#1
Hi guys,

I have been playing the guitar for almost 6 months now. When i first started, i was told that the best way to get good at it or learn how to play was to go straight into learning songs. Since then i can now play 5/6 songs. It has been a good experience as the 5/6 songs each covered different aspects of guitar playing such as bar chords, picking, different variation of strums etc. However, i have major concern.

I want to be able to one of those guys that can sit with a guitar and whip out something that sounds decent. I also want to be someone who makes their own songs using the guitar. I never really learnt much theory but went straight into playing songs. Will i be able to attain the level i want to reach, by continuously playing and learning different songs? Although, i don't much guitar theory (i do know piano theory like scales and chords and how to make chords out of scales..guess, the same thing can be applied with the guitar? theory is theory?), i guess i can make the chord shapes of chords (learnt from playing the songs i already know), despite not actually knowing the name of the chords i have been playing (Just been following tabs).

I hope i managed to explain myself, clearly. Any suggestions, guys?

thanks!
#2
you need to learn a variety of shapes (scale, chord, arpeggio) if you want to be any good at improvising. for everything else, you can get away with just simply being "aware" of the basics of music theory.

i was like you, i played piano for ten years before starting guitar. it wasn't until after several years of playing guitar that i felt like i needed to pay conscious attention to theory again.
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#3
Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
you need to learn a variety of shapes (scale, chord, arpeggio) if you want to be any good at improvising. for everything else, you can get away with just simply being "aware" of the basics of music theory.

i was like you, i played piano for ten years before starting guitar. it wasn't until after several years of playing guitar that i felt like i needed to pay conscious attention to theory again.


From my perspective, coming as one who improvises frequently and is adequate at it, self-proclamation. I find theory beyond recognition of notes relating to what you're playing irrelevant, and even then, you can manipulate your way around the "wrong" notes.

In general, improvisation and songwriting are separate skills on their own, though with some relevance to your playing, hence, to develop those- practice those.
#4
You should definitely go back and figure out the names of at least the basic chords you were playing (major, minor, 7 and open) as to give you some idea of what you were playing (and then to be able to connect it to the theory you already know). You don't really need to know, aside from how it sounds when you play it, something like a Cmaj6/9 chord is. Also, like vIsIbLeNoIsE said, you should learn a variety of shapes.

You can definitely get to the level you're talking about by just learning new songs though. As long as you pay attention to what you're learning and connect concepts between songs. You'll begin to realize that a lot of the shapes/positions are similar between songs especially when you're looking at songs in a specific genre (example being you'll see A LOT of the same shapes and concepts between guitarists such as SRV, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page), but you'll even find concepts from jazz/classical bleeding over into other genres.

I was actually thinking the other day, as someone who's played for 7+ years with hardly any knowledge of theory beyond a few scales, a slew of chords, and understanding stuff like octaves and voicings, how I managed to learn improvisation and have decent phrasing and how I can pick up new songs that my cover band wants to do by just listening to them a few times.

I came to the conclusion that it was because I've learned songs over many many genres and by different artists over the years and have learned to take scales and different chord voicings from one song and apply them to others. It's basically theory at it's core but without all the fancy terminology (that stuff confuses the hell out of me).

So I guess my advice would be to keep concepts and different options for scales and chord voicings in the back of your mind as you learn. It's really as simple as saying: "Ok, I'm playing such-and-such progression and I know that this other song that I know uses that same or a very similar progression but in a different key, so I SHOULD be able to take some of the ideas from that other song and use them in this one"

Eventually all those concepts and ideas that you draw out of all the songs you learn will start to flow into a coherent understanding of your instrument and almost anything you listen to played on your instrument. At that point learning a new song, creating an interesting cover of a song (which can be anything from playing a reggae song in the style of Jimi Hendrix or doing a slow version of a hard rock song), or writing a new song becomes pretty straightforward and even second nature.

A lot of people will tell you that you HAVE to learn theory, but the way I see it, and I could be totally wrong, is that theory is, at it's core, a written understanding of music. You can just as well learn music without it. It's up to you how you want to approach it, but I don't think it would be necessary for you if you already have an understanding of it from playing piano.

