Learning an album cover to cover

Wooly Fox

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Topic title says it all. I'm using this thread to keep me accountable for my progress and eventually be brave enough to record and post my progress once I get through one song on the album to a "passable" state to my ear.

I decided to focus my practicing on one simple idea. Pick an album I love and learn the guitar parts cover to cover.

I have chosen Mad Seasons - Above to learn as it's not too complicated and I love it to pieces (I must be a Mike McCready fan)



It's mostly blues licks and simple rock chords and progressions so cannot be too difficult to learn.

I'm starting with River of Deceit as it's my favourite song on the album. It's in G mixolydian due to the major F chord. The main chords are C, F and G and the versus are a 2 chord vamp between F and G (hence being G mixolydian and not C major if my theory is correct).

I looked up a YouTube tutorial on this song just to give me a starting point so I can work then out the McCready licks that most of tab seems to be wrong. Most of the locks are G major pentatonics on the treble side (G,B,E high strings if not clear) so I imagine I'll get them worked out.

The intro isn't hard but I'm struggling with the muscle memory to get it right with the hammer-ons and pull offs being clear. I don't use a compressor which I'm pretty sure one is being used in the recording to get the clarity. Any tips on making your hammer ons and pull offs to ring clearly, especially open string pull offs as mine just fade as there is no attack.

I'll try and update weekly my progress depending on how busy I am. I think the end of this project will pay dividends to my playing progress and give my practice some context!
 

Old Plank

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Topic title says it all. I'm using this thread to keep me accountable for my progress and eventually be brave enough to record and post my progress once I get through one song on the album to a "passable" state to my ear.

I decided to focus my practicing on one simple idea. Pick an album I love and learn the guitar parts cover to cover.

I have chosen Mad Seasons - Above to learn as it's not too complicated and I love it to pieces (I must be a Mike McCready fan)



It's mostly blues licks and simple rock chords and progressions so cannot be too difficult to learn.

I'm starting with River of Deceit as it's my favourite song on the album. It's in G mixolydian due to the major F chord. The main chords are C, F and G and the versus are a 2 chord vamp between F and G (hence being G mixolydian and not C major if my theory is correct).

I looked up a YouTube tutorial on this song just to give me a starting point so I can work then out the McCready licks that most of tab seems to be wrong. Most of the locks are G major pentatonics on the treble side (G,B,E high strings if not clear) so I imagine I'll get them worked out.

The intro isn't hard but I'm struggling with the muscle memory to get it right with the hammer-ons and pull offs being clear. I don't use a compressor which I'm pretty sure one is being used in the recording to get the clarity. Any tips on making your hammer ons and pull offs to ring clearly, especially open string pull offs as mine just fade as there is no attack.

I'll try and update weekly my progress depending on how busy I am. I think the end of this project will pay dividends to my playing progress and give my practice some context!



Not exactly what you're talking, but in a classic rock band I was in, we were able to cover pretty much all of 'Beatles '65'. Also I learned to play about all of 'McCartney' on acoustic. Such great songs on both albums! Still really enjoy playing 'Junk'.
 

ClashCityTele

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I did that years ago with 'Real Life' by Magazine.
I was and always will be a huge fan of John McGeoch, and every band he played with.
 

Wooly Fox

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Progress has been made, did about 2 hours of practicing the intro lick (all G major pentatonic), starting at 70bpm and adding notes to the lick (start with the first 3 then first 4 etc.) until I got up to speed (song is 90-95 BPM from what I can tell). The rest of the song is easy but getting the timing down is tricky, I'll just have to keep playing along with the track over and over.

Lastly the embellishments Mike adds, I will try to copy exactly or "get the jist" and make up my own licks. It's all G major pentatonic just have to work out the fingerings he must be using for the box shapes he uses. It's mostly around frets 3-7 so shape 1 and 2 of the major pentatonic box. I'm more inclined to use 3NPS shapes of G mixolydian as it sounds cooler to me.
 

northernguitar

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I have the Malcolm Young and Bon Scott parts down for all of Let There Be Rock. I’ve played most of them with my cover band (all except Overdose and Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be), but never in one jam.
 

