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What is the most challenging song you play in your band?


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Currently it's tied between Queen's "Save Me" and Asia's "Only Time Will Tell".


Neither of them should be too difficult to nail, but I still have problems with my busy schedule: On "Save Me" I also play the acoustic guitar (on a real acoustic that hangs from my shoulders all through the song), and have mechanical problems to sing the lead, play the piano and the guitar without a hitch.


As for "Only Time Will Tell" the problem is the vast array of different parts I have split all over my two keyboards, which still requires some on-the-fly button pressing because all the parts could never fit on my XP-30's 61 keys plus the Micron's 37. It's hard to concentrate on the subtleties of the vocal line while fumbling through all those keyboard parts.


On both cases I'm getting better and am sure to have them nailed soon.

"I'm ready to sing to the world. If you back me up". (Lennon to his bandmates, in an inspired definition of what it's all about).
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Right now I'm trying to improve my organ chops


What an education, You have to be a master of glissados,trills, sustaining note, switching draw bars ,leslie speeds ,expression pedal all on the fly. And I'm not including the foot pedals :freak: . Its not all about playing the licks and notes. Its the total package to get the real B3 thing going.


One of the most challenging things is to get the funky stabs and chirps for funk like the Meters or TOP all in the right spots or the right feel. Less is more and timing is everything

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Here's a few we've done over the years:


Maple Leaf Rag - ELP speed version

Hoedown - ELP version

Fanfare - ELP version; not really that difficult

Touch-N-Go - ELPowell; again not really that difficult, but several parts with numerous patches/splits/changes, etc.


Foreplay - Boston

Smokin' - Boston


Joy - Apollo

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

- George Bernard Shaw


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Hey, I played "America" a lot too in my early days! Many years later, I also played a nice arrangement of it for piano, cello and flute.


Most challenging tunes I play live are actually some of my own tunes. Often, I have to practice them a little bit in advance before attempting a group reharsal. That's one of the reasons I'm playing mainly acoustic jazz right now: I can write simpler structures, and not worry about patch changes and programming. (Although I *have* to worry about bad pianos!)


Other hard tunes to play are classical tunes, but I hardly have time for them lately. Last piece I tried play is Listz' very nice "Fantasia on the Flying Dutchman".

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The Jitterbug Waltz ... in E major. Everyone does it in Eb or F flat major and I wanted to keep it interesting. The bass player doesn't seem to mind. ;)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.


In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.


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Right now there are two.


Escape Velocity




We only do original songs, and these are both my own comps. Escape Velocity shows the most improvement, but still not there. Currently it's waaaaay better than the version I submitted (and am actually ashamed of) for Comp Vol 11 here in the corner.


Still looking for a drummer. ::sigh::


I'm sure that once we get a drummer involved, such things as tune tightening will become easier.



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Back in the day, the band I was in did a cover of the song Nostradamus by a band with Tony macalpine called Porject Driver. The beginning of the song has a wicked intro and I used to butcher it pretty bad. Of course unless you really knew the song, I was able to pull it off without any noticeable errors to the average listener, but for those of us who know better, you would have been thinking damn hack!

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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The singer I work for does a cover of "Behind Closed Doors," the old Charlie Rich tune. Pig Robbins played both the original piano track and the remake my guy sang, and if you know Pig's work, you know that he creates the most delightfully appropriate parts. The difficulty lies not in the speed of the tune, nor in the actual notes, but in the feel. It's a very gentle swing and if you don't caress it, it feels like complete ass. And then once you've got it feeling good in C, it mods to C#. The piano is exposed in most of the tune and requires my attention nightly. The rest of the show I can pretty much ignore. :)



9 Moog things, 3 Roland things, 2 Hammond things and a computer with stuff on it



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Originally posted by marino:

Most challenging tunes I play live are actually some of my own tunes. Often, I have to practice them a little bit in advance before attempting a group reharsal.

Same here. The songs tend to have a convoluted roadmap and I am covering many parts, plus there's improv involved (and the songs that have been recorded are played more aggressively live). Other than that ... we don't play it anymore, but used to do "Senor Mouse" (Return to Forever). Off the top of my head, I think that was the hardest cover song because of going to many different arranged parts at a pretty quick pace, and nailing those hits tightly as a band.

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby


"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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