Pyrotechie
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2009
60 IQ
#1
When I started playing 4 years ago, I learned almost every song I had ever listened to. I can probably play the entire discography of the Foo right about now haha.

But ever since I started writing my own songs, I've had almost no desire to learn covers. Sure, I can still play a few on the acoustic, but friends always expect me to show off with some kickass cover song that I just literally can't feel myself playing. I guess to put it simply, I write what I'd like to hear out of a song and really can't feel doing covers anymore.

Sounds a lot more conceited now that I've written it out haha, but is this a normal thing? Any other musicians have this feeling?
MissingSomethin
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2013
100 IQ
#2
Welcome to level 2.
It took me like 15 years to get there.
1978 Les Paul Custom Sunburst
2001 USA Strat (Hot & Cool Rails)
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Hail
i'm a mean bully
Join date: Jan 2010
60 IQ
#4
on one hand you shouldn't feel like you need to learn covers for the sake of it unless you're planning on playing a set or something, but it is important to learn to transcribe and actively listen if you're talking about covers that you just learned off tabs or what-have-you.
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ExDementia
UG Freak
Join date: Apr 2008
80 IQ
#5
It's really funny, I just recently realized that too. After I got serious with my band (~2 years ago), I haven't learned a cover song since. I didn't even think about it until we were playing a show and this drunk guy kept asking me to play some Metallica for some reason between songs and it hit me that I only remember maybe 4-5 riffs, when I used to know how to play songs by them all the time.

Oh, how we change,
hamza hashmi
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2012
90 IQ
#6
wow, same here. i just get turned down after learning a few licks of a guitar solo. so i go over a song learn a few licks/riffs that i like and grab a backing track. and off i go improvising for the rest of the day.
AlanHB
Godin's Resident Groupie
Join date: Aug 2008
200 IQ
#7
Well as long as you don't want to join a cover band I guess it's ok. I like both - learning other musicians parts always helps you get new ideas that you can use in your own playing.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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ha_asgag
Registered User
Join date: May 2007
3,641 IQ
#8
It really depends on how you play and what the songs might be. IMO, if you merely "bang out the chords" then it might not be really inspiring but if you play a cover song where every note sounds close to perfect or with a sense of taste then that song is still worth playing.

I still like the idea of copying the greatest hits of some artists note for note, as well as attempting to write/record my own originals.
Last edited by ha_asgag at May 2, 2013,
sjones
UG's Analrapist
Join date: Jun 2003
190 IQ
#9
I'd say you'll find the vast majority of guitarists in bands making original music are in the same boat. Since at least ~90 of my band's set is original material (and that's the 1hr plus set, shorter sets usually have maybe one cover if any) I only really learn covers that we're going to use.
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innovine
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2012
60 IQ
#10
I like working on covers some nights when I'm not inspired or too tired to improvise. Covers are useful as they set a clear goal and opportunity to focus on technique and expression.
TravisWright
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2013
10 IQ
#11
Quote by Pyrotechie
Sure, I can still play a few on the acoustic, but friends always expect me to show off with some kickass cover song that I just literally can't feel myself playing.

Sounds a lot more conceited now that I've written it out haha, but is this a normal thing?



Great question. As an artist to prove yourself, you have to walk a careful line delivering what the crowd wants and being true to yourself. I heard it put best once, people really want to hear YOU!

It's always a struggle to balance crowd pleasers and originals. No one said artistic integrity was easy... but I'd like to encourage you to keep writing. The world needs more people who will write new songs. Sing new songs. But in the same breath, other people's songs are what inspired me to do music in the first place. It's a tribute. It's sometimes about pleasing the crowd. Don't abandon covers. Sing them your own way! But if I had to choose, I'd rather hear YOU!
spdonalds311
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2011
10 IQ
#13
I've been playing for five years and I'm right at that transition period from covers to originals. Covers are not as cool to me as they used to be, but like the above poster said they are good lessons because every song is different and has different techniques.

At first, writing songs seemed impossible but after years of playing and some music theory it started happening naturally, and that's when I spent a lot less time learning other artists' songs and more time trying to create my own stuff.
Tempoe
. . . ∆ . . .
Join date: Oct 2008
210 IQ
#14
I never cover leads, I always improvise my own in the same style. It's really kinda lame to do the lead exact, I don't know how people like Vai can handle doing FTLOG 10,000 times the same, even if they wrote it.
Pyrotechie
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2009
60 IQ
#15
Quote by Tempoe
I never cover leads, I always improvise my own in the same style. It's really kinda lame to do the lead exact, I don't know how people like Vai can handle doing FTLOG 10,000 times the same, even if they wrote it.

Oh god, this.

If I'm doing any lead live or just jamming, I feel the need to change it up each time to spice it up a little. I can see why a lot of big musicians do this now, back in my covers phase I just got upset that they didn't keep to the original.
Peaceful Rocker
Banned
Join date: Nov 2005
80 IQ
#16
I think its healthy practice to continue to learn other peoples music. I neglected that for years and my playing starting becoming stale. Covers make all the money too
cdgraves
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
10 IQ
#17
Quote by Pyrotechie
Oh god, this.

If I'm doing any lead live or just jamming, I feel the need to change it up each time to spice it up a little. I can see why a lot of big musicians do this now, back in my covers phase I just got upset that they didn't keep to the original.


If you're performing the song you should learn the leads whenever it's something the audience would recognize.

Otherwise, it's still worth learning the leads for your own education, even if you just jam through the song.