Learning by ear is soo fun...

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by Eball92, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Eball92

    Eball92 Senior Member

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    For the past few nights I've been working on the intro lick to Boston's peace of mind. Last night I finally figured I had cracked it, since it sounded right to me. So I went on YouTube to see how other people did the chords, just to find out I'm doing it totally wrong :doh: and I had the chords totally wrong too. This is freaking tough. Couldn't imagine how people used to move the needle back on the record constantly back in the day. I'm working on training my ear, but I don't seem to be making a lot of progress. Not sure if it's for lack of trying or I just have garbage ears. Only one way to find out.

    Time to start over again

    /short rant :thumb:
     
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  2. spitfire

    spitfire Senior Member

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    My, "in the olds days" was a cassette player. Still can't understand how I didn't wear it out. Keep in mind all the great artists that had no recordings to reference, they heard it on the radio and I assume did there best to jam along to it. And of course before that, had to hear it live. Though I doubt trying to sound, "just like the record" was their goal.

    But yeah, using your ear is tough, mine's not that good, but I find the more I try to learn by ear, the better I get. Like any skill, you have to put in the time.

    What I really hate is thinking you've nailed it, and you find your playing a note a 5th high or low. It fits well, but isn't the right one. Then when you did find the right one, your like duh why was that so hard.
     
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  3. KP11520

    KP11520 Senior Member

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    One word...... .Bamboo Chutes! LOL
     
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  4. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    When I first started (1966!) I was lucky enough to have access to a 2-speed open reel tape deck. I didn't have to wear out my vinyl! Slowing stuff to half-speed meant the octave dropped too, but that was OK as most fancy lead or fingerpicking stuff was high. If I wanted bass lines (to help identify chords) I'd raise the octave by doubling the speed - that was OK because bass lines weren't usually too fast.

    Now - of course - there is software that will do all that and much more, either free or stupidly cheap. If you don't yet own a slowdowner, get one NOW! Transcribe! is the best, IMO. https://www.seventhstring.com/
    I use that program literally every day, often more than once, mostly just to check fragments of tunes.

    As an example of the level of reliable detail you can achieve this way (and a shameless excuse to brag), here's a recent book I worked on:
    https://www.musicroom.com/product-d...59/bert-transcribed-the-bert-jansch-songbook/
    (It wasn't all me, but I was the one checking (and fixing) all the other tabs sent in.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
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  5. Eball92

    Eball92 Senior Member

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    @spitfire - Yea I know that feeling. In this case I actually did get the notes correct, just wrong position on the fretboard..well, half wrong, I just started and ended in the wrong spots.

    @KP11520 - those tasty things in curry? Do they help you hear? :rofl:

    @JonR - I use transcribe on the pc quite a bit, but now with my amp I use my phone since I can plug right in. Finding a good program on android is a challenge. I'll have to order a long auxiliary cable and then I can plug my computer directly into my amp, that could work now that I think about it.

    I'll check out the book reference now, though you don't have to be ashamed of anything, brag away! You've contributed so much to my learning through the musical theory sticky. You're the man!:dude:
     
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  6. barchiola

    barchiola Senior Member

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    I share your pain.....been going back to Middle of the Road by the Pretenders every so often. Every time I end up second guessing what I did the last time and there aren't any good YouTube videos to see a definitive technique.

    Sometimes having a second, easier song to work on helps break it up when a harder song is slowing you down. Or just play it however you think it might be, get through it and then play it over an over with your guitar slightly lower volume than the song so when you play along you can hear the guitar parts and pick up where you're off. Then just tweak it a little at a time,.
     
  7. barchiola

    barchiola Senior Member

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    fwiw, since nobody mentioned it already, you can slow down youtube videos to 75% or 50% of normal speed which really helps to learn songs.
     

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