Rythm by Ear

Scrbllv1996

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Hello

I want to learn to play rythm by ear. To accompany songs on an acoustic without reading off a chord sheet.
A friend of mine hears a song and knows all the chords right away and plays along. Since he played in church, thats basically all he did.
Whats a good way to start? I am willing to invest alot of time. I know all chord shapes (except crazy jazzy ones maybe), know my triads and basic harmony of a song. With a chord sheet i could accompany any song. My technique is advanced enough.
All i need is some sort of ear training. To get the feel for the chord thats comming next.
What would you recommend?

Thanks in advance
 

schmee

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I recommend just playing songs. Learning songs. After years it comes together and your brain recognizes certain chord patterns to go with certain melody notes. SOngs songs songs songs SOngs songs songs songs SOngs songs songs songs.
I've been playing 60 years and I still work out songs at the rate of probably 2 a week average. Most of those songs never get to a gig.
Now days I do learn many songs with a chord sheet and lyrics.... I just get them on line. For the first 40 years we had to do it the hard way though without that: play along with the song and stop and find the right chord flavor in spots. Ultimate Guitar is a great resource for simple chord/lyric sheets to get started on a song.

Maybe set a goal of learning a song once a day.
 

AAT65

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Listen for the bass first: then listen for whether it’s a major or minor on top. That gets you a long way. If it doesn’t sound right maybe it’s an inversion: if it really doesn’t sound right maybe you found one of them fancy diminished or augmented chords.
But make sure you always listen! Is what you think it is really the same as it’s meant to be?
 

SRHmusic

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Ear training is taught in music schools, but was something I didn't appreciate until playing with a keyboard player that has worked at it for many years and now can pretty much listen and jump in on even complex tunes.

The MI course along with some online practice sites, and practicing transcription by ear has helped me. Here's the MI book. You can download the mp3s for it after you buy it. Also look for "functional ear trainer," and older, free program. It's a slightly different approach that helps a lot.

 

Mjark

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Learn to harmonize the major and minor scales. You’ll have an understanding of what chords are in each key. Not that songs don’t have chords outside the key but it’ll be easier to hear them.
 

loopfinding

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Sing or audiate (sing or play in your head) when you listen to a song or are away from the guitar. Then start singing or audiating bass or harmony with the melody where there are gaps in the melody. You should quickly figure out (intuitively, not theoretically) what part of the chord the melody belongs to and where it’s going.
 

Jeremy_Green

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Honestly, most people I see struggling with this issue, it's because they start and stop their strumming hand.

Move your hand up and down continuously to the time of the music. Don't stop the up/down motion, find the spots where the chord strike happens and place it there, fitting it into the up/down pattern. If it's a fast song move faster, a slow song do that, but most of the rhythm lies in approaching the guitar more like a tambourine from a picking hand perspective.

Eventually this becomes natural (like your friend) but at first you may need to be quite conscious of it.

Maybe that's not your problem. Often it is with people asking questions like this.
 

kuch

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way back when I was a teen, I started "figuring" out songs on the radio by picking out the bass notes 1st, then working in the chords. we didn't have the internet back then where you can look up most music and get a chord chart.
 

teletail

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way back when I was a teen, I started "figuring" out songs on the radio by picking out the bass notes 1st, then working in the chords. we didn't have the internet back then where you can look up most music and get a chord chart.
I remember my brother’s band used to go to a music store and look at the sheet music. One guy would memorize the verse, one the chorus and one the bridge. If the song had too many chords they might need to go twice!
 

klasaine

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I remember my brother’s band used to go to a music store and look at the sheet music. One guy would memorize the verse, one the chorus and one the bridge. If the song had too many chords they might need to go twice!
When phones got cameras on them (early 2000's), I did something similar.
 

Cosmic Cowboy

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I think its important to understand enough basic theory to know what chords are in each key and mode. 'Learning by ear' is one aspect along with rudimentary theory to figure out what sounds you are going for to compose a song.
 

sax4blues

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My guess would be professional players who pick things up quickly by ear have that ability because they know some solid "theory". Take a 12 bar blues in A. If you truly have no theory knowledge of what chords come when, it's complete hunting and pecking. A person who knows basic 12 bar blues form in A is not guessing by ear what and when the next chord is coming. Because of knowledge they can hear a few bars/notes to establish the key/form, and be off an running. Same with scales. If you know Cmaj scale, and know the chord is Cmaj, then you don't need to guess by ear to know how an F# or C# is going to fit in. And you will know without hesitation that notes C E G will have certain feelings over that chord.
 

tomasz

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It's a very interesting moment, when you realise, you basically know everything you need to know, but you need to have a map to apply that. I was in the same spot many years ago. I could read and play classical sheet music, chords, new music theory, but basically couldn't play without the map. It's like using your gps maps all the time to lead you to the destination, but not knowing, how to read the signs on the road. You have to start listening and predicting what will happen ahead.

Take any song you know, like an old Beatles song (as an example ;)), something that is familiar. Try to find the opening chord and the chord progression. Don't look, just listen and try to find the next chord. And then the next. Listen if there is a seventh or a nine involved.. maybe moving the chords somewhere else on the neck will give you a better sound, or a more open chord? You may try adding bass notes or melody - just don't look at the notes and try to apply listening and predicting to music.

That is how I broke out of the cage. I forgot a lot of theory during the years, but now I'm constantly relearning bits, that make sense for me again. But the main value for me personally is, I can listen and play (reading sheet music s gone unfortunately ;) ). It's a journey worth having. Give it time and it will work out for you just fine! :)
 

yegbert

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It came seemingly natural for me. I heard music and picked it apart. But if you don’t have that ability naturally, I’m guessing that learning theory could be a start for you. When you hear elements (notes) within a collection of notes, hear how they feel to you. This is how I feel it. A minor third (note) sounds somewhat lonely, a major third more happy, a fifth is like being a comfortable shoulder above, an octave is the same note but at a higher or lower frequency, and the root is like home base. Feeling those and other relationships is what I related to, even before I remember “knowing” theory. I confess that I still lack a perfect intellectual knowledge of theory, but I seem to have always felt it.
 

ndcaster

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there's an app for that ...

no, really, there's an app for that

if you want to go the "learn song" route, start with two-chord songs and work your way up to a 32-bar tin pan alley great american songbook standard

walk before you run

it'll burn in better that way
 




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