It's good I mostly play originals

Dadocaster

Dr. Stratster
Mar 15, 2015
28,485
Sachse TX behind the cemetary
Sounds like to me that you want your own songs to get a far shake... Here are my observations...There are a lot of guitar players that play the same songs that they learned in high school... and that's pretty much it. They do it well and people tell them that they are GREAT. They may even still wear a NIKE hat backwards and cargo shorts to a gig. However, the rarest of all musicians is a true singer/songwriter... and I say this because genuine singer/songwriters are just that... truly rare. These are the guys that have a notebook full of lyrics and chords. Cover musicians often diss these guys (think Bob Dylan, Neil Young, etc.}. Here's where it gets interesting... when cover musicians play with a solid singer/songwriter now they want a co-write of a song they did not write. The irony is that they will happily play covers all night long, add their own chops and get no songwriting credit. Simply put, they do not get to add their name next to Lennon/McCartney. But if a member of their own band or circle of friends writes a good song... and they jam along with it... now these same cover guys want to add their name to the songwriting credits. Granted, sometimes they deserve a credit if it melodically changes the song... but most of the time cover guys add little to the original chord structure and unique melody... The cover guys are really good players though. Most cover guys usually have one or two good original riffs or even complete songs... but they do not embrace songwriting.... or bring in a notebook of their songs. Cover guys want to play Little Wing and hear a beer cheer. My advice... follow your heart and develop your songwriting talent rather than chasing an illusive guitar lick.
My band plays mostly stuff I write so I am with on that. At the same time I am interested in getting the covers together so I can go out and play more and get some cash.
 

Gibbyp90

New Member!
Jul 24, 2022
5
STRAT
I have never learned covers easily and am still not good at it. I practice them but the part where you memorize the complete song such that it can be trotted out in a performnce eludes me. I need to be better at this.

Ideas?
Provided you learn the “hook” parts you can improvise. Learn the “hook” first. Then add yourself around it. On the other hand learning the whole lick or lead line exactly will learn your ear. So eventually you’ll be a better player as you’ll gain confidence
 

Dadocaster

Dr. Stratster
Mar 15, 2015
28,485
Sachse TX behind the cemetary
Provided you learn the “hook” parts you can improvise. Learn the “hook” first. Then add yourself around it. On the other hand learning the whole lick or lead line exactly will learn your ear. So eventually you’ll be a better player as you’ll gain confidence
Well this is acoustic and sing while people contemplate craft beers. I do a fair job of sticking in bits of hook here and there but mostly not playing any extended solo stuff.
 

Guitarmageddon

Dr. Stratster
Apr 19, 2014
27,491
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
......and I guess I am not making it easy on myself. I am working up little arrangements of the songs and doing hybrid picking and sticking in little pieces of solos and intros and stuff. Maybe that's the problem. It's more interesting and people really seem to enjoy a song that's not just strumming chords.

Just play the same song 8-10 times in a row, then you've got a whole set :p
 

GuitarPix

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Oct 21, 2013
2,684
Calgary
Way back when, (AKA - once upon a time) I played full time in a cover band on the road - back when such a thing was possible. We'd pull into a new bar, set up our gear, talk to the staff and find out what was popular on the jukebox at the time (yes this story goes back several decades). We'd tape that song off the jukebox, take it up to one of our rooms and each learn our parts, then practice it a couple of times acoustically - then play it that night.

Oh, those were the days. Can't do that anymore, but I have been forced to learn new covers because I've been playing a lot of solo gigs - especially birthday parties for boomers (like me) who yearn for songs from their youth. LOL.

I use an iPad for all my songs but the more I play the more I remember so I hope I can put that away again. Having seen some award-winning musicians use an iPad on stage I don't feel so bad about it. A lot of top touring musicians have stage screens with lyrics - they look like floor monitors for sound, but they're memory devices.

So don't feel bad or "inadequate" for having memory devices on hand. Even the best use them.

I was playing bass for a band and what I did was write the basic chord structure onto the setlist so I had a cheatsheet on stage that nobody thought twice about. It's a setlist - most bands have them. Mine just had extra notes. Worked really well for tunes I wasn't as familiar with.

Before the days of iPads I saw a really, really popular band where the singer had a tiny box on his mic stand next to the mic. In it were slips of paper with the first word or two of each line from the song. At the end of the song, he tossed that slip of paper over his shoulder and went to the next song.

As for memorizing songs - don't spend time on parts you know. Start going through the song and when you hit a part that you don't know as well - practice that part a few times. Then you can start over and go until you hit the next part that isn't as strong, the practice that part a few times. That's been the fastest way for me to memorize songs.
 

BuddyHollywood

Senior Stratmaster
Jul 22, 2011
1,017
Venice, CA
Dang! Was hoping for someone to have a LEARN A SET BY TUESDAY! Method.
I had to do this recently with a drumming gig. I had to learn 3 sets of country songs I've never heard before and play a gig with no rehearsal. The band's drummer had Covid and I was hired as the sub. I found out in most modern country the beats are easy but there are tons of breaks, weird arrangements and endings that I had to remember. I was able to do it by listening to the songs as much as possible and taking A LOT of notes. I normally don't like to refer to notes at a performance but it was the only way. The singer and the band were happy so I guess it worked!
 

Whitebeard

Strat-Talk Member
Feb 20, 2010
87
Port Richey, FL
I have never learned covers easily and am still not good at it. I practice them but the part where you memorize the complete song such that it can be trotted out in a performnce eludes me. I need to be better at this.

Ideas?
Learn it in chunks/pieces, then after the pieces are committed to muscle memory connect the pieces.
 

Dadocaster

Dr. Stratster
Mar 15, 2015
28,485
Sachse TX behind the cemetary
I had to do this recently with a drumming gig. I had to learn 3 sets of country songs I've never heard before and play a gig with no rehearsal. The band's drummer had Covid and I was hired as the sub. I found out in most modern country the beats are easy but there are tons of breaks, weird arrangements and endings that I had to remember. I was able to do it by listening to the songs as much as possible and taking A LOT of notes. I normally don't like to refer to notes at a performance but it was the only way. The singer and the band were happy so I guess it worked!
Yeah see, I get the chnges and the groove easily and a lot of the time I have verse/chorus and a lot of the lyrics but can't nail down the structure.
 

Derrick

Strat-Talk Member
Mar 23, 2020
99
MD/VA/DC metro
I have never learned covers easily and am still not good at it. I practice them but the part where you memorize the complete song such that it can be trotted out in a performnce eludes me. I need to be better at this.

Ideas?
No you don't need to be better at covers unless you are tying to make money as a cover band. Most musicians struggle with original material and being creative. If you are good at it, then you are ahead of the pac! Don't stray from the originals... we need more original music and less rehashing other peoples creativity.
 

Docpage

Strat-Talker
Dec 4, 2021
225
New York
I have never learned covers easily and am still not good at it. I practice them but the part where you memorize the complete song such that it can be trotted out in a performnce eludes me. I need to be better at this.

Ideas?
So, just a question, why would you want to learn covers?
 


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