That's my two cents. Good luck and keep on groovin bro!
#5
Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
you need to learn a variety of shapes (scale, chord, arpeggio) if you want to be any good at improvising. for everything else, you can get away with just simply being "aware" of the basics of music theory.

i was like you, i played piano for ten years before starting guitar. it wasn't until after several years of playing guitar that i felt like i needed to pay conscious attention to theory again.

The shapes themselves aren't what's important.

If you're wanting to be be able to just pick up a guitar and play then developing your listening skills and understanding of music will be far more important than your technical skills or visual knowledge of the guitar fretboard.

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#6
Mjones has got a good answer.
I would say do what he says, and also learn theory. Nothing wrong with knowing the theory.
#7
Yeah, theory applies to all instruments. That's why it's called music theory, not guitar or piano theory. You can play the same notes on guitar and piano - and building chords and scales is the same, they use the same notes and sound the same. So same things apply for both instruments.

To be able to just play, you need to have a good ear. You need to know the sound really well. People that just start playing know the sound very well. They don't play random notes, they know exactly what they are doing. Learning songs is a good thing - that will give you influences and you'll also learn how to use techniques in practice. But I would suggest learning them by ear. Because if you want to write music, you need to have a good ear. Writing music is similar to writing a book. You know what you want to say, you don't just put random words after each other and hope for the best result. You actually know what you want to do. Same with writing songs/playing solos - you want to be able to write/play what you want to say. And to be able to do that, you need to know the sound of the notes to be able to write music, just like you need to know the meaning of the words to be able to write a book.

As Victor Wooten said, music comes from the musician, not the instrument.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 25, 2013,
#8
If you have already learned music theory in piano, it means you already have some understanding of music. The theory is the same for piano, guitar, violin or any instruments. All the notes are the same, its just that the placing of the notes are different for different instruments. So you will have to learn different shapes. If you understand chord triads(theory of how chords are formed. Chords are just formed by combining three or more notes. Its the same for every instrument.), you can make your own chords though it might be a little time consuming.
When you learn yourself , you usually get confused about what to learn. If you learn from a teacher, he could guide you from the basics and upwards and you will not miss a thing. You will understand whatever is going on while playing and so you will learn faster. Though that may not be necessary for you since you said you already learned the theory. Someone in an earlier post said that theory is just a written understanding of music. Its true. So learn it. So learn it and stop trying to reinvent the wheel. Understanding theory really helps to your improvement. There are lots of things to learn in theory that you would've never known. By the way, I myself never learned theory in my seven to eight years of playing guitar But recently when I tried to dig a bit into theory, I found out that it makes everything much more simple. Now I know how chords are formed and I am playing around making my own mini chords
I would say that its a good decision to take up a guitar lesson class. Learn what the teachers teach in the class and then just play any songs you want after the classes. That way you will learn everything and will not miss a thing.
In the long run, learning to play from ear is one of the most important skills to be learned by a musician. Otherwise, there is no fun in learning an instrument Just imagine somebody asking you to play a random song while they sing and you apologizing for not being able to play and look like a fool
I think the 80/20 rule would be the best option when learning. Divide your learning time to 80 percent practice and 20 percent learning. Playing songs is also considered a practice if you try to understand the things while playing.
www.mamamusicians.com
Last edited by sunoy14 at Dec 26, 2013,
#9
Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
you need to learn a variety of shapes (scale, chord, arpeggio) if you want to be any good at improvising. for everything else, you can get away with just simply being "aware" of the basics of music theory.

i was like you, i played piano for ten years before starting guitar. it wasn't until after several years of playing guitar that i felt like i needed to pay conscious attention to theory again.



But through learning loads of songs, won't i be learning a range of different type of chords and their shapes?
#10
Quote by mjones1992
You should definitely go back and figure out the names of at least the basic chords you were playing (major, minor, 7 and open) as to give you some idea of what you were playing (and then to be able to connect it to the theory you already know). You don't really need to know, aside from how it sounds when you play it, something like a Cmaj6/9 chord is. Also, like vIsIbLeNoIsE said, you should learn a variety of shapes.

