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Learning Songs

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by codeine, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. I would like to know what ppl think is the best way to learn songs.

    Is it better to learn bits of the songs and get them up to speed or learn the whole song slowly and get teh whole song up to speed?

    Pros and cons each would be helpful.

    Thanks in advance
  2. You've got to sit down and slowly learn each individual bass line and variation separately. That way, you can do them slowly, working on how they sound and eventually speed them up to match the song. I find that when I try to just play a song through without making atleast a small effort to play each bass line then it becomes scrambled and the song sounds terrible. Even if you practised it the whole way through heaps, it is far easier (for me atleast) to learn each separate section exactly that - separate.

    I spose the only pro to playing it the whole way through is that you "learn" the song faster, but that doesn't mean that you're playing it properly. In my opinion, learn it separately and you'll sound better and be able to play it faster.
  3. The trick I've been realizing lately is to alloy your ear to pick out certain parts of a song and in your head trying to imagine where he's playing and where he's going with it. It helps to learn theory and taking a class for it in college. I only pay 11 bucks a semester to take a bass class where I learn to read music and the establish good playing habits and techniques. Anyways, my point is once you have these skills ingrained in your psyche, it becomes alot easier to analyze music by ear and you can pick up a song just by hearing it or a few minutes of work. I feel you should try and get the rhythm down and once you feel comfortable with the verse then work on the chorus and making your appropriate changes. Lastly tackle the trickier parts like the bridge or a sic solo when you feel comfortable playing the main verse and chorus. In time you'll be able to make up your own grooves and or variations and it'll be awesome. The more you learn about music, the more it begins to make sense...especially to those of us born without natural rhythm.

    Geez I'm a chatty cathy tonight!:rolleyes: :D
  4. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Brian's Sure-Fire Way To Learn A Song by Ear

    Chapter 1 - Tabs

    < Butthead >
    What are you? A dumbass?
    < /Butthead >

    Don't use them, especially the internet-flavor TaBz, as they are notoriously incorrect.

    Chapter 2 - Sheet Music

    Well then... it's all about sitting down and working through the notes. Nothing special about that really. I'd suggest starting at the beginning and working your way through the song a section at a time; assuming you can't sight-read all the way through it on one pass. If one particular little passage is really difficult, skip it and come back to it later.

    Chapter 3 - Your Ear

    Listen to the song as many times in a row as you have time for and/or can stand. Listen very closly to what the bass player is doing, where his lines are moving, repeated figures, etc. The better you know a song in your head before you actually sit down to work out the notes, the better. Now listen to it and work out the notes. Go section by section and, like above, if there is a really difficult little fill or what have you, skip it and come back to it later. After learning all the different bits of the song, you can put them together and play the whole thing through. Work out the really hard parts slowly, if you can only play something correct 1 out of 5 times... you can't play it well enough yet.

    Thank you, drive through. Happy practicing.

    (C) 2003, Beer Nutz Productions

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