Bryan Beller of the Aristocrats, Dethklok, and Steve Vai takes you inside his six step method to learning any song by ear. This series is specifically aimed at bass players who want to get out there and play with others.
Bryan Beller of the Aristocrats, Dethklok, and Steve Vai takes you inside his six step method to learning any song by ear. This series is specifically aimed at bass players who want to get out there and...Length: 8:37 Difficulty: 0.5 FREE
Bryan begins his series by breaking down 5 drum grooves and analyzing the time signature and feel of each. Before you can even start to learn a song, you need to know about the groove.Length: 19:18 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Bryan Beller breaks down five more drum grooves to illustrate how he goes about determining meter and feel. This time, the examples are a bit trickier. Put your thinking caps on and start countin'.Length: 19:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Moving on to the second of six steps in this series, Bryan shares a few of his tricks for magically hearing notes and their names as well as distinguishing between intervals using his favorite songs....Length: 17:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Step Three! It isn't enough just to determine the meter. You have to know how to play with the drummer. Determining how the groove works and where the accents are is essential to hearing how the bass fits...Length: 20:51 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Once you've determined the meter, pitch, and rhythm for a piece of music, it's time to dive into the harmonic context. In other words, what are the chords? Learning the key and chords will make figuring...Length: 11:58 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Bryan takes a look at two very different songs and breaks their choruses down in terms of harmonic context. He also illustrates that having a handle on all of the previous steps to learning songs by ear...Length: 18:37 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Most of us can probably identify a verse, chorus, or bridge in a pop song, but have you ever really sat down and counted the bars in each section to fully map out a song in your head before you try to...Length: 16:22 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Now that you've made it through counting bars and breaking up a simple pop song form, it's time to try your ears out on something crazier! Learning how to count bars and label song sections is essential...Length: 12:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Bryan continues his study of complex song form by covering some of the not-so-recognizable parts of his tune "Seven Percent Grade".Length: 12:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Moving on to the last step in learning songs by ear, we arrive at "execution". Now you have a chance to apply all the steps in a real musical context. Bryan's first example is a track in the style of AC/DC.Length: 27:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Bryan's application of all six steps continues with this familiar sounding track in the style of Led Zeppelin. Watch out for a few unexpected bumps in the road! You'll encounter a temporary transposition...Length: 33:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Slides, trills, tritones and a wicked groove - this "in the style of" tune sounds simple, but learning songs by ear always means some surprises. Walk through this tune step by step with Bryan and put your...Length: 25:57 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Moving a little faster now, Bryan takes you through a track in the style of one of his favorite bands. Pay close attention to how the bass moves with respect to the other instruments. Things aren't always...Length: 27:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Get ready for the advanced classes! When you take the driving, aggressive sound of Muse, combine it with some tricky mixed meters and a different tuning, just one measure can keep you busy for awhile.Length: 22:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Continuing with the quirky Muse-style track, Bryan takes you through the B-section and beyond. You'll encounter more rhythmic fun as well as some unexpected modal shifts.Length: 16:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
This track features heavy riffs and a tricky song form in the style of Rage Against The Machine. Exercise your ear by working in a style that helped Bryan Beller become the bass player he is today.Length: 21:05 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Now that you have the main riff and a couple other sections under your fingers, prepare for an exercise in song form. Rage uses a lot of different sections and riffs in each song, and it's sometimes tricky...Length: 18:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
A manufactured music form by pro studio musicians and big-money producers, this type of tune actually grants bass players a lot of freedom. Have fun groovin' and improvising a bit. Stay on your toes though,...Length: 29:16 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Determining the key proves to be a challenge in this soul-inspired, Allman Brothers style track. Hone in to the "A" section in this lesson and try to figure out where the tonal center is.Length: 15:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Exercise your ear with a "B" section that seems to have an endless chord progression. The key here is remembering which chord goes where.Length: 15:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
After you've figured out the bridge section by ear, move on to the song form and play along. See if you can remember where all the chord changes and subtle nuances occur!Length: 15:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
You've made it through the sound-a-likes. You've made it through some of the challenging genre-specific tracks. Now it's time to really step it up with a series of lessons focused on Bryan Beller's original...Length: 16:55 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Just because there's another chorus, it doesn't mean you can go to sleep! Stay alert and keep with this challenging final stretch. In this lesson, learn the balance between comping and learning specific,...Length: 18:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
True to pop rock song form, you'll get to test your ear on a bridge and guitar solo. If you're gonna comp, make sure you stay out of the way of the focal instruments. As a bass player, your role is supportive.Length: 17:02 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
In this last lesson of the series, Bryan walks through the rest of "Play Hard" and drives home the importance of utilizing all six steps when learning songs by ear.Length: 27:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
About Bryan Beller
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Famed bassist for Steve Vai, power-trio "The Aristocrats", and Metalocalypse's very own "Dethklok", Beller has over 20 years of experience as a studio and touring musician. Graduating from the Berklee College of Music in 1992, he has also served as a contributing editor for Bass Player magazine. Beller contributes a critically important series of lessons to the JamPlay platform, with a central focus of identifying and playing songs by ear.
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