Playing songs note for note vs. just getting rhythym/feel/chords

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by wtk0315, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,375
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Mt. Holly, NC USA
    Yeah, well, I think Journey haters are really Steve Perry haters. Before the label inserted him and made them a power pop machine, Journey was an awesome band. Check out "Look Into the Future" and prove me wrong.

    RE: Elliot Easton. You have a solid point. But you don't have to do a Cars arrangement of a Cars tune. Change it up, and your own thing could fit too.
     
  2. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    2,295
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Far N.E. Philadelphia
    B, C, & A - probably 40%, 40%, & 20.
     
    P Thought likes this.
  3. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    2,295
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Far N.E. Philadelphia
    That’s me they are a great band with out the rat ( always look like a mouse to me) fronting them
     
  4. wtk0315

    wtk0315 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    571
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Location:
    Houston area
    Screenshot_20190422-185907.png
     
    P Thought likes this.
  5. wtk0315

    wtk0315 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    571
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Location:
    Houston area
    This thread took a life of it's own, so I wanted to throw a specific example out there.

    This is ABITW pt. 2 solo. I've been working on it about a week.

    The kind of thing I'm talking about happens when I go to play measure #63. It's written diad-diad-d; diad-diad-d. But my brain and fingers want to drop that fourth diad and rest there instead. IIhave to really concentrate to play it as written.

    This is just one example, I have a million of them (probably). Others include doubling notes that don't need to be doubled, or playing the inverse of something. Or just not being able to break out of my own quirky timing (everything I play turns to blues).

    But hey I'm working on it.
     
    P Thought likes this.
  6. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,549
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte NC
    I think this conversation has gone a bit off the rails.

    Nobody is saying " don't add your own thing " but plenty are saying "no need to play the common phrases, they are boring" .

    Above Cash's Folsom is mentioned, the Luther solo is indeed part of the song, its not Folsom without it. Simple, melodic, mandatory. When we play it , the first pass solo is Luthers, the next time we solo it's wide open. IF it's a single solo, extend it, begin with Luthers , then OWN it with your take. Take Luthers solo and expand on it. You would be amazed at how many self proclaimed Country players actually can't play Luther's simple melodic structure and play some sort of pentatonic nonesene instead. Why ? Because they never sat down for 5 min to learn it. Playing simple is very hard to do when we have thoughts of greatness in our minds, or there are other guitar players in the room.

    This whole notion of "Hendrix didn't play it the same " is irrelevant. I saw Hendrix a few times, correct he wandered. But he played the HOOKS , he didn't stray from the identity hooks because those were the SONG. We all knew what songs he was playing before he started singing. Well wait a minute, at one show we weren't sure if HE KNEW what song he was playing ! :(


    Here's another way to view it. Say we learn 10 songs with solos that are from the record, maybe not 100% but something close. We play those 10 songs live and guess what we don't do ? We don't repeat the same solo and "automatic licks " for all 10 songs.

    But I'm sure none of us have ever done that before....:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  7. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,887
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Western Canada
    FYI: you are preaching to the choir.... and since the solo's discussed were the ones on "Escape" that still puts Steve Perry in the mix.

    Absolutely.... but this thread isn't about a band switching up an arrangement to a song... it's about playing the guitar parts note for note. Elliot Easton is one I would stick pretty close to.
     
    Jim622 likes this.
  8. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,610
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Location:
    WV
    This is what tabs are useful for, IMO (and notes on a staff to a lesser degree) - getting the placement of the notes and licks of a solo. The rest should be learned by listening the original recording to to get rhythm, feel, dynamics, and accents.

    That's how you learn note-for-note.

    Using musical notation for timing, rhythm, and dynamics, OTOH, is for learning and playing...music, generally. It is not reliable for learning a masterpiece solo or well-known riff. You have to be able to hear what the artist played, including all nuances, and emulate them.

    But that doesn't answer the OP. I take the OP to mean live situations. Playing something note-for-note is always appropriate for learning. It is sometimes appropriate for playing live. It is best to know how to play the song as recorded before altering it. It is rarely good enough to just get the gist of it, IMO, particularly if you didn't know it well enough to begin with. That goes for rhythm and lead/solos.

    Hendrix rarely recorded himself playing the same thing twice, if ever. But that doesn't give you free reign on Voodoo Chile. The most recognized studio version is the one with the most famous licks. But it's the main riffs, intro, and section arrangements that are absolutely iconic. If you don't nail those, don't play it. But the solos you can embellish a bit, if you knew how and what he played to begin with. Yes it's pentatonic wankery. But it's wankery with iconic feeling, timing, and place. If you can't first play it close enough to him, don't even try it live, and certainly don't play it different. It will be immediately noticeable to anyone who knows that song.

    Even with simple songs where the main riff is the driver. Play a Green Day song a hair late on the chord changes or the strum wrong, and it automatically sterilizes it into sucksville. Not just a little bit, either. Just because the chords are 5ths and in a simple/pop pattern, does not mean you can just get up and nail it without really listening and translating that to it before hand.
     
