Hi there :P

Ive been playing alot by ear lately, pretty much exclusively.

Ive noticed some problems i have, Im just not sure how to solve them though :P

Ive been doing alot of " be do da do da do " humming etc etc... in order to remember, its not quite solfege but it makes it easier to remember certain things, and has been helping alot. However....

Alot of chords elude me... and maybe its my theory, but heres a quick example

C/G - Em - B7 - F?

And im trying to figure out the progression, so i just hum along what i think the root note should sound like, but i get this instead...

C - G - Am - F

For some reason, when a minor chord plays, my ear goes right to the minor note, or if theres a 7 chord, i always hum the 7, i dont know whats wrong with me

I was working out some blue oyster cult stuff, and I think he goes back and forth in there between Bmaj and Cmaj in one of them, and he makes cmaj sound minor GAH!

I have also lately been working on annoying stuff like C - C/B - Am sounds, because those confuse me at times as well, ill end up working out something like C G Am

Partly im just a crappy guitar player, and ive gotten so used to dumbing down everything i do into open position chords in the easiest way possible that im not particularly used to playing stuff like x7999x x6444x x5777x x4222x , Im getting there, but I hear the bassline, but they dont sound like 7 chords, and I guess im just too new to understand those chords are common

Any advice would be great, I know practice practice practice, just thought id chime in :P, Its beginning to annoy me that I can often tab out a solo, but what Id really like is just to be able to figure out the chords so i can sing along, and i have the worst luck with basslines
It's not unusual for your ear to latch on the loudest or highest note in a chord. Try listening to the bass for roots. 90% of the time the bass plays the root on the first beat of each chord change. Unless you're transcribing Steely Dan or something, inverted harmonies won't show up but maybe once in every 5 songs you learn.

If you're unsure whether the note you're humming is the root, try other notes on the chord and see if they fit. You've identified you're catching the 7th on dominant chords and the m3 on minors, so you can check yourself by humming a whole step up or a m3 down, respectively.

But again, I suspect it's the placement of those notes in the highest voice that is causing confusion. Always listen to the bass.

What song was C/G - Em - B7 - F ?
Last edited by cdgraves at Jan 12, 2014,
It was shooting shark/i love the night/going thru the motions, one of those i believe, I havnt been keeping the tabs for any of them, i figure ill try again later. I did a bunch of blink182 songs because theyre chordy, i nailed an axis of awesome progression, and the intro, was excited with myself but it didnt last

Every day I appreciate more how difficult some of it is, not just the ear stuff, but I can barely play some of these things in the first place, nevermind all the little hammerons and stuff im trying to figure out.

Im going to spend an hour or two doing dave matthews "grace is gone", has a good intro and then some repeating chords so it should be educational for me, also its a good enough song that im sure someone will have the proper tab up somewhere.