Skip to content
Hurts So Good...ups...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Hurts So Good...upstrokes or down dilemma

5 Posts
3 Users
0 Likes
1,991 Views
(@patrick)
Reputable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 138
Topic starter  

I decided to learn Hurts So Good by John Cougar Mellencamp. I found that different online tabs give surprisingly different variations :!: (which one is the most correct? :roll:). So I bought the Hal Leonard Rock Anthology Volume 81 play-along book & CD - which has good tabs and backing tracks for this song and several others. So far so good...I'm learning & memorizing the song slowly but steadily. I recently found this Vanderbilly demo video which is the most true-to-the-original (in terms of guitar playing & sound) that I've come across:

http://www.vanderbilly.com/Guitar-Lesson-john-cougar-mellencamp-hurts-so-good,11455,1.html

The 'problem' is that I was surprised to see he uses a lot of upstrokes where I was using downstrokes. Like most tabs, my play-along book doesn't specify up or down, so I was going with whatever feels easiest and most natural - and bearing in mind that I often have to mute an 'unwanted' adjacent sting by lightly touching it with a fretting finger. I do use some upstrokes (I try to on the off-beats), but only if it's not too difficult for me.

A common answer would be: "Just go with whatever feels most natural and sounds the best". But I can't yet play it at full speed (126 bpm), and I've been learning unplugged so far, so I don't know yet if I would sound 'right' once I can play it full speed, and with the proper (moderate) amount of overdrive. So should I change my up/downs to match the (good-sounding! :note1:) demo video, or continue as I was before? Is it even possible to sound reasonably like the original if I don't follow the proper up/down form? Thanks in advance :!:


   
Quote
(@patrick)
Reputable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 138
Topic starter  

Perhaps I over-worded my question, here it is in fewer words.

For this song, and other similar moderate-tempo rock songs, how important is it to follow the original artist's up/down strum form on the chords? I want to sound as true to the original as I can. Is there anywhere I can find out the up/down used in the original song?


   
ReplyQuote
(@big-lar)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 165
 

Go with what feels right. No two guitarists play the same song exactly the the same way. Some may disagree, but I like this fact. If I wanted to hear an exact reproduction of the song, I'd listen to a recording. My two cents for what they are worth.


   
ReplyQuote
(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

I just watched 3 concert videos of JC-M live, from different decades, and it appears that it's not played the same each time by the original artist's band.

Also (and I'm sure you already knew this) there's 2 guitars in the original, so no matter what you do, a single guitar arrangement will never sound exactly like the original.

So, what I'm saying is: Don't get hung up on the details. If you find a demonstration that you like the sound of, go with that.
Once you get the song down cold, then start messing around and see what changes you can make to suit your preferences.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
ReplyQuote
(@patrick)
Reputable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 138
Topic starter  

Thanks...I realized you guys are right. After comparing several covers/demos of this song on youtube, I was surprised how everyone plays it differently...even two that both sound 'right' (i.e. like the original recording...which is my goal) were played differently. BTW, I found another demo that I think is played/sounds even better than the Vanderbilly one I liked:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnySW3Xkt-g

I decided to go with this one as my default guide to strumming, but in a few places I went with different up/downs...to either sound more 'right', or easier for me.


   
ReplyQuote