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How much of your own material do you play?

  • My own material exclusively

    Votes: 5 17.2%
  • Mostly my own material

    Votes: 10 34.5%
  • A real mix of my own and others material

    Votes: 4 13.8%
  • Mostly others material

    Votes: 6 20.7%
  • Exclusively others material

    Votes: 4 13.8%
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Discussion Starter #1
I recall something being said that Eddie Van Halen never learned to play other peoples music or never focussed on it.

Myself, I only know a handful of other peoples songs. Lots of bits and pieces, but they’re quickly forgotten and moved away from. I don’t know if it’s laziness or just the fact I enjoy doing my own thing. I can fritter away hours and hours on my own material. Extended sessions usually spark new creativity or trip over familiar licks, but by the time I have exhausted that, I’m ready to put it down So I never really get around to learning anybody’s stuff.

And when I do, I usually add my own twist to it. (Generally how I jam to CDs . I’ll run the rhythm, and if I don’t know the lead I’ll do my own) Or it gives me new ideas and I’m off and running with that, lesson abandoned. It’s not like I’m trying to be like some sort a composer. The next day it’s never the same. Usually forgotten or completely evolved an all new entity, very different from the one that started from. I just get lost in the moment, thoroughly enjoy it and pack it in when the ride is over.

Lather, rinse, repeat

Jamming specific, very exact material could never be for me. Hell playing the same thing exactly the very next night is it for me either. Different night, different feeling

Anyone else in this sort of boat?
 

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I recall something being said that Eddie Van Halen never learned to play other peoples music or never focussed on it.

Myself, I only know a handful of other peoples songs. Lots of bits and pieces, but they’re quickly forgotten and moved away from. I don’t know if it’s laziness or just the fact I enjoy doing my own thing. I can fritter away hours and hours on my own material. Extended sessions usually spark new creativity or trip over familiar licks, but by the time I have exhausted that, I’m ready to put it down So I never really get around to learning anybody’s stuff.

And when I do, I usually add my own twist to it. (Generally how I jam to CDs . I’ll run the rhythm, and if I don’t know the lead I’ll do my own) Or it gives me new ideas and I’m off and running with that, lesson abandoned. It’s not like I’m trying to be like some sort a composer. The next day it’s never the same. Usually forgotten or completely evolved an all new entity, very different from the one that started from. I just get lost in the moment, thoroughly enjoy it and pack it in when the ride is over.

Lather, rinse, repeat

Jamming specific, very exact material could never be for me. Hell playing the same thing exactly the very next night is it for me either. Different night, different feeling

Anyone else in this sort of boat?
EVH once played Crossroads note for note in an interview. It was my understanding that he extensively practiced other peoples material all through the 70s.
 

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I've learned 3 cover songs in 4 and a half years for the current band. When it comes to playing on a stage, I'd like to play my own stuff. Jamming with friends? Down for whatever. Jamming at home? Still mostly just goofing off with my own stuff, mostly due to not having the discipline to learn much new stuff...
 

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I'm 50/50. One night a week I play all my own guitar work over my lead singers lyrics and compositions. The next night I improvise my way through a myriad of covers as the lead man in an open jam's house band, trying to stay as true to the original as possible.
 

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EVH did some terrific covers, some recorded, some only live. There’s a pretty good cover of The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again.
 

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The only covers I could ever play all the way through are the handful my band has learned over the years. I've been in the same band for 20 years and written all the music for it. It's that or just general jamming with other people. I've just never really sat down and learned covers, with the exception of when I first was learning guitar.

The drummer in my band has a chart on his wall of 300 songs his cover band can play (and play well) . I am impressed as hell by that, I just don't have the discipline to learn like that, nor the desire to play that material live.
 

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I am not a good copycat so I avoid covers and save them for the campfire or party.

I like my own songs and I have arranged poems to music.

I have always wanted to write my own songs since the mid-sixties. In the past, I have been scornful of some recording musicians who can't write their own material.

