Songs that make you do a double-take when you sit to down to play them

Reggae_Mangle

Silver Member
Well ask yourself the question, if you don't do it exactly the same who will notice (other than you and other drummers)

Maybe its different in the UK, but slavishly copying a record has never been top requirement for me or the bands I've been in - the question is does it sound good
This is slightly off-topic, but since it was the first response to the thread:

When you're playing something as a "tribute" to a famous band like Iron Maiden, I don't see any scope for just doing your own thing and having fun. Not that I'm not having fun, but there has to be that respect at least when you're not paying them royalty either. Otherwise it's akin to cocking a snook at them and almost like claiming a song for your own, imho. Best of my ability, my ar*e.

I suppose I've always had a different interpretation of "cover". According to me, when you cover a song, it's "shake it up, toss the structure around, make it your own thing". Not in a "More than Words" way, more like a "Man Who Sold The World".

If you're not doing a "cover", you play the thing like it was written. Otherwise, what's the point? Granted, the audience might not know. But someone might.

I know a lot of bands won't agree. I've been to Pantera tribute nights where no one even sounds remotely like Vinnie Paul or more importantly, Dimebag Darrell. So what was it? Just a fancy cash grab in the end. I honestly believe that if you respect a band enough, you won't take shortcuts with their material.

From an exaggerated point of view, it's like playing four chords and singing Bob Dylan songs badly, just because "no one knows".
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Space Oddity. I didn't realise how involved the drum part was until I heard the isolated bass and drums of the original recording.
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
Reggae_Mangle, I have seen others post similar descriptions of cover and tribute. My experience is that cover bands aroiund here try to play the songs the way they are recorded. There is some leeway on guitar solos and drums parts but not much change to song structure except to endings and possibly some solo parts. Personally I try to play the drum parts as they were recorded. I am not John bonham so I do the best I can but it is certainly not note for note. I wonder if this description is similar in other areas.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
It's quite sad but just about everything I've been listening to for the past few years is too hard to sit down and 'just play' without losing track at some point. I can play a small number of songs from these albums but I would need to start notating to go further. I understand and I'm inspired by the music I listen to but playing it is another thing.

Some of the bands I'm talking about - Karnivool, tesseract, meshuggah, Planet X, periphery, mats/Morgan, animals as leaders & special defects.
 

ncc

Silver Member
Reggae_Mangle brings up a good point. It is all about how you look at things.

Here is more food for thought. ;-)

A cover can be defined as a new performance (or recording) of a previously recorded by someone other than the original artist or composer. Think about the Al Green tune 'Take Me To The River'. This has been covered differently by 100s of artists, one of the most popular being 'cover' done by the Talking Heads, which maintains recognizable structure but is different than the original.

If you are in a tribute band that books themselves as a mirror of the original artist, as you need to be able to duplicate the recording to be as close to the original as possible (as done by the original artist), as you are doing only the music of that artist. So, for instance, if you are in a Talking Heads mirror band, you surely would certainly use the Talking Heads version of whatever you are playing - cover or not.

If you are in a tribute band the is just playing the music of an artist, you have some leeway. For example, you may put a spin on every tune to make it folky or reggae or heavy metal - same material played completely different.

If you are in a cover band, you are mixing material (covers) by multiple artists in the same set or show. In a cover band, your audiences normally have a familiarity of the past hit songs your band is playing. As long as you don't change the structure of the tune, chances are the general person in the audience is not going to know if you played a triplet or paradiddle, let alone if the original artist played an open hat on the 34th measure at 3.

Bottom line, is just have fun matter what. As in any profession, you do need to work hard and need to concentrate on what you are doing to sound good; and the enjoyment of what you are doing will be the outcome. However if you are worried about missing this or playing that, it is probable that your audience will pick up on that.

My 2 cents. ;-)
 

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
The BEATLES!

I moonlight in a cover band and had to learn some of their songs.

