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Note for note.....blah


RowdyMoon

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in continuation of the " wah" thread...why do we always want to copy things note for note...let it go free , experiment a little...some great songs or versions of songs can come from it...see below..both great versions but really different...and there are many more examples to show..

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpTSVy3yzts

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g30nwCpyaA

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in continuation of the " wah" thread...why do we always want to copy things note for note...let it go free , experiment a little...some great songs or versions of songs can come from it...see below..both great versions but really different...and there are many more examples to show..

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpTSVy3yzts

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g30nwCpyaA

 

I don't! I try to get the essence, of the song/solo, but I stopped worrying

about playing "note for note" a LONG time ago. Personally, "I" sound much better

(more fluid, and spontaneous), not trying to play note for note. Note for note

IS good discipline, and a great learning approach. But, most of my "hero" players,

never play their own stuff, "note for note"...but vary a bit, or...even a LOT, every

time I've seen them.

 

Sometimes, beyond the discipline, of playing a piece "note for note" (which can be a good learning exercise/discipline)...

I think too many audience members, and novice musician's "expect" something done "note for note!"

And, because of that...one can become (almost) intimidated, by that expectation, if you allow yourself.

Just one example, from a personal experience:

One (of many) times, when I saw EC (at The Universal Amphitheater, in LA)...he did a KILLER

version, of "Crossroads," but the solo didn't sound anything at all, like the "Wheels of Fire,"

version, and a kid, (I say a "kid," because he was probably 10 (or more) years younger than I was...I was

32, at that time) in front of us, said: "Ahhh Mannnn, Clapton's F...in' "Lost it!!" He didn't play "Crossroads"

Right, at all!"

[tongue]:rolleyes:](*,) LOL

 

CB

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Someone once said to Jimmy Vaughan "Your Brother Stevie never played anything the same twice", to which Jimmy is said to have responded "Stevie never played anything the same once". [wink]

 

I usually do try to learn a song I want to cover note for note (or mostly so) at first, figuring the licks will add to my fluidity on the neck (still have LOTS to learn!). Adds to skill and repertoire.

But once I've got it (or am "close enough for Rock & Roll") I do like to change it to add my own flavor. Some like it, some don't. I don't worry about it (play mostly to please myself anyway).

 

Here's a cool version of Stateborough Blues by Pat Travers (Look Ma, no slide!). I'd like to do this one on my 50's Tribute Gold Top (started learning it once, got distracted).

 

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I agree in not playing everything note for note. I have a guitar instructor that is hung up on that. He thinks he is teaching by playing note for note. I am 59 years old and sometimes sway him to listen to another way of playing the same song.

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Totally depends on the song. Using Led Zeppelin as a vehicle for an example....

 

"What Is and What Should Never Be" solo should be played note for note.

 

"Whole Lotta Love" should never be played note for note.

 

"Rock and Roll" has hooks and licks that need to be played but for the most part can be improvised to a point, but shouldn't stray to far from.

 

This is assuming that you'll be playing covers to a crowd for money. If not, whatever's good.

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There are a lot os solos that audiences want to hear "just like the record" and consequently the guitarist is more or less obliged to placate them. One such example of this is with the Beatles tribute band "Rain",their "George" lead guitarist does an absolutely flawless note for note rendition of Clapton's solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" which would be much harder to do for most guitarists than to play an improvised solo.In a case such as this it clearly exhibits the much better than average skills of the guitarist.For any guitarist to capture every nuance of this solo is no mean feat and clearly demonstrates him having a superior command of the fretboard.

 

We used to play a cover or "While My Guitar..."but I never had the ability to emulate Clapton's solo-few do-so our version was more in keeping with the Jeff Healy version.

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Strict "note for note," nuances is (for me) from the "Classical" music approach,

where all of that, is much stricter. That's certainly viable, and has been done,

for centuries. While one can certainly approach Rock (or any other music) in the

same manner, to me (and, I only speak for me) "Rock" is more about "in the moment"

feeling and emotion, and more open interpretation, by different players, or even

the same original player, each time. More like what a lot of folks think of "Jazz"

being. "Blues" too. Where in "Classical," your "worth" as a player, seems more

in how brilliantly you play the "written note," than your own broader interpretation.

Obviously, this is just my general feeling, and there is some latitude, in all...one

way or the other.

 

CB

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Totally depends on the song. Using Led Zeppelin as a vehicle for an example....

 

"What Is and What Should Never Be" solo should be played note for note.

 

 

 

I have never heard anybody, including Page, able to reproduce that solo.

 

On an other note, I don't even like playing songs in the same key. ZZ Tops Jesus Just Left Chicago sounds so much better in A, using the open A as a drone. Fortunate One is easier to play in A also.