You can definitely get to the level you're talking about by just learning new songs though. As long as you pay attention to what you're learning and connect concepts between songs. You'll begin to realize that a lot of the shapes/positions are similar between songs especially when you're looking at songs in a specific genre (example being you'll see A LOT of the same shapes and concepts between guitarists such as SRV, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page), but you'll even find concepts from jazz/classical bleeding over into other genres.

I was actually thinking the other day, as someone who's played for 7+ years with hardly any knowledge of theory beyond a few scales, a slew of chords, and understanding stuff like octaves and voicings, how I managed to learn improvisation and have decent phrasing and how I can pick up new songs that my cover band wants to do by just listening to them a few times.

I came to the conclusion that it was because I've learned songs over many many genres and by different artists over the years and have learned to take scales and different chord voicings from one song and apply them to others. It's basically theory at it's core but without all the fancy terminology (that stuff confuses the hell out of me).

So I guess my advice would be to keep concepts and different options for scales and chord voicings in the back of your mind as you learn. It's really as simple as saying: "Ok, I'm playing such-and-such progression and I know that this other song that I know uses that same or a very similar progression but in a different key, so I SHOULD be able to take some of the ideas from that other song and use them in this one"

Eventually all those concepts and ideas that you draw out of all the songs you learn will start to flow into a coherent understanding of your instrument and almost anything you listen to played on your instrument. At that point learning a new song, creating an interesting cover of a song (which can be anything from playing a reggae song in the style of Jimi Hendrix or doing a slow version of a hard rock song), or writing a new song becomes pretty straightforward and even second nature.

A lot of people will tell you that you HAVE to learn theory, but the way I see it, and I could be totally wrong, is that theory is, at it's core, a written understanding of music. You can just as well learn music without it. It's up to you how you want to approach it, but I don't think it would be necessary for you if you already have an understanding of it from playing piano.

That's my two cents. Good luck and keep on groovin bro!



hey dude, thanks for the reply!! I totally get here your coming from. See, from the 5 songs i have learnt so far, i have learnt the chord shapes of many chords. And these chords are a huge variety of chords from a range of scales (i think). My only problem is that i don;t know the actual name of the chords i am playing but i guess, i need to take the name of each chord i play just to get some knowledge in me. My aim to make my own music with the guitar and i have always been under the impression that when the time comes, i will just have to lookup scales adnd try and form chords withinh that scale.

I don't really know any scales for the guitar. I just know how to play the songs i have learnt (red hot chilli pepper - scar tissue/ bloc party - helicopter/ nirvana - about a girl/ artic monkeys - when the sun goes down/ mgnt - electric feel) . So i am guessing that your suggesting,that i should continue to learn loads of new songs in order to gain familiarity with chord shapes ? I just want to reach the point where i can sit with a guitar and just play around or play something (just made up or that i am making as i am playing) . As right now, when i sit with my guitar (when i am not playign songs), i just feel completely clueless and blank as i don't know what to pick or play unless, i decide that i am going to play the songs that i know
#11
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Yeah, theory applies to all instruments. That's why it's called music theory, not guitar or piano theory. You can play the same notes on guitar and piano - and building chords and scales is the same, they use the same notes and sound the same. So same things apply for both instruments.

To be able to just play, you need to have a good ear. You need to know the sound really well. People that just start playing know the sound very well. They don't play random notes, they know exactly what they are doing. Learning songs is a good thing - that will give you influences and you'll also learn how to use techniques in practice. But I would suggest learning them by ear. Because if you want to write music, you need to have a good ear. Writing music is similar to writing a book. You know what you want to say, you don't just put random words after each other and hope for the best result. You actually know what you want to do. Same with writing songs/playing solos - you want to be able to write/play what you want to say. And to be able to do that, you need to know the sound of the notes to be able to write music, just like you need to know the meaning of the words to be able to write a book.

As Victor Wooten said, music comes from the musician, not the instrument.


