Easy Songs for Beginner to Transcribe?

Anyone have a couple of easy to hear and play basslines for a newb to practice transcribing? Seems everything I pick I can sort out a riff or a couple notes but it either gets too complicated or I can’t hear it well enough to sort out.

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If you’re a beginner, I wouldn’t recommend transcribing at the moment. First, you need to develop an ear for music. For now, I’d recommend learning basslines that have already been transcribed a million times, such as Another One Bites The Dust or some other easy bassline. I know you’re eager to start transcribing straight away but you’ve gotta take your baby steps first.

Transcribing is an excellent method to develop an ear for music!

What sort of music do you like @CaveMan, and how “easy” do want them?

Some songs from the top of my head:

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Have You Ever Seen the Rain
Pink Floyd - Money
Pixies - Where is My Mind
Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop

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But how are you supposed to develop an ear by transcribing.

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I mentioned this in the Christmas music thread already but Christmas carols are a great introduction to transcription. Starting with melodies that you know and can sing is a little easier than trying to pick out a bass line from a mix which is also at the bottom of our hearing range. Try Jingle bells or silent night then ask yourself if all of the notes are part of a particular key or scale. Did the song start and end on the same note? etc. Once you’ve got the melody down, you can try fitting a bass line to the song using the notes from the song. Start with long notes (like an organ) and experiment from there. You will notice that there are some notes that work better with the melody than others
Happy Birthday is also good and comes in handy. Trust me on that.

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By transcribing LOL

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Well… before writing it down, you have to listen carefully to the music and discern what’s going on, so essentially playing it by ear


@Mikich suggestion is pretty good!

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I found these interesting exercises

http://www.smarthobbymusician.com/6-simple-short-bass-lines/

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This is like that moment where you say something you think is funny and everyone else just looks at you as if you said something naughty. Heheh.

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Thanks for the inputs

@gcancella
I’m mostly a radio listener and really flexible on genre. Although, I’ve tried to start having a more bass specific song list since starting here. I’ll give your suggestions a try. I liked working through B2B because it had an assortment of songs.

Nice link. I worked through a couple of them and will try the rest. I think it is a good exercise and will be a good measuring stick to come back to after some time and see if I can do them any easier.

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I find it’s easiest to do this with bass in hand (or at a keyboard). Listen, try a few notes to see if you can get it, repeat. My advice would be:

  • pick something slow with a prominent bassline
  • pick something you like and not just a random slow tune

I recommend slow because it tends to be easier to pick out, in my experience. However simple is more important than slow.

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Better choose things that you can already humm in your head easily. Even children songs.

I went for
Money - Pink Floyd
Seven Nation Army - White Stripes
Brahm’s Lullaby
Smoke on water (not the bass line but the guitar riff)

You could also try Another one Bites the dust but only if you have already finished the modules with “resting notes”

You should (we all should) also practice actively listening to bass lines in songs. With headphones if possible. Josh has prepared this spotify list for that.

Also check this out because it will be necessary!

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I haven’t tried transcribing yet (procrastinating as always), but my plan is to start with a song from the B2B extras. That way I can compare my finished transcription with the B2B version and check for mistakes.

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Yeah that’s a really good idea.

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