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I have never heard anybody, including Page, able to reproduce that solo.

 

On an other note, I don't even like playing songs in the same key. ZZ Tops Jesus Just Left Chicago sounds so much better in A, using the open A as a drone. Fortunate One is easier to play in A also.

But he really tries, and obviously you haven't heard me play it. But like I said, it's not in an attempt to impress Jimmy Page, it's because the listener expects to hear those notes. That solo is so lyrical people actually sing along with it, and I refuse to disappoint the audience in favor of self indulgence. And I believe making things easier or "More Fun" for the player to be self indulgent and ultimately detrimental to the show....assuming you're putting on a show. If you're not getting paid to entertain, then it doesn't really matter how you play anything.

 

And if you're playing "Jesus Just Left Chicago" in A you're playing "Fool for your Stockings" or AC/DC's "Ride On". Not to mention you're ignoring one of the Rev's signature moves by changing keys. The "Ring Finger/Pinky" open G-chord with the middle finger/index finger move to the G/Cmaj is so much greasier than the easy way. That song should be greasy, not easy.

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What needs to be remembered, as well...is, that solo's, and even arrangements,

on recordings, are rarely "one take!" They're more often, the result of many

takes, even many overdubs, and re-takes, until the "artist" and producer, are

satisfied. Solo's, can even be composites, of several versions, made into one.

So...??? A "Live" performance, is a whole "nuther" thing! This is one reason,

I personally don't get worked up, if the arrangement, or solo(s) are different,

time to time. As long as it's a good performance, and honest, in feeling...I

have no problem. I love those wonderful unscripted moments, anyway! [thumbup]

You don't (often) get that, from following "sheet music," or a regimented, "note

for note" approach. [tongue][biggrin]

 

IMHO, as always.

 

CB

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No question about that, CB. My only issue is with an absolute approach to "Rock Music". Some songs need to be played "As Written" even if most can be improvised to varying degrees. I'm not taking an arbitrary position on this, my "opinion" is based on the reactions of audiences. You can play whatever solo you like for "Rock-n-Roll Hoothchie-Coo", but Whitesnake's "Here I Go" solo needs to be played note for note or that dreaded look of disappointment will wash over the faces of every girl in the bar. Not just making this stuff up, it's what will happen.

 

But as a musician, I wholeheartedly agree that it's the "unscripted" moments, the off the cuff jams that are the most rewarding, even if they are lost on most of the audience. I do miss the jam scene of the 90's, but if you mention "The Mother Hips", "Widespread Panic", "Sting Cheese Incident", or any of the great jam bands of the 90's you'll get a blank stare. Regular Folks just aren't that into improvised music, sad as that may be.

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Yeah....IF one is trying to be a "tribute" band, or approach Rock songs, that way,

then accurate arrangements, note for note, even correct instruments, and amps, are great!

Maybe I'm just "wrong," but I've never really gone that direction. I think, in all honesty,

I've never really played with other "musicians" (especially, in this area), who were

really all that "concerned" with the "exact" or note for note approach. I'm not sure, if

that's because they're not up to the task, or just aren't interested, in that strict of an

approach? I'm not condemning that "note for note" approach, or method, at all. I just prefer

a somewhat looser approach, that allows for, or even encourages, those beautiful "unscripted"

moments. But, I'm not saying one should disrespect the original(s)...artist, arrangements, solo's,

etc. I just think (personally) I won't equal the originals, which may or may not be, a bad

thing...but, I like it, as a great starting point, and go from there...see what happens, etc.

But, again, that's just "me!" [biggrin]

 

As an aside...do you all think the "note for note" approach, is (more often) done, by "classically

trained" musicians, more than self-taught musicians...whether or not, they can "read" music? Just

curious.

 

 

CB

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And I completely agree, but it's the absolute approach I'm on about. I may be taking the whole concept a little too far, but when I make a 45 minute set list I try to use dynamics. One of those dynamics is going from Improv to Note Perfect reproduction. We go from "Who Do you Love" to "Here I Go" for example. "Here I Go" is played the exact same way every night, and as close to the original as we can get with our instrumentation. "Who do You Love" is so different every night that you'd swear we were a different band, and it sounds nothing like the Thourogood version cover bands have latched on to, It's more like Ronnie Hawkins partying with Cream.

 

Going to those extremes towards the end of the set shatters any "First Impression" anybody may have gotten at the beginning of the set. Being in a band fronted by a woman, you have to break some first impressions. We play, of course, Fleetwood Mac, Pretenders, and Pat Benatar, but we have to sell them a solid product if we're gonna do Zeppelin and Bad Company with a female voice. Part of selling them on that idea is to play the slide lead in "What Is...." to a tee. Besides ,it's the least I can do considering they've over paid for beer, pool, and questionable chicken tenders an an attempt to be entertained.