Hey, thanks for your reply! I totally get where your coming from;

"Because if you want to write music, you need to have a good ear. Writing music is similar to writing a book. You know what you want to say, you don't just put random words after each other and hope for the best result. You actually know what you want to do. Same with writing songs/playing solos - you want to be able to write/play what you want to say" .

You mentioned something about learning by ear/knowing the sound very well and also about me needing to know the sound of the notes ? Could you elaborate on that, please?

You hit the nail right on the head - the kinda level that i want to reach;

Same with writing songs/playing solos - you want to be able to write/play what you want to say.

What steps would you suggest that i follow as well continuing to learn new songs?
#12
Quote by sunoy14
If you have already learned music theory in piano, it means you already have some understanding of music. The theory is the same for piano, guitar, violin or any instruments. All the notes are the same, its just that the placing of the notes are different for different instruments. So you will have to learn different shapes. If you understand chord triads(theory of how chords are formed. Chords are just formed by combining three or more notes. Its the same for every instrument.), you can make your own chords though it might be a little time consuming.
When you learn yourself , you usually get confused about what to learn. If you learn from a teacher, he could guide you from the basics and upwards and you will not miss a thing. You will understand whatever is going on while playing and so you will learn faster. Though that may not be necessary for you since you said you already learned the theory. Someone in an earlier post said that theory is just a written understanding of music. Its true. So learn it. So learn it and stop trying to reinvent the wheel. Understanding theory really helps to your improvement. There are lots of things to learn in theory that you would've never known. By the way, I myself never learned theory in my seven to eight years of playing guitar But recently when I tried to dig a bit into theory, I found out that it makes everything much more simple. Now I know how chords are formed and I am playing around making my own mini chords
I would say that its a good decision to take up a guitar lesson class. Learn what the teachers teach in the class and then just play any songs you want after the classes. That way you will learn everything and will not miss a thing.
In the long run, learning to play from ear is one of the most important skills to be learned by a musician. Otherwise, there is no fun in learning an instrument Just imagine somebody asking you to play a random song while they sing and you apologizing for not being able to play and look like a fool
I think the 80/20 rule would be the best option when learning. Divide your learning time to 80 percent practice and 20 percent learning. Playing songs is also considered a practice if you try to understand the things while playing.
www.mamamusicians.com


Ha, well i wouldn't say that i know much theory but just a few chords and a few scales (with the constant help of google lol). Yeah, i think your right - i need to divide my time
#14
You said you learnt scales and how to build chords from those scales when you played piano. I don't think you could have learnt that stuff properly because you would know what chords belong to the major scale, and minor scale.

You would also be aware that there are only two scales in music that are important to play the vast majority of music you hear.

You're correct in saying that "theory is theory". So if you knew it for piano, applying it to the guitar will be a doddle.

You just need to learn the major scale on the guitar, the notes on the fretboard, and finally how to harmonise the major scale. Do you know what harmonising the major scale is?

Do you know three different types of cadence?
Last edited by mdc at Dec 26, 2013,
#16
I wanna be one of those guys that can just play something they just heard from the radio or something (even if the song originally isn't a guitar based song)
#17
Quote by cloud360
hey dude, thanks for the reply!! I totally get here your coming from. See, from the 5 songs i have learnt so far, i have learnt the chord shapes of many chords. And these chords are a huge variety of chords from a range of scales (i think). My only problem is that i don;t know the actual name of the chords i am playing but i guess, i need to take the name of each chord i play just to get some knowledge in me. My aim to make my own music with the guitar and i have always been under the impression that when the time comes, i will just have to lookup scales adnd try and form chords withinh that scale.

I don't really know any scales for the guitar. I just know how to play the songs i have learnt (red hot chilli pepper - scar tissue/ bloc party - helicopter/ nirvana - about a girl/ artic monkeys - when the sun goes down/ mgnt - electric feel) . So i am guessing that your suggesting,that i should continue to learn loads of new songs in order to gain familiarity with chord shapes ? I just want to reach the point where i can sit with a guitar and just play around or play something (just made up or that i am making as i am playing) . As right now, when i sit with my guitar (when i am not playign songs), i just feel completely clueless and blank as i don't know what to pick or play unless, i decide that i am going to play the songs that i know


Well yeah, if you continue to learn new progressions and new songs you'll have a lot more to draw from when you just sit down to play. You'll be able to pick any progression out of the air that you probably know from 3-4 songs that use the same one and you'll be able to apply scales/concepts to those chords that you learned from another 20 songs you know.

