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Is “Free Bird” difficult?

cra1987

Member
Messages
787
I feel like I always see things online about how it isn’t hard to play, every guitar player should know that solo, and so on.

Ive never attempted it. Tried it for the first time today. I consider myself fairly competent, and let’s just say it will take me quite a while to learn… am I terrible? The internet would say yes.
 

Betos

Member
Messages
3,680
I feel like I always see things online about how it isn’t hard to play, every guitar player should know that solo, and so on.

Ive never attempted it. Tried it for the first time today. I consider myself fairly competent, and let’s just say it will take me quite a while to learn… am I terrible? The internet would say yes.

A lot of the solo is repetitive licks and patterns, that mix and mingle with each other. But it does take endurance. I heard an interview with the band in their later years (90s?) and the guitar players described it as a real chore to play that solo.
 

CRAIG4FSU

Whatever...
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,953
The solo. It’s the fast parts i can’t play. The little sweep picking things. I’m just not fast, it’s gonna take practice.
Gotcha. There's a ton of bends and little things they're doing that can be a pain to learn if you want to nail the album version.

I haven't played those solos in many moons.
 

cra1987

Member
Messages
787
The slide parts are critical, IME. The solos are easy. Beedily-beedily-beedily.
See this is where I feel like I have some blind spot in my playing or something. I know it sticks right in that pentatonic box, uses about 5 notes most of the time, and is really repetitive, but I just don’t think it’s “easy” to pull off correctly.

At first shot I was able to learn the initial bends and phrases in about 4 seconds, but those next fast parts require some pretty specific picking technique that I don’t really have (for example, at 5:24 based on listening on Spotify).

it makes me think I’m crazy, but I learn new stuff all the time and for my music taste, i haven’t run into a lot of things that I just flat out “couldn’t” play with a little practice for a few minutes.

Just for comparison sake, the last couple of things I messed around with before this were a Warren Haynes “That Smell” video posted in this forum (which started the Skynyrd kick), and I basically figured out all the licks pretty quickly, as well as The Black
Crowes “Thorn in My Pride” solo.
 
Messages
118
I have never tried to learn it, but it mainly depends on your personal feel and style, like learning any other song, or writing your own. If you have been playing awhile it is probably not really an error in your technique, only that it is not a song meant for you to play. I don't think I would play it well either.

A lot of players think that they should be able to mimic any style, and some of them can, but it can be like trying to commission an abstract painter to paint a photo-realistic image of a horse.
 

BobbyS

Member
Messages
322
I know there are quite a few players that can play it. Everything's easier in hindsight. But, it's sort of a standard for professional guitar players because it is a challenge: endurance, some quick picking, getting the feel right, etc... It's one of those songs that is tough for an amateur and fairly easy for a professional. So, is it hard? It depends on how good of a player you are...
 

pete692

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,788
The solos themselves are an endurance test for sure. The song itself is very simple and beautiful. Perfect chords to hang a lyric on
 

ripgtr

Member
Messages
10,795
Did a lot of Skynyrd songs in the 70s, we resisted freebird for a long time but finally gave in.

The song? Easy, but we had a really good keyboard player. The slide part is pretty simple.
The fast part, the solos aren't anything hard, but we didn't do it NFN, played the first lick and just played, basically simple pentatonic stuff. Saw no purpose in doing a rote version of the Loooong solo part on the end. Not hard to play, but would be hard to remember all the parts, in order, as there is nothing particularly special about them. They had a LOT of Way better solos, in my book.

I love Skynyrd, and freebird is my Least fav by a long shot.
 

jads57

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,291
So sad that players feel compelled to copy the arrangement note for note like a Parrot. I always felt that a song should be fit to the band and it’s players not the other way around. Other wise what’s the point?
Like an Asian Elvis Impersonator who can’t speak English,LOL!
 




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