Learning songs

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Samelot, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. Samelot


    Jun 23, 2005
    hi, when u learn a song, how well do u need to learn it. I mean i can play some songs, but i dont know them to the most extreme point. HOw well do u think i should know a song, do be able to have it better in ur playing ability?
  2. It depends. If you're in a band that's going to play a Led Zeppelin song for example, I'd learn the whole song note-for-note, then maybe spice it up a bit with some of my own flavor. I do this a lot with rock songs or anything else that's gonna have the rest of the band playing with me, that's when I like to have fun and "explore the song" a little bit extra. Have fun with it, do your own thing, just as long as you stay in key and stay true to original mood of the song.

    If you're playing a bass-heavy "solo" song, then I say learn the whole original song, but feel free to add as much of your own flavor as you want just as long as it's respectful and identifiable as the original. For example: I learned Jaco's "Continuum" from beginning to end. I can play the whole song 90% perfect, except for one little chunk towards the end. So when I get to that little chunk, I change it slightly. I play something I made up myself that still fits the song and sounds like the song, but isn't actually supposed to be there.

    On the other hand, there are some songs that simply cannot be messed with. Like "Portrait of Tracy". If I was to play that at a gig, I'd play it note-for-note exactly as Jaco did. It's just so good as it is that I wouldn't even attempt to improve on it.