Another thing to look at that might help with context is to figure out what chords are being played behind the music (example being if Fruciante is doing some of his funkadelic stuff, what basic chord would go there rather than the cool riff he's playing. You can most likely derive that from the bass, but you never know with Flea.)

You should definitely look into some basic scale shapes though to begin with as well as go back and figure out what chords were in those songs (btw. Great taste in music dude). My recommendation is to take a look at the Blues minor, minor, major, and pentatonic minor (which is the same as the blues but with one less note). Most songs by the artists you mention use those scales the most. You don't need to learn those scales over the entire fretboard to begin with, but learn the basic shapes from the root note on your low E string to the high e string. What comes next is figuring out where and when to apply those. I'm sure you can figure it out if you're familiar with basic music theory (the key of the song is your friend here).
#18
Ah ok, so you want to play by ear. That's a very good attitude to have. Ear training is the most valuable asset for any musician.

Transcribing is the term you are looking for here.

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/TR-000-Transcribing.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP96RrqddH8

Bass guitar is irrelevant here, this stuff applies to any instrument.
Last edited by mdc at Dec 26, 2013,
#19
@mdc:
That's just the intro video. Have you done the full course on jam play? If so, is it any good?
#20
I haven't done it myself as I've been playing (and transcribing) for quite a few years! I'm certain its very good. Bryan Beller is a fabulous musician.
#21
Quote by mdc
You said you learnt scales and how to build chords from those scales when you played piano. I don't think you could have learnt that stuff properly because you would know what chords belong to the major scale, and minor scale.


I dunno. I took piano lessons for maybe 7 years and hit grade 5, and none of that type of stuff ever came up. The only theory that came up was being able to read music, recognise the key of the piece you were playing, and musical terms etc.. The theory was much more geared towards being able to read music than towards being able to actually understand what music was, be able to write your own stuff or improvise etc.

If he took classical piano it's entirely possible that he's never come across this type of stuff. I know I only came across it when i took up guitar and looked into it myself.

Don't get me wrong- it's absolutely all theory, and once you have it down it applies to all instruments. But there are different approaches to teaching it, the more classical approach (at least the way I was taught) which was more geared towards letting you understand sheet music that was put in front of you, and the, er, less classical (?) approach which is more geared towards actually understanding what music is and how to come up with your own stuff etc. I'm actually kind of annoyed the latter wasn't covered more in my piano lessons because it'd have made things an awful lot easier.

Regarding the original question, there's no rule that says that you can't learn songs and also look into theory as well.
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#22
Quote by mdc
You said you learnt scales and how to build chords from those scales when you played piano. I don't think you could have learnt that stuff properly because you would know what chords belong to the major scale, and minor scale.

You would also be aware that there are only two scales in music that are important to play the vast majority of music you hear.

You're correct in saying that "theory is theory". So if you knew it for piano, applying it to the guitar will be a doddle.

You just need to learn the major scale on the guitar, the notes on the fretboard, and finally how to harmonise the major scale. Do you know what harmonising the major scale is?

Do you know three different types of cadence?


Haha..well i learnt very briefly. I still need to go back over it.. There's only two main popular scales? What are they?

er...it's a no from me for all you questions lol...
#23
Quote by mdc
Edit. Justin sandercoe is very good. I recommend his stuff



yeah, i am thinking of taking his course on youtube while learning songs (i think he has a lil theory mini course as well). I think that's the best way to achieve and grow to that level i want to reach to...What do you guys think?
#24
Quote by mjones1992
Well yeah, if you continue to learn new progressions and new songs you'll have a lot more to draw from when you just sit down to play. You'll be able to pick any progression out of the air that you probably know from 3-4 songs that use the same one and you'll be able to apply scales/concepts to those chords that you learned from another 20 songs you know.

