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Do you "play what you love" or "love what you play"?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Flat6Driver, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

    Jan 14, 2013
    DC Burbs
    Yeah a silly title to pull you in. Something I was thinking about last night at the open mic. Here's the gist...

    I play on the open mic circuit a bit and see many of the same folks. I find that folks (generally) seem to fit into two camps when playing covers. One is a super rehearsed note for note rendition and the other is a more casual approach. The note for note guys, sometimes bring a track and play with it or often can't have/or won't have the backing band (if any) play with them. And often bring an obscure song or something they really love but might not be as common. The casuals seem to adapt to that better and bring more common songs...which can often result in a different bassline or slightly wrong drum beat, but they can plow through it.

    I have seen this manifest itself when brought to band as well. Some folks are super deep into their rehearsed set of 15 songs done to perfection that they are unable to jam, wing it or otherwise add new songs with a group of people that might not have played those same 15 songs for the past 10 years. But, the latter, more casual, might never put in the time to refine their presentation to get the signature parts better. Or they might seek those that are also more casual and thus nobody really works to refine the overall presentation.

    I have no interest in recording or writing. I like to play with people or do some solo open mic stuff. I find my self in the more casual camp mostly. When I sing or lead a tune, I try and keep it easy so folks can join me if they want (or I want company). Which means that some B-side stuff that I would like to play, or perhaps more complicated stuff, I might never get to play as it would require getting 3 other folks to buy into my idea. (And we know that at least two of them won't ever listen to it).

    But I also play "lead" guitar :rolleyes: (and don't sing) in a band with guys that are a little more like the former (but still developing their skills). This equates to me playing stuff I wouldn't normally play but I try and make it good so I can work on my skills in being a little more refined, and try to be a good bandmate by being prepared.

    Wow, a lot of rambling....where do you fit into these camps? If at all? Happy Friday everyone.
    viccortes285 and Dr Improbable like this.

  2. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 15, 2014
    I'm firmly in both camps. Most of my playing in public is with some friends at open mic nights. We do both super-rehearsed covers and barely recognizable covers, plus everything in between. When we play a song someone else in the group loves, but I don't care for, I try hard to be enthusiastic. In return, I can tell when the other guys are just going along with a song I want to play, and I appreciate that.

    The only rule I have for non-paying jobs, is: it has to be fun. If it's not fun, why do it?
    Dr Improbable likes this.

  3. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    If I do solo stuff, mainly at open mics, I like to have a few compositions ready. However, I do sit in with other musicians at times and just wing it. That's always enjoyable.

    In the band, I guess I'm at an impasse. Our group has some very inexperienced musicians (not that I'm anything special because I'm not) and they struggle very much with going off the beaten path. What's funny is that they will claim to want to play things "our way", but every song that I don't take the lead on is essentially a note for note version of the studio track. Boring.

    I've tried to introduce new songs that involve open ended sections, dynamic shifts, or improvisation and it's always a struggle. Two of the guys are good listeners and have that innate sense of when to transition. As for the others, it always feels like they are in a race to the finish line for each song and it makes for sloppy transitions. My solution has been to give them some set-in-stone lines to listen for so we can all move together.
    viccortes285 likes this.

  4. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003

  5. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Oct 27, 2015
    Melbourne, Austraila
    It depends on the band. I've played in a metal band where everything needs to be precise or it's a mess, and another band where every gig was completely improvised, and a few things in between.

  6. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    I started off in the mid-late 70's learning how to bang out a naïve and very punk bass-line with some school mates who had aspirations to form a punk / rock band. Once we learned a few tracks, we were happy / brazen enough to play in pubs. We were pretty awful but it was the era of punk and it's remarkable what you can get away with when a lot of the "pros" aren't that much better.

    Adulthood, work and other "grown-up" commitments duly arrived and, although I've always had a guitar of some sorts, I never had the time / inclination to actually learn how to play "properly" (well, as "properly as you can without learning the dots). Until now. At the age of 56, I might as well go for it as life isn't a dress-rehearsal for anything, IMO.

    I have a wide musical taste - pretty-much anything other than Rap/Hip-hop/Grime, Cliff Richard, Ed Sheeran, Jake Bugg, Miley Cyrus and Meatloaf is okay by me - so I'm happy to play along to almost anything. However, I would love to play some of the stuff I love. I am no Joe Bonamassa, Alex Lifeson or Jimmy Page, so I have to get real. But, with the help of my guitar teacher, I have started to find my way round a couple of Foo Fighters' songs and I get quite elated when it's obvious that I've hit the right chords / changes.

    Do I love what I play - not yet. But I hope to do so one day.

