Playing "studio-heavy" cover songs live... your strategies, failures, etc.?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by guitguy28, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. guitguy28

    guitguy28 Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    I was thinking about the guy in the "worst cover band ever" video, how he tries to copy the echoing "hello" part at the beginning of Comfortably Numb.

    It made me think about how bands have to rearrange their live material. For example, Enter Sandman by Metallica fades out at the end on the album. Live, they have to play it a different way to end the song.

    So, anyway.. for things like song fade-outs, vocal effects, drastic musical changes in the song, whatever else, that would be hard to do live... what do you do? And what have you tried that just didn't work?
  2. hp29

    hp29 Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    As a general rule; if it doesn't work live it doesn't belong on a set list. But there's always a few trials and errors to get to that conclusion.
    When we play covers in my band we often re-arrange endings and certain parts which is quite fun, because you want to make it sound like something the original could have sounded like.
  3. russ6100

    russ6100 Member

    Dec 26, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    An excellent rule of thumb that will simplify your life:

    All songs that originally have fade-out endings shall automatically get the "Stronger Than Dirt" ending! :aok
  4. Lightningrt

    Lightningrt Member

    Mar 9, 2007
    Nottingham UK
    Fade outs- look on You Tube for live versions of the song, then ignore them and do your own if you like. Before You Tube it was a bit harder.

    Example, although I love SRV, I always thought his version of Little Wing only worked when it segued into Third Stone from the Sun. OTOH Hendrix's live version from RAH was [probably still is actually] the definitive live version of that song with the G,F,E,Eb run down and wah noodling before the final G chord. We do that version - I insisted.

    Most songs can be stripped of studio trickery and still work [Comfortably Numb is a prime example for me], but I've tended to shy away from Thin Lizzy songs as our band only has one guitar[me].

    Because we try to also steer away from too many of the cliched covers we also often re-arrange a song to our taste - lengthen solos, shorten the song - which often enhances it - we think so anyway[!!!!]
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  5. sausagefingers

    sausagefingers Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    'Neath the shade of an old walnut tree
    I guess anything is possible.

  6. germs

    germs Member

    Dec 12, 2009
    South of Heaven
    i'm currently working with/for a country artist who has a couple of Nashville albums to his credit. thing is, he wants a more "stripped down" band for his live work - so instead of a 6+ piece band (guitar, fiddle, mando, banjo, steel, other accessory players etc) - we're doing it as a 5 piece: 2 guitars, bass, drums, and keys.

    so, it's our actual challenge to make the song sound as full as possible - which is frustrating at times, considering the albums are just chock-a-block full of studio wankery in major keys...

    the singer plays acoustic on stage, so he covers the chording. i play electric, where i will make use of octaves, triads, and a few licks here and there during the song (hooks, lead guitar solos, etc), and the keys will fill in the gaps.

    the most difficult part is dividing up the "other" solos and melodies, or just omitting them altogether. some of it sounds a little different than recorded, but...that's the compromise, i guess.

    it's all trial and error.
  7. roverdog

    roverdog Member

    Jul 14, 2011

    What Live Hendrix LP/CD are you referring to (RAH?) I have quite a few but can't figure this one out.
  8. sixstringslut

    sixstringslut Member

    Dec 22, 2005
    Instead of 'fading', try ending #613 or sometimes #217, depending on the song.
    We always try to get 3-4 songs together in a block so we are not 'just playing songs', but , that was not your Q. We also do a lot of Lady Gaga, Pink, Journey etc...3 piece + singer. Little tough at times but stay within your means and smile, as long as the groove is there.
  9. DeeDub

    DeeDub Member

    Feb 21, 2004
    South Texas
    My band.. a 3pc, mind you.. covers Hotel California. Can't get much more out of whack with a studio recording than that. People continue to request it, so I guess what I think doesn't matter. I just have a hard time hearing it without ALL the other parts in there, but as a guitar player, I guess that's to be expected.

    Not having the harmony leads at the end just about kills me. But... people go nuts for it, so what the hell do I know?
  10. shane88

    shane88 Member

    Oct 10, 2008
    well u could look to how he original band plays their stuff live
  11. mixwiz

    mixwiz Member

    Nov 17, 2010

    He's talking about Hendrix in the West which had a version of Little Wing recorded at Royal Albert Hall. It was the first version of this tune I ever heard and it has always been my favorite. The live version is simple and almost prayerful where the studio hit was a little over the top (xylophone for crying out loud) in my opinion but then again, I'm not Jimi Hendrix.

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