Another thing to look at that might help with context is to figure out what chords are being played behind the music (example being if Fruciante is doing some of his funkadelic stuff, what basic chord would go there rather than the cool riff he's playing. You can most likely derive that from the bass, but you never know with Flea.)

You should definitely look into some basic scale shapes though to begin with as well as go back and figure out what chords were in those songs (btw. Great taste in music dude). My recommendation is to take a look at the Blues minor, minor, major, and pentatonic minor (which is the same as the blues but with one less note). Most songs by the artists you mention use those scales the most. You don't need to learn those scales over the entire fretboard to begin with, but learn the basic shapes from the root note on your low E string to the high e string. What comes next is figuring out where and when to apply those. I'm sure you can figure it out if you're familiar with basic music theory (the key of the song is your friend here).



Haha, my bro said exactly the same thing an hour ago - about increasing my knowledge of chord progressions by learning new songs etc. That sounds like a good idea - trying to figure out what chords are playing.

Haha, thanks! I was told that those songs would be great for a beginner. I think the justincole guy youtube channel covers all those stuff you mentioned
#25
Quote by mdc
Ah ok, so you want to play by ear. That's a very good attitude to have. Ear training is the most valuable asset for any musician.

Transcribing is the term you are looking for here.

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/TR-000-Transcribing.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP96RrqddH8

Bass guitar is irrelevant here, this stuff applies to any instrument.


Wow thanks! Who should i follow for learning how to transcibe? Justin or the guy in the video above?
#26
Quote by cloud360
Hey, thanks for your reply! I totally get where your coming from;

"Because if you want to write music, you need to have a good ear. Writing music is similar to writing a book. You know what you want to say, you don't just put random words after each other and hope for the best result. You actually know what you want to do. Same with writing songs/playing solos - you want to be able to write/play what you want to say" .

You mentioned something about learning by ear/knowing the sound very well and also about me needing to know the sound of the notes ? Could you elaborate on that, please?

You hit the nail right on the head - the kinda level that i want to reach;

Same with writing songs/playing solos - you want to be able to write/play what you want to say.

What steps would you suggest that i follow as well continuing to learn new songs?

When I started playing the guitar, I listened to my favorite songs (Metallica ) and tried to play them. Their riffs aren't that hard to learn by ear. If you want some simple songs to learn by ear, AC/DC is a good band for that. Simple chords, nothing fancy in the songs, just straight forward rock.

To learn the sound of every note, you need to learn the "relative sound". What I mean with this is that C note in the key of C sounds way different from C note in the key of F or G. It has a different function. So what I would do is learn how all scale degrees sound like. Scale degree means the interval between the tonic and the other notes. For example a major scale in scale degrees would be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and a minor scale would be 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7 (so you just flatten the 3rd, 6th and 7th of major scale and you get a minor scale). All major scales use the same pattern and all minor scales use the same pattern - you just need to know the intervals and you can figure out which notes it has.

So basically, learning to play by ear has to do with hearing the interval between the tonic and the note you want to play or the chord and the note you want to play. For example if you are playing an F major chord, you could hear that C is the fifth of the chord. And if it's in the key of C major, you could hear that C is the tonic. And when you are good at this, you don't need to think about the interval because you already know it - you know the sound and you know where to put your fingers to play the sound.

You don't write songs by picking a scale and picking chords in that scale. That's just limiting and that's really not what I would call songwriting. That's more like hoping for random notes to sound good together. Songwriters usually know the sound first. For example when you sing, you don't need to think about scales. You can just sing melodies that you hear in your head. You want to do the same with your guitar. You don't want the music to come from your instrument - you want the music to come from yourself. An instrument is just a tool to get the music out. In other words, you don't want to aimlessly move your fingers in a scale and hope for the best result. You want to know the sound and play what you feel - it comes from you, not from the instrument.