 

As far as a "Tribute Band" goes, you have to nail the essence of the band, right down to costumes and attitude. But that doesn't mean "Note Perfect" either. If you're in a Hendrix Tribute you need to improvise the way Hendrix would improvise, which means you have to be a Great Guitar Player, Great Actor, and more than passable Biographical Historian. It's a completely different gig than a cover band.

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As an aside...do you all think the "note for note" approach, is (more often) done, by "classically

trained" musicians, more than self-taught musicians...whether or not, they can "read" music? Just

curious.

CB

Hi Charlie

 

Personally speaking (as a classical dude LOL), if I am playing jazz/blues or rock; I improvise a lot! [biggrin] I don't like the 'note for note' approach either; although I think First Measure has a good point about music warranting varying degrees of improvisation depending upon the style, audience etc.

 

Charlie, I think you hit the nail on the head about classical music performance being a case of how the performer plays the piece, opposed to what he/she plays - although this isn't the case with everything! Contrary to popular myth, 'classical' music (or more accurately 'western art music') has lots of improvisation too! Whether it's the basso continuo improvising their parts from the figured bass in a piece of Baroque music; or the music of today, where many composers have sections marked for the performer to improvise. Music conservatories such as Trinity College used to test a candidates improvisation skills upon entry; as it was considered an important part of being a musician. At music college we used to have lessons that we're basically jams.

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In the old days of rock & roll we looked forward to groups jam'n on there songs and expanding and exploring, never got this note for note "it doesn't sound like the record" bullshit, if you want to hear the record stay home and listen to it, that's what I always said.

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Hi Charlie

 

Personally speaking (as a classical dude LOL), if I am playing jazz/blues or rock; I improvise a lot! [biggrin] I don't like the 'note for note' approach either; although I think First Measure has a good point about music warranting varying degrees of improvisation depending upon the style, audience etc.

 

Charlie, I think you hit the nail on the head about classical music performance being a case of how the performer plays the piece, opposed to what he/she plays - although this isn't the case with everything! Contrary to popular myth, 'classical' music (or more accurately 'western art music') has lots of improvisation too! Whether it's the basso continuo improvising their parts from the figured bass in a piece of Baroque music; or the music of today, where many composers have sections marked for the performer to improvise. Music conservatories such as Trinity College used to test a candidates improvisation skills upon entry; as it was considered an important part of being a musician. At music college we used to have lessons that we're basically jams.

 

Matt

 

Thanks Matt, for your "Classical Dude" input! [thumbup][biggrin] I know that "Classical" does have

improvisation, as do most music forms. But, I know lots of Classically trained musicians,

who LOVE to play Rock, and Jazz, because it allows them more freedom to improvise even more,

and not be so regimented, as Classical CAN tend to be. I'm NOT knocking it, at all.

I'm just going by what those musicians, have told me, and what I've read, from other's that

are trained that way. In fact, I wish I'd been more Classically trained, at an early age...

things would (probably) be a lot easier, and I'd know "why" things go together, and what works,

and why. But, being totally self-taught, and not reading music, at all...it's always been either

listening to the records, using chord charts, and for individual parts, or solos, a lot of "trial

and error!" [tongue] Even so, it's still very rewarding, to "nail" something, and be able to think

and play, outside the box, etc. So...??? [biggrin]

 

CB

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As a listener and musician, I think its much more interesting to watch if the player puts his or her own spin on the solo/song.

 

If they are gonna play it like it appears on the album, why don't I just listen to it at home? *Beer is cheaper at home anyway! :)

 

I know i'm not likely in the majority with that thought, but I also don't go out and see many cover bands so take it for what its worth. Your average cover band goer may have their head explode if you don't play the Sweet Child o' Mine solo exactly and Sl00sh did...

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Thanks Matt, for your "Classical Dude" input! [thumbup][biggrin] I know that "Classical" does have

improvisation, as do most music forms. But, I know lots of Classically trained musicians,

who LOVE to play Rock, and Jazz, because it allows them more freedom to improvise even more,

and not be so regimented, as Classical CAN tend to be. I'm NOT knocking it, at all.

I'm just going by what those musicians, have told me, and what I've read, from other's that

are trained that way. In fact, I wish I'd been more Classically trained, at an early age...

things would (probably) be a lot easier, and I'd know "why" things go together, and what works,

and why. But, being totally self-taught, and not reading music, at all...it's always been either

listening to the records, using chord charts, and for individual parts, or solos, a lot of "trial

and error!" [tongue] Even so, it's still very rewarding, to "nail" something, and be able to think

and play, outside the box, etc. So...??? [biggrin]

 

CB

 

According to Roger I am 'the dude with étude'!!! Lol

Ah I see what you mean. Yes I can relate to that! Also if a day has been frustrating, there is something very therapeutic about playing something like Master of Puppets through a high gain Peavey amp LMAO

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My 2 cents: As an audience member, I'm always listening for the cover band to do justice to the solos. I don't mind if the solos are note for note if the guitar player pulls it off. As a musician watching this, I dig it because the guy is good enough to play it. And truth is it's going to sound differently than the record anyway (even if it's live record) due to all the x factors going on (venue acoustics, equipment, etc...).

