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> To Cover, Or Not To Cover, that is the question
SirJamsalot
post Oct 18 2011, 06:29 PM
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I just recently started learning covers - in the last year actually. Prior to that, I spent my life in front of a metronome. I have to say, I've learned 2x as fast learning covers. One reason I think is that learning covers means you have to really study the intricacies of the song as well as pull apart the entire structure. Doing so really helps to see all of the components of a song.

I've also found that it's not good enough to just play along with the CD. If you really want to learn the song, you have to pick up your guitar and play it without any accompaniment because it forces you to dig deep into your memory instead of relying on indicators from the CD/MP3.

What's your experience with covers? How many have you learned so far, and what is your opinion on it's importance in your own learning?

I've learned about 4 covers by heart - meaning, I can pick up my guitar, play and sing them with nothing else to aid me. I know and can play 19 in total so far with help from a CD to spark my memory but am working on nailing those as well.



This post has been edited by SirJamsalot: Oct 18 2011, 06:32 PM


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Gitarrero
post Oct 18 2011, 07:14 PM
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Covering really helps you get better imo, since you kinda care more about the song (if it is one of your favs).
And of course, it is quite handy to know a couple of tunes by heart, in case you get asked to perform something...and people will ask you just that once they hear you play the guitar.


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rhoads
post Oct 18 2011, 07:32 PM
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I also think that is very important to play covers with only the guitar. Now know, when somebody asks you to play something, you just pick up the acoustic guitar and play. But you have to be able to play them with voice also. I mean you can do all kind of fancy stuff (baseline and melody or something like that) but it's WAY more effective if you sing them smile.gif

I am also working on a repertoire of my own like this but still working on the voice part smile.gif


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Daniel Realpe
post Oct 18 2011, 09:54 PM
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I think playing music from another guitarist can be very inspirational and keep you going in your path to mastery. Also as you mentioned, it can help understand not only the technical aspect of guitar but also the musical composition itself and how you can apply it to your own music


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casinostrat
post Oct 18 2011, 11:41 PM
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Personally I love to play covers of songs. Don't get me wrong excercises are great, but personally Ive found that if you can find a song you like and strat to learn it, then you develop your technique and learn a song at the same time, so you kinda get two things for the price of one, so to speak. Learning covers is also very helpful if you want to develop a certain technique that you admire in another artist, such as vibrato or legato. You can learn their songs and in turn develop that technique that they use and then apply that knowledge across the spectrum of music that you play. As far as numbers of covers I have learned, probably 10-12, mostly Gary Moore covers, but also some Eagles, GNR, and Pink Floyd. (Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2 was the first cover I ever learned)



....In reading this over before posting it I noticed I spelled "Start" like this:"Strat".... Totally unintentional but kinda cool! tongue.gif


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SirJamsalot
post Oct 19 2011, 12:12 AM
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QUOTE (casinostrat @ Oct 18 2011, 03:41 PM) *
Personally I love to play covers of songs. Don't get me wrong excercises are great, but personally Ive found that if you can find a song you like and strat to learn it, then you develop your technique and learn a song at the same time, so you kinda get two things for the price of one, so to speak. Learning covers is also very helpful if you want to develop a certain technique that you admire in another artist, such as vibrato or legato. You can learn their songs and in turn develop that technique that they use and then apply that knowledge across the spectrum of music that you play. As far as numbers of covers I have learned, probably 10-12, mostly Gary Moore covers, but also some Eagles, GNR, and Pink Floyd. (Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2 was the first cover I ever learned)



....In reading this over before posting it I noticed I spelled "Start" like this:"Strat".... Totally unintentional but kinda cool! tongue.gif


haha. strat over!
Gary Moore covers - nice! I haven't gone down the technical covers route yet, but I'm working my way up that chain, concentrating mostly on artists who have really good pentatonic techniques and licks that I want to steal biggrin.gif I'm currently working on the solo of the studio version of Shine, by Collective Soul. I believe the guitarist at the time was Ross Childress. He pulled of a really clean pentatonic run that ended with a tap-slide that just sounds - well, I gotta learn it I like it so much!





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jstcrsn
post Oct 19 2011, 12:44 AM
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I don't think anything can grow you as a guitarist as learning covers
and in the last year of my band ,there was a time when we knew about 90 covers plus our own 25 -30 songs that we could play at the drop a hat
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casinostrat
post Oct 19 2011, 01:26 AM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Oct 18 2011, 11:12 PM) *
haha. strat over!
Gary Moore covers - nice! I haven't gone down the technical covers route yet, but I'm working my way up that chain, concentrating mostly on artists who have really good pentatonic techniques and licks that I want to steal biggrin.gif I'm currently working on the solo of the studio version of Shine, by Collective Soul. I believe the guitarist at the time was Ross Childress. He pulled of a really clean pentatonic run that ended with a tap-slide that just sounds - well, I gotta learn it I like it so much!