I'm by no means great at playing by ear. I can figure out many riffs by ear but improvising my own solos is a bit hard (my technique isn't good enough and my ear could be better). But all songs I have written were written by me - my guitar didn't write the songs. The melodies were in my head - I heard them and then wrote the song. Of course I sometimes use my guitar to help finding the right voicings or chords. But before that I have a clear idea of what I want my song to sound like.

As I said, you could compare songwriting to writing a book and improvising to speaking. When you speak, you don't put random words after each other. You know what you want to say before you say it. Playing music is kind of like speaking. It has some kind of "message"/"idea" in it - it shouldn't be just notes after notes. Maybe Victor Wooten can explain it better:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yRMbH36HRE
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 27, 2013,
#27
Quote by cloud360
Wow thanks! Who should i follow for learning how to transcibe? Justin or the guy in the video above?

It's up to you. I don't know how you work, different people like to learn different ways.

I tell you this, the old blues and jazz guys did not have Internet and tabs. They had no choice but to just listen and copy. Listen and copy. LISTEN and COPY.

The result was a extremely highly developed musical ear, thus musicianship and improvisation skills to match.

My advice to you is to listen to the radio, like you said and just try and play along. Don't worry about failing either. Just try and pick up on small snippets, especially the melodies. Same with theme tunes, tv commercials.

Over time, you'll get quicker and quicker.

If you hear a melody, can you sing it back in correct pitch? This is one of the most single important things in playing by ear.

If you can sing it, then that means you have it INTERNALISED. You have no idea how important this is. Because if you have the notes inside you, finding them on a instrument is the easy part.

Ear training is a journey that will never end in your quest to improve as a musician.
Last edited by mdc at Dec 27, 2013,
#28
Quote by MaggaraMarine



You don't write songs by picking a scale and picking chords in that scale. That's just limiting and that's really not what I would call songwriting. That's more like hoping for random notes to sound good together. Songwriters usually know the sound first. For example when you sing, you don't need to think about scales. You can just sing melodies that you hear in your head. You want to do the same with your guitar. You don't want the music to come from your instrument - you want the music to come from yourself. An instrument is just a tool to get the music out. In other words, you don't want to aimlessly move your fingers in a scale and hope for the best result. You want to know the sound and play what you feel - it comes from you, not from the instrument.



OMG this!! You got me spot on!
#29
Ok guys, i think i am gonna take up justin's course. He covers theory, intervals and all that as well as how to play by ear and stuff
#30
Quote by cloud360
Ok guys, i think i am gonna take up justin's course. He covers theory, intervals and all that as well as how to play by ear and stuff


Its probably a good choice. That's what most people recommend.

Good luck!
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#31
Thanks everyone for the responses. So close it off, do you guys recommend that i take up justin's online course as well learning songs?
#32
Yes. Eventually, though you won't need to learn songs from a book.... cuz you'll be doing it by ear. 😊

That's the goal at least.
#33
Quote by mdc
Yes. Eventually, though you won't need to learn songs from a book.... cuz you'll be doing it by ear. 😊

That's the goal at least.

That is the goal! Yes! Thank you everyone for your comments. Been really helpful! One last question, guys. My friend have told me that i should try to play along to songs on you tube (the songs i am learning). However, when i try to do so. The sound from my guitar ends up overpowering the sound of the song coming from the speakers..I end up being far from insync with the original. Any tips, guys?
#34
Quote by cloud360
That is the goal! Yes! Thank you everyone for your comments. Been really helpful! One last question, guys. My friend have told me that i should try to play along to songs on you tube (the songs i am learning). However, when i try to do so. The sound from my guitar ends up overpowering the sound of the song coming from the speakers..I end up being far from insync with the original. Any tips, guys?

play the sound on the computer louder and play the guitar at a lower volume.
#35
Quote by macashmack
play the sound on the computer louder and play the guitar at a lower volume.


Ah nice one! Thanks!
#36
Hi guys,

I have noticed that a lot of tutorial videos demonstrating most songs that i want to play, use a tab. I don't currently own a tab. I know the sound quality probably won't be the exact same if i were to play the song without the tab but i was wondering if the tab is really needed?

Thanks!