Figuring Out The Notes On A Guitar

Hey RandomSlanderer,

Here’s an example of how I start figuring out the key and chords of songs by ear for stuff I’ve never heard. In this vid, I just put on random songs from Spotify and then start doing the process of figuring them out by ear and see if I can figure out the “root” note. After that, there are usually a few chords (the I, IV, V, vi) that are most common, so I try those.


There are also patterns in different music, for example, Rock and Blues use what’s called the bVII chord. What it means is that there’s an extra major chord built on a note a whole step down from the root, so if you were in the key of G major, there would be an F major in the song … or, in the key of A major, there would be a G major chord in the song. Knowing that pattern can help to figure out some chords that normally wouldn’t show up.

Let me know if some of what I’m doing in the vid makes sense!