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does it ruin it for you?


Guitarzan

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i have a nagging question.

we all are lovers of music i assume. and we play guitar.

did you ever notice that when you learn a song by an artist that it sort of takes the magic away abit when you listen to the original?

once i know how to play a song i sort of hear the parts i have learned as "parts".

it sort of takes something away from a song when i know how to play it.

i definately changes how i hear the song.

am i wierd? or is this something you notice as well?

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but remember you didnt make it up, they did. Maybe learn to appreciate it for that? When the levee breaks is one of my favorite zep songs, its pretty easy though but listenin to them play it, the way everythings mixed and mastered man it rocks, id think i appreciate it more the more i learn about music. dont know if that made any sense
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Originally posted by EmptinessOFYouth:

but remember you didnt make it up, they did. Maybe learn to appreciate it for that? When the levee breaks is one of my favorite zep songs, its pretty easy though but listenin to them play it, the way everythings mixed and mastered man it rocks, id think i appreciate it more the more i learn about music. dont know if that made any sense

A good point actually except we where only talking about the guitar playing I think you are talking mainly about the singing. I guess I have a wierd view in this because I only do covers.
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Sometimes I miss the way music in general seeemed to me when I knew next to nothing about it! But the best of music transcends its mechanics, anyways (that's why I'd rather listen to, say, Stravinski or The Flaming Lips than Yngwie... ).

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Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

"it sort of takes the magic away abit when you listen to the original?"

 

Not for me. Not at all.

 

Bill

Ditto.

 

I can play any number of James Taylor songs just like the record, but it doesn't make me James Taylor.

 

One of the skills I've exercized all my life, but more since college for sound engineering, is the ability to isolate sounds within a mix, then return to listening to the whole mix. It's a great skill for learning new material as well as critiquing my job of mixing, whether live or recording.

 

But I still enjoy listening to the original or familiar versions of songs without automatically homing in on just the guitar parts.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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None, but I could see that it could.

 

I used to play a lot of motown songs and being usually in a trio or two guitar setting we didn't sound anything like the Motown guys. If I wasn't happy with the "my" way of doing a song I'd avoid doing it, and if I was happy with it I never compared it to the original anyway. I always played "What's Going On" (Marvin Gaye) and "Livin' for the City" (Stevie Wonder) and I was always "busier" in my way of playing the groove. Not necessarily in a bad way "driving" it too hard or anything but I guess I heard them a bit funkier than the originals were. I really loved hearing those tunes and I love playing them, and two are very different experiences for me.

 

A song like "Gimmie Shelter" I used to play and I enjoyed playing it. I've heard many others do it too. I like playing it but for hearing it I only want to hear the Stones do it. That intro and the way all the sounds blend just make it a perfect tune for me as is. I think a song like that is almost pointless to try to compete with the original.

 

I love just recreating a song in one's own style. I used to play "Sunshine of Your Love" like a Muddy Water's delta style tune. I still whip out my very Bossa Nova styled version of Neil Young's "When You Dance (I Can Really Love)" where I jazz up the chords and alter the intro riff to fit the bossa/jazzy groove I'm going for. I love that tune and I love playing it just to see the way people react to it.

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I agree with the OP. Sometimes it takes the magic away for me. Othertimes I learn a new appreciation for the song. Like i get right down on the inside of it and it's like "wow, no *wonder* why that works that way"...

 

With my own material, I notice that I was always really into something *until* I recorded it on the 4-track. Then I would rarely play it again. Explain that!

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Originally posted by Guitarzan:

did you ever notice that when you learn a song by an artist that it sort of takes the magic away abit when you listen to the original?

Err...no. If anything, it adds to the song.

 

I am no longer limited to the memories of whatever I was doing the first time I heard the song. I also have my memories of wherever I was or whoever I was with when I learnt the song. :)

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It doesn't really take anything away for me, usually it gives me a new respect for the songwriter/artist...... but sometimes if I have to spend a LOT of time learning a song, I want a break from it for a while. When I'm learning a song, I'll listen to it incessantly until I get the phrasing and timing just right....even when I'm driving. I'll get to a certain point in the song and start it over again, or back it up and listen to the same part like a hundred times. Or, stop it and go through it in my head, then play it again and see if I got it right in my head....it drives my wife CRAZY. After all that, I want a break from listening to it for a little while.

 

Mostly, like I said, it gives me a new respect for the songwriter/artist...when I learned to play "Sultans of Swing" years ago, I gained a new respect for Mark Knopfler for the simplicity...the song sounded MUCH more complex until I kew what he was doing. Then I learned every guitar part note-for-note for Hotel California...I gained a new respect for the Eagles (especially Joe Walsh) for the level of complexity in entertwining guitars and making it work the way it does....what an arrangement! None of the guitar parts in and of themselves are particularly complex, but when you put it all together.....it takes a collaboration of talent to play that song correctly.

