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What is Your Primary Method of Learning Songs?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BassFishingInAmerica, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. The old fashion way: listen to the song and try to pick out the bass

    170 vote(s)
  2. Standard sheet music

    11 vote(s)
  3. Notation

    20 vote(s)
  4. Programs / Apps to slow down audio

    13 vote(s)
  5. Online lesson videos

    14 vote(s)
  6. Isolated bass parts

    4 vote(s)
  7. All equally

    41 vote(s)
  8. Other

    21 vote(s)
  1. What, Rocksmith isn't listed in the poll? ;) th.
  2. madbass6

    madbass6 Banned

    Jan 13, 2009
    I do not give consent to use any of my photos ! please respect that. thank you.
    Practice it..
  3. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Interesting question. for me, it becomes a very complicated mess of how I do things. it would probably be bad advice for anyone to do as I do
  4. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    for learning cover tunes:
    I download the lyrics and format them to my preference in a word doc
    double spaced so I can insert the chord or notation notes between the lines
    above the lyric line it pertains to.

    I then listen to the recording of the song, tweaking my lead sheet and arranging
    the lines for easy flow/reading. I may have to go thru this step several times to get
    all my tweaks and notes how I want them.

    I then change all the lyric font to white and the background to black. Then I change all the notations, chord notes, etc to yellow. Then I change all the arrangement notes [chorus, bridge, repeat, etc] to light green.

    then, when I have it like I want it, I convert it to a PDF and email it to my ipad
    and download it into Deepdish Gigbook.

    once I have a working lead sheet, I then load up the recording on Youtube or itunes and plug into a practice amp and work with the song until I have it down.

    The good thing about building a lead sheet is that it helps to burn the arrangement and changes into your mind by writing it down, step by step.
    Plectrum72 likes this.
  5. I usually drop a MP3 of the song into GarageBand, and plug my bass in through my Apogee USB interface and play along through headphones. That way I can also record myself as I go along and play back my own bass lines over the original record to gauge my success/progress.
  6. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    By ear.
    It is my only method for learning songs.
  7. All of the above.
  8. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
  9. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    That's interesting. I like the idea of recording myself and then listening back to it to judge progress.
    SasquatchDude likes this.
  10. TheCrimsonKing


    Jan 23, 2014
    I use my ear, I would use notation, but there's not exactly many transcriptions of Aphex Twin's back catalogue for bass guitar online.
  11. outoftune

    outoftune Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    iRig and Amplitube (Amplitude?)
  12. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    It depends... For some gigs, I get sheet music and play it note for note. Sometime chords charts for originals. Other times, for covers, we just name the song and I'll do a combination of hitting the guitar tab sites, listen to the song, play along, make notes and memorize if needed.
  13. Plectrum72

    Plectrum72 Supporting Member

    Chord charts (mine or others) and my ears.
    Woodstockz likes this.
  14. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    When I have to learn a song for a gig and time is an issue, all methods are welcome: I'll jump on YouTube, look for sheet music, transcriptions, whatever is available, but I really think that I get a lot more from learning things by ear. I can usually get pretty close just listening while driving or whatever and then going over it with an instrument in hand after I have listened a bunch of times.
  15. BubbaZed

    BubbaZed Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2014
    Tallahassee, FL
    Use sheet music and listen to the record/video for timing. Once in a while I might use tab as a cheat and then eventually abandon it once I get down the proper patterns.

    Learnt long ago that relying solely on tab is the worst way to learn a song and develop yourself as a musician.
    MalcolmAmos and Matthew_84 like this.
  16. LeeNunn

    LeeNunn Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2012
    Charlottesville, VA
    Combination. I confirm the version of the song and the key we'll play it in. I create a playlist on my iPod and listen to it repeatedly in my car. I download the lyrics. I open the mp3 in Transcribe! and mark all the measures and sections. Identify the chords. Then I usually transcribe the tune looped measure by looped measure. I used to do it by hand in standard notation. Now I do it in Sibelius First. Faster and easier to read. I usually don't try to play songs note for note, but the transcription reminds me of important rhythmic and melodic themes. I record rehearsals, and make adjustments because most bands change something. Add a solo. Drop solo. Tag the ending.
  17. Robroy


    Jun 21, 2006
    Central Kentucky

    I plug it into my winamp loaded computer and I'm off. I use an internet site that strips the audio from Youtube videos as an MP3. This is how I learn stuff I've never played before. In fact, I'm plugged into it in my avatar.
  18. I load all of the songs I want to learn into my mp3 player and put it on repeat overnight and listen with headphones. I absorb the music subliminally while I sleep, so that in the morning I can play all of the basslines note for note (if I want). Plus all of the other instrument parts too. Easy peasy... I thought everyone did it this way. o_O
  19. Woodstockz


    Sep 23, 2011
    San Diego, Ca
    +1 for Chord charts. That should be a choice on the poll.

    - Chords are a common communications medium between the band members.
    - Knowing common chord progressions allow you to learn parts of a tune quickly. (circle of fifths, 1-4-5, 2-5-1, 1-6-2-5,... )
    - I can hear the melody in my head while playing/practicing the chords.
    - I can quickly pick out the signature bass riff after learning the chords.
    - As I explained to a flute player, to me, playing the bass is playing the chords in a catchy way.
  20. Woodstockz


    Sep 23, 2011
    San Diego, Ca
    "The old fashion way: listen to the song and try to pick out the bass"

    I am surprised that this is the number one answer by a big margin.

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