  7. ddewerd

    ddewerd Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Man that fits me to a T

    My little trio is basically semi-retired now. We play about 5-6 gigs a year, mainly for fun (certainly not the money!)

    We play a pretty eclectic mix of stuff (country, southern, blues, classic rock, oldies, jazzy). Most of it is recognizable and not too many obscure songs. Being a trio is fun - since we've been together so long we know how to jam and weave in and out of stuff. And then there are some more technical songs that we pretty much stay to our arrangement each time.

    But we're not sticklers for doing it note for note. With only 3 pieces you have to pick your parts and come up with an arrangement that works for us. Case in point - we play Heard it in a Love Song by Marshall Tucker. Depending on the part, I might be picking the flute, guitar, or piano pieces. But it's all in presenting it with confidence.

    If it ends up note for note (and some come pretty close) that's fine. But we don't get hung up on it.

    And yup, it's all about having fun at this stage.

    Blue Bill likes this.

  8. Reggie77

    Reggie77 Tele-Meister

    Jul 16, 2017
    Depends who I'm playing with and what we're playing

    If you're doing a Steely Dan tune, you've a responsibility to try and nail the guitar solo

    If you're playing Dead covers, you can be more free

    If I like an existing solo more than anything I might play, I'll play the existing solo (assuming I can)

    Some tunes lend themselves to tossing the script ... you could play "Wild Horses" 100 ways but there's only one real way to play "Kid Charlemagne" haha
    4pickupguy and aerhed like this.

  9. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

    Jan 14, 2013
    DC Burbs

    OK point taken. But assuming you wanted to play Kid Charlemagne are you looking for players to do so and making sure they play it correctly? Or are you cool with jamming through Friend of the Devil and Wild Horses at the bar just to connect to other musicians?

    Over the past few years, I have played a lot of the so called rock standards with a lot of people because I guess I get more of a connection with playing with others on Mary Jane's Last Dance and Wagon Wheel than I do belaboring the intricate details of Drive My Car. So when I set out to play something like Drive My Car at home, I work at it for a while, but move on, because I don't think my band mates would be able to handle it. Since I can't play and sing that one at the same time and getting the other 4 guys on the same page, would be an uphill battle for my personal goal. So one day I need to play with like minded folks that are willing to put in more time (or have in the past) to pull of more complicated stuff. One of my band mates wants to do Sweet Child of Mine as a personal goal. Honestly, it's been an uphill struggle for him in his techinique, and forcing the bass player to play the right bassline. My part on that one is easy, I don't have any real drive to learn it, so I play the rhythm part and let him have that main solo. So in that vein it'll work, but one day I'll need to scratch my itch a bit with more complicated stuff.

  10. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    I play what I love, all the rest are either practice or money-making.
    viccortes285 likes this.

  11. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 14, 2013
    I'm about at the point that I only play songs that I believe.
    Matt G and Chicago Matt like this.

  12. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

    Dec 8, 2010
    Up North
    I play whatever they are paying for.
    It isn't always something I like, let alone Love.

    When I practice by myself, for myself, Then I get to play what I love the most.

  13. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

    Jan 14, 2013
    DC Burbs

    What does that mean?

  14. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

    Jan 14, 2013
    DC Burbs

    Sure, I do this as well. But do you ever get to perform them? I get some satisfaction about working on my own on something but would really like to play that with others but, sigh, don't wan to deal with them not learning it, etc etc.
    String Tree likes this.

  15. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

    Dec 8, 2010
    Up North
    I don't get to take those songs Public.
    I like them, nobody else does.
    I've grown weary watching people walk out while playing something I really like.

  16. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I absolutely love to play.
    I love the stuff I play, especially the stuff I play when I'm alone.
    I love playing with others, too, but very few people I play with return the favor.
    Those that do hold a special place in my heart.
    Thanks Scott, Matthew W., Timmy, Lamar, and my dear late friend Bill C.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017

  17. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Beat me to it. ;)
    blowtorch likes this.

  18. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Holic

    Dec 20, 2010
    Harrisburg, PA area
    Casual here. I play pretty much entirely solo gigs, though, so there never seemed much point to learning specific parts to any given song. Even now that I'm in an electric project, it's been tough to try to just play the guitar part. I'm so used to "being the whole band," so to speak
    Flat6Driver and brookdalebill like this.

  19. raito

    raito Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Nov 22, 2010
    Madison, WI
    You missed the third camp. Those guys who can't sing, can't play, can't write, but insist on being at every open mic for the last 3 decades and performing their original music. It's original, all right... :eek::cry:

    As for me, a little both.
    Toto'sDad, Reggie77 and Grux like this.

  20. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    It means when someone asks for "Under The Double Eagle" at a job, I play it...though it's not something I like to hear.
    brookdalebill likes this.

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