4 Easy Steps to Transcribing Songs (for beginners!)

Let's learn how to wort out easy Power Chords songs on the guitar.


View the full lesson at 4 Easy Steps to Transcribing Songs (for beginners!) | JustinGuitar

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Loving this lesson so much, just popped back from grade 4/5. Have tried transcribing before but never taken to it, I like the selection of suitable tracks. Got two down already…Great work Justin, thank you.

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This is brilliant. So much more enjoyable working out songs than doing transcribing exercises (even if it does take some grit to keep trying to find that elusive chord!). I feel like grade 3 is exactly what I need to bridge my learnings from Grades 1 and 2 with the other work I’ve done on the intermediate course, your practical music theory course (highly recommended) and ear training. Thanks a million! So far, I have ‘Molly’s Lips’ down and I’ve worked out the first part to ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ but am struggling with one chord in the second section. Resisting the temptation to look at tips and putting it away for today - hopefully fresh ears tomorrow will find what I’m missing.

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Quick suggestion for anyone trying Polly. Do not use the unplugged version. They are tuned 1/2 step down and it will make things a bit confusing.

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Seems the tip dropdown has a BUG, we’ll get it sorted asap!! J

I found that when i hum along with the song i can pick up and remember the sound of the chord better. is it ok to do that? or should i practice getting the chord “sound” into my memory space? super super lesson - thank for always pushing my limits Justin. (tried the Ramones first! fun! )

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I love this format to teach transcribing. Having the hints is a cool idea. So far tried Molly’s Lips and got it right away, which is nice because it was easier than I thought it would be. Time to move on to the next song.

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I though having to click 5 or 6 times to get the tip drop-down to show was a feature to make sure we really wanted to have the tips rather than a bug!

I have also popped back to the new Stage 3 from mid-Stage 4 - also found the transcribing useful!
I am checking the tips after I think I have it right.

[mod edit to remove potential extra tip (if not quite a spoiler(.
Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

REALLY fun section, Justin! I have to admit, I was probably like a lot of “advanced beginner” guitarists where the thought of this sort of transcribing was intimidating at first, and made me not want to do it. I think I was on the previous setup of modules before they were reorganized for the end of the beginner stages, and I was shying away from the transcribing portions of daily practice.

But sitting here and picking up these Nirvana songs by ear was so satisfying! Of course, they are simple songs to grasp but it was something of a lightbulb moment. I’m taking the Music Theory courses as well because I see folks like Rick Beato, Ola Englund, etc…learning songs by ear effortlessly, and that is what I strive for.

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Thank you for Molly’s Lips to get me started with some confidence!

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Nirvana/Polly - Note: MTV Unplugged performance is played down a half-step(Eb,Ab,Db,Gb)

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One suggestion that might fit here is The Hives Tick Tick Tick Boom and/or I Told You So. I am not an expert but I think the sequence of power chords should be easy? I figured them out so anybody can :slight_smile:

One question: has anybody used audacity? I have never tried and I was wondering if someone has an idea if it is worth trying.

I’ve used it and as far as open source software goes it’s very good.
It will slow down without changing pitch for transcribing it’s also
pretty good for recording
I haven’t used it in years so it msy be even better now.

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then I’ll give it a go!

I just read the song molly lips is very easy to transcribe but man I just found the chords in a single listen and this feels amazing.

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Sing, hum, make the sound out loud, what works works.

Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

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Audacity is free to download and fairly simple to use.
Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

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indeed. I am familiar with the software because I used it to test multi device inputs like mic arrays devices but never for anything else. It is also multiplatform so that makes it usable on different computers :slight_smile:

FYI, there is a typo in the Polly hints. It lists one chord twice and misses a chord (not saying what they are just in case others read this first). :slight_smile: P.S. Loving the new Grade 3!!