#1
Hey, this is my very first post here, so I hope I don't get banned for repeating a topic or something like that. I couldn't find anyone to discuss this specific subject and it's probably a good way to start participating in the forum.

Today I read this article: http://jazzadvice.com/how-to-be-mediocre
It's about "How To Be Mediocre" on improvising with your guitar. It means you have to follow the contrary of the advices they give. For example, the first advice called my atention because it talks about learning to play songs by ear and transcribing it to the paper. I never did that! I feel mediocre. So I wanted to get opinions and know a bit more about what players think about the method I use and if there's someone who also developed a particular method to learn.

I've been learning guitar (mainly acoustic) for about 6 or 7 years now and I have always been more performer than improviser. I was mainly interested on singing, so I learned to play the guitar to be able to sing without needing someone to play for me. In fact, I've learned to play quite well! I can play some difficult fingerstyle songs without missing the beat. The problem is that I never learned to play a song by ear! It was always through the chords, tabs or video tutorials. Now that I finally started writing my own stuff, I felt the need to train my ears and improvise. I'm training the intervals listening to them being played on different instruments and I'm also learning to apply them with my guitar. To practice scales and the notes, I first pick a key, then I look for songs I like on that key and practice the scale on differend sequences until I can memorise. Then I go to youtube and pick a tutorial to play that song on the best way possible, just to learn the style of the song and explore the scales. With the song I learn, I can identify the scale, the intervals, the notes and perform. The thing is that. actually, I don't know wether I'm getting myself trapped on a stupid way to learn guitar and if it can be bad for creating music. I know music is something very intuitive to create, but there are some rules you can follow to make life easier.
Last edited by alanderavila at Jan 27, 2014,
#2
Quote by alanderavila
Hey, this is my very first post here, so I hope I don't get banned for repeating a topic or something like that. I couldn't find anyone to discuss this specific subject and it's probably a good way to start participating in the forum.

Today I read this article: http://jazzadvice.com/how-to-be-mediocre
It's about "How To Be Mediocre" on improvising with your guitar. It means you have to follow the contrary of the advices they give. For example, the first advice called my atention because it talks about learning to play songs by ear and transcribing it to the paper. I never did that! I feel mediocre. So I wanted to get opinions and know a bit more about what players think about the method I use and if there's someone who also developed a particular method to learn.

I've been learning guitar (mainly acoustic) for about 6 or 7 years now and I have always been more performer than improviser. I was mainly interested on singing, so I learned to play the guitar to be able to sing without needing someone to play for me. In fact, I've learned to play quite well! I can play some difficult fingerstyle songs without missing the beat. The problem is that I never learned to play a song by ear! It was always through the chords, tabs or video tutorials. Now that I finally started writing my own stuff, I felt the need to train my ears and improvise. I'm training the intervals listening to them being played on different instruments and I'm also learning to apply them with my guitar. To practice scales and the notes, I first pick a key, then I look for songs I like on that key and practice the scale on differend sequences until I can memorise. Then I go to youtube and pick a tutorial to play that song on the best way possible, just to learn the style of the song and explore the scales. With the song I learn, I can identify the scale, the intervals, the notes and perform. The thing is that. actually, I don't know wether I'm getting myself trapped on a stupid way to learn guitar and if it can be bad for creating music. I know music is something very intuitive to create, but there are some rules you can follow to make life easier.



Look man developing your ears takes a while. If you have a talent for it then it will be super easy for you if not then it will probably be very difficult for you in the very beginning. Anyways since your a beginner at this I suggest you transcribe nursery songs. I'll leave a link for you it's a transcribing course I think it's great!


Link down here follow this course

http://justinguitar.com/en/TR-000-Transcribing.php
#3
I don't do a lot of transcribing notes to paper, but I do a lot of chord transcriptions. That's a good way to exercise your ear, listening for the different chords. As a lead player, one of the toughest things is playing a song and attempting to stick close to the melody line. It's easy to improv something and make it sound good, but if the song needs me to follow the melody line, that can get interesting. That's one of the things I practice at home on a lot. I'll either play a song on my computer and pick out the melody line, or I'll hear a song in my head and attempt to follow along with it. It's all good training and it just makes you a better lead/solo player.
#4
Thank you, guys!

Well, I guess you both agree that transcribing is important and I'll certainly watch that classes to understand better about it, but I'm not sure if I'll spend long days trying to play out a song by ear with so many great tutorials online. I understand when Justin Sandercoe talks about how the greatest players in the world learned to play songs without reading the tab, but you know, times have changed a lot!! Honestly, it seems to me that transcribing the notes is a waste of time, specially with solos and fingerstyle. Maybe it can be good to develop the ears... but creating new music, practicing scales and do the aural training are also good ways to develop ears and you can go straight to the point when it concerns learning a cover. Do you think it's possible to develop ears by transcribing my own stuff, even when I use tabs to memorise the covers I play? I think it's a lot easier to transcribe something new because you're creating it, so it's quite flexible and intuitive.

Steven, I liked that you said that you only transcribe the chords. It's a lot more simple than trying to transcribe a solo or a folk fingerstyle song, for example. Maybe it's different for each kind of player. If depends on if you want to be a lead guitar player on a metal band or an acoustic player and songwriter.
Last edited by alanderavila at Jan 27, 2014,
#5
Yeah, i wouldn't recommend writing it down unless you are very concerned with getting your sight reading skills up and the same time.

I do however recommend the main point of that article, transcribe ALOT. You don't have to right it down at all, but working on transcribing is one of the most important things you can do. Transcribing improves your ear, it improves your technique, it gives you inspiration and it helps you develop language. Regardless of what style of music you play, transcribing is a must.

But yes, training you ear can be very difficult. And that's why it is important that you do it a little everyday. I have made myself a resolution for several years now to atleast transcribe 4 bars of music each day, and it has helped me a lot. Both in the sense that my ears are developing all the time, but also that i get the language down bit by bit.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#6
I took guitar lessons for a little over 6 years. One of the things my instructor focussed on, besides learning both rhythm and lead playing, was learning to transcribe chords. That skill has come in quite handy. In the group I play with, I'm the only one who knows how to transcribe chords. And I'm the lead player... My instructor always stressed being a well-rounded musician. He was quite right!