#1
Hi again :P

I took about a month hiatus from guitar, mostly because its frustrating to still suck (thats how i see it) after almost 3 years of practice.

I have no trouble with technical problems, im aware i can just work those out with good solid practice, and i wouldnt bother people with easily fixed shortcomings. My issue, and one that has plagued me for the past year or so is "ear training" and "transcription".

My issue is simple, i dont know what im doing. If i were to ask anyone about how your supposed to practice, they'd say start slow, get it right, then go faster, work on your tone and your timing, etc.

But when im working on my ear... I play a song on my ipod over headphones, figure out the key(i suck at music theory too, or more accurately - no matter how much i learn, it wont help my ear, doesnt matter if I know the diatonic chords or not, sometimes im just wrong.), then play some chords over parts, and hope their close or right...


people say "perfect practice makes perfect"

but when i apply this to transcription, my practice is garbage. Ive used all the games, you play a cadence, i can tell you what scale note is played next, you play two notes(ascending anyway) and ill tell you the interval. You play a chord and i can sing Do Mi So. Its all been for naught, makes even less sense now than when i started, i see results everywhere but where i want them.

Yesterday i worked out a janes addiction song, of course the song is only 2 chords and a tiny riff.. no problem. Then i play a nirvana song, i cant figure out more than 2 NOTES to save my life. Feel like i might as well be banging my head against the wall..


anyway, any solid advice would be GREATLY appreciated. I dont care if its a 12 step program, or a 3 hour a day practice regimen, but something that has empirical proof. Another 3 or 4 dozen songs like this and ill end up getting so bummed ill put the guitar away for another month
#2
So to cut it short, you have no problem playing a song, but actually figuring it out and transcribing by ear your absolutely useless at (no offence of course)? Just need to clarify before i give any advice.
#3
I'd need to know a lot more about you, like what level of basic theory you understand, as well as what songs you have transcribed or are attempting to transcribe. You might be working above your level and needing to start on something simpler, like basic melodies, and then gradually get somewhat complex - (row row row your boat, to say, the Simpsons theme). Its very hard to be both teacher and student, as I'm sure you know because you have no one there to tell you if you're doing something wrong.

Best,

Sean
#4
Ok, ive been at it for ~3 years, most of that time spent playing tablature and technical stuff. I couldnt say what the most difficult song i can play is, but I am fond of elliott smith, and other songs that sound good on acoustic, jack johnson and dmb and the like. Independence day, Clementine are examples of his songs I play fairly often. I know most of the smashing pumpkins songs, because thats what i started with, I noodle around with lots of music though. everything from zeppelin to elton john to whatever pop rock ive heard.

My knowledge of theory isnt much, but ive never understood that question really. I know all my scales, i can tell you the 3rd/5th from any root off the top of head, i know the diatonic chords for every key ofc, i know the nashville? numbering system I ii iii IV, etc, im familiar with the minor scale, or at least 1 version it. Ive never payed any attention to modes, because from the posts ive read theyre useless 95% of the time for 95% of the people who ask. Im aware of the common chords in most songs, I IV V, V7, vi, iii, occasionaly a VII or chords borrowed from the parallel minor, which I also dont really understand because theyre supposed to be the same chords... this stuff is important to me, but I doubt ill ever have an understanding im comfortable with. I can run up and down scale patterns, all 7 of them for both melodic minor, and major scales. I have memorized the notes on the guitar, albeit not well enough to play sheet music in any place but position 1.

As far as ear training goes, im off and on with it. usually something like a month at time before i burn out, I used FET, i can get all of them in different keys, over multiple octaves, in major and minor keys. I can do the interval one on another site with 95% accuracy too, but only ascending because i gave up on that as it appears to be useless in the context I need. I started with melodies, ive done maybe 100 random melodies, usually vocal melodies from stones songs or whatever else, nursery rhymes, xmas songs etc. I can sometimes sing the chord tones do mi so, but not often enough i suppose.


As far as what songs ive attemped, I pretty much attempt everything now, I set my ipod to shuffle and go at it, as transcription skills are my singular pursuit now, i could look up the music, but I generally play over all the tunes in my headphones anyway now, so it doesnt hurt to try first.

Ive made progress over time ofc. But It bugs me that there is no set way to do it. If im learning a James Taylor song, i can sit down with the music, go through it slowly 50 times, until its 2nd nature, then i can run through it as quickly as I want. With this transcription crap, I play a song on my ipod, figure out the I chord, and HOPE? my brain sorts the rest of it out.


