Songs that are deceptively hard to learn to play

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Old Guy, May 21, 2018.

  1. rhyming_orange

    rhyming_orange Member

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    Both Prince’s “Purple Rain” and The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” use chords that are very hard to play unless you have enormous hands or a short scale guitar.

    Also, I concur on “Johnny B Goode” - even the iconic intro is hard to nail *exactly* like the record - even Chuck used overdubs on it, and he never played it exactly the same way twice in live performances.
     
  2. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    Not specific songs, but some players. RY Cooder and Bert Jansch, for example, sound fairly straightforward until you actually try and play something with their touch.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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  3. Blooby

    Blooby Member

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    I think there are a few schools of thought. There are totally retooled covers, close to the original covers (different solos and maybe some other alterations), and exact covers. I prefer them in the order I listed them. I am super impressed with bands who do exact covers, but it's just not my cup of tea.

    This is a different topic than a band just stinking up the joint. I have done all the above (including stinking up the joint I'm sad to say).
     
  4. fenderjapan

    fenderjapan World Heavyweight Champion Silver Supporting Member

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    Snow by RHCP is the first one that came to mind, looks like everyone else noted that as well.
    Also difficult (impossible for me) is to play the chords to TNT by AC/DC while chanting "oi! oi!"
     
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  5. FbIsNotE

    FbIsNotE Member

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    Weeelllllllll....... deceptive is what this thread is about. Try counting the whole song and get back to me.
     
  6. Dave Wakely

    Dave Wakely Member

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    Prime example for me would be Brass in Pocket. Getting the feel and the timing right is very, very difficult and it sounds a total mess if you don't (Hynde has a very odd sense of rhythm).

    I'd also say anything by The Shadows. It's very precise: you're either exactly right, or you're not. Not hard to play, but hard to play right. (This applies in spades to Leni Stern's album Close to the Light: timing is everything. Beautiful record though.)
     
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  7. kafka

    kafka Supporting Member

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    Anything by Joni Mitchell, even if you know what tuning she used.
     
  8. Davepitt11

    Davepitt11 Member

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    Unless I warm up a lot, I have a real hard time making the stretches on this. Major hand cramps.
     
  9. panther_king

    panther_king Supporting Member

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    Prince was 5'2" and 120lbs dressed and wet - put that fact into your equation. :p
     
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  10. chrisjw5

    chrisjw5 Member

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    And in 3/4 to boot.

    I remember an older player asking me about a song I was playing when I first started out.

    Him: "what time are you playing?".

    Me: "Now, about 3:45"

    In reality, I was probably playing in every time signature at once. Now? that's my "thing" and I stick to it. Gotta be distinctive, ya know?

    ----

    Truly, "Snow (Hey Oh)" is a beast. It's less of a song and more of a practice workout.
     
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  11. EpicEsquire

    EpicEsquire Member

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    I hear ya - I never learned any cover songs -- I am not a technically great guitar player at all - was in a band and all we played was originals, we did 2 hour sets of all originals - I use the guitar to paint a picture with, not to riff on
     
  12. panther_king

    panther_king Supporting Member

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    If it's the 'skip' timing, it's because Eddie is playing a EP-3 into the front of his amp. The delay is actually making the tempo there. Doesn't help that this is Pete Thorn playing it (who could probably also run around stage backwards while playing it over his head), but you get the idea.

     
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  13. kafka

    kafka Supporting Member

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    The Police are just unbearably complex. If you listen to just about any Police concert in full, it usually takes them 3 or 4 songs to find the beat with each other. Spirits in the Material World, It's Alight for You, a handful of others, they transcend the beat for the verse, only to come together on the chorus. It's a brilliant technique for making the chorus stand out. Only a killer band can pull it off.
     
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  14. kafka

    kafka Supporting Member

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    And of course, the king of them all ...



    The best example of how great Van Halen is as a band is when David Lee Roth flubs the start of the first verse, and they cover so perfectly nobody even notices. Of course, it helps if the drummer is willing to follow the guitar player.

     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  15. GiorgioV

    GiorgioV Member

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    Not hard if you really listen to it but I've never seen a band perform "Blitzkrieg Bop" right live. I guess people underestimate everything.

    I second Frusciante being tricky to cover regarding rhythm parts. Curiously I find his leads to be kind of easy to emulate but the rhythm on some songs are quite tricky.
     
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  16. kafka

    kafka Supporting Member

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    LOL. I've always said that if I had to audition a ton of guitarists, I'd ask them all to play Johnny B Goode.
     
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  17. dazco

    dazco Member

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    For me the Police's "message in a bottle" has always been impossible for me. We used to do it but i came up with my own way to play it thats much easier. MIAB is just a certain arpeggio pattern along with where the notes fall that is extremely unnatural for me.
     
  18. RolandKorg

    RolandKorg Member

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    No, it's not the timing. My fingering isn't consistently clean (no jokes, please) at that end of the neck. I mean, i can play it — i just don't play it clean 20 times in a row. I'm just not... good.
     
  19. Stratofuzz

    Stratofuzz Supporting Member

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    I have found that typically the simpler the song, the harder it is to make people in the audience dig it- which of course is what the purpose of a performance is.

    For example, what many would say it the easiest - Louie, Louie- is not that easy to make it a fun song that gets people up on their feet. That is unless its played in the same wild "frat party spirit" it needs.

    All Day and All of the Night is another one.

    Rhythm sections make or break a band.

    I guess another way of saying it is listening to a showcase/lounge band play a song note-for note perfect but it just doesn't sound right. Its missing the energy. The Soul. It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.
     
  20. Voodoo Soul Blues

    Voodoo Soul Blues Silver Supporting Member

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    Honest I Do - Jimmy Reed
     
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