I am having a really hard time with transcribing and hoping somebody here might have some advice that could get me ‘unstuck’.
Since starting on Grade 3 of the guitar course I’ve been doing a 1 hour session on transcribing every week. The first 4 or so sessions, it was the recommended songs from Module 15, then I started on the Module 16 stuff (transcribing melodies).
I have a lot of confidence in Justin’s teaching. I believe him when he says that learning to transcribe is highly worthwhile. I want to learn this skill, and I feel like I am putting in the time and effort, but getting no results.
Last night I spent a full hour trying to work out 6 notes from House of the Rising Sun and I still got it wrong. The whole experience left me feeling frustrated and bummed out, and it’s been like that every week for 7 or so weeks. I am still enjoying all the other aspects of guitar practice but transcribing is a pit of despair.
I understand the theory of feeling my way around the chord notes and the notes in the key, but the problem is, I can’t easily tell when I’ve got the right note. Justin’s video lessons seem to rest on the assumption that when you do hit the right note, you’ll notice and go “ah, yes, that’s it” and then you can move on. But I seem to lack this mystical power to instantly recognise a correct note.
Sometimes I hear some kind of resonance and I think I’ve got it, but it turns out to be resonating with some other note in the chord, not the melody note. Or it’s resonating with what some other instrument in the band is doing. I don’t know how to tell the difference between that kind of thing, and a true unison with the melody.
So when I get to the end of a phrase, and I have some kind of solution that sounds OK to me, the next problem is I have no way to check my answers to see whether I’m right or not. The lessons don’t address this at all, again because it’s assumed that when you get the right note, you’ll just know. Sometimes I go hunting for sheet music online, but those are often arranged differently to the recording I’m trying to transcribe from.
If the fact is, it’s just something that will take a really long time to get better at, and I have to continue to suck for a few more months before I start to see improvement, I’m prepared to stick with it. Like learning the F chord. But I’m starting to think I might not have sharp enough ears that I should even be attempting this transcribing stuff. Is that a thing? I tried the interval ear training and it was a dumpster fire. Maybe I need something even more basic than that to start with?