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Thread: Need some advice

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    Question Need some advice

    I've been playing guitar for about a year and a half and in that time i've spent the majority of my practicing working on technique (Damn Yngwie). Recently, I've come to the realization that my ears suck. I've spent very little time developing them.

    A few weeks ago I decided to focus on working on them. I've been listening to The Beatles trying to pick out melodies and chord progressions. The problem is is that i am making very slow progress and i feel as if I'm just wasting hours trying to figure this stuff out.

    Is it possible to develop a good ear over time even if i use guitar tabs or should i keep working on simpler songs?

  2. #2
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Yep, you can develop your ear even though you use tabs. But you must practice!

    Ear training varies greatly from person to person. Some people "get it" right away, others take more time. To become proficient takes everyone a great deal of work.

    I don't think any eartraining is a waste of time. Music sort of requires hearing, so working on your ear can only make you a better musician! (I'm no Shakespeare, but I hope you get my point.... )

    Try this:
    1. sing along with scales/exercises as you play them
    2. hum the root note of every chord you play
    3. learn some *really* easy songs by ear (Nirvana and Bush are good places to start). This builds confidence!

    You really want to internalize the pitch of each note to get a connection between what you hear and what you play. Nothing works better than using your own voice to etch that into your brain!

    It will take some time but it is very rewarding. I've recently made some nice advances in my ear training and it's opened up a new world of listening and enjoyment to me!

    Once you get the hang of some of these exercises you'll want to start learning to recognize intervals by hearing them. Steve Vai's website has some lessons on how to do this that I highly recommend.

    Also remember that Yngwie has some of the best ears on the planet. He can play anything he hears, and he knows every note that he plays (nothing is an accident when he plays). He started transcribing at a young age (6 or so). It's on his website too...

    Good luck and be patient!
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  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Thanks man, that's what I needed to "hear." Get it. Ha ha ha. I'm funny. Or am I?

  4. #4
    Amateur gynecologist smallbusrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    don't worry

    don't worry about it. It will come in time. You've been playing for only 1-1/2 years and it seems like you're ahead of the game.I've been playing for around 19 years and a lot of things still frustrate me. But you have to remember to take each obstacle as it comes and remember that there really is no such thing as truly "mastering" the guitar, just improving yourself to sound better and better.

    good luck

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Thanks for the encouragement. You're right about me having that whole idea of "mastering" guitar. I've realized that I've been guilty of that and now I'm really focusing on simpler things that every guitarist or musician has to know. I'm glad I changed paths because I wasn't having fun working solely on technique.

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