Music Player Network Home Guitar Player Magazine Keyboard Magazine Bass Player Magazine Electronic Musician
Topic Options
#2484234 - 04/10/13 07:26 AM Playing by ear
tim stocklin Offline

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 5
Hi guys! I been an off and on amatuer bass player, and have intermediate skills, and a chance to join a professional band, one of the songs they sent me to practice is just an audio file,no music charts or anything so I have to learn it by ear, are there any techniques one can use to help learn songs, i can pick out the basic groove but is there anything else? is this how you guys learn songs?

#2484802 - 04/12/13 05:38 AM Re: Playing by ear [Re: tim stocklin]
Griffinator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
20k Club

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
This is where theory really, really helps. Understanding your chord progressions and scales (and, by extension, relative pitch) can make a difficult song easy to pick up by ear because you can basically predict the directions things will go.

If it's a cover tune, I'll sometimes hit one of the tab sites just to get a basic idea, knowing that a good bit of the tabs online will be wrong in a lot of places, but it still puts me in a spot where I can just fix what I recognize as incorrect rather than pounding it out from scratch.

#2484944 - 04/12/13 11:40 AM Re: Playing by ear [Re: Griffinator]
A String Administrator Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/18/03
Posts: 12235
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Griff's "tab method" is one I sometimes use, myself. I have yet to come across tab that is correct, but often it gives me a starting point and then I can correct the notes or chords that were wrong.

As for learning by ear, I used to get my students to listen to the bass notes on the beat. They are usually the root notes and then there will be some basic walking (or wanking) from there until they hit the next root note.
The String Network Forums
My Music
My Pics

#2517000 - 08/06/13 07:38 AM Re: Playing by ear [Re: A String]
Kevmo Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 435
Loc: Long Valley NJ
I took a few piano lessons until the teacher realized I was playing the piece by ear not reading frown tossed me out! A great ear is@a blessing & athe curse


Moderator:  Jeff Klopmeyer