#1
I have a huge problem with learning cover songs. I honestly can't name one song that I have successfully covered. I am also not the kind of person that will sit down and quit after 3 minutes of trying to play a song. I have tryed countless songs usually trying to learn them for weeks at a time. I take the time to sit with just the song and usually tabs that I took of GP so that I can ensure the accuarcy of them. I can never seem to get the exact timing for a piece.

For a note I have been playing both guitar and more frequently bass for almost four years now. I am self taugh with some theory knowledge mostly just scale and chord composition. Writing music is no problem for me, I have written a lot of good songs in my years playing, many of which are inspired from messing up while trying to learn a cover.

My big question is to whether or not learning covers will hold me back as a musician, other than just being able to jam a few songs out with friends. Can anyone relate in someway to my problem and has anyone found anyway to overcome it?

-Summary-
--I can't seem to learn covers, even with hours or weeks of practice.
--Not a total guitar noob (I know basic theory, technique, and have been playing for 4 years)
--I write a lot of original material, sometimes inspired by covers that I fail at.
--Advice would be appreciated.
#2
hmm.. What kind of songs are you trying to cover? because I guess this would be okay if you were trying to figure how to play complicated math rock songs with changing time signatures.

Do you have problems with rhythm? like you can't find the tempo for a song. This just seems like a problem someone who gives up really fast would have, but you said that you keep trying so I really don't know. The best thing i can to do is just suggest songs to learn, most of which should take no more than 30 min. or so to learn if you already have the techniques down.
#3
Quote by HowerPower
hmm.. What kind of songs are you trying to cover? because I guess this would be okay if you were trying to figure how to play complicated math rock songs with changing time signatures.

Do you have problems with rhythm? like you can't find the tempo for a song. This just seems like a problem someone who gives up really fast would have, but you said that you keep trying so I really don't know. The best thing i can to do is just suggest songs to learn, most of which should take no more than 30 min. or so to learn if you already have the techniques down.


Most of the music that I write is a bit technical. The songs that I usually try to learn are of the same nature, at points I do say "whatever" to them and use them for my inspirations.

The proble finally got to me tonight when I was trying to learn Alternative Baby by Reel Big Fish, not my "comfort zone" for music, but Its a good song and I was asked to learn it for a little jam band that asked me to play bass.
#4
play slow with a metronome to make sure your playing in the right time signature. =/ I know thats boring advice.
Most people won't take that advice, so the next best thing would be to just try to learn one easy-ass song each day. Obviously don't make yourself learn a green day song if you don't like green day, but every genre has tons of songs that should be cake-walk.

Also, to the question about if not learning other peoples songs would be a hindrance. I would definitely say that avoiding learning covers would be a bad thing, anytime I get stuck in a rut learning a new song is always very helpful. You even said that most of the songs you write are ideas you got from trying to learn someone else's song, I think alot of songs are inspired that way.
#5
You'll want to do covers if you regularly play out, especially if you don't always play with the same guys. Almost every drinking crowd wants to hear what they know. That said, some of the best bar bands I know only play a couple covers a night, or they only cover more obscure songs by well-known artists. Maybe they'll do Zeppelin, but it'll be Bron-y-Aur stomp or In My Time of Dying, rather than Stairway or Black Dog.

Doing less obvious stuff also gives you a chance to reinvent it, while people only want to hear hits played like they sound on the radio. My favourite covers to play are acoustic versions of Rainbow in the Dark and Them Bones, and Garth Brooks' Unsigned Letter played with a Maidenesque gallop.
#6
PLaying your own stuff you're playing what is natural to you - it goes up where you expect it to go up, it goes down where you expect it to go down, it has the bends and slides that feel right to you....playing covers its come out of someone elses head, and will have unexpected twists and turns and rhythms, because it goes how they imagined it going, not how you would have written it. So its pretty natural for covers to be harder to play than your own stuff - for people that have the ability to write their own stuff, which is a skill in itself.

You can learn a lot from covers because they don't always do what you expect, and there will be bits that catch you out technically, which you probably wouldn't put in your own songs as you probably write what you would naturally play.

Pick a relatively easy cover - something like Shook Me All Night (ACDC) or Fade To Black (Metallica) - or easier. You need to get your confidence up that you can learn covers before you try learning stuff that matches your technical ability. Listen to the original loads - until its stuck in your head before you even pick up your guitar. That way you know what its meant to sound like before you start. Then break it into phrases and start slowly.