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  • Learn More Covers!!!

    How many do you know? Probably not enough.... Learn more - will do wonders for your songwriting. I'm serious.

    Learn at least 50 songs. Good for parties too......cause nothing clears a room out faster than the ominous words: "This one's an original...."
    Correction - "max is wrong, abrasive and, likely, a felon"

    finally found it ... the dumbest person on the internet. matximus.

  • #2
    Lyrics Songs Demos Videos Covers Dj Facebook Tumblr

    Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.

    -Coco Chanel

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    • #3

      Learn at least 50 songs. Good for parties too......cause nothing clears a room out faster than the ominous words: "This one's an original...."


      That's only true if your originals suck.
      Jukejoint Handmedowns (my band)

      Find our album on iTunes!

      A Month of Songs (Songwriting blog)







      Originally Posted by gennation


      Neither of us is gay or anything, it just happened.

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      • #4
        I don't know any covers at all.

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        • #5
          I can never, for the life of me, remember how to play any cover songs from memory. However, I fully agree that learning how to play other people's songs is a great way to improve your own writing. When I was younger, I bought a big book of Beatles songs for guitar and piano and I still remember how excited I was at that time as I recognized all these new possibilities I was able to incorporate into my own music.
          Collapsible Kingdoms bandcamp soundcloud wordpress

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          • #6
            How many do you know? Probably not enough.... Learn more - will do wonders for your songwriting. I'm serious.

            Learn at least 50 songs. Good for parties too......cause nothing clears a room out faster than the ominous words: "This one's an original...."





            Here's a tip, if you go to learn your covers out of a book, pick a book where the transcriptions were done by someone with more than half a clue.

            I was just comparing notes with a buddy recently when I found that he had the same Bob Dylan songbook from the 60s (black cover, mid-60s photos) that I'd first tried learning Dylan songs out of... we agreed that it was a great collection of songs but an utterly woeful and mistake-filled transcription. Additionally, all the music -- and the chord charts -- are written as though capos and retuning never existed. So if Dylan was using his guitar tuned a half step low and playing in the acutal key of Eb, all the chord charts are filled with unplayable fingerings of inversions no guitarist would ever use in a key no folk guitarist ever played in (without retuning or a capo, anyhow). And then there are just plain mistakes.

            Still...
            great songs.


            Another book I spent a lot of time with was a Rolling Stones book that was half pics and interviews and the other half much more successful, guitar-oriented fakebook style representations of most of their originals up to the very early 70s.

            It was that book that really made me appreciate Jagger's lyrics. I'd always responded visceraally to a lot of the Stones' work but when you're learning song after song by a specific writer or team, you really start thinking about where they're coming from.

            A lot of folks, I don't think, really don't give Jagger due credit for being a very sophisticated story teller -- particularly in an era where many folks used the license of psychedelia to excuse themselves from disciplined, focused writing.
            .

            music and social links | recent listening

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            • #7
              Here's a tip, if you go to learn your covers out of a book, pick a book where the transcriptions were done by someone with more than half a clue.


              TBH, this excludes about 75% of the tabs available on the internet and 25% of published sheet music. Still, as I said in a different thread where someone was claiming that you should only learn songs by ear, starting with something is much preferable to starting with nothing.
              Lyrics Songs Demos Videos Covers Dj Facebook Tumblr

              Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.

              -Coco Chanel

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              • #8
                Good advice. The one thing I would add to that is to try and learn songs from a variety of styles. Learning a few country songs (even if you can't stand country) can teach you the infinite possibilities in three-chord melody and the skill of story-telling. Learning some jazz standards, on the other hand, can greatly expand your chord vocabulary. And learning some classic American folk tunes (Home on the Range, Skip to My Loo, etc.) can remind you of the value of a memorable sing-a-long melody.

                I've found that the more different styles I learn, the more similarities I see between the styles.
                My online guitar chord generator, the Chorderator. My guitar scale generator, the Scalerator. (also downloadable)
                Ear training: Name That Interval | Name That Chord
                My music. My guitar lesson blog.

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                • #9
                  The great country songs are really great songs. (I'm not sure how much great country is coming out of Nashville these days, but let's leave that aside for now.)

                  Like a lot of urban and suburban youth, I grew up disdaining country & western music, as the Nashville pop of the era was then called -- though I liked folk and bluegrass a lot.

                  I was far more tuned into acid rock, psychedelia, art rock, and this new thing heavy metal that grew out of the English 60s blues rock scene. (Led Zepelin, who I saw in Nov '68, was the first band I heard referred to as heavy metal -- and at the time, the term was seen among my friends as arising in large part from that band's name.)

                  But some of my favorite bands of the late 60s had strong country strains running through their work, folks like the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, who gave birth to hard-livin', hard rockin' countrified rockers like the original Gram Parsons-led Flying Burritos. And then the Texas 'Outlaws' (Willie, Waylon, and the irrascible and downright rasty Davie Allen Coe) made country not just cool but downright rebelious. Those guys were a refreshing change from the increasingly stultifying prog rock scene I had also spent a fair amount of time with in the late 60s/early 70s.


                  Oddly, those two strains came together on one odd bill at the old LA Forum circa 1971 when an unknown LA country rock spin-off from the Byrds/Burritos contingent opened for a 4-band bill that culminated in headline prog rockers Yes. The band was called "The Eagles" and the crowd completely ignored them -- which sent me into conniptions because, to me, they should have been like an LA country rock super group... yet barely anyone even bothered to clap. Following the opening Eagles was a then-ubiquitous crotch-rock band called Black Pearl; I saw them about four or five times and each time I saw them I liked them less and less.

