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I want to learn songs the old fashioned way.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ZeroSymbolic, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. I want to train and learn songs the way they did before the internet. Before tabs were a thing and youtube was everywhere, how did ya'll do it back in the day?
    Bassist4Eris, HD007, hintz and 2 others like this.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The modern version would be to bring up the song on Spotify and play it and "rewind" parts until you learn it by ear.

    The old fashioned ways were....

    1) Buy the record/cassette/8 track and play the song over and over again.

    2) If you were lucky enough to have a radio with a cassette deck that could record back in the 80s, you could keep your cassette recorder set to record and paused. Then when a song you wanted to learn came on the radio you unpaused and BOOM!!!! The earliest version of stealing music!!!! Repeat #1.

    3) Wait for the sheet music (or eventually TAB) to show up in your favorite quitar magazine.

    You better stick to the modern version. ;)
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Listen. Practice. Repeat.
  4. twinjet

    twinjet GE90-equipped Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Play the song, listen and emulate.
    EWH, Stillbillnc, PeterH and 12 others like this.
  5. Before there were people showing us how to play it, we figured it out on our own. We used our ears, and repetition. We played the record or tape many times, and checked our accuracy on an instrument. It is becoming a lost art. People are losing the art of figuring out a song by ear, in favor of erroneous tabs and tutorials.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Same thing you do now, without he ability to slow parts down, or isolate them.
    Liam Wald likes this.
  7. Play the tape...pause or stop...find the notes or chords... then either rewind the tape (to make sure I get the right notes/chords) or resume play. We do it over and over again, until we get the song right.

    I still do it that way, except now I do it with iTunes.
    PeterH, Artman, BEADG63 and 8 others like this.
  8. Sit in the alley outside the jazz club and play along.
  9. TerenceE

    TerenceE Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2015
    I just started a few years ago and tabs pissed me off from day 1 cause half of them are wrong lol!

    Listen to it. A lot. Figure it out. Like everyone else said lol.
    Phasman, PeterH, JPaulGeddy and 7 others like this.
  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    This. Only Spotify.
  11. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    The only thing I use a chord chart for is if I can’t figure a chords change by listening rinse and repeat
    It does get easier because most songwriters mostly follow the same style that works for them and after awhile when you hear something you can tell the pattern or that a bridge goes to Em
    It all comes with practice
    el murdoque likes this.
  12. Tom Magri

    Tom Magri Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2003
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I will take the modern way of learning new songs over the old way any day. While you may not want to use tabs, the development of software programs that allow you to take a music file and slow it down or change the key easily without wasting a ton of time is far superior to listening to a tape or record a zillion times over. You can learn tunes by ear now in a fraction of the time that it used to take. When you do need lead sheets or charts for some songs you can’t beat the convenience of just searching for it and buying it online in just a few minutes. There are also several very good online instruction options like Scott’s bass lessons, Talking Bass and Discover Double Bass just to name a few. So if it’s appealing... knock yourself out with the old way we used to learn an instrument. You may want to pickup a 1973 Chevy Vega while you are at it.
  13. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Use your ears. Id play along with a song until i couldnt hear the difference between the bassist and myself. Learned like that, note for note, in my teens for years
  14. juancaminos

    juancaminos Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    USA, Phoenix, AZ
    In the 60's we had to record songs off the radio then play back I was lucky enough to have a little consumer reel to reel for just that purpose. The other way was to go to school dances and watch the older kids play then run home to emulate what they did. In our little home town we were very lucky to have weekly dances with live bands. I think it was $.25 to get in. This was in Junior High, they were called Drop Ins.
  15. It may not be the most efficient, but I am a really weird guy and I love retro things like Vinyls, old cars and trucks, old music and new music that sounds like old music. It's kind of an ethos with me. Playing the bass and making music is a ritual with me, borderline religious.
  16. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Follow-the-leader with the most talented musician in the band.
  17. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Get the record, put it on, and keep moving the needle back until you get it right.
  18. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    ^^^this, over and over ^^^
    barrenelly, 6tzguy, ihixulu and 6 others like this.
  19. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    Watch the guitar player's hands.:woot:
    MBXB, jnsnj, vvvmmm and 5 others like this.
  20. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    Take the old reel to reel tape recorder and drop it in the lower speed and learn it that way, just remember to transpose up an octave.

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