Do you guys learn any songs?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Obsolex, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Yeah, it's the only way to go...

    18 vote(s)
  2. Hell no, cover songs suck hard.

    2 vote(s)
  3. Only solos(Not solo's, which is the posessive form and thus the incorrect form in this instance) (Ja

    0 vote(s)
  4. I only learn about how to eat carrots...

    8 vote(s)
  1. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    Ok, just wondering this... But do you guys learn songs? A lot of people that I talk to online don't, because they say that they can't ever use it/them anywhere, so why learn any then...
    I'll put solo's in a seperate choice.

    EDIT: Ok, just for the record... I DO!
  2. Bah, I learn em if I like em. Bottom line.
  3. Ty's got a point........but I'll play a bass line if people need me to learn it, as's for the fun of playing bass......if you don't like the song....make it look cool.........too easy? have more headroom to move around and shiitake...
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The songs you know form the vocabulary from which you draw upon to create musical ideas and basslines, just as a great writer is well-read or a fine artist visits museums.
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I guess I've learned a couple hundred. Both my bands are cover bands (covering contemporary country, classic/current rock, blues and pop), and I wouldn't have a gig if I didn't learn the songs. I learn them first exactly like the record, then I play them in my flavor. A lot of people don't learn songs because they can't.
  6. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    quote of the month:cool:
  7. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What do you do if you don't learn songs? Just play scales all day or play formless jams for your own satisfaction?

    Also, are you talking about learning songs note for note or the much wider subject of learning the changes and important riffs so that you have a basis for playing together with other people?

  8. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Yes I learn songs! Solos too. Why? Rickbass nailed the reason why.

    People who say they can't ever use them anywhere are missing the point.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree with wulf that it seesm a bit of a bizarre question - if you're not playing songs/tunes whatever you want to call them, what are you doing?

    I think there is an interesting question about whether you need to learn just basslines or melodies - but that was Jaco's main advice to bass players - learn the melody!

    All the musical educators I've met on years of course have always said to do that - and I think there's general agreement in music education that it is good for you!! ;)

    I am forced to do it as part of my Jazz course - but I actualy find I enjoy being able to play the melodies to Jazz standards as well as the bass lines, so I learn more - just for fun! "Caravan" is a great tune to play on bass!
  10. You have to learn as many songs in as many styles as you can, even songs you can't stand. If you don't, you'll play in your basement all your life.
  11. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    They've obviously never been to a jam session.

    IMO, it's the solos that aren't likely to be that useful.

    I don't know enough standards myself (and I've forgotten quite a few of the ones I DID know) but I have plenty of practice at BSing my way through them if I have to.
  12. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I learn songs because my band is a Led Zeppelin tribute band.
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yes, I learn songs.

    Sometimes, it is for my cover band. Like Munji said, I learn them note for note and then embellish;) them a little bit to make them my own.

    I also learn some songs just for the fun of it. Stuff from bands like Rush, Weather Report, King Crimson, or whatever else might have a bassline or melody that grabs me.
  14. The young JS Bach was a great transcriptionist. His musical penmanship was so good that he often copied whole works by other composers. His school at Luneberg (1700-02) had on file in the library 1102 titles of about 175 composers. He learned a lot by making these transcriptions and knowing the music of guys like Vivaldi and Dufay.

    I try to learn songs all the time. Lately I have been working on some songs from Michael Penn's first album. I don't play much in public and I would never play these tunes. The interest for me is to see how other songwriters write and how they play to create the song.

    I think its a good idea to play the music of others. There is a lot to be learned in a lot of different directions.

    Who cares if you can't play a song out in public or don't want to. Learning music is fun just by itself.
  15. I try to learn as MUCH as I can, When I say, "I'm going to play bass", it doesn't mean, sit in my room, with my bass and play with my self, it means, I'm turnin on the CD/record/tape player, and jammin with song, and the fact that I know songs ranging from miles davis, to weather report, to metallica to marilyn manson, to country, means that I can play with almost anybody! I love everything, and I believe when you limit yourself to one type of music, you sevearly limit your playing.
  16. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Since I am in a cover band, I have the pleasure of learning songs I used to just reject on the radio when they came on.

    It opens ones eyes to realize you're listening to a song that you otherwise can't stand because you'll get paid for learning it!

    Learning songs is the foundation for adequate improv and creativity.IMO
  17. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I haven't quite reached the position where I'm getting paid to learn songs (although the band now covers it's rehearsal fees) but my experience of learning songs that I initially don't like is that I frequently come away with a new respect for them.

    It's very easy to brush something off but the fact is that most of the songs we hear have been created with the involvement of a number of skilled musicians. Out of the stuff I've worked on over the last year, there's very little that I've come away from with no respect for whatsoever!

    Learning songs is a great way of developing your ability to 'listen deeply' and that opens up a whole new world of ideas you might otherwise never notice.

  18. Of course I learn songs! Just now I'm trying to do my best to learn by ear! If I'm in a rush, I may cheat and use TAB (let's not derail this thread with a TAB debate), but I see learning songs as a challenge. And it has helped me improve as a bassist.

    I also find it good to learn songs from other people's musical taste as it opens me up to a wider variety of music!
  19. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Pretty stupid attitude, by learning songs you learn the craft of how songs are put together. Better yet you can always lift parts out of a song and use it elsewhere.
  20. :eek: You mean like... ripping off? :eek: