#1
What is the purpose of playing covers?

I think: it can help you to learn certain new chords, can help with new techniques.

But what else? Can you learn to play guitar from playing covers and just say your oppinions
#2
What else are you going to play when you're just starting out? It's good to learn as many different songs as you can. It helps with your technique and it helps develop your ear.
And it's fun.
Last edited by derek8520 at Apr 17, 2013,
#3
That's how i learned to write songs.
Song structure, mood changes, how to make music sound a specific way... I just played the songs i like, from a huge variety of genres, and that gave me a pretty good overview of how the guitar works and how to make the guitar work (especially in a band context).
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#4
It's fun to play songs that you like. And you are the sum of your influences. You can't write a song before you have heard some songs.

And I learned to play the guitar by only playing covers. I didn't practice any technique or other stuff in the first two years. I only played songs that I liked (though I already knew theory because I also play trumpet).

Are you asking "should I only play technical exercises" because in this case the answer is no. You play guitar to make music. Technical exercises aren't musically interesting. Or are you asking "should I only play my own songs"? And again, the answer is no unless you have already written some songs. You can't write a song if you don't first learn some songs.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#6
Well, it helps you out with learning and keeping up on technique, utilizing your ear as a musician, and it can also help you keep in time when you play along with it.

Also, covers are great in the sense that they can allow you to work and play with other musicians. All of the famous musicians started out jamming on covers so they can get the hang of things.

Edit:

The guy below me made an excellent point. To further enhance your creativity, you need to have an understanding on how other musicians made their music.

Even after 5 years of playing, there are still new things I learn about songs that I've learnt in that time. You should try to to pay close attention to recordings asnd try and get them perfectly when you're learning them.
Skip the username, call me Billy
Last edited by aerosmithfan95 at Apr 19, 2013,
#7
Getting inside another artist's head is very useful for developing your own creativity. Just like no artist can invent new colors, no musician is going to invent new sounds. Having a bunch of learned music in your head lets you put all that musical vocabulary together in novel ways.

It's also very good for discipline. Playing something exactly like it sounds in a recording can be a real challenge, even with relatively simple music. It forces you to pay closer attention when you listen and play.

And learning music is a skill in itself. The more you learn, the easier it becomes to pick up new material.
#8
Quote by Gynce
What is the purpose of playing covers?

I think: it can help you to learn certain new chords, can help with new techniques.

But what else? Can you learn to play guitar from playing covers and just say your oppinions


I think there are definitely a lot of advantages to learning covers.

About two years ago I spent about 6 months doing a lot of song chord sequences for students and wrote out chords for about 250 odd tunes. It surprised me what I learned from that. It was stuff of all different genres. One of the things I picked up on I think was a kind of feel for what makes songs interesting without being over-complicated. It affected my approach towards writing songs a lot. It was like I had a better sense of context and what I liked.

When you have to learn to do something another guitarist has done it will definitely force you to extend your technique. But you also get to think about why that player creatively chose to do what they did. Which is also interesting, and will stimulate your own ideas. Lots of people are worried that copying people will stifle their sense of originality. I don't think it does - it's more like having a decent conversation with someone - you take on their view, absorb it, and it stimulates more of your own ideas.

In the simplest sense information in=information out. Many of the greats played a lot of covers in their early career, like Hendrix, Clapton, the Beatles etc.

So yes I think you can learn an awful lot from playing covers.
Luke Mosse Guitar Teacher in Bristol, UK
#9
Playing covers also helps you play better with a band. It's not as easy being in a band as some people think.
Also, if you're learning a song by ear and you sit down and chart it out, you'll often find there's more to the song then you thought. Then you'll start to make connections with the songs to theory, where you'll recognize movement, melodically, harmonically and rhythmically.

Plus like others said, there's a huge benefit to the amount of focus it requires to be able to learn to play a song exactly like it's meant to be played.


I think most of us picked up an instrument because we heard something and went "Oh, I want to play THAT!"
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#10
Quote by Gynce
What is the purpose of playing covers?

I think: it can help you to learn certain new chords, can help with new techniques.

But what else? Can you learn to play guitar from playing covers and just say your oppinions

Don't forget that the purpose of playing guitar is first of all to have FUN. Or to get laid I guess...
#11
Quote by TDKshorty
Playing covers also helps you play better with a band. It's not as easy being in a band as some people think.
Also, if you're learning a song by ear and you sit down and chart it out, you'll often find there's more to the song then you thought. Then you'll start to make connections with the songs to theory, where you'll recognize movement, melodically, harmonically and rhythmically.

Plus like others said, there's a huge benefit to the amount of focus it requires to be able to learn to play a song exactly like it's meant to be played.


I think most of us picked up an instrument because we heard something and went "Oh, I want to play THAT!"

This. I get inspired by other guitarists and want to learn some cool riffs and licks they play. If I hear a really cool song, it makes me want to learn to play it.
Quote by Sethis
Don't forget that the purpose of playing guitar is first of all to have FUN. Or to get laid I guess...

And also this.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115