 

If a player doesn't play a solo note for note, and to me, it sounds sub par, then it's a disappointment. If the player doesn't play a solo note for note, but to my judgment he does real well and obviously has talent, then I'm cheering.

 

I think regular non-musician folk who go see a show, a lot of them, can't really tell if it was played note for note or not and enjoy the show nonetheless. Some might be drinking and enjoying themselves too much to pay 100% attention. Others pick you apart even if they don't know what an instrument looks like. For me, my rule of thumb is, when I'm playing someone else's songs, I at least put effort into playing and sounding as close to the original as possible (because I know it's not going to sound 100% carbon copied), and make it interesting.

 

That's just me. I may try tapping the solos when I play Texas Flood.... [razz] Not sure that would go well in my neck of the woods [laugh] In the end, as long as people get something out of it, note for note or not, it's cool.

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My 2 cents: As an audience member, I'm always listening for the cover band to do justice to the solos. I don't mind if the solos are note for note if the guitar player pulls it off. As a musician watching this, I dig it because the guy is good enough to play it. And truth is it's going to sound differently than the record anyway (even if it's live record) due to all the x factors going on (venue acoustics, equipment, etc...).

 

If a player doesn't play a solo note for note, and to me, it sounds sub par, then it's a disappointment. If the player doesn't play a solo note for note, but to my judgment he does real well and obviously has talent, then I'm cheering.

 

I think regular non-musician folk who go see a show, a lot of them, can't really tell if it was played note for note or not and enjoy the show nonetheless. Some might be drinking and enjoying themselves too much to pay 100% attention. Others pick you apart even if they don't know what an instrument looks like. For me, my rule of thumb is, when I'm playing someone else's songs, I at least put effort into playing and sounding as close to the original as possible (because I know it's not going to sound 100% carbon copied), and make it interesting.

 

That's just me. I may try tapping the solos when I play Texas Flood.... [razz] Not sure that would go well in my neck of the woods [laugh] In the end, as long as people get something out of it, note for note or not, it's cool.

The average listener may not be able to tell if something has been played note for note, but the tightness that comes from practicing a song note for note can be felt. Or better yet, a song that should be tight but isn't will get the attention of those that aren't really paying attention, but for all the wrong reasons. Even if the song isn't really "Note for Note", trying to get it there will bring that tightness that can only come from repetition.

 

However, that over practiced approach to every song would sterilize the entire performance. Which will also be felt by the audience, even if they don't notice it. A poorly rendered version of someones favorite song will grate at them like nails on a chalk board, where a really good version of their favorite song may go unnoticed, but it won't irritate them. If they're just at the right level of socializing, and the beer is doing it's job, they'll either be inspired to dance or leave.

 

Music has an influence on the mood of any roomful of people, part of our job is to make sure it's a positive influence.

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The average listener may not be able to tell if something has been played note for note, but the tightness that comes from practicing a song note for note can be felt. Or better yet, a song that should be tight but isn't will get the attention of those that aren't really paying attention, but for all the wrong reasons. Even if the song isn't really "Note for Note", trying to get it there will bring that tightness that can only come from repetition.

 

However, that over practiced approach to every song would sterilize the entire performance. Which will also be felt by the audience, even if they don't notice it. A poorly rendered version of someones favorite song will grate at them like nails on a chalk board, where a really good version of their favorite song may go unnoticed, but it won't irritate them. If they're just at the right level of socializing, and the beer is doing it's job, they'll either be inspired to dance or leave.

 

Music has an influence on the mood of any roomful of people, part of our job is to make sure it's a positive influence.

 

Truth is no one reacts the same way to music. People feel things differently. I've been to shows where they were just horrible, and the people I was with had no clue. They were dancing and having a good time. It's all subjective. They were horrible to me (sloppy, some real bad notes, etc...) but they had good stage presence, and that was their saving grace. Some people wouldn't enjoy RUSH maybe because they're not like, oh dare I say it.... Kiss on stage. There is no one way to describe it. Anyway I don't think it's a matter of right or wrong, as long as people enjoy the music, and at one point with experience, you get to be good at delivering. At least you know works, as I'm sure you do in your shows. Sometimes, whatever has worked well in the past doesn't amount to peanuts to some, lol. On the above, I was relating to my views. Cheers man!

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