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Learning Classic Rock Songs

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MJB, Sep 19, 2000.

  1. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Do you try and learn songs note for note or just learn the main riffs and any solo parts and fake the rest? I'm thinking of music by Cream, WHO, RUSH, YES etc.

  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Songs from those bands? Play them note for note at least for some time - there's so much to learn from those songs!
    And most of those songs fall apart when covered incorrectly or sloppily. But they're not carved in stone - once you know them inside and out - try to 'expand' on them...
  3. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I agree with JMX. Learn them note for note first! There's nothing wrong with it, as long as you keep your ears open and don't try to limit your style. In fact, those bass players (Lee, Entwistle, Bruce, and Squire) are among the greatest that ever lived, within the realm of rock, anyway...

    Try to play them note for note. That'll help build up discipline with respect to honoring the way a song was written. With Lee and Squire, you'll learn a ton about timing and time signatures. It's enough to challenge even the most experienced players out there, believe me!

    With Entwistle and Bruce, you'll learn a lot about improvisation. Entwistle (who's style I've studied intensely for the past 17 years) is famous for never playing the same thing twice: it's all off-the-cuff! Sometimes you can hear him fumble a little as he's trying to come up with the next line. But I'll tell you this...with his technique and knowledge of the fretboard, you'd have a hard time picking someone better to try to learn from!

    Jack Bruce, while fantastic at improv is especially great at putting together bass lines that support the melody of the song. That'll help to teach you about complex theory concepts such as counterpoint and melody. Squire and Lee also wrote intricate melodies, and Entwistle tends to make his lines melodic as well.

    Good Luck!!!
  4. karategirl


    Dec 17, 2000
    I just started playing bass about 2 weeks ago and I really want to know how to play songs by Yes, Rush, Cream, etc., but the parts are so hard to play without any music and after playing Sunshine of Your Love 3 times with the album just kills my fingers and my wrists. Are there any good sites that have accurate sheet music of those bands, and how do I stop my fingers and my wrists from hurting? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


  5. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I have done both, but, in general, I learn the structure and the signature riffs, then I do like I'm certain they (Cream, WHO, RUSH, YES etc) do... I play the song. I don't consider it faking it. I doubt something like The Lemon Song or Crossroads was ever played the same way twice. I say put some of yourself in everything. Why not?
  6. stop when they start to hurt, 2 weeks is a short time, give your hands and wrists time to rest as soon as they start to hurt. they play a little more, and rest, and so on.

    "don't be like some of us who have road the injury train"
    he said with his wrist brace on.
  7. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Look, Ed!!! She wants sheet music!! And she's only 15!! There's hope for mankind!!!


    Unfortunately, due to copyright restrictions (let's not go there again, please :rolleyes: ), you're going to have to pay for most good transcriptions. One on-line site that does have lots o' stuff though is http://www.sunhawk.com. Lots of tunes are available as singles (vice a whole book of tunes), downloadable for about $5 a pop. Or, you can cheat like me and use the "preview" function available on many of the tunes, which will give you the first page and at least let you see the key/time signature and the first few chords. You can (and should) do this by ear as well, but it's a nice sanity check - after driving myself insane trying to figure out the key signature for "Free Will," I checked the preview only to see that the key signature was "No chord" :)mad: Losers!! Arrrrgh!!!).

    A really good FREE site is: http://www.dd.chalmers.se/~f96tope/noter.html

    It's kind of a compilation of 'scripts from other sites (Libster, etc.), but all in one place. It has Jaco, Rush, RCHP, ToP, and a buncha other stuff. Enough to keep you busy for ages.

    Take it easy on those wrists, though!
  8. I totally agree with JMX.
  9. FuturePrimitive

    FuturePrimitive Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Rochester, NY
    Check out my sig for the best Rush tab I've ever been able to find. It's not sheetmusic but it does have all the time signatures and note intervals. There is also an email list for this page. Its basicly a bunch of Rush fanatics and perfectionists attempting to tab ALL of Rush. I've been playing for 3 months and my hand kills just playing the bass part for Tom Sawyer. I don't know why, Limelight is much more complicated and longer but it doesn't hurt playing that. Probably because the Sawyer riff is across all 4 strings and limelight isn't(except for a few minor notes).

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