Great Guitar Songs: General Synthesizer Questions?

A great song from the 2nd CD of the album – “The Incident” by Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree.

Here are several questions I really need answered and have had in my head for so long but just have not asked before.
1) I have a Yamaha PSR-E413. I know it is not the greatest synthesizer, but I would like to try and get the most out of it in terms of sounds etc. Are there any particular programmes which I can programme to create new synth sounds and if so, how would I go about transferring these to my PSR so that they can be played whilst I am away from the computer.
2) I am in a band and play the PSR and a friend’s guitar. However, I just find it difficult to create any new sounds which sound unique/ decent and play along. Is it easier to create music on other instruments than on synthesizers? How can I improve my improvisation on synthesizers as I am sure I am not the only person with this problem?
3) How do people work out how to play songs from ear? I have only managed Propane Nightmares by Pendulum and Bille Jean (I am sure it cannot be correct).
4) A little different from the others, but does anyone know the notes/ chords for these songs? (synth)
Bille jean, Beat it, Bad, Thriller, Man In the Mirror.

I know there was a lot of questions there and I am sorry, but any help would be of much use for me so that I can get more out of my PSR which I don’t use much.
Cheers :)


  1. dpsenhrox says:

    argh I don’t know the answers to all your questions because I totally don’t have a synthesizer but I’ll try…

    2) I think when you’re composing a song the synthesizer should be added last; this is because the song’s basic structure should be written/figured out first on piano or something first, i.e. chords, accompaniment – then do the synthesizer and replace the piano or something.
    3) Hmm I play by ear. I think this has to do with peoples’ pitch – people with perfect pitch (so hard to find one!!) can sing you a note accurately from nowhere. I don’t have perfect pitch; I have relative pitch. So it differs from person to person, but when I play a song by ear I tell what chords I need because different chords have different effects on the overall melody. For example when the I chord is played it’ll sound “happy”, when the V chord is played the song will sound unfinished, and when the VI chord is played it’ll sound like minor.
    4) Try sheet music websites:,, Mxmusic and Pianofiles are both sheet music trading websites where the online users trade sheet music.

    I’m sorry for not being able to answer the first question but I hope the rest of my answers helped in some way or other. :)