However, we have all seen some great copycats, and I have to respect talent that I don't have.

 

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It really depends on at what age you asked me.

When I played in bands the focus was original material.

Now I occasionally write a song or record an idea but the focus is on learning songs to play around the campfire.
 

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Solo I play lots of covers, but I pretty much ignore the original arrangements and do my own thing. Don't do many originals anymore but I used to do lots.
 

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So many great songwriters. I'm not one of them ;-) So I mostly play other people's stuff. But usually different and sometimes very different from the original.
 

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None. Nobody wants to hear my stuff they want covers. Often solo's are a mash because I can't remember them proper.

EVH's first album had a Kinks cover on it. "Girl you really got me" as I recall.
 

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When I played in bands I played 90% covers. Tried learning the songs note for note. Took a lot of discipline and as I learned the song I would discover the different styles the players used and using those styles made me a more diverse player. (I had to learn the lyrics too as I sung lead-had my hands full).

Now it’s 90% my stuff. Still analyze many new players out there -pro and amateur. And really try to not fall into ruts and keep evolving.
I miss the thrill of playing great cover songs and the audience getting into it. But I don’t miss learning songs I don’t like. I enjoy the freedom of playing what I want for me.
 

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In a band situation it's great to play originals. And great to play at gigs. But completely pointless at a jam. How do you play a song you've never heard before and isn't charted out or pre-recorded (I have played that kind or original stuff before)?

You have to learn covers to jam with others, I can't see any other way. My friends and I have hundreds of songs we can play, if someone else wants to play/sing them. Even with that, finding 'common ground' material isn't always easy. But way easier than playing what one person only hears in their head and has never been recorded or played in front of us (or anyone else) ever before. Then there's the old "well, it sounds just like ....", to which I respond "OK, let's just play that song, we all know it."
 

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Probably the best band I ever played with did almost entirely covers written by the lead singer/guitarist (I played bass). The exceptions were Like A Rolling Stone and All Along The Watchtower (f I recall correctly) and even those were given our treatment. That band drew a crowd in the local haunts, sold a few CDs, and varied in numbers on stage from a power trio to 7 or 8 with additional drummer, guitarist and/or brass.

I think the originals success was due to several things, group arrangements (often jammed on the fly) as opposed to the writer's arrangements, on stage communication with signals etc, every band member was capable of soloing on a tune but we did so selectively (the usual drums, bass, and guitar, but also sax or more brass), all of us could do a solo act but found our role in the band and kept to it, all but two of us had music degrees (me and the second guitarist, but we're both working musicians anyway) so there was no communication/language issues, we were all multi-instrumentalists so we understood what each other were doing, we could all sing if we had to, and rocking folk blues with absolutely killer percussion kept people dancing.

Never underestimate the power of a good rhythm section of bass and percussion to keep folks entertained. A great beat, danceable rhythms, superb fills, sometimes both a kit drummer and a hand drummer, and different drum tones. When the drummers pay as much attention to tone as the guitarists, something's going on. I used a fretless bass most of the time but added fretted bass on certain songs, plus I tried to change my tone subtly as the gig progressed. Too many bass players dial in their tone and stick with it.

The other element that helped with the originals is a good set list. The set list needs to be arranged in much the same way as an individual song, considering key, tempo, subject matter, familiarity, etc. It shouldn't be random.
 

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...every band member was capable of soloing on a tune... all of us could do a solo act but found our role in the band and kept to it... all but two of us had music degrees... there was no communication/language issues... we were all multi-instrumentalists so we understood what each other were doing... we could all sing if we had to... and rocking folk blues with absolutely killer percussion kept people dancing.

WTF?! When you get to this level, how can you go wrong? LOL.
 

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I'm still a novice at all this music stuff but my intention with learning to play guitar was/is to eventually play my own stuff...whether that's just noodling over a backing track or actually writing my own composition...one day, maybe.
 
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