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another thread about learning songs by ear

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Every1TookMyName, Jun 11, 2001.

  1. Can anyone give me a list of songs that I try to learn by ear? I've used tabulature as a crutch for too long... I like rock, alternative, and heavy metal. Thanks.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Hm, why ask somebody else?
    Just learn any song you like, even if you can't figure it out 100%. Sometimes you even get something good out of your 'mistakes'.

    Your Profile says you like Geddy, for example. Learn your favorite Rush song. Much to learn from those!

    A good idea is to copy the song onto your PC as a wav or mp3 file and use an audio editor like Cooledit or goldwave or Musician's CD Player to slow it to half-speed while keeping the pitch the same. Great for learning fast lines.
  3. I never thought to do that. Good idea! I agree, just learn to play songs you like. One way I do it is to just figure out the chords first, then fill in the rest later when you know where to start from.
  4. learning songs by ear gets easier every time.

    what i do is listen to the song over and over until i can listen to the song in my head.
    then i figure it out on my bass.

    thats the easiest way i've found.
  5. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Punk Guy makes a very good point. I don't try and learn a song until I really focus listen to it at least 3 times consecutively, without interruption.
  6. Thanks guys!

    I just learned 'Say it Ain't So' by Weezer.

    Its not a hard song, but its definitely a step in the right direction! :D
  7. good for you. IMO, tab just isn't necessary for figuring out bass parts, because mostly it's just one note at a time. i use guitar tab all the time, though, because it's hell to figure out some of the chords and voicings. we bass players have it easy in this department.
  8. As others have said, after listening to a tune several times, I would listen again and imagine the bass fretboard with the general movement of the bass line and make mental notes of parts I wasn't sure of. I would repeat that until I thought I could play along.

    Then I would work on the rough parts until I could put the whole song together.

    I spent hours doing this with every record I bought. The hardest were the tunes where the bass player didn't play with much of a repetitive pattern, like Phil Lesh.
  9. The only hard part for me is finding the root note. Once I figure that out its not so hard. I think I'll start practicing on punk (Sex Pistols) or emo (Trail of the Dead), where the bass pretty much just sticks on the root for the entire song.
  10. I think thats the crux of it. Its sorta like TB, you do one post, or find the root note and you're hooked. I love finding the first note of a line, then its like "well its based around here, lets try the next note!"


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