Yeah I know what you mean about licks that you want to steal, the only reason I started learning Pink Floyd covers was because David Gilmour had such awesome and useful licks in his solos I felt I had to learn them in order to understand the Pentatonic Boxes and what could be done with them biggrin.gif As far as Gary Moore stuff goes I guess you could say that the blues is my favorite style, and I just sort of started learning his stuff because that was what I wanted to play. I started working on his simpler songs and gradually got to where I was learning the harder stuff. It really helped my speed, vibrato, and phrasing to cover all that stuff. These days I am currently working on learning two covers in two completely different genres of music, Autumn Leaves by Joe Pass and "Wishful thinking"' by John Petrucci. I picked these because of the techniques which I felt I needed to improve, namely fingerstyle Jazz playing and expressive playing like Mr. Petrucci is a master at biggrin.gif

...By the way I had not listened to the solo in that studio version of Shine that you mentioned you were working on, but I found it on the net and listened to it, And I may have to steal...um..uhh...learn that one as well tongue.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 19 2011, 03:54 AM
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Congrats! smile.gif Learning covers is a great way to get better and learn to play actual music. Working with the metronome is just about being able to repeat a given technique, building muscle memory. It certainly has it's place but I must say I'm shocked to hear you "spent your life in front of a metronome" as that's not something I think anyone would suggest as a plan.

Also good point on playing without the CD. Like playing with a metronome, it's just another way of playing with "training wheels" so to speak. It' provides a nice backing and helps cover mistakes while you are still learning and can keep a player from getting bored or too frustrated. At some point, you have to take off the training wheels and play for real.

Playing with actual musicians in a room is yet another step on this same ladder. Being able to play with a real drummer and other folks is something that takes effort, especially at first, but is honestly one of the best things you can do. Learning to play as a "unit", and not let one member rush or drag, and not be thrown off when someone misses a lick is crucial to being able to actually play real music in a live situation. It's sort of the capstone course in music.

If you are not already, try to hook up with some musicians if for no other reason than to jam, try covers etc. Few things will make you better, quicker, (once you are ready of course) than playing in a live band, and eventually, in front of an audience. The stress level of going from practice space to live gig is the last hurdle towards graduating in to wonderful world of sharing your music. The vibe of a room when a gig is going well is wonder to behold.


QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Oct 18 2011, 01:29 PM) *
I just recently started learning covers - in the last year actually. Prior to that, I spent my life in front of a metronome. I have to say, I've learned 2x as fast learning covers. One reason I think is that learning covers means you have to really study the intricacies of the song as well as pull apart the entire structure. Doing so really helps to see all of the components of a song.

I've also found that it's not good enough to just play along with the CD. If you really want to learn the song, you have to pick up your guitar and play it without any accompaniment because it forces you to dig deep into your memory instead of relying on indicators from the CD/MP3.

What's your experience with covers? How many have you learned so far, and what is your opinion on it's importance in your own learning?

I've learned about 4 covers by heart - meaning, I can pick up my guitar, play and sing them with nothing else to aid me. I know and can play 19 in total so far with help from a CD to spark my memory but am working on nailing those as well.



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Adrian Figallo
post Oct 19 2011, 05:33 AM
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i love learning covers myself, it's a way to learn new things and to analyze what your favorite artists are doing, at the end your own music is going to be a mixtape of your favorite music, and there is no way around that.

you can see some of my covers on my youtube channel, i got a lot!



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Sickz666
post Oct 19 2011, 06:39 AM
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Covers are great. You'll develop techniques while doing something musical rather than doing some chromatic exercises to a metronome. And you'll get more stuff that aids you in writing own music. smile.gif

I prefer covers, although i dont know many songs.
I worked like 1-2 years straight on my technique and almost stopped learning songs. Now i'm only learning songs and challanging licks i like. smile.gif
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Fran
post Oct 19 2011, 11:33 AM
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Playing covers is mostly all I do smile.gif
So far I've learnt around 35 songs, though I can't play some of the fast solos in some. I love playing the music I've listened all my life, and I believe as a guitar player we should aim to have a "repertoire" of things we can play from beginning to end, that is, whole songs, whther they are covers or original material.

One thing I haven't tried is playing them without the actual original in the backing, because it seems too boring. Besides, in a real band contest, the rest of the instruments/vocals would be there anyway.


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SirJamsalot
post Oct 19 2011, 09:25 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Oct 18 2011, 04:44 PM) *
I don't think anything can grow you as a guitarist as learning covers
and in the last year of my band ,there was a time when we knew about 90 covers plus our own 25 -30 songs that we could play at the drop a hat


90! wow, that's awesome!

