Hardest thing you can play? One you never got?

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by TelZilla, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    6,355
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    Maine
    A few years ago, I set out to learn the Cream-Crossroads solo note for note. I got it close enough to make me happy.

    The list of things I'll never be able to play is so big...uh, well, it's really big.
     
    Obsessed likes this.
  2. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    862
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2017
    Location:
    northern CA
    I won't bore you with my failures but I'm here to say that Steve Vai has Spiderman fingers. He could palm a medicine ball.
     
  3. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    179
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Location:
    Delaware
    Bodhisattva by Steely Dan.
     
  4. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,601
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Arlington, Texas
    I've been working on "Home" by Allan Holdsworth for a year now. I know all the parts, but my hands still work to get some of those chords. His hands had to be huge.
     
    Sounds Good likes this.
  5. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,412
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Western Canada
    As a child, my parents had many Chet Atkins records and I remember hearing "Walking the Strings" (Chet's version of a Merle Travis Song) and being fascinated by it. I started learning guitar at 13... and set a goal to know that piece by the time I was 21. Despite being a full time travelling musician from 18 onward, I couldn't reach that goal. I had learned the fingerings and techniques by then, but I could pull it all together with the accuracy and speed until I was about 25. I still pickup a guitar and play it regularly so I don't lose it.



    My current nemesis is Jerry Reed's "Swingin' '69". There is so much contrary motion I get turned around like a pretzel trying to piece it together. But I'm a patient man, I'll get it to a point where it becomes second nature.

     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
    brookdalebill likes this.
  6. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,412
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Western Canada
    Sorry.... one more nemesis to add ....

    Adam Rafferty's arrangement of Stevie Wonders "I Wish" has been on my "learn list" for about 8 years... I've got it close, but keep forgetting to stay on top of it and it slips away pretty easily.

     
    brookdalebill likes this.
  7. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,338
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    I find that timing and phrasing (right hand) are harder than noting (left). "Help on the Way" (from Blues for Allah, Grateful Dead) is tricky in that respect, as is the already mentioned, truly great "Bodhisattva" (which has everything, including great tonal changes as you go). As for notes, it wasn't all that hard, but learning the lead to "Stairway" on the uke was fun; I also do a number of clawhammer banjo fiddle tunes on the uke. (I don't like the uke, so I don't know why I do this.)
     
  8. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,412
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Western Canada
    ^^^ This ^^^ is the secret to learning any piece of complicated music that may seem out of reach when you start. Some things just take time.... you have to chip away at it, and don't forget to enjoy it.
     
    kbold, Obsessed and brookdalebill like this.
  9. thechad

    thechad Tele-Meister

    Age:
    33
    Posts:
    243
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Location:
    Kamloops
    The lead part for “and your bird can sing” by the Beatles is annoyingly difficult for me. Damn you George!
     
    AAT65 and brookdalebill like this.
  10. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    752
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Location:
    Luton UK
    I think with some of these great players they have a bent towards playing a certain style so some things that are very hard to us seems to come from their fingers more easily so dont be to disheartened.

    Since i started back i seem to put my own versions to songs and licks and rarely play note for note and also try and make my own stuff up as well.
     
    richiek65 likes this.
  11. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,412
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Western Canada
    The live version? If so, congrats... that's not easy because Clapton (self admittedly) got turned completely upside down and backward while doing that solo (ie: it was an accident)
     
    Blue Bill likes this.
  12. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,956
    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Yeah, I recently took a swipe at that one trying to learn the exact lead parts because they just so iconic. I simply couldnt follow them with the fingerings I was coming up with. So, I did what I always do, I YouTubed it. It was reassuring that most were playing incorrectly in the same way I was. The thing about that particular tune is the chord progression during the leads is SO wide open even though it is mostly 1,4,5. Theres almost not a bad note in it. You can simply play off the chord shapes or scales and still sound really creative or you can play basic pentatonic stuff and sound just fine. Its probably the best "jam song" ever written for that reason. Those original leads, at least for me, are next to impossible.

     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  13. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,273
    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    Lynyrd Skynyrd was in two different keys on the improvised parts of "Sweet Home Alabama", but it works for that song. That incongruity accounts for the dissonant, haunting quality of the piece.
     
    codamedia likes this.
  14. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,956
    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I would love to have the time to take a swipe at this one. especially since someone took the time to transcribe the entire song and posted it on YouTube (w/Allens permission). Just a great tune.

     
  15. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,682
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    West Lothian, Scotland
    ...& Paul, in harmony. And they seem to have written, learned and recorded it in just a matter of hours...
    OTOH I did learn to play both parts and recorded a cover, with my daughter singing. I can still remember the top line but the lower line is gone...
     
    thechad likes this.
  16. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    13,451
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
    Location:
    kamloops bc
    this one



    and this

     
  17. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    7,389
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    the B section of this

     
  18. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,092
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I
    Great song! I'm working on it, too.
     
  19. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,092
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Location:
    Central Florida
    The hardest songs I play regularly with my band are Reelin in the Years and La Villa Strangiato. Both took a good deal of focus to get down pat.

    On the fail side, I've spent the last 30 years trying to play Cliffs of Dover and can hack my way through most of it, but it's still not there. It's fun to have a goal.
     
  20. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    504
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Location:
    Australia
    Pachalbel's Cannon in D is a really nice chord sequence. You'll hear it copied in a few modern songs. Because it's a cycling sequence, I like to mix it up: fingerpicking the chords for a round or two, then 3-note chords on the treble combined with a bass line.

    To spice it up you can follow each chord with its octave equivalent (e.g. open G > G at the 7th fret (D shape), open D > D at the 5th fret, etc.) You can also do this with a 2 octave counterpoint.

    Except for one or two notes, I think of the whole progession in the context of the chords. Since a significant feature is the repeating 8-note bass line, a nice intro is to use 2-note bass chords (i.e. 2-note 5th chords on the 2 bass strings). Nice way to end as well.

    Edit: The bass note sequence, accentuated on the first beat, is central to timing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.