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Originally posted by ellwood:

A good point actually except we where only talking about the guitar playing I think you are talking mainly about the singing. I guess I have a wierd view in this because I only do covers. [/QB]

 

 

well actually i meant the guitar and drums. Right off from the beginning its so powerful,

Da Na Naaa Na, Na Na Naana Na Naana Na Naana

 

haha tried, think im in the wrong time signature though :D

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It almost never ruins it for me. But maybe because it isn't just the notes themselves, knowing where they are, and not just the technique, but also the SOUND of it that does it for me, that makes me want to learn it in the first place. I still get off on that.

 

But what does happen, on my own music, especially something I spent a LOT of time on, recording, remixing, mastering...you can get pretty sick of your own stuff. Sometimes I have to lay off the mixdown stage and wait like months before going in with fresh ears and remixing. But then again, when something really works, when I make something good, I can hear it after a time as if it was a new song to me on the radio.

 

I did feel sympathy for David Gilmoure on the "Dark Side of the Moon" DVD, in the interviews when he was asked something about anything he wished was different on it (or something like that) and after thoughtfully considering the question he replied (paraphrased): "I really wish I could have been able to be that 17 year old kid that put the headphones on for the first time and heard the whole album from start to finish."

"To hear it in all it's glory and fullness...I never got that, because we had spent so much time on it"

 

I know exactly how that must have been for him. He KNOWS how good it is, but will always hear the "buildup", the time they spent...the raw mixes before effects, etc.

 

That is pretty sad.

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"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

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Originally posted by Bluesape:

Yeah, but he can still look back with pride in being a part of what is arguably the finest rock album ever recorded.

Of course he can...but he can't hear it "for the first time"...

 

Though...at this point, neither can most of us either. It is my "heads-above-all-other/only-one-cd-on-desert-island-pick/best album of all time".

I use it to fine tune my studio monitors hi and low pass because I know this album inside out, and have heard it on tiny cassette recorders, K-mart stereos, excellent stereos, etc...

 

 

My choice for best live album... "Band of Gipsys" New years eve concert.

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"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

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The only time I don't get burned out/disenchanted, etc . . on a tune after I can play it, is when the original cut has KILLER GUITAR TONE !!!!.

 

Man, listen to Fair Warning and the PEAK of EVH's brown sound. How can you get tired of that unless you are EVH yourself?

Personally I think he's afraid to listen to it again considering the "nosedive" in tone he has taken.

 

How about David Gilmour on the Wall and those searing solos with that clean, yet overdiven searing tone?

 

I can play that stuff, but when it comes on the radio, i just stand there and say, "listen to that tone"

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Ditto.

 

I can play any number of James Taylor songs just like the record, but it doesn't make me James Taylor.

 

For whatever it is worth, I probably haven't played anything 'like the record' for years and years. It used to be a rule with me... learn it perfect. Now I just play. I play for my own amusement, and hopefully, yours. I'm not trying to impress anyone, just make music that we can all sing along with or whatever. So my desire/need to exactly copy the original has long faded.

 

I may learn a part... like, last year I 'got' that turn around at the end of the verse on "Since I Been Lovin' You, Baby" (Zep) and I was quite happy to have learned it and to be able to play it. But whole songs?... just not my 'thing' anymore.

 

I love listening to great music, and I love being able to duplicate great music, though. I hope that love never dies.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I'm with the Phaeton/BWB/Vince camp that learning it opens up more of a relationship with the song, doesn't "kill the magic". And agree with the "I get sick of my own tunes" mindset; I'm ready to move on to writing a new song but the "old" one is still out there and others want to hear it/play it. Can't revamp your set list every show. Well, I can't, at least; I don't have that big of a catalog of originals.

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Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Ditto.

 

I can play any number of James Taylor songs just like the record, but it doesn't make me James Taylor.

 

For whatever it is worth, I probably haven't played anything 'like the record' for years and years. It used to be a rule with me... learn it perfect. Now I just play. I play for my own amusement, and hopefully, yours. I'm not trying to impress anyone, just make music that we can all sing along with or whatever. So my desire/need to exactly copy the original has long faded.

 

I may learn a part... like, last year I 'got' that turn around at the end of the verse on "Since I Been Lovin' You, Baby" (Zep) and I was quite happy to have learned it and to be able to play it. But whole songs?... just not my 'thing' anymore.

 

I love listening to great music, and I love being able to duplicate great music, though. I hope that love never dies.

 

Bill

It's similar with me, except I have developed a sense for when to go for the "perfect" copying of a riff/solo/run...

 

Reason being, when I analyze it, when I get into it and under the "skin" of it, I catch things that I want to be able to do.

