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King of riffs but can't play songs. Lol

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by ocean, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm guilty of it for sure. :whistling:

    I have moved on to at least trying to do better though ;)
     
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  2. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    i can wow the daylights out of non players for 30 seconds at a time.

    my son and his friend's think i am the only cool old person alive while i bend, blaze and dive bomb in small increments.

    so please do not let my secret out!
     
  3. gofmusic

    gofmusic Senior Stratmaster

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    Wanna play an entire song *and* enjoy it? Learn how to enjoy singing. That will make u want to play whole songs, no one just sings bits and pieces, lol.
     
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  4. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    You have no need to learn a song, from the sounds of it. And you don't sing I'll wager.
    No mind numbing deadline to learn a "never heard before" tune for tomorrow's wedding couple.
     
  5. sgarnett

    sgarnett Senior Stratmaster

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    Even a lot of guitar teachers focus too much on riffs and improvising riffs. With or without a teacher, I think this is a big factor in “endless beginner syndrome”.

    My take: learn to play whole songs. Sing while you play. Loudly - that’s very important. Badly is fine, but still sing out. It’s too easy to be tentative and slightly behind the beat when singing softly. It’s impossible to be tentative singing loudly though - commit and keep going.

    Obviously, expressive singing may call for more dynamics. I’m only talking about singing to help learn the whole song on guitar.

    Cool riffs and hooks are the seasoning on the steak, but they aren’t the steak. It took me way too long to understand that.
     
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  6. Oldduck

    Oldduck Strat-Talk Member

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    I've always heard "if you can't hum it, you can't play it." I've learned hundreds of songs in my 60+ years of playing and used to be able to hum and play everything from memory. Now, I can barely remember how to hum Happy Birthday. I can learn a new song and play it multiple times per day for weeks and then forget the whole thing in a few days if I don't continue to play it. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, I've heard!
     
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  7. SurfsUp

    SurfsUp Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm somewhat in the same boat.

    I've played in many bands and of course played every song start to end, but in a BAND situation.

    Throw me an acoustic and a campfire & I draw blanks. I can do it with a quick google search of chords ect but I'm really limited to my solo acoustic stuff.

    Just watched a facebook live party of a friend of a friend, did an acoustic show solo and it went on for hrs! He musta knew every dam song out there. So, I wrote some down and gonna poach them lol
     
  8. MrNeutron

    MrNeutron Strat-Talker

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    It definitely is a huge challenge for my Adult Attention Deficit Disordered mind to try to beat. Trying to stay focused and play the next chord coming up without a pause to recall what that next chord is is a problem for myself, even with some songs I've known since the '70s. Alzheimer's runs rampant in my family, so I'm hoping it's not the onset of that....... :eek:

    I know everyone's taste in music is different, so my song suggestions may not help. But focus on some easy songs you like to learn completely. I intentionally picked a few "easy" songs for me to play that I can play completely through which happened to have some riffs most folks can recognize. I also picked some cowboy country songs that my family likes to drink to and sing with when we go on our yearly fishing trips. Campfire songs, if you will. And I try to pick ones that you don't necessarily need a band to play with, for the most part. Anyway, for my sorry "Stuck-in-the-Seventies" a$$, I chose:

    1. Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress. Always liked the opening riff to that song, and the little hybrid picking breakdown deal in the middle of it. Makes me work on that technique I need to practice.

    2. The Old Man is Down the Road, by John Fogerty. Fun to play along with on the video.

    3. Folsom Prison Blues. Almost universally recognizable, and surprisingly, by a lot of age groups. Easy solo.

    4. A buncha ZZTop songs. Several need to be slightly "altered" to do by yourself, but probably best to learn Billy Gibbons' live versions, and play along with the video. La Grange for sure. If you have a resonator guitar tuned to Open D, "Mexican Blackbird" is pretty easy to learn some slide licks on, as is "Just Got Paid", and that song's opening riff is fun to play as well.

    Learning to play and sing at the same time is something to work on, even if (like me) singing isn't your strong suit. It possibly CAN improve if ya practice. I definitely won't if ya don't.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
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  9. crazyrachey96

    crazyrachey96 Strat-O-Master

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    I have a really good ear for chord progressions, and that makes up for a lot of sins. I joined my current band on very little notice... myu first show was literally my audition... and for the first few gigs I mostly just learned the iconic parts of the songs and relied on my relative pitch to get me through the changes.
     
