Which, of these methods, is the most beneficial way of learning a song? I understand that alot of pro's learn songs by ear (John Petrucci, Paul Gilbert etc.) and was wondering what benefits this had over looking at tab?

Also, I want to start learning songs by ear, whether or not it is beneficial. What are some tricks and tips to make the process easier?

You should start by singing it first then find it on the guitar. Improving your ear will improve your playing more than anything.
Originally posted by arrrgg
When my grandpa comes over to visit, after his shower, he walks around naked to dry off
your ears will improve and it will be easier for you to find the notes you're looking for when improvising
Die Ruhe vor dem Sturm.
Quote by Led man32
You should start by singing it first then find it on the guitar. Improving your ear will improve your playing more than anything.

I sometimes sing it, hum it, or even whistle the part im trying to play. When I'm singing it I just use nonsense words like "Da Da Da" or something. It'd be a good idea not to try to tab out complex stuff out by ear too soon. Also, try genres of music with repeated structure, it'll save a lot of time. Make sure the device you're using to play the music has a rewind and a pause button, because you'll probably be using it a lot. I personally use my computer to access my music library. There are also some programs out there that allow you to slow down the music so it's easy to hear each individual pitch that you can use with programs like winamp, and other programs that mute the vocal track so you can hear the guitar part clearly. I don't remember what the application names are, but I've heard people talk about them quite a bit. Try easier genres too at first. A lot of punk music can be tabbed out quite easily by ear, and often the chord progressions are easy to determine. Hope this helps!

P.S. it would probably be a good idea to brush up on your interval training every so often like this http://www.musictheory.net/trainers/html/id84_en.html . There are some tips to memorizing how intervals sound, this one comes directly from a UG column

 “War Pigs” uses a Major 2nd when the main riff kicks in, as the chords change from D5 to E5, and Ozzy starts wailing “Generals gather in their masses...” That switch from D to E is a Major 2nd.

“Stairway to Heaven” uses a minor 3rd (A-C) between the 1st and 2nd notes of the song.

“Paranoid” uses a Perfect 4th interval (E-A) as the very first chord, a split second before Tony hammers on to form a power chord.

“Crazy Train” Uses a Perfect 5th between the 2nd and 3rd notes of the opening guitar riff. (The F# on the 2nd fret to the C# on the 4th.)

“Crazy Train” Uses a Minor 6th between the 4th and 5th notes. (F# - D)

A blues shuffle uses a Major 6th when you're fretting the “stretch” (the span of four frets, adding your pinkie.)

“Purple Haze” Uses the Octave Bb - Bb between the 1st and 2nd notes of the opening “Da Da Da Da” riff. (How's that for a technical explanation?)

It might be a little difficult at first, and it might seem like a guessing game when you start, but search around on google a little bit, there are some tips like the one just pasted to memorize intervals. It'll make tabbing out what you hear a much faster process.
Last edited by silvadolla at Jun 16, 2008,