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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by fred4321, Sep 9, 2019.
The hooks and the melody stay as a point of departure and return. Hey... I'm a jazz guy.
No. You can't reduce Crazy to three or four chords.
It depends who your target audience is.
I prefer to make it my own. If I wanted to hear it note for note I'd just listen to the original.
Like the Grateful Dead playing Bob Dylan songs. You get all you need from the original, but no one ever thought that Jerry was Bob. Ambiguity intended.
I like to almost nail the original version and over time add to it if I think it needs it.
If I don't like the solo or its beyond my playing abilities I will change it up if I cant be bothered spending the time to get it right. I wouldn't do that on a song where people expect to hear it done right though.
I don't like seeing cover bands that hack at and dumb down songs I like, I know all the little accents etc in songs i like and am waiting to hear them.
I lose interest quickly in hearing loose ballpark approximations of songs I like.
Likewise if it's me playing them.
You're absolutely right, chunk!.....unless I walk into a club and catch Jimi "re-inventing" All Along the Watchtower, or Cream doing Crossroads, I want to hear a FAITHFUL rendition.....generally.
A good (but rare) example of an original/cover that are different yet enjoyable, is Eli's Coming. I LOVE Laura Nyro (writer) and her version, but Three Dog Night truly made it their own.....but that's an exception rather than common. I still maintain that too many bands are lazy and don't want to put in the effort to "work stuff out". They want to call out chords (which may or may not be correct) and slap it together. That's disrespectful to the song.
If Hendrix had asked himself that question when covering All Along The Watchtower, the world would be a poorer place.
I prefer to "stylize" a cover song in some way. Otherwise, why bother? Songs are best approached as recipes. Alter some of the elements to freshen them up and/or make them yours. Drop a chord, add a chord or riff, or maybe add a different instrument or two.
If I can't do a cover justice, I'd rather not play it.
With the exception of a tribute band, most cover bands are not going to sound just like the album. Sometimes the more they try to sound just like it, the worst it is. I can think of several covers by well known artists that fit in this category. OTOH, a good interpretation can be wonderful. By that, I mean taking the song and making it your own in some way.
There's a not so fine line between a good interpretation, and "play it however because it's hard to play it how it was written".
Play them in a completely different style, country-fy them, reggae them up, go folk on them and watch peoples faces...
Lots of sage wisdom here. I do like hearing sincere versions of other songs.
Here is a version of Etta James:I'd Rather Go Blind, by Beth Hart-she and the guitarist own the song with this version I reckon.
It would sound better with a Tele!
i normally don't do covers since i can't sing it like the original, play the same guitar and amp(if used), like the original and don't have the proper bandmates to play like the original. that is 3 strikes you are out!
if you wish to change the song to fit you, please go right ahead.
Just an old hack here but ... Go compare Dylan and Hendrix on All along the watchtower or Clapton and Hendrix on Little Wing etc etc ...
They're songs, the words are important, how you play 'em ain't! . Well at least shouldn't be.
Saying all that ... I'm a sucker for trying to nail solos.
when I was a young man in my first band, we would hear a new song on the car radio once or twice and say "Hey, let's do that one!" So we'd sit in the garage and try to recreate it. Each guy in the group tried to find a part, remembering what he had heard on the radio. Our versions were not copies. They were frequently in a different key, because it sounded good that way and we couldn't remember what key it was in anyway. The lyrics were difficult, the arrangement too. The verse-chorus-bridge pattern was flexible. But after an hour or two we would have a fine working version of a good song, and we were proud because we created that ourselves.
So I say - play it your own way.
Good analogy. Hunter S. Thompson typed out all of The Great Gatsby to get a "feel" for what F. Scott Fitzgerald felt when he typed it. It's an interesting way of studying a writer, "absorbing" a style and maybe the writer's way of thinking. But no one can say HST didn't have his own unique voice.
I like to add my own flavor to a cover. For one thing, if the original arrangement had an 18-piece jazz band, and I have two guitars, bass and drums to work with—it's gonna be different!
I struggled with covers for years. Maybe even decades. I really have trouble doing exact copies because I seem to lack the patience required to learn something note for note. Sometimes even getting a similar sound is beyond me even if it isn't note for note. This caved my head in for a long time and hurt my confidence as a player.
Then I had a major epiphany while spending some time listening to covers performed in the style of the artist covering the song, rather than the artist being covered. Boy how simple had been my self deception. Covering another artists song in your own style, as long as the source is still able to be recognized, became the path to a wide range of musical horizons previously out of my reach.
Now, although self composition is still my major muse, finding covers I can relate to and do my own way, is running a very close second rather than not even being in my repertoire as things had been for oh so long a time. Sometimes the very nature of the cover itself lends a hand to doing something improvisational with that artists material ... and this excites me.
I've never been good enough to recreate anyone else's music but there are a few songs from my youth that I always tried to sing harmony with (I'm not a singer much).
I really enjoy, with all the current backing tracks available now, singing the harmony part only. Some work (Sad Eyes, I wish It Would Rain), some don't, but it's a good a good vocal exercise.
I'm working up a stevie nicks solo set.. I'm doing EXACT covers (this one's for you daddy) including shawls etc... embracing my inner welsh witch....
now here I go again... I see... my crystal visions....
As a total hack in it for kicks I don’t try to stay faithful.
said at bars the world over (at the bar)