SRHmusic

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The intro isn't hard but I'm struggling with the muscle memory to get it right with the hammer-ons and pull offs being clear. I don't use a compressor which I'm pretty sure one is being used in the recording to get the clarity. Any tips on making your hammer ons and pull offs to ring clearly, especially open string pull offs as mine just fade as there is no attack.
Visualize pull offs as using your fretting hand finger to pluck the string. Pull it a little sideways. Experiment. (It's not just pulling up, while a hammer on is pretty much just slamming the finger down.) You should be able to work up to an infinitely long hammer-on, pull-off trill at different tempos. You might need a bit of gain and/or compression to help sustain longer notes if they are fading too quickly. But check that you're not letting other fingers/flesh touch the released string, too. Cheers
 

Alex_C

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Kudos to you for tackling whole album.
I've forgotten every song I've covered. I'm about to attempt 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds', the Andy Timmons version.
 

SRHmusic

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@Wooly Fox I gave this intro lick a listen and there's also a slide in here from position 3 to 1. Start with your 1st finger on the D (2nd string 3rd fret), and the slide is with the 2nd finger from B to A (2nd string). The pull-off from the A to open G (3rd string 2nd fret to open) is one to pay attention to.

Here's a little transcription, also with some pick direction suggestions (not quite economy picking, could start on an upstroke). See what you think.

1667493105886.png


edit - The slide is easier to hear the first time he plays it. You can hear it the second time more clearly if you slow the track to 75%. He also does a little slide up from A to B the 2nd time instead of playing the B/2nd string (on beat 3).
 

Marc Morfei

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I've done it a few times.
-CCR Chronicle (greatest hits)
-Tom Petty Greatest Hits
-REM Fables
-Stones Sticky Fingers

I think it's a great exercise. You really get steeped in one guy's vocabulary and it helps you internalize that style.
 

Rich_S

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I keep meaning to do this with the first two albums by The Cars, but I never get around to it.
 

ReverendRevolver

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I did this early on, but we're talking Sublime(self titled), Misfits(static age), dead Kennedys (fresh fruit fir rotting vegetables), Nirvana (bleach, in utero, unplugged). Nothing too staggering, the most interesting lead work was East Bay Ray's stuff from let's lynch the landlord and obviously holiday in Cambodia/Uber allies for the stuff that breathes more.

But as time went on I didn't listen to whole albums as intently. Not something I'd really consider doing anymore (especially given the number of songs I've forgotten over the years).
 

Cloodie

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Topic title says it all. I'm using this thread to keep me accountable for my progress and eventually be brave enough to record and post my progress once I get through one song on the album to a "passable" state to my ear.

I decided to focus my practicing on one simple idea. Pick an album I love and learn the guitar parts cover to cover.

I have chosen Mad Seasons - Above to learn as it's not too complicated and I love it to pieces (I must be a Mike McCready fan)



It's mostly blues licks and simple rock chords and progressions so cannot be too difficult to learn.

I'm starting with River of Deceit as it's my favourite song on the album. It's in G mixolydian due to the major F chord. The main chords are C, F and G and the versus are a 2 chord vamp between F and G (hence being G mixolydian and not C major if my theory is correct).

I looked up a YouTube tutorial on this song just to give me a starting point so I can work then out the McCready licks that most of tab seems to be wrong. Most of the locks are G major pentatonics on the treble side (G,B,E high strings if not clear) so I imagine I'll get them worked out.

The intro isn't hard but I'm struggling with the muscle memory to get it right with the hammer-ons and pull offs being clear. I don't use a compressor which I'm pretty sure one is being used in the recording to get the clarity. Any tips on making your hammer ons and pull offs to ring clearly, especially open string pull offs as mine just fade as there is no attack.

I'll try and update weekly my progress depending on how busy I am. I think the end of this project will pay dividends to my playing progress and give my practice some context!

One of my favourite albums. I still have the guitar tab to River of Deceit that I cut out of an edition of Guitar World many years ago.
 




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