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How to learn songs quicker by ear?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by gfdhicool, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    My opinion:
    -5 hours to learn a song is pretty good, if I could learn a song in 5 hours by ear, I'd be ecstatic
    -Theory: most songs are pretty repetitive and fall into certain categories. Punk? hammer those roots. Country? get that get-a-long feel with root-5. Simple rock? perhaps a root-3-5. Reggae? Lay out for a while, then dig in before taking another break. Don't forget the blue notes if that's the sort of song it is. Funk it up a touch with a dotted quarter note followed by eighth.
    Obviously, that's an oversimplification, but if you know the key, the chords, the type of song, and other "theory" you'll get there quicker.
    -Learn to read music. This is where I fall down quickly... or slowly. It would take me 5 hours to make sense of a sheet of written music, but I know it's something I should work on...
  2. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Learning songs is a developing skill, the more you use it correctly the more it helps you in the long run.
    Maybe you do not have time just know, but learn song de-construction, learn to hear what is in a song by taking it to bits...de-construct the parts, see the relationships, learn the relationships and any alternatives, the construct it again from what you have learned. This gives a better deeper learning experience than just learning "to play notes"

    Rather than a full transcription, just write out the format and arrangement with the chords that apply, you all ready will have learned what is in any chords used and their relationships to each other, this skill will be used again and again and again and as it develops you get faster and better at hearing what is in a song. It will lead to you learning some song just by hearing them....no instrument needed.

    It works for all music, and especially so in genres as the will share common and similar elements in there construction.

    Check out the link, two different songs, different keys, but similar in more ways than you would suspect.

  3. gfdhicool


    Jun 8, 2012
    Damn man,you really know what you're talking about.I wish I can be like you someday! You're right they are similar in a way.I will try this too,since I really want to be able to make out most parts without the instrument (Sometimes I'm busy,since I'm very involved in school and after school activities)
  4. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    1. Practice, practice, practice

    2. for each interval (minor 2nd, major 2nd, minor 3rd, major 3rd, etc.) think of a song that starts with that interval. This will help you recognize them when you hear them in a song you're trying to learn. Some of mine are:
    minor 2nd - the shark motif from the Jaws movie
    major 2nd - You Really Got Me by the Kinks
    minor 3rd - Big Eyes by Cheap Trick
    major 3rd - Doorbell sound from the old Avon commercial
    perfect 4th - First two notes of "Summer Lovin" from the musical Grease
    diminished 5th - 1st & 3rd notes of "Black Sabbath" by Black Sabbath
    perfect 5th - Theme from Star Wars
    minor 6th - I don't have a song for this one, I just think of it as the 3rd inversion of a minor chord minus the root (i.e. B and G above it from the Em chord)
    major 6th - The first two harmonica notes from Lee Oskar's "Before the Rain"
    minor 7th - Dazed and Confused by Led Zeppelin
    major 7th - How many songs start with a major 7th interval? Best I could do was the 1st and 3rd notes of "Bali H'ai" from the musical "South Pacific"
    octave - "Salt Peanuts" by Dizzie Gillespie

    Some of these show how old I am, some are even before my time, most are not genres that I would listen to for entertainment, but the point is to pick something memorable.

    Thanks and props to Mr. Hirai my music teacher at Mililani High School circa 1977.
  5. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    Creating your own fills is a good way to develop your ear and creativity. You can always circle back and learn the note-for-note if and when.
  6. gfdhicool


    Jun 8, 2012
    I'll do it :)

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