                  Following BP was Edgar Winter flogging his not-so-soon to be mega-hit Frankenstein. He did it every time I saw him -- and then, somehow, I saw him at a blues festival many years later in the 80s(one that had long before lost sight of any reasonable definition of the blues) and sure enough, there he was doing one of his many updated Frankensteins, this time with synths and record scratching.

                  Edgar is a multifaceted player, for sure, and a fine entertainer, as judged by continuing audience affection -- but damn I got sick of "Frankenstein." Winter was on a lot of bills I saw back in the 70s and "Frankenstein" was the centerpiece of just about every performance... talk about trapped by success.
                  .

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                  • #10
                    That's only true if your originals suck.


                    Maybe... Maybe... But I find just the utterance of those words is enough to make 90% of people get up to refresh their drinks. Cause, well, the sad truth is there are probably just two people that really care about your original music: You and your mom. (If you're real lucky, your spouse or GF- because she loves you - is kind enough to pretend to enjoy your musings...)

                    But really. Nobody else gives a fig.

                    And nothing impresses a room of mixed company more than knowing a large stash of familiar songs. Beatles. Stones. A few current Pop hits. G n R... Play em as they call em out. Get the girls singing. The fellas nodding along. You know what I'm talking about. Brown Eyed Girl. The American Pie. All that Junk.

                    Should be your duty as a songsmith to know the sacred texts....
                    Correction - "max is wrong, abrasive and, likely, a felon"

                    finally found it ... the dumbest person on the internet. matximus.

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                    • #11
                      Cause, well, the sad truth is there are probably just two people that really care about your original music: You and your mom. (If you're real lucky, your spouse or GF- because she loves you - is kind enough to pretend to enjoy your musings...)

                      But really. Nobody else gives a fig.


                      I'm not saying you shouldn't learn the canon, but it's foolish to assume no-one will like your song. It's just letting yourself off the hook and allows you to focus on completely self-indulgent, no-filter bull****************. I can and have won a crowd over--even at a house party--playing my own songs. It's not that hard when you write for an audience.
                      Jukejoint Handmedowns (my band)

                      Find our album on iTunes!

                      A Month of Songs (Songwriting blog)







                      Originally Posted by gennation


                      Neither of us is gay or anything, it just happened.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a few songs I've written for just that kind of situation. Nothing like a rollicking chorus of "Drink more beer" to get people's interest. Besides that, I definitely think people are willing to give an original song a fair listen.

                        It's just important to know your crowd and not try to sing a sad mopey my-life-on-a-napkin composition at a birthday party, and conversely not to sing the beer song at the retirement home.
                        My online guitar chord generator, the Chorderator. My guitar scale generator, the Scalerator. (also downloadable)
                        Ear training: Name That Interval | Name That Chord
                        My music. My guitar lesson blog.

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                        • #13
                          Maybe... Maybe... But I find just the utterance of those words is enough to make 90% of people get up to refresh their drinks. Cause, well, the sad truth is there are probably just two people that really care about your original music: You and your mom. (If you're real lucky, your spouse or GF- because she loves you - is kind enough to pretend to enjoy your musings...)

                          But really. Nobody else gives a fig.

                          And nothing impresses a room of mixed company more than knowing a large stash of familiar songs. Beatles. Stones. A few current Pop hits. G n R... Play em as they call em out. Get the girls singing. The fellas nodding along. You know what I'm talking about. Brown Eyed Girl. The American Pie. All that Junk.

                          Should be your duty as a songsmith to know the sacred texts....


                          Should a songwriter know other's songs? Yes, of course, there's a legitimate argument that knowing other's material can help your writing. However, I'm not going to go and put Brown Eyed Girl and American Pie in my band's set just because it might placate some drunk, apathetic audience members into a Pavlovian response. I believe an audience deserves more than people just reflexively covering OTHER PEOPLE's original songs, which is really what you are suggesting. I mean, when Van Morrison and Don McLean came up with those songs, they were originals then, right? oke:

                          As has been stated, if your originals don't suck, you will get a good response, and if you are a decent stage performer, you can get your crowd into the performance and enjoying themselves. If they are good, more than two people WILL give a fig about your original songs.

                          In all honesty, don't you have better things to do than go on the songwriting forum and tell people not to pursue their craft?
                          Good deal with: Farbulous

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                          • #14
                            I have about two or three hours of cover material memorized, all of which are done in a solo vox/git setting -- so arranging them to suit is important. If I don't sing and just play guitar, I can do much more.

                            Learning other songs is part of the songwriter's craft. I doubt that anyone's favorite songwriter doesn't know other songwriters' songs. Think how many songs the Beatles covered before they even had a full album of decent material.

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                            • #15
                              I stopped playing covers in the late 70's.

                              I realized that it just wasn't for me. I'm not a good enough player to do justice to someone else's song.

                              Instead I began writing songs and developing my own style. It was the only thing for me to do. I have played out a bit since then and there is truth in the fact that folks want to hear songs that they know.

                              That just made me want to get better at writing songs that folks would feel like they know.

                              Played this weekend for a small group of friends, family and others. All originals...felt pretty good.

                              If you want to make a living at it.......Learn More Covers!!!
                              Leonard Scaper

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