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  #16  
Old 07-30-2009, 11:15 AM
BigRed51 BigRed51 is offline
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It really never occurred to me to try and play any song the same way someone else played it (even when I was playing restaurant music without vocals), or to play it the same way today that I played it yesterday. I do confess to stealing licks every chance I get. I am much more focused on improvisation than repetition.

In recent years, I have evolved almost exclusively to bluegrass and bluegrass gospel, with a little real country thrown in. I am also playing more and more in bands ... but not a single band, so the personnel changes from show to show. As a result, I am inclined to change songs to match the people in the group that day.

Many times, the original performer did not seem to realize that their song was really a bluegrass song, so they did it as a hymn, or maybe even rock and roll. I am now convinced that many songs ... Act Naturally, I'm Walkin', Walkin' the Floor Over you, He Leadeth Me, and I Saw Her Standing There just for starters ... have indeed been misplaced for many years!
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  #17  
Old 07-30-2009, 12:29 PM
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Guyute Guyute is offline
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If I wanted to play something exactly as it was originally written, I would have become a classical musician.

FWIW, aside from classical, I don't really think there's anyone out there playing songs exactly as written (even the artists who wrote them tend to evolve their arrangements).
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  #18  
Old 07-30-2009, 12:52 PM
Fambroski Fambroski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyute View Post

FWIW, aside from classical, I don't really think there's anyone out there playing songs exactly as written (even the artists who wrote them tend to evolve their arrangements).
Well there you have it. Good point.
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  #19  
Old 07-30-2009, 01:13 PM
ewalling ewalling is offline
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I tend to have the same approach as Mmmaak in that first I learn a piece note for note how the transcription goes. One reason I do this is that when I play a note-for-note version, it makes me play positions that I wouldn't otherwise have played or which feel physically unnatural to me. Doing this, I think, extends my range. However, I've noticed that later on I might make small changes to suit my own taste. But I wouldn't feel guilty about changing anything you want to change. Consider that most pieces that have been "written" are rehashed versions of someone else's stuff anyway.
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  #20  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:35 PM
lpa53 lpa53 is offline
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I've always been a huge James Taylor fan and over the years I've taught myself many of his songs by ear, gradually getting to recognize familiar chord patterns from song to song. I was very concerned to get it as "right" as I coudl, but later, when I was able to see him on dvds or now, Youtube, I saw that although I was close there were always slight differences with what I was doing. This used to get me frustrated but I've now learned that what I'm comfortable with is OK. If I do later "hear" a more complex chord in some certain spot, I'll adopt it though, because that's what makes his songs so great. JT himself, in the covers he did, took liberties with the originals and, in my mind, usually improved on them vastly. If he can do it, so can you.

Lately I've viewed videos of Paul Simon's American Tune and Stookey's Wedding Song and noticed that what all these years I thought was right on (hadn't listened to the originals in a long time) they were playing quite differently - different chords perhaps, and different tempos. But after thinking about it, I decided I liked mine just as much!

If you can find the essence of the song that the author created, then there are all sorts of things you can do to make it your own. If you're playing solo and the original piece was for a full band, you have to be even more inventive anyway. And I'll bet the people you play for won't even notice any differences either.
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  #21  
Old 07-30-2009, 07:39 PM
lpa53 lpa53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fambroski View Post
Well there you have it. Good point.
+1 on the good point. I've always thought that Paul Simon evolved on many of his songs from playing a Travis picking pattern to a smoother T1T2 alternating bass pattern.
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  #22  
Old 07-30-2009, 09:17 PM
FutureFolkie FutureFolkie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piper_guitarist View Post
I personally never play a song the same way twice, honestly. It all depends on my mood/the setting.
I do this as well, even with my own songs.
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  #23  
Old 08-02-2009, 02:48 PM
pixieflyingfree pixieflyingfree is offline
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I personally like it when liberties are taken with others' music. For instance, one of my favorite musicians, Eva Cassidy, did a couple of covers (Somwhere over the Rainbow, Fields of Gold, and Autumn Leaves, etc...) where she changed a few underlying chords and even played with the melody a bit. As I listened to them, I found that my interpretation of the songs changed in response to the changes she made.

I change things all the time as I see fit - sometimes because of skill (or lack thereof!) and sometimes for artistic reasons. So, no, I don't think you're weird. Enjoy playing!
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  #24  
Old 08-02-2009, 03:38 PM
Neal Neal is offline
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I think I'm with everyone on this thing. I really don't like doing covers, except blues and what the heck, even blues guys don't play those the same way.

I've always figured the Beatles do their songs a whole lot better than I could, and barring being in a tribute band for the money, if a Beatles song is in the mix that particular night, it's most definitely going to be done differently.

My buddy wrote a song that I've stolen from him. I do it differently, even changed a small verse ending. He's ok with that, and pleased that I do it. He, of course, plays it his way.

Keeping in mind, unlike a lot of you, I'm just an amateur "get together every Thursday night" kinda guy, maybe an open mic now and then, and some youtubes, so there's no one policing..
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  #25  
Old 08-03-2009, 09:22 PM
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Guyute Guyute is offline
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FWIW, the only thing more flattering than getting good feedback on an original tune is having someone tell you that they like your version of a cover better than the original
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  #26  
Old 08-04-2009, 06:12 AM
kerrinsdad kerrinsdad is offline
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If I wanted to play something exactly the way the original artist had played it, I'd put on the CD!! Could safe a lot of time frustration, money, etc. But, ain't the artistic license the whole point?!
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  #27  
Old 08-04-2009, 11:16 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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I do it all the time. If I want to hear the recording I play the recording. Most of the time I try to keep the essence of the piece and make it my own. I have no interest in being a human juke box ...
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  #28  
Old 08-06-2009, 01:25 PM
BlackHeart BlackHeart is offline
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I do "Ain't talking bout luv" (Van Halen) on classical guitar. Actually, if my 'new' Yairi works, Im gonna record it and put it up on metube. Please please please no cracks, no crushed soundboard, no warped neck...

I thought I could 'rewrite' some Renaissance guitar music I had, but when I started playing it by tab, I saw miracoulus compositions, with expertly placed counter point, and am angry I can't find out how to do basic composition for baroque guitar or something.
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  #29  
Old 08-06-2009, 05:09 PM
LindaW LindaW is offline
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PHEW! I'm normal in this regard. LOL!! Thanks for the responses guys. Now I just have to figure out how to get out of my RUT!! Practice, practice, practice...
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  #30  
Old 08-06-2009, 08:59 PM
ricks ricks is offline
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Linda, if I could offer a suggestion to you about getting out of your "rut" as you call it. I don't know what type or style of music you play, or listen to. But whatever it is, put something totally different on. I find that no matter what I listen to, what I play still comes out like me. And I find that I can usually pick something here or there up from any kind of music. I listen to everything from bluegrass to solo fingerstyle. If you find a particular song or tune that moves you, then work on it a bit. In your own way.

This always seems to help me move on a bit or get out of a rut that is getting too deep. I'll always sound like me, but every little thing that sticks and becomes a part of what you do expands YOU.
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