Tuesday, April 22, 2003

That's a good question, Brook. Impossible to answer, but a daggone good quesion no less. My thoughts are the beginning bands need something to imitate that both sounds cool and is relatively easy to play so you don't get too discouraged. It amazes me to see even adults trying to play who can't figure this simple rule out: if it's a professional band playing a difficult song in a studio that you're trying to imitate, you and your friends who can't play for beans at this point won't be able to pull it off at all, and you'll get discouraged, so keep it simple. So, y'know, you might wanna go with The Ramones, AC/DC, Chuck Berry, Nirvana, and such. But the hard truth is that you're gonna sound like crap imitating that stuff, too, at first. So, do it for a while. Imitate anything you want for a while. Then (and this is true with anyone I've ever known who got good at playing with other people) very early on, give up trying to play other people's songs. Just write your own, no matter how simple and bad they are. Play 'em your way, whatever that is, but try to gradually incorporate some more and more complex elements of style from people that you hear. But the thing is, if these kids are really enjoying it and really wanna learn to play, they'll figure that out for themselves. We all did back in the day. It was a survival technique, writing all those songs. I just wanted something for us to play. But definitely, you can't get anywhere until you learn something about basic blues rock patterns, so thus I'd say number 1, get 'em a Chuck Berry CD. The Great 28 oughta do it. And you won't get anywhere until you learn something about locking together as a solid rhythmic unit (especially bass and drums), so get 'em an AC/DC cd, not Back in Black but I'd say Powerage or High Voltage. And after you've learned something about basic blues patterns and solid rhythm, you'll want something to aspire to, something which uses all of that to some degree but goes beyond it and gives you something to shoot for, so give 'em The White Album. Lots of songs on that one. Some simple enough to play. Some head shakingly complex.

There you go.

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