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Playing Along with Songs


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I played guitar in my teens and early twenties and then took 40 years off. I'm 64 now and have been playing drums for about four years and am the drummer at church. On drums, I can listen to most any song and play along. But, I am not able to do that with guitar.  (I'm just starting to play bass - so the jury is still out there.)

A little over a year ago, I got back into guitar and found that I can still play a bunch of chords and can read most simple music to play a song. But, what I can't do now (and couldn't do 40 years ago) is play along with a song. Without music, I don't know what to play.

What does one need to do to be able to what I can do on drums: listen to a song and, at least on some level, play along with it? Thanks for any suggestions!

Rick Abshier



Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute

Fender Short Scale Jazz Bass

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am slowly learning to develop my ear. I am learning to listen to songs and find the notes on my own with just my ipod and guitar! Rocksmith has helped with this...Just keep practicing and playing, in Rocksmith and on your own...Try finding simple songs with simple solos to try to tab or work out yourself. Even if you just start with the intro it's progress right?

Eventually you'll hear a note and know where to find it on the fretboard. You'll learn by ear whether it's a power chord, if it's palm-muted, if it's a double-stop. Just practice, keep going forward and most importantly don't get discouraged! This community is amazingly helpful and supportive. Good luck!

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