How did you learn songs before the internet?
Thought some of the younger folks might get a kick out of how we used to do things....or not...so here it goes.
I used to use one of these...
Mine had 2 cassette decks and also if you pushed record while the radio was playing, it would record what was on the radio to the tape. So, I would call up the radio station (from the rotary phone on the wall) and request songs I wanted to learn. Then I sit by the boombox to hit record when they played it. I could then dub from that tape onto others to give to the band. I was my own little napster. :)
For more portable recordings, I used on of these.
This device was used to make recordings of records by placing it between the stereo speakers and recording while the record played. I also used it to record and learn TV show theme songs such as The Jeffersons and Barney Miller by waiting for the show to come on and holding it up to the television speaker.
Cassette tapes were genius for conveniently taking music with you or being able to play it in your car, and the blank cassette was THE tool of the trade for copying and recording music. With a little innovation, you could record any song you wanted and play it whenever, or wherever you felt like it. They were also great for recording lessons or even secretly recording peoples conversations. :)
33 45 and 78 rpm
I guess I'm old because I used to this too. :D
Another thing people take for granted is being able to look up song lyrics on the internet. When we used to do a cover song, we would have to record the song on a cassette from the radio. Then we would rewind the cassette and listen to it over and over as we wrote down the lyrics by hand. If you lost the paper, you had to do it all over again. How did we survive before Google?
This thread pleases me because I'm old. :P
I got pretty good at picking up the "needle" and dropping it back into the right groove to repeat a section of a song I was learning. I also would speed songs up on the record player because it would make the bass jump out of the mix a little more.
I think people today do themselves a disservice by not using their ears. I think they'd be surprised how well the ears develop when you give them a proper workout. ;)
I used records and tapes and at first my mother's ear. As I learned the bass I would do it myself and have her check me till I was good to go but years later I realized it was not a perfect system when I either got the tab or saw someone play if differently but it was not all bad. I got 90% of it right.
I wish I had the net to learn when I started but I wonder if the net has dumbed down the new breed of player, made them lazy?
When I want to learn a song I still do it by ear. Usually with a CD player these days. I found that a lot of tabs have some inaccuracies depending where it came from. I trust my own ear. Always get compliments. Just like anything. The more you do it, the better you get.
'scuse me, while I kiss this guy...
We would buy the record and then make cassette copies for everyone in the band. It was a very long process because in order to make multiple copies, you had to play the entire record over and over.
I was rather lucky that my dad was almost as much of a gear head as me, so I started out with records on a turntable and my open reel tape deck (my dad's old ones). I would record off of the radio for a couple of hours on a weekend night when they played more music than commercials, then I'd dub over, to my dad's open reel, the songs I was interested in learning. Stopping and starting the tape was easier on the tape than dropping the needle on the record. All my my old records & 45s have tons of ticks in songs I learned.
Yeah, guessing the lyrics was a great band sport. We'd all come with what we heard and then pick the line that made the most sense to us, or was the funniest ("There's a bathroom on the right") If they were printed on the record sleeve it was such a gift!
Cassettes were are real move forward, as we could make work tapes for the band with possible songs that we could listen to - vote on - and then learn. Being able to listen to the tapes on the way to the gig was another huge improvement. It did all help my ear-training though.
I used to learn songs the same way. It was even tougher because my cassette player played back at a slightly different speed and I wasn't in tune to the song. Sometimes I would browse the music books at the local music store and try to memorize the chord changes to popular songs... :D
I still rely on my ears today but will use the internet on occasion to speed things up. Most of the tabs are inaccurate but some of them are close enough that I can ballpark the song close enough to get through it, and will then figure out the details later.
The same way I do now! By ear! I used to spend a week to a month figuring them out note by note on simple songs. Had been shown a few things about playing by mates and did have two VHS which helped to see the area of fretboard people were on. The difference between then and now is that unless its a complicated piece ill have it learnt with one listen rather than over a day/week/month
I remember learning tears in heaven jeff Berlin version and it taking me a whole week just to get the first verse!!
Once you train yourself with as much theory as possible especially intervals, cycles and modes then the patterns come to you before you physically play them!! I wouldn't recommend anyone using YouTube to learn until you at least have your ears working. Hope that doesn't sound pretentious but I think you're missing the single most important thing as a musician if you haven't linked your ears to your hands! Imagine going to a jam night and asking what key someone is playing in or what the chord changes are !
I used to use records, then got tapes, which was a little easier, but certainly not ideal.
Both methods could be hard on the media, and back then at least someone had to buy the original unless you lucked out and recorded a decent version off the radio (usually missing out on at least the first few seconds).
Records and tapes also degraded slightly with each use.
It's so much easier with MP3s, and you can quickly edit, and change pitch or tempo with free programs.
What I wouldn't give to have my old tapes back with the DJ's talking over the beginning and end of my favorite songs. I used to have a clock radio with a microphone hanging above the speaker that was connected to a portable office tape deck. No degradation in audio quality there, right? I was so excited to finally get a boom box that would let you hear the song as you rewound it, too.
This thread makes me appreciate the internet more.
My dad said when he played guitar back in the 80's, he'd go to music shops and buy tab books (I don't think he knew how to learn by ear)
I almost bought a cassette recorder and 20 cassette tapes from a flea market recently, but didn't have any cash on me. Would've been fun to mess with though.
(pick a format)
I had this exact model boombox:
It had a phono pre-amp so I used to play my record player through it, and I recorded all my favorite records directly to casette tape so I could listen to them in the car and so as not to wear out the records. It also had built-in stereo mics so I could record my band practicing in the garage. The mic gain was always too high so the recordings would get distorted; nowadays my smart phone has the same problem, lol.
The boombox is long gone. I still have my dad's old Garrard record player, which I think dates to the 60s. It has a 78 rpm setting which later turntables don't have. The changer functions on it don't work anymore, but with a good needle cartridge on manual mode it sounds great. I plan to take it in to a local repairman soon to get it back in top shape.
I read where Duane Allman used to use his bare foot to move the tone arm on his portable record player, he would just pick it up with his big toe and move it back over a passage he was trying to cop. I guess I did something similar but dont remember ever using my feet.
I knew a bass player about my age who said his dad (also a bass player) made him learn Santana's first album by heart. Said he wore out two copies doing so.
I've worn out more than one album/cassette, or at least parts of them, bad enough they needed to be replaced.
Yeah, transcription of lyrics was a pain in the butt back then, but was always a source of laughter and a tension-breaker after the fact. Many a times we found out that the lyrics were wrong, but did we fix it after we knew of the error? NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I guess the audience (at least most of them) didn't know any better and for those of us who knew, trying to keep a straight face through the erroneous phrases - singing with conviction and all, was part of the fun of going on stage. Seeing those snippets on America's Funniest Video of tots singing songs with erroneous lyrics sure brings back fond memories of good times.
Kids nowadays with their auto-tune and on-demand lyrics on the web just don't know how much fun they're missing.
"There's a bathroom on the right" - what's song again did that phrase murder? It's at the tip of my tongue.
Bad Moon Rising
"There's a bad moon on the rise."
|All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:01 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.