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learning by ear?


nikko18

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i almost exclusively learn this way, the best tip i can give you is jam along to it.

ill jam to a song until i get it, it can take minutes or weeks depending on the song, but dont get frustrated.

oh, and try to find out what pedal tones (the note(s) that drives the song) are in the song, once you have that its a matter of finding the melody

do you have a descent stereo and cd's?

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If you don't already, I would try to learn the basic theory of keys and scales. Most rock/pop songs use fairly simple chord progressions. Figuring out what key it's in will at least give you a place to start and make it easier to work out most of the chords, melody, guitar fills and solos. Then you can work on figuring out any chords or notes that might not fit exactly into the key of the song.

 

As far as riff go, if you listen closely to the guitar parts, many times you can tell how they're playing the parts. Figure out if it sounds like they're hammering-on, pulling-off, sliding, playing open strings, arpegios etc. Many times I find that if I know what "technique" is being used in a riff, my fingers almost naturally find the right notes.

 

Now, if you're planning on learning something like old Steely Dan, I suggest saving yourself some frustration and just get the book.

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Almost exclusively by ear here. Had to in to oldden days, no internet to google =P~

 

Getting lazier now and will suppliment with chord or tab finders but my ears are have the final word when it comes to telling if what I'm playing is correct or not.

 

But to me it just came natural. Started playing by ear by my 2nd or 3rd lesson. My teacher noticed that I wasn't looking at the music exactly right while I was playing, my eyes were nowhere near the correct bar, and asked me flat out if Iwas reading the music. I said no, thought I was in trouble (9 years old at the time). I did have a couple of years of piano lessons before that. Didn't play by it by ear tho.

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I'm learning to do it that way because there are some songs I can't find sheet music for. It seems to be a gradual process. First I learned to do simple single-note melodies by ear (like "Happy Birthday") and now I am starting to do chords. The thing that seems to be helping me a lot is understanding scales. I really focused on the C major scale in all positions, knowing to play them forward and backward and with intervals. It really helps me to find the right note. A similar thing is happening with the chords, where I learned the main chords (A, B, etc.) and some variants (A7, B7, etc) and I'm working on other variants like the 9 and sus4 variants.

 

Also knowing a bit about chord progressions and how they are commonly used helps a lot, like I, IV, V and I, III, V.

 

A lot of songs change keys multiple times as they progress. I have not yet learned to sense key changes very well, but it's on my to-do list as something to learn.

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I've always learned by ear. Occasionally I'll look up the key, or where the first couple notes are, and then figure out the rest by myself. Basically once you learn to recognize the way a certain pattern of note relations sounds (such as the relationship of fifths, and how it sounds for example going from open to 3rd fret), you can figure just about anything out. I learn all my stuff that way while driving and listening to music.

 

H-Bomb

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I've always learned by ear too, Nikko. These guys know what they're talking about. Good advice, everybody. Let me summarize some of what these guys have said and I'll add my .02.

 

1. Find the proper key of the song.

 

2. Figure out the notes that correspond to the chords, and then chords and chord pattern of the Intro. Verse, Bridge, & Chorus, and practice your changes from one to the next.

 

3. Listen for the tone & picking style and things like hammer-ons, pull-offs, and (very important in my book) palm muting, and emulate as close as you choose to.

 

4. For learning the fine details, I like to listen to a song with headphones. Even better because your starting out, use the CD input to run the song through your amp (if equipped) and use the headphones on the output jack to hear your guitar & song together.

 

When I was a beginner, I picked up the Tom Scholz Rockman headphone amp and played with my radio/cassette coming through and it was great for learning. Now a days you've got the devices like the Boss loop stations that will record a song or part of a song and then you're able to slow it down to learn solos & licks.

 

Good Luck

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thanks you guys :]

this is all very helpfull. i love having the gibson forums to come to when i have questions like this. there are so many people on here that can give good answers.

 

oh and by the way incase any one was wondering, the song i am learning is superstition. the SRV version. i think i have the main chord part down now, i jus need to work on solo stuff.

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