Transcribing by ear

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by TennesseeJed, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. TennesseeJed

    TennesseeJed Junior Member

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    I've decided to delve into figuring songs out by ear rather than tab especially since I'm getting into the blues and its not always easy to find tabs. I was wondering if anyone had some recommendations for some simple blues songs with some lead playing that won't be to overwhelming to figure it. I've begun dabbling with some Jimmy Reed. And recommendations would be appreciated.
     
  2. notme

    notme Senior Member

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    I went the same route, the best way to learn, relating notes with finger placement gets embedded in the brain this way.
    I recommend any early stuff from ZZ Top.
    A little extra help is anything on youtube can be slowed down while maintaining proper notes.
    This helped me learn the rockford files theme.
     
  3. spitfire

    spitfire Senior Member

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    I don't have any song recommendations. But I really like the program Transcribe!. You can slow down the song, loop over specific areas. And if you just can't figure it out by ear, it will give you note guesses.

    https://www.seventhstring.com/

    Transcribe also works with videos. So you can pause the recording to see what a guitar player is doing.

    There are many web sites that allow you to paste YouTube URLs to download the YouTube videos. This is the one I use:

    http://youtubeinmp4.com/

    While I love Transcribe!, I try not to use it to tell me the notes. But, sometimes I just get stuck, or there are just too many things going on. But I find the more I work with it, the better my ear gets.

    Transcribe also has FX. I mostly use them to EQ so I can highlight the frequencies of interest.

    And Transcribe! is modestly priced at $39.
     
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  4. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    "Born Under A Bad Sign", and other blues covers from Cream (and the EC-era Bluesbreakers), are great fodder for introducing a rock player to the blues. Ditto a couple of the songs from Zeppelin I.

    From the originals, Elmore James, Otis Rush, Freddie King, and Albert King are all good sources for different styles of learning blues phrasing and how to mix major and minor to get to bluesy.
     
  5. geochem1st

    geochem1st V.I.P. Member

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  6. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    I recommend going right back to some of the earliest blues lead playing on record (1928):

    - mostly it's the same lead line repeated, but there's other classic fills too (well, classic now...)

    Here's a rare blues guitar instrumental, lots of mixolydian lines and chromatic fills:


    T-Bone Walker is always good for simple, clean lines:


    Here's a nice C blues scale workout:


    I second spitfire's recommendation of Transcribe software.
     
  7. TheWGuitar

    TheWGuitar Senior Member

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    Youtube live performances are definitely a great way, as long as the cameraman has done a good job of smoothly showing the guitar player. You can really see finger position.
    It's not the cheap way of doing it, but I already have Adobe Premiere for video editing, so I just use that when I'm stuck. I'll download the youtube video using one of the websites that helps you do that, and chuck it up in premiere pro to slow the video down however much I want (while keeping pitch). That has saved me a few times. Even then, if the camera isn't zoomed in pretty well, it's still a challenge to tell exactly what the guitar player is doing with his fret hand if it's a pretty fast run. But doing the Youtube thing has really helped me with the strumming hand a lot, on some of those songs that have hybrid picking/fingering, etc..

    A lot of "Ahh, that's how he's doing it" moments.
     
  8. TennesseeJed

    TennesseeJed Junior Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys. I've started working Born Under A Bad Sign. Rhythm part was easy and the first few licks now I gotta get cracking on the solo.
     
  9. SteveGangi

    SteveGangi V.I.P. Member

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    That's a good place to start. it's well done, it isn't at breakneck speed, and will give you a good introduction to minor pentatonic patterns and proper phrasing.
     
  10. Sct13

    Sct13 Gold Supporter Premium Member

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    Sometimes "note for note" isn't musically healthy for blues guitar...There is a feel you need to develop and its all your own, by all means learn the licks of your favorite stuff but there is nothing played wrong ....ever....because you need to remember these guys just made this stuff up and maybe later refined it for a recording......Its MORE about translating the "vibe" of what your trying to say rather than copying ....

    So its OK to veer off into your own rhythmical chops, you will improve in accuracy and timing....
     
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