over time with practice learn to hear the exact pitch without using a reference? For example just powerchords on a non-standard tuning but hear which chords it is, or ie listen to a singer and know their exact note(s)

I can transcribe very accurately and it's still improving, but if I am not comparing the sound in real time with an instrument I can't tell for sure which note it is - unless it's something like standard clean open chords

I would love this skill, is it possible to learn?
Last edited by fanapathy at Dec 18, 2012,
#30
the arpeggios when the vocals start i cant even hear them.can you figure them out? the power chords at the openging are Em G5 D5 C5 right?
#31
Quote by fanapathy
My question is this, can you over time with practice learn to hear the exact pitch without using a reference? For example just powerchords on a non-standard tuning but hear which chords it is, or ie listen to a singer and know their exact note(s)

I can transcribe very accurately and it's still improving, but if I am not comparing the sound in real time with an instrument I can't tell for sure which note it is - unless it's something like standard clean open chords

I would love this skill, is it possible to learn?

I don't know if it's possible cuz I've never tried to achieve that level of pitch recognition. I've always relied on my relative pitch skills.

I suppose the question is which one is more useful in a musical situation where you have to improvise etc.
#32
Quote by danyal92
the arpeggios when the vocals start i cant even hear them.can you figure them out? the power chords at the openging are Em G5 D5 C5 right?

Yes.

No, I can't hear them either.

you've just transcribed the chord progression, so use your initiative and arpeggiate the chords.

Here's one for the Em chord

-
-
----0
---4
--2
-0
#34
learning perfect pitch would take so damn long Fanapathy that you might as well forget it and just work on relative pitch. It'll get to the point were you will know every note when you have a reference (this takes a long time as well, but not nearly as long as trying to obtain the Absolute Pitch)
#35
Yup.

There's an interesting paragraph from Guthrie Govan's book about dealing with some who had perfect pitch. Rather amusing.