"Here Comes the Sun"- fun little pop diddy, right? Nope- It's got pauses, it's got the 11/8 walkdown and lots of weird things going on.
"Something"- simple song, but with those big, slow tempo fills. If you don't really feel this song, it won't sound right. ("something in the way she moves...").

other classic cover songs, like "the Wait" from the Band also have tricky parts. I love when you listen to a song you've heard all your life to discover the drums are actually quite difficult.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
Reggae_Mangle brings up a good point. It is all about how you look at things.

A cover can be defined as a new performance (or recording) of a previously recorded by someone other than the original artist or composer.

If you are in a tribute band that books themselves as a mirror of the original artist, as you need to be able to duplicate the recording to be as close to the original as possible (as done by the original artist), as you are doing only the music of that artist. So, for instance, if you are in a Talking Heads mirror band, you surely would certainly use the Talking Heads version of whatever you are playing - cover or not.

If you are in a tribute band the is just playing the music of an artist, you have some leeway. For example, you may put a spin on every tune to make it folky or reggae or heavy metal - same material played completely different.

If you are in a cover band, you are mixing material (covers) by multiple artists in the same set or show. In a cover band, your audiences normally have a familiarity of the past hit songs your band is playing. As long as you don't change the structure of the tune, chances are the general person in the audience is not going to know if you played a triplet or paradiddle, let alone if the original artist played an open hat on the 34th measure at 3.

Bottom line, is just have fun matter what. As in any profession, you do need to work hard and need to concentrate on what you are doing to sound good; and the enjoyment of what you are doing will be the outcome. However if you are worried about missing this or playing that, it is probable that your audience will pick up on that.
Lots of good points here.
Definitely agree with both Reggae and ncc- I can't stand it when cover/ tribute bands take too much poetic licence with the material they're covering but at the same time I don't think they should become obsessed with playing it note for note (got to have some fun in there somewhere).
 

Reggae_Mangle

Silver Member
It's quite sad but just about everything I've been listening to for the past few years is too hard to sit down and 'just play' without losing track at some point. I can play a small number of songs from these albums but I would need to start notating to go further. I understand and I'm inspired by the music I listen to but playing it is another thing.

Some of the bands I'm talking about - Karnivool, tesseract, meshuggah, Planet X, periphery, mats/Morgan, animals as leaders & special defects.
It might not even be on account of ability. Some of that stuff is just really complicated in terms of the number of changes and time signatures. You have to keep count and have each change ready in your mind well before you attempt them.

My band is also doing a cover of Lamb of God's Hourglass. It didn't make me do a double take, because I know Adler's stuff is quite tough for the average drummer. But to learn it, I had to play through it over and over and over again just so that I could remember what he was doing where. That was probably the trickiest thing about that piece of music because it doesn't repeat anywhere at all.
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
Zero, this happens to me so often and I agree. The groove in Whole Lotta Love is a recent example.

"I love when you listen to a song you've heard all your life to discover the drums are actually quite difficult. "
 

Macarina

Silver Member
"I love when you listen to a song you've heard all your life to discover the drums are actually quite difficult. "
Ain't that the truth. This happened so often for me. Guitarist starts some well known songs and you suddenly realize.... uh, what's my part?
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
Ramble On is one of my favorite bass parts. When I listen to the song I listen to the bass part and can "say" the bass part just about 100%. Love it. When we decided to play it a couple weeks ago I could not recall the drum part!
 

longgun

Gold Member
other classic cover songs, like "the Wait" from the Band also have tricky parts. I
to me, it's hard to get Levon's "feel" on that song.......................there is nothing difficult at all..................just have to nail the feel or the whole song doesn't work

two classic rock songs that gave me trouble I wasn't expecting are
1. Flirtin' with disaster by Molly Hatchet
2. Black Betty by Ram Jam
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
I can still remember back when I was starting get frustrated trying to learn Michael Giles album version of 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' note for note, and yeah, off a turntable, that and the Hendrix/Mitchell stuff.
 
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