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Posted by paige on May 01, 2000 at 07:40:58:
In Reply to: Re: frustrations.. posted by rob on April 29, 2000 at 15:54:55:
What I find frustrating is the suffocation of creativity that results from copying someone else's music.
I want to agree and disagree with you - all at the same time!!!! If all you do is learn the other band's licks and never give any thought to why the groove works or why a certain lick fits so well at that point in the song, then I am with you 100%. But ya gotta realize - that groove or lick you are listening to was possibly another person's moment of creative genius. Copy the lick or groove, analyze it and figure out why it works, and take that principle and apply it to your playing. Basic example:
In listening to early Doobie Brothers and Fleetwood Mac (I love those guys!), I used to just copy the bass lines as I learned the songs. A few years back, I actually stopped and listened to the same songs I love - China Grove, Listen to the Music, as well as all my old Fleetwood Mac recordings. I listened to how the bass player and the drummer interacted.... noticed that the bass drum and the bass player were playing almost identical rhythms. I noticed that the bass player was getting his chordal "hints" from the keys and guitar, but his rhythmic ideas off of the bass drum (for the most part). Now I know ehy the bass parts I mimicked over the years worked so well. And I have taken that principal into my rock band and my churches Praise and Worship band. I really key in on the kick drum (bass drum), and mirror (as much as possible) the rhythmic ideas of the bass drum... and I find that the groove happens alot, now, and that is not a pleasant accident when it happens.
I guess, to make a short story much too long, my point is this - sometimes you have to dig to find value in something, and for me there IS value in doing cover tunes, but only if you are doing more than mimicking the bass part without applying thought to it. Those cover bands had good musicians in them (for the most part), and there is a reason they played what they did when they did it... if we can find that reason, then we learn from them. Sounds like a lead-in to a 20th century Music Appreciation class, doesn't it?
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