QUOTE (casinostrat @ Oct 18 2011, 05:26 PM) *
Yeah I know what you mean about licks that you want to steal, the only reason I started learning Pink Floyd covers was because David Gilmour had such awesome and useful licks in his solos I felt I had to learn them in order to understand the Pentatonic Boxes and what could be done with them biggrin.gif As far as Gary Moore stuff goes I guess you could say that the blues is my favorite style, and I just sort of started learning his stuff because that was what I wanted to play. I started working on his simpler songs and gradually got to where I was learning the harder stuff. It really helped my speed, vibrato, and phrasing to cover all that stuff. These days I am currently working on learning two covers in two completely different genres of music, Autumn Leaves by Joe Pass and "Wishful thinking"' by John Petrucci. I picked these because of the techniques which I felt I needed to improve, namely fingerstyle Jazz playing and expressive playing like Mr. Petrucci is a master at biggrin.gif

...By the way I had not listened to the solo in that studio version of Shine that you mentioned you were working on, but I found it on the net and listened to it, And I may have to steal...um..uhh...learn that one as well tongue.gif


I worked out the fingering of that solo and will post a video of how it's played - but not fast cause I can't play it fast yet! lol. Ive searched for others doing that solo and only found one other person who comes close to doing it correctly, but he doesn't show you how. I picked it part note for note, so I'll share it shortly.

this is the only kind of theft that I think is okay biggrin.gif


QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 18 2011, 07:54 PM) *
Congrats! smile.gif Learning covers is a great way to get better and learn to play actual music. Working with the metronome is just about being able to repeat a given technique, building muscle memory. It certainly has it's place but I must say I'm shocked to hear you "spent your life in front of a metronome" as that's not something I think anyone would suggest as a plan.

Also good point on playing without the CD. Like playing with a metronome, it's just another way of playing with "training wheels" so to speak. It' provides a nice backing and helps cover mistakes while you are still learning and can keep a player from getting bored or too frustrated. At some point, you have to take off the training wheels and play for real.

Playing with actual musicians in a room is yet another step on this same ladder. Being able to play with a real drummer and other folks is something that takes effort, especially at first, but is honestly one of the best things you can do. Learning to play as a "unit", and not let one member rush or drag, and not be thrown off when someone misses a lick is crucial to being able to actually play real music in a live situation. It's sort of the capstone course in music.

If you are not already, try to hook up with some musicians if for no other reason than to jam, try covers etc. Few things will make you better, quicker, (once you are ready of course) than playing in a live band, and eventually, in front of an audience. The stress level of going from practice space to live gig is the last hurdle towards graduating in to wonderful world of sharing your music. The vibe of a room when a gig is going well is wonder to behold.


haha Todd. By spent my life, I meant a few years - I've only been playing seriously for maybe a total of 4 years. 2 when I first began at 19, then I started again 2 years ago! I found playing to a metrinome to be somewhat addictive actually - it was like meditating. I know it sounds wierd, but I can sit down for hours working on a few patterns to a metronome and just get lost in it. But I'll have you know that I'm learning covers left and right, AND I'm playing in a band every tuesday night, followed by an open mic later in the evening. As a matter of fact, I played (and sang) 4 songs last night. It's an awesome dive bar, with lots of talented musicians who come to just jam. Great fun, and GREAT learning experience. Half the battle is feeling comfortable on stage - after that, you can focus on your playing, and it only gets better from there.


QUOTE (Adrian Figallo @ Oct 18 2011, 09:33 PM) *
you can see some of my covers on my youtube channel, i got a lot!


I'm going thru them now. Great stuff!


QUOTE (Fran @ Oct 19 2011, 03:33 AM) *
Playing covers is mostly all I do smile.gif
So far I've learnt around 35 songs, though I can't play some of the fast solos in some. I love playing the music I've listened all my life, and I believe as a guitar player we should aim to have a "repertoire" of things we can play from beginning to end, that is, whole songs, whther they are covers or original material.

One thing I haven't tried is playing them without the actual original in the backing, because it seems too boring. Besides, in a real band contest, the rest of the instruments/vocals would be there anyway.


True - but that's kind of what I mean by not playing to backing track. A live band is much different than a backing track because it's dynamic and anything can throw you at any time. But something I'm doing right now is laying down drum and bass tracks of the covers I want to learn, so that I can play to only those parts - not the vocals or guitar - kind of like karaoke style so that I'm forced to know the parts without another vocalist continuing on while I stumble, to remind me where I should have gone lyrically or rhythmically. Any backing tracks I make, I'll make available to anyone so you can have fun with them too.

35 songs is a great accomplishment btw. cool.gif

QUOTE (Sickz666 @ Oct 18 2011, 10:39 PM) *
Covers are great. You'll develop techniques while doing something musical rather than doing some chromatic exercises to a metronome. And you'll get more stuff that aids you in writing own music. smile.gif

I prefer covers, although i dont know many songs.
I worked like 1-2 years straight on my technique and almost stopped learning songs. Now i'm only learning songs and challanging licks i like. smile.gif


Join the club! Have any goals to learn more? My personal goal is to learn 50 covers (50 is a cool number) by this time next year. Hopefully more, but I figure it's an easy goal for anyone who doesn't "let the goal go by the wayside after the first month" smile.gif

Cheers!


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Sinisa Cekic
post Oct 19 2011, 09:54 PM
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Covering shouldn't be called into question - it is very useful!You practice your ear, technique, patience ...! But do not stop there!
Based on all the melodies that you pick up, try to compose something of your own, on that way you build your style !


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