I know this is pretty poor but I’ve never really even tried to transcribe a song before. If I want to know the chords, I look them up. It’s so simple. Unfortunately anyone that’s ever looked for song chords before will have found out that a lot of the time they’re wrong.
Transcribing is a skill that I really want to develop so I’ve been working on it over the past few days. I’m only starting off really simple songs like Song 2, Teenage Kicks and some Green Day stuff which is pretty much all centred around power chords but it’s a start. Hopefully if I keep tapping away at it my ear will develop and I’ll get much quicker.
Start with the bass note…
The best method I’ve found so far is to just try and find the bass note and just play that before converting it to a power chord. This comes with the added benefit that it’s also teaching me all the notes on a guitar (something I’ve never attempted to learn before) and it’s developing my power chords which while they’re really simple I’ve never really used much in my playing before.
I’ve seen that there are apps out there that can help you with transcribing by allowing you to slow a song right down and add notes to the timelines of the song. It seems like a pretty good idea and it’s something I might buy further down the line.
As ever the mighty Justin Sandercoe has loads of learning resources on his brilliant website – that’s where I took the root note method from but he’s got loads more specific things too like solo transcribing.