 

usually it is small stuff...one less or one more note than I would normally have put there. A phrase that just makes me think differently about how I play.

 

Hard to explain, just recently learning the note-for-note off of Claptons' "Reconsider Baby" I had 90% of it in a short time, but that 5% that I had to work (at listening more than anything, but also incorporating into my playing "naturally") was ALL GOLD. It was subtle as hell...like coming downward on a pentatonic, reversing direction slightly and continuing on down...that kind of stuff and the timing was just a whole learning experience for me.

 

It changes my playing style. Also, another benefit is when you learn something note for note, you can then get practice in listening to how the solo relates to the other instruments while playing. I can't get so specific, but I mean, even though I have played blues for 30 years, there are times when I am more aware directly of where I am in a measure than other times. Sometimes it is instinct, sometimes it is consciously.

 

I pick and choose, and some songs I DO want to play exactly, at least as a start point. Later on I drift naturally from it, keeping the "gold"...other songs I learn all the fills exactly and if I like a "high point" in the solo, make sure I hit that, but keep the solo for me to do what I want.

 

Mix and match.

 

It works for me.

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

... A phrase that just makes me think differently about how I play.

 

... I had 90% of it in a short time, but that 5% that I had to work (at listening more than anything, but also incorporating into my playing "naturally") was ALL GOLD. ...

Absolutely. That is what makes us better players. That is what keeps us from regurgitating the salme old stuff over and over and over again. Very important.

 

What I am saying is that I don't -play- it like the record anymore. If I learn it or not is a different question. I like challenges and changeups, so if a part is interesting, I'll probably sit down and work it out. In reality, I don't work on much anymore unless it is my own, so the chances are less... and as I said, for whatever reason I got it in my head to learn that chord pattern for the end of the verse in the Zep song.... I guess that it is all different when you aren't playing in a band and you don't foresee playing in one anytime soon.

 

But we agree, you gotta put in that time to learn the stuff that is hard. The idea of 'playing it my way' just to avoid the hard stuff... that sucks as an attitude.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I feel really happy with myself when I can learn an ostinato-based song like Yes` `Long Distance Runaround`. That really demands to be played like the record. I find that I get into `working mode` with songs I want to play in a club-I listen to some parts over and over and yup I get pretty sick of them. But it`s a different mindset than listening for pleasure. I had a part in a film in Taipei once, the scene was in a smoky bar (they not only used a smoke machine but burned paper too, damn near choked us to death!) The lead actors were a couple, dancing to Stevie Wonder`s `I Just Called to Say I Love You.` we had to listen to that song for three days straight, I got so sick of it I didn`t want to hear it again-ever. So now I`m in Japan teaching English, and guess what song is popular for the kids to learn English by singing. I`ve never played it but I`m definitely sick of it.

One thing with me is, a lot of my favorite songs don`t necessarily feature guitar.

With my own songs, once I`ve recorded them I already don`t really want to hear them again, even before I play them live. But obviously listening to something and playing it are two different things. Some of the gigs I`ve done, I look at the set list and say `we`re going to play WHAT? no freaking way`. But when you play it, especially if you can tinker with the arrangement, it`s not so bad.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

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What really tickles me sometimes...

 

It's happened that someone in the band wants to do one of my songs (that I recorded at home before getting into bands again) and I felt "done" with the song...

 

And then I have to go and LEARN what I did in the song, learn my own leads. Usually it's easy but once in a while :-) I'm thinking "WHAT was this guy doing there at that part???"

 

And the weirdest thing for me was, that it took MANY years for me to learn, to find out that when the original guy played it, HE wasn't having any deep thoughts, wondering HOW to play it...he just played what he felt like sounded good. And there I am sitting there agonizing "did he play that on the first string or on the second strings' A?"

====================================================

Check out my original music at

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/jacker

 

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice,

but not in practice."

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Originally posted by BluesWithoutBlame:

What really tickles me sometimes...

 

 

And then I have to go and LEARN what I did ...

Yeah, I hear that. I wrote a song for a guy, and I was at a party and we were jamming, and he played the song, got to the lead, and eveybody looked at me...... gee, I'm not a lead player, I have no idea what I did when I recorded the demo.... :eek:

 

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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It doesn't spoil it for me at all.

 

I want to second some of the things that Caevan, Sasquatch and Blues without Blame said.

 

A great song is still a great song even after I learn how to play it. I grow to appreciate it more. In fact, once I get into playing a song that I wouldn't ordinarily listen too, I grow to appreciate it and even like it--mainly because I have to taken the time to care enough about the song to recreate it. (Say for instance I want to play a cover tune or some Contemporary Christian song for church).

 

In all honesty though. I tend to shy away from cover tunes because they stress me out. I feel like I have to live up to everyones expectations for the song. That sound like another topic though.

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