Its just so very sloppy, people say "just keep doing it", and i dont even know what "it" is. I generally give up so much, I might as well just find the key of the song, strum a few I and IV chords, and move on to the next song.

also, yes sometimes I have problems playing songs, but its nothing that 30 minutes of practice cant sort out, Im not into jazz or metal or anything that is beyond difficult, generally I like sing songy type chord based music. The odd running bassline here and there and occasional h&p stuff arnt out of the question, but im not really into lead style solo's and superspeed malsteem stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6zno4Cuoqo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y326hQyg-W4

theres two examples of stuff ive attempted recently, i dont believe there is a tab up for those songs, certainly not ones that includes the little notes, Im tired atm, but by tomorrow night ill post what i get, ive almost finished the 2nd one. These are ofc only a few examples, ones that came to mind mostly because they sound like they should be easy for me by now, especially since theres videos with them...
#6
Quote by blunderwonder
Hi again :P

I took about a month hiatus from guitar, mostly because its frustrating to still suck (thats how i see it) after almost 3 years of practice.

I have no trouble with technical problems, im aware i can just work those out with good solid practice, and i wouldnt bother people with easily fixed shortcomings. My issue, and one that has plagued me for the past year or so is "ear training" and "transcription".

My issue is simple, i dont know what im doing. If i were to ask anyone about how your supposed to practice, they'd say start slow, get it right, then go faster, work on your tone and your timing, etc.

But when im working on my ear... I play a song on my ipod over headphones, figure out the key(i suck at music theory too, or more accurately - no matter how much i learn, it wont help my ear, doesnt matter if I know the diatonic chords or not, sometimes im just wrong.), then play some chords over parts, and hope their close or right...


people say "perfect practice makes perfect"

but when i apply this to transcription, my practice is garbage. Ive used all the games, you play a cadence, i can tell you what scale note is played next, you play two notes(ascending anyway) and ill tell you the interval. You play a chord and i can sing Do Mi So. Its all been for naught, makes even less sense now than when i started, i see results everywhere but where i want them.

Yesterday i worked out a janes addiction song, of course the song is only 2 chords and a tiny riff.. no problem. Then i play a nirvana song, i cant figure out more than 2 NOTES to save my life. Feel like i might as well be banging my head against the wall..


anyway, any solid advice would be GREATLY appreciated. I dont care if its a 12 step program, or a 3 hour a day practice regimen, but something that has empirical proof. Another 3 or 4 dozen songs like this and ill end up getting so bummed ill put the guitar away for another month



Sometimes trying too hard can hold you back.

If you learned Jane says…. then just play it and enjoy it. If you have trouble learning the Nirvana song, look it up for starters. Memorize, play and enjoy it.

You get to a point where you start remembering what certain chords and chord progressions sound like. You really don't need to know any theory for this (though I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't learn it), experience is what gets you there.

You do have to be patient, it does take time to develop.
#7
Like i said im gonna give it 2-3 hours worth of practice starting in a few minutes after dinner and tab out those 2 songs best i can

But this morning i was listening to

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG2IBQQbgkU

Anyway, i came up with E and Gmaj chords, and maybe an F#m or an Amaj somewhere, figured I had the first two right, played around with an Am chord and then gave up.

turns out the progression is like, Bm A6 Gmaj7 E E7 E, its very pretty, but might as well be impossible for me, theres also an F#maj in there, and some little bass runs, the point is -

the majority of the song is only 4-5 chords, and after years of playing, this still baffles me I tried to work out the vocal melody partly to start, but had ridiculous trouble with that since its alot of chord tones, and usually he stays on one note but has a really expressive tone, i had deduced xx4432 were some important notes, but it didnt get me anywhere, which makes me feel ******ed in retrospect

Anyway, thats where I am, spending an hour or so working out 4-5 chords that ive played at some point many times in many songs, and failing.

If any of you have links to someone actually doing this for an hour or two, and getting it right, i would appreciate watching something like that, and maybe shadowing it, just to see if i can latch onto someone elses process, ive seen people work out 2 or 3 chords with random pop songs on the radio or their phone or something, but it never seems like much detail or much explanation, and they dont really concentrate on getting it right, just trying to impress because they can guess a chord or two.
#8
This is a terrible mix if you're trying to figure out the guitar and isolate it enough. I hear the reverse arpeggios, I can work out the chords, but to be honest, the guitar sounds flat to my ears, like some of the strings are slightly off tune. This isn't a beginner tune.

It sounds simple, and maybe with the vocals and harmonies it would be easier - for me this would be a challenge and I've played and taught and transcribed for hundreds of students - I've been playing for almost 30 years.

I could use theory to do it because my ears are pretty well trained, but, no way I'd suggest it was easy. Lots of out of tune stuff going on here.

Best,

Sean
#9
You seem hard on yourself dont be your doing much better than the do you have the tab hordes

Have an intimate knowledge of the intervals based on bright and dark souning ones, very simple.
know a minor 6th an octave apart, played together, played back to front. listen to slow harmonic music like bill evans and actively listen.
#11
Here's an exercise:

When you are practicing guitar, spend as much time as you can/want practicing the chromatic scale and sing along to it, i was skeptic at first when i did this, but it can help your melodic ear tremendously.
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Mar 14, 2014,