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Songs that fall flat when you try to play THEM


Outkaster

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Have you guys ever really liked a song, could not wait to get home to try to learn it, and then find out it is not how you thought it would go? Or you find out the key is a pain in the ass to play or just does not flow under your fingers? Its too bad sometimes because you have it in your head how you think it goes and it falls flat when you try to play it.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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My band has learned a couple of tunes that don't sound right when we play them. We can't pinpoint what is wrong, as we believe we are all playing the right parts, but something doesn't work...

 

Usually it's groove related, but still something hard to pinpoint.

I'm just saying', everyone that confuses correlation with causation eventually ends up dead.
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We did the Crowes Remedy at a few recent gigs, but dropped it after the last gig. Easy as pie to play, but the feel among the band never gelled.

 

There's been a few, mostly reggae flavoured, that our drummer just doesn't get.

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

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We used to struggle with Motown songs in our 60s cover band: Ain't Too Proud to Beg, stuff like that. There's a lot going on there like multiple guitar parts and lots an lots of vocals, so they can be difficult to pull off.

 

Our solution? Do everything in a Stax-meets-Small-Faces garage band style. Suited our abilities much better

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A band I was in about a year ago had a female lead singer, I heard the Linda Ronstadt version of "It's So Easy" on the radio, and thought, yeah that could be cool.

 

Total train wreck. We gave it a go, but I think in the end we were singing backups of "it's so cheesy, it's so sleazy" etc. because playing that song was just unbearable.

 

Oops!

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As much or even moreso being a groove related thing, it's also a "big picture" thing. Every single week I go thru this with my praise team at church. I get both extremes- people who ignore the recording & try to wing it with the chart & people who try to mimic every single nuance of the recording. Both camps can miss the big picture of the vibe & attitude of the song. Even a great groove won't solve that. If you're trying to do a literal cover and the original has too many kbd & gtr parts for one guitarist & keyboardist to cover, you have to look at the big picture of what makes the song tick & how to accomplish that with what you have at your disposal. Sometimes that means playing something different than what is recorded. A good interpretation trumps a poor imitation any day in my book! :thu:

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As much or even moreso being a groove related thing, it's also a "big picture" thing. Every single week I go thru this with my praise team at church. I get both extremes- people who ignore the recording & try to wing it with the chart & people who try to mimic every single nuance of the recording. Both camps can miss the big picture of the vibe & attitude of the song. Even a great groove won't solve that. If you're trying to do a literal cover and the original has too many kbd & gtr parts for one guitarist & keyboardist to cover, you have to look at the big picture of what makes the song tick & how to accomplish that with what you have at your disposal. Sometimes that means playing something different than what is recorded. A good interpretation trumps a poor imitation any day in my book! :thu:

 

Exactly!!!

 

 

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Sometimes it's a matter of texture/timbre. I play in a big band and love some of those Neal Hefti and Sammy Nestico tunes. However they're almost impossible to make sound good on solo piano. Even though you can cover the harmonies you need the rich, thick sound and dynamic control of a horn section to make melodies like Girl Talk or L'il Darlin' swing IMO.
Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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My band has had more than one song where we thought it fit the band perfectly and then when we went to play it, it just didn't work.

Just a few of the many we've worked up and scrapped:

 

Cruel Summer -Ace of Base version

That's the Way Love Goes - Janet Jackson

Same Ol' Love- Anita Baker

Good Times- Chic

Every Kind of People- Robert Palmer

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

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+1 on the overplaying alarm clock. :thu:

 

Overplaying usually kills the groove and spirit of any song. Usually I make a conscious effort to UNDERplay when playing with my band, and sometimes I have to stop the rehearsal and just say: "hey guys, haven´t you noticed there's not enough space in the song for all the things you're doing? All you're doing is great, but we're sounding like crap, right?". Difficult to tell others they're overplaying, though, lot of musicians seem to take that personally... :(

...Specially the just-average guitar players, I must say (not the really good ones)... :)

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In my experience, a lot of heavily produced 80s tunes are hard to duplicate, both because of the massive amount of effects/reverbs on everything (particularly drums) that can be tough to replicate live in a club on the cheap, and also because they often have more parts than there are players in a band.

 

It's easy to throw down 5 or 6 keyboard tracks, some aux/synth percussion, and whatever else in the studio, but then taking that song out to a bar in a band with two guitars, keys, bass, and drums takes a lot of planning and work.

 

I've most often heard bands try and fail at Michael Jackson covers, and not because they weren't talented musicians.

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Dancing Machine - Jackson 5. I've never played with a rhythmm section that got the groove right. The horns and other instruments tend to push while the drums and bass are right on beat. That makes it almost feel like the drums are dragging in parts. In the breakdown that starts the song and shows up again in a couple of places the snare is pushing right along with the other instruments. Don't think I have ever seen a band play this song and get the change in groove correct.
This post edited for speling.
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As much or even moreso being a groove related thing, it's also a "big picture" thing. Every single week I go thru this with my praise team at church. I get both extremes- people who ignore the recording & try to wing it with the chart & people who try to mimic every single nuance of the recording. Both camps can miss the big picture of the vibe & attitude of the song. Even a great groove won't solve that. If you're trying to do a literal cover and the original has too many kbd & gtr parts for one guitarist & keyboardist to cover, you have to look at the big picture of what makes the song tick & how to accomplish that with what you have at your disposal. Sometimes that means playing something different than what is recorded. A good interpretation trumps a poor imitation any day in my book! :thu:

 

Totally! I hate it when a bandleader gives me a song with 4 keyboard parts and doesn't understand this very concept

We are all slave's to our brain chemistry!

 

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Totally! I hate it when a bandleader gives me a song with 4 keyboard parts and doesn't understand this very concept

 

Easily, one of my biggest pet peeves. "What do you mean you can't cover what 4 professional musicians did on that live track?"

Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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I've played Carrie Underwood's "Last Name" in two bands that have really rocked the tune, only to have emptied the dance floors. Too bad, it's a really cool tune.

�Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!�

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

 

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My band is getting better at recognizing when a song isn't working and probably won't ever sound right. Whereas before we would keep playing the tune, in recent years some songs have never made it out of rehearsal.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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I've played Carrie Underwood's "Last Name" in two bands that have really rocked the tune, only to have emptied the dance floors. Too bad, it's a really cool tune.

 

We did that one for a while and did a good job with it. It actually went over pretty good at the places we were playing at the time. It eventually got supplanted by stronger material.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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Totally! I hate it when a bandleader gives me a song with 4 keyboard parts and doesn't understand this very concept

 

Easily, one of my biggest pet peeves. "What do you mean you can't cover what 4 professional musicians did on that live track?"

 

This was a big reason why I bought my SV-1 instead of something with more tones.

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- get the party started (black eyed peas)

- Outstanding (gap band) (I found, most gap band songs are hard to reproduce)

- Low Rider (war)

...more to come

 

Yes definatley.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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