    Chunkocaster and T Prior like this.
  9. draggindakota

    draggindakota Tele-Meister

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    279
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2017
    Location:
    Lehigh Acres, Florida
    From the point of someone that doesn't play out anywhere: Some songs I learn straight up, some I just approximate (Hotel California is one of the later) because mostly I'm just playing by myself. But I completely agree that learning something note for note helps you expand your own ability and vocabulary.

    Folsom is one of those songs that has an iconic solo that pretty much everyone can recognize. But, you're right it's so simple that you can do a lot with it, and it's still recognizable. I LOVE the solo in this version:

     
    LOSTVENTURE likes this.
  10. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,494
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2017
    Location:
    NJ
    I agree with the guy in the pink skirt. Learn it note-for-note. Think of them as free private lessons. Then freelance.
     
    P Thought and Chunkocaster like this.
  11. rad1

    rad1 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,095
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    Location:
    Santa Cruz
    Depends on the song

    Something as iconic as Freddy King’s Hideaway I learned and play note for note.

    Songs like Stray Cat Strut, I can’t play it like Brian, wish I could, but I come close and that works for me.

    Other Blues songs that have been around forever I steal ideas from different versions and add my own flavor

    Truth in advertising here; I haven’t performed in many years so anything works for me.
     
    Jim622 likes this.
  12. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,482
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    I've always considered learning note-by-note just another challenge, part of the learning experience. It has always helped me to expand on my personal soloing.
    And since I was just getting proficient at the time the Beatles hit, learning all of their solos and fills was a necessary part of learning the song. The practice has stayed with me ever since, not that that's always how I perform the song in public.​
     
  13. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,800
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    If I wanted to hear it exactly as recorded, I’d listen to the record.

    Get the riffs right, get the groove right and play your butt off—and almost everyone will enjoy it...the one person who doesn’t, wasn’t gonna be happy regardless.
     
  14. RCinMempho

    RCinMempho Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,066
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Location:
    Maryville, TN
    If you are in a band where all the other members are covering note by note, then you should be as well.

    If they aren't, then you shouldn't be either.

    It is the mismatches that will sound really bad to the average listener.
     
    Flat6Driver and Larry F like this.
  15. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Posts:
    16,453
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    Learning to sing a recorded solo is also beneficial. I once read an interview with a musician who related the time he started singing the solo to Charlie Parker's Confirmation (I forget which recording), and Buddy Miles (drummer, singer) joined in, note-for-note.

    Andy Summers' book, One Train Later contains some lovely descriptions of his process of learning solos off records at home, in his bedroom. He clearly regarded transcription of this sort as a high and noble art in its own right. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I was struck by this.

    My guitar teacher had previously taught Larry Coryell, who was from my hometown. He encouraged my belief that I should always be inventive and not repeat myself. My method at the time was to figure out a few Cream songs, and get a general gist of the guitar solos. The next day or two, my band would try out these songs and play them at gigs. A big encouragement of the time (I was 15 or 16 in 1968 or 69) was when a college-age guy told me that he had seen my band a few weeks earlier and that I (and I quote): "sounded just like Clapton." My guitar teacher had done a pretty good job of hipping me to the gigging life, so I didn't get all worked up over this, or anything that anyone said about my music.

    I didn't read all of the posts above, but it seems like sometimes we are talking about guitar parts in songs that are presented as solos, and sometimes not. If the feel is non-solo-like in atmosphere and accompaniment, then I would regard this as a part of the song.
     
    P Thought and Flat6Driver like this.
  16. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,807
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Location:
    Finland
    Perhaps not.
    I feel disagreement on what the "common", or essential, phrases are.
    That must be different in different songs, so a total agreement is impossible anyway.
     
  17. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    3,049
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    If I have to play covers, I try to make what I'm playing recognisable. Very rarely note for note, I'm not that interested usually, if nobody throws bottles then I guess whatever I'm doing can't be too bad.
     
    RoyalBaby likes this.
  18. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    823
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Location:
    Luton UK
    That is one of my fav Jimi Hendrix songs to cant say i can improve it, but i do play it different each time, and i always keep some of the main licks and riffs that make the song imho. I do that with most songs now though, but when i first started i use to learn them note for note.

    But now I just learn certain riffs and licks from songs and see what comes out rubbish at times though I think.
     
  19. Telemarx

    Telemarx Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    119
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2015
    Location:
    south africa
    I can't really explain why, but sometimes I love it when a song isn't done note for note and other times I hate it. A lot depends on the vibe of the song in it's entirety I guess and whether it sounds as if the intention is to do an accurate cover but butchering it, or a deliberately different interpretation of it.

    Edit: This is only for live performances btw. If you plan on recording a cover version it has to be recognizable but at the same time unique enough to keep me interested. Retain the essence of the song and if it's known for it's riffs or hooks they should be there as well, but otherwise you have to make it your own.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  20. MrCairo46

    MrCairo46 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,720
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland Hon!
    What about “signature” licks to songs?
    Change the timing of Long Train runnning
    The lick in Folsom Prison Blues
    Johnny B Goode ?
     
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.