Video Guitar Lesson 15: Tips for transcribing, arranging and figuring out solos by actively listening

Video Guitar Lesson 15: Tips for transcribing, arranging and figuring out solos by actively listening

  1. What can help me to work out solos by ear?
  2. When and how should I use tabs online?
  3. What does active listening mean and how can I train my ear?
  4. What should I bear in mind when soloing over a track in a covers band?

If these questions interest you and you want to develop your transcribing ability, then keep reading and be sure to check our video and audio out for this lesson.

Our video on our YouTube channel (my lesson with Dan):

(see below for timings)

In this lesson, Dan and I take a look at the outro solo for “Feel Like Makin’ Love” by Bad Company – a song which I am covering with my band. During the lesson we go through 9 tips on transcribing from Dan and we look at 9 licks from the solo. Dan shares his ideas with me on tone and effects for songs and also the different ways to approach different sorts of solos.

Our audio podcast on SoundCloud (my lesson with Dan):

Some things which I am really going to take away from this lesson are that:

  1. I will listen to songs actively and repeatedly listen when working out a song
  2. I will aim to do more transcribing
  3. I will get the licks for this song under my belt to improvise an outro solo of my own

All the best, Gary and Dan

Timings for Video Guitar Lesson 15 – on transcribing:

00:03:18 Boss RC30 Loopstation – I talk about various features on it
00:04:32 I overdub with the part Dan came up with before
00:05:41 Dan’s first improvisation over the riff
00:08:42 A word on active listening and the value of ear training
00:13:24 Comedy – the dots (correction: not Smith and Jones but French and Saunders)
00:14:40 Tip 1: You need to play the song alongside the tab
00:18:29 Tip 2: When you try to transcribe something do it in small chunks
00:23:56 Tip 3: Check out live versions and alternate versions of the song
00:24:17 Sometimes YouTube guitar lessons can be illuminative
00:24:48 Tip 4: Pick something simple and work at your level
00:25:12 Tip 5: Listen for the chords – can you work them out?
00:25:37 Summary of Tip 2
00:26:08 Tip 6: Stitch the parts together and learn the piece
00:27:05 (tip 1 summary) check tabs against the songs
00:27:17 Tip 7: Try to actively listen to different parts / instruments
00:28:33 Tip 8: write out the structure of songs and parts
00:29:26 Tip 9: Music theory helps your transcribing
00:31:36 We’re going to listen to the track and lift some of the lciks from it
00:33:16 Lick 1
00:34:42 Lick 2
00:35:14 Tip 10: It’s good to write down what you hear
00:36:59 Lick 3
00:39:54 Lick 3 broken down
00:50:42 Lick 4
00:54:22 Lick 5
00:54:58 Lick 6
00:55:04 Lick 7
00:55:12 Lick 8
00:55:33 Lick 9
00:56:03 Lick 10
00:56:46 Three different types of solos
00:57:32 Solo 1: Part of the song
00:58:44 Solo 2: Has become an absolute classic and so should be learnt and retained
00:59:58 Solo 3: Free to mess with but there are licks and phrases that ought to be in there
01:03:11 Solo 4: Improvised and very free to mess with
01:03:43 Example of going nuts and over the top with Bad Company riff
01:05:53 Crazy Little Thing Called Love
01:06:53 Purple Rain solo

Curt Mangan Strings Website:

Last six lessons for new arrivals or those who want to brush up on this content

Keep watching listening and getting in touch.  We really want to hear from you!  Keep an eye out for some improvements to our video setup coming shortly which we’re really excited about.

You may want to check Dan Davies out in action.  You can find a video I made of Dan and his band Full House on this YouTube channel: Full House Brighton Band (more to come with improved video and some different approaches to the audio).

Enjoy your musical journey 🙂

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