Skip to content
putting your own sp...
 
Notifications
Clear all

putting your own spin on covers

19 Posts
16 Users
0 Likes
2,260 Views
(@xskastyleex)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 265
Topic starter  

what do you guys think about this? countless forums criticize me for doing covers exactly like the original.

however i feel that with the songs i cover, there is nothing else i want to add to them, because to me they are perfect. so i just play them as they are cause its fun.

i get told many times "why should i listen to your cover, when i can go listen to the original song and have it better played them you."

so whats your view on this, is putting your own spin on covers neccesary?

"Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.


   
Quote
(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

My take is that music is an art form of self-expression.

Cover's are great if you make them your own. But trying to immitate to me is the sign of either an immature artist, or someone who's made the decission to sacrifice art for income.

The first is not only excusable, it's desirable. You have to learn to immitate before you can learn to create. We all start out immitating someone else. And even after you've found your own sound, often the best place to start with making a song your own is to first get to the point where you can understand what the original artist was doing.

The second I have little respect for.

Other folks have different views, but that's mine.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
ReplyQuote
(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

I agree with 'Patzer - but you don't have to change the whole thing to make it "yours".
Small changes to riffs can make all the difference - if you have three plucked notes on the same string, play them as hammer-ons or pull-offs, whichever direction you're going in.
Replace a long note with a hammer-on/pull-off or take hammer-on/pull-off away and simply play main note, perhaps adding vibrato.
Instead of simply playing a long note, slide or bend into it (drop the fretting position a semitone and do a semitone bend to the desired note - add some vibrato to the held note).
Delay the starting note of a phrase (or maybe to the "response" line in blues), so that it comes in fractionally behind the beat.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
ReplyQuote
(@forrok_star)
Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2337
 

When I get asked to set-in with a cover band I perform the songs with creativity and in my own original style instead of copying the songs near perfect. Most bands know the way I play before even calling, thats why they call. I have performed with tribute bands. They expect you to be right on. Performing covers and making them your own is kind of traditional. I encourage folks to experiment with covers or standards and re-make them adding your own influences to the songs taking them beyond to the next level. Many musicians and bands do this very thing.

From there I would successfully work original material into the cover shows song list, which will be promoting both your act and original material. This makes you a more accomplished artist and will bring positive influences to your image and marketing.

Joe


   
ReplyQuote
(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Exactly reproducing a song is cool if you do it to learn something or play somewhere were people want to hear those songs. And if you're just playing for yourself then you might want to drop covers completely and just write your own songs.


   
ReplyQuote
(@danlasley)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2118
 

Oh my goodness! The people I play with figure that the "original" is just a suggestion. The key, the tempo, and even the lyrics are all subject to "improvement".

Songs that come to mind:

"Tush" played at 1/4 speed, sung as a torch blues song, by a young lady.

"Hotel Calfornia" played 50% faster, with heavy rhythm strumming.

"Watchtower" played as a reggae ballad.

And don't forget that the most popular version of Watchtower is a cover that sounds little like the original. Many bands take songs and redo them in their own style.

So, as suggested in the posts above, the original version is a good place to start, but why stop there? You can do better!

Laz


   
ReplyQuote
(@alangreen)
Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

I'm with Laz - the original CD or score is just an indication of what the composer thought a song ought to sound like. Everything is open to interpretation.

I've heard Blondie's "Heart of Glass" done as a C&W, and done House Of The Rising Sun as a reggae track and number of times (especially when teaching)

Best,

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
ReplyQuote
(@ebuchednezzar)
Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 73
 

Think of it like this: if you were sitting on stage telling a famous story to the audience, like Dracula or Lord of the Rings or something like that, would you recount the novels word for word? Or would you work on putting the story across in your own way? You could do either depending on the situation (and the equipment at hand), but you'd probably have more success with the latter.

"There's no easy ways man," he said. "You gotta learn the hard parts for yourself."


   
ReplyQuote
(@xskastyleex)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 265
Topic starter  

ok, well i will be working on a stairway to heaven track that will take me months. not a few days like most of my recordings take. i want this one to be my best, plus i will work at original material too.

"Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.


   
ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

Play 'em how you want to. I'd a lot rather hear the performer's own version, and I don't want to exactly imitate somebody's recording, even if I could. (I usually can't.) But being able to do exact covers is a cool ability too, and some people will pay to hear "tribute bands" and such.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
ReplyQuote
(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

Nothing wrong with learning a song note-for-note...how else are you going to play along with the CD?

But listening to, say, Wet Wet Wet's version of "I get by with a little help from my friends". it's very similar to the Beatles own version...I would far rather listen to Joe Cocker's version, he turned it completely on it's head and made the song his own....much like Hendrix did with "All Along The Watchtower" and Manfred Mann's Earthband with "Blinded by the Light" and the Byrds with Mr Tambourine Man" and Status Quo with "Rockin' All Over The World".....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
ReplyQuote
(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

do what you want


   
ReplyQuote
 Taso
(@taso)
Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2811
 

^I think I'd agree with that.

However, I can tell you that I'd rather hear someone's interpretation of a song, or their own version. Like someone told you, if I want to hear the song, I can just listen to the CD, I don't need you to play it.

When I do covers, I always try to add my own little twist. Hammer on's/pull offs in Sunshine of Your Love, Chorus in Layla unplugged, doing my own improv instead of copying the artist's solo... Adding effects to certain parts. It makes it my own work I think.

http://taso.dmusic.com/music/


   
ReplyQuote
(@kachman)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 155
 

for me, i don't have any noteworthy originals yet, so i'm probably in the immature musician category. i learn songs note for note because i think it helps me learn and understand music better. However I do change it up when i play- something as simple as changing the strum pattern in a small phrase or putting a different note, adding notes, or removing notes in a run, pretty much whatever i feel like at that moment when i'm playing... i haven't been playing out or doing any online recordings yet so i don't know what others think, but as long as it sounds good to me i throw it in...

http://www.myspace.com/kachman


   
ReplyQuote
 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459
 

To me it depends. If I'm in a bar and I'm watching a cover band then , yea, I want to hear the songs the way the were originally recorded.

That's why your playing the songs since people want to hear what their favorite artiststs did.

In general I'm not a big fan of the remake, although, most of the ones mentioned are pretty good.

Rich, I've heard your playing at it's good, so what if they are covers. It's not easy playing some of the covers you've done and they all sounded good.

Unless you plan on starting a band and you want to write your own stuff I personally think covers are fine.

I even hate it when I really love a song and then see an artist perform a "different" version in concert...that ain't what I payed my money for.

But in the end it's all what makes you happy. If you like playing covers go for it. If not start writing some stuff...but if people don't want to hear covers there probably aren't going to be thousands that want to hear your originals either.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2