How to Learn Guitar Parts from Recordings

Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers

12 Tips and Tools for All Players

  • Code:DLJEFTT21
  • Skill Level:Intermediate (4)

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You hear a compelling acoustic guitar part on a recording, and you want to learn to play it yourself. With so many options for chord shapes and note positions on the fretboard, as well as altered tunings, capos, and other variables, figuring out how to reproduce a recorded part can be a huge challenge. Online resources are notoriously unreliable and aren’t much help, so… What to do?

In this detailed, hands-on lesson, Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, guitarist, teacher, and founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine, takes a step-by-step approach, giving you a dozen tips and strategies for transcribing by ear. Playing brief excerpts from recorded sources, he explains how to find the song’s key; how bass lines can be a clue to where a song is pitched; how to listen for chord shapes; how to tell whether an alternate tuning or even a partial capo is at work; how to recognize common chord progressions; and many other devices that will help you become adept at decoding the guitar parts you hear played by your favorite artists. 

This is an opportunity to hone your listening skills, learn to play licks and chord progressions from songs you like, and unlock many mysteries of guitar composition and arranging.

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