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  10. crazyrachey96

    crazyrachey96 Strat-O-Master

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    Was just thinking about my last post: here's an exercise. I'm going to pick a song that is a completely diatonic chord progression in a major key. Goodbye to You by Scandal. Chart out the chord progression on a piece of paper. You don't have to know what key it's in; just use roman numerals for the chords. See if you can do this completely by ear. If you can do that, you can play the song even if you're not playing the recorded parts with 100% accuracy.
     
  11. Twin

    Twin Strat-Talk Member

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    Great news, I’m not alone!
     
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  12. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    That was this guy for a long time. The reason being, that all the other stuff that makes a song a song isn’t as exciting as the intro licks or catchy solo riffs. It’s not that your mind can’t stay focussed, it’s that you need to discipline your mind to stay focussed. The only way I know how to break this habit is to write a list of songs and learn them front to back and back to front. Play along with them all the way through, including the boring uninspired bits. You can do this!
     
  13. ukoldgit

    ukoldgit Most Honored Senior Member

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    I can play every song all the way through..........
    from the Troggs:whistling:
     
  14. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster

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    You need to play ALONG with songs...the whole song. Choose somenthing simple like (don't laugh) Gloria or Louie Louie and just play along all the way through. Then some simple blues stuff with simple chord changes I-IV-V, or some 50's songs. Just get used to it and do it, then move up. Google song tabs and see the chords used..I have an entire library of googled song tabs I accumulated over the years. So easy now..... we used to have to figure out those 9th and augmented or diminished chords we heard by playing the record over and over trying to figure out what was going on.
     
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  15. brians

    brians Senior Stratmaster

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    I agree with you fully, i have to memorize all the words of a song otherwise I'm lost, I'm not a great singer but if I learn the lyrics it helps.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  16. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    You and I would make a good team. I don't know the riffs or intros. Songs - Verse, chorus, v , c, break, verse, out I can handle.
     
  17. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

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    For those not familiar with the song, because it's a good example.
     
  18. archer63bj

    archer63bj New Member!

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    I think every guitarist starts out that way. Once you start A band, the band won't want to learn your songs anyway and you will learn so many more riffs. Fun.
     
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  19. DeMelo

    DeMelo Senior Stratmaster

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    There are huge differences between playing guitar as a bedroom warrior, a church or buddie's garage player and a gigging musician.

    Each will demand a certain level of commitment. It's normal for people who only play for themselves (and there's nothing wrong with that) to fool around playing parts of songs and lazily leaving the rest alone.

    When you're a gigger, you HAVE to nail the songs and be able to play them with a minimum of character.

    Join a band and you'll play more profficiently.
     
  20. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy Strat-Talk Member

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    I knew it! I knew that somewhere my wife has a clone!!!

    Okay guilty... but hey I'm not going to sugarcoat this - it's just way more fun blasting up and down the neck than slogging thru the equivalent of doing House of the Rising Sun from start to finish by yourself.... If someone like my daughter's new boyfriend for example asked me to play something I would rather play some God-like SVR solo than a 3 chord AC/DC song if you know what I mean. Legend in my own mind kind of thing. Man I have to say though while the intro to Long Cool Woman is like my top 3 favorite guitar intros ever, after I play that intro I have zero interest in playing the rest of the song without a singer present.... Day to night :(

    Automotive analogy - People are impressed with the look and detail of your car, not how it drives because they're not going to wait around for that to happen. Okay maybe a bad analogy but...

    I'm never going to stop playing guitar like that, because I enjoy practicing like that just for my own enjoyment. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I'm most likely never going to be in a band at my age...

    And that being said, in my young days I really wanted to be in some gigging band but I learned very early the soundguy makes more money than the musicians except at the top 1%. So I went on to form a sound company and tried my 100% best to make every band sound their best. It's been fun. While it must be super cool and satisfying to be on stage performing to the masses, it's just as much fun being the ONLY guy between 10,000 people and the band. Especially when you love the band and/or the music, and working with some very famous people. Sometimes I think I've been the luckiest Mo-Fo in the world. :)
     
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