My ear was fairly rubbish to begin with - I could work out single notes alongside the basic chords (which is all I had to do initially as I was a bassist, though many songs did more than just root note, but you have to start somewhere right?). No one ever really paid attention to me musically I feel, my sister was given so many instruments to try (recorder, piano and guitar) and she quit them all. She even had a sudden second inspiration to play guitar again and we bought her a guitar for christmas which she didn't ever use (more fool us). Well eventually I persuaded my parents into getting me a bass, I quickly moved onto guitar as that was what I really had wanted to do (and I found a chordex in my Dad's car so I thought, I will try to learn a few chords). Well I can say that the intial part of learning is probably where most people give up, I see it with my students, they think that it looks easy, because others make it look easy but they don't ever get to see the inside of those people's houses when they spent hours of hard work until finally they got their breakthrough feeling comfortable and able to do those things the student can't do but they can do so well.
Even though my ear wasn't as good in the earliest stages, I still feel if someone had given me a piano at a young age and said "work out twinkle twinkle little star" I may have needed a little help but I believe I could have done that, who knows though? It's just conjecture on my part, but I think I could have.
Another thing that I think I only have in retrospect is that I always thought things were more complicated than they were. Many nirvana songs I thought at the time that I couldn't work it out because to me it seemed like they were doing something else, but the fact is they probably did the things I thought they did and that stopped me a lot earlier on working things out. They may have been produced to sound more than they were but 9/10 they were just simple power chords. Though somethings they tuned down, which really threw me off in the early days.
I guess I am lucky to have a fairly good ear, I have recently been forced into using it a lot more - I started playing funk, my favourite band being tower of power and whereas with the rock/pop songs I had learn't I found it easy to find a guitar pro file with TOP it was very much up to me to do the work - and guess what, I did the same thing as I did in the early years initially feeling that they were playing "something else" that wasn't on my guitar. When I tried harder and really concentrated I found it was mainly much simpler than I had thought, I also watched some great lessons on youtube (ross bolton, thanks man
) and got a few books that got me more familiar with common funk chords.
Well anyway, I wrote an essay......... I think I kind of straddled off topic too but anyway
together we stand, divided we fall..........