Behold Guitar Cover by Born of Osiris

Jason Richardson solo

Behold Guitar Cover - Watch Joshua Voiles, a progressive metal guitarist jam in the market to "Behold" by Born of Osiris.

Frequently, when crossing the threshold from "beginning guitarist" to - "guitar player" - it's natural to notice the "creative" juices start to flow. You take a seat doodling with your guitar, and suddenly an awesome chord progression glides off your fingers, a melody actually starts to surface, you write down some lyrics with a tattered legal pad, and invariably, an audio lesson is born.

Maybe you've decided that you're going to write your personal songs, express your and yourself inner feelings, in support of play original material. That's great! It's actually a worthy goal, so write on!

In terms of self expression, guitarists (and musicians normally) often fall into one of the many different categories:

 Original Music "Purists"

I understand musicians that are so adamant about exclusively playing their very own songs that they wouldn't get caught dead on stage with a "cover" song within their portfolio.

 Cover Song Musicians

I have other friends that play in bands that play only "cover" tunes. They enjoy bringing familiar songs one's for a live crowd, and a few get paid well for it.

 "A Little Bit of Both" Musicians

Given that I no longer do cross country touring, I write a great deal of original songs to pitch to publishers and artists, and also play with various local and regional bands that predominately play cover songs. Most musicians I know fall into this "little little both" category.

Although it becomes an admirable goal to pursue strictly original material, there are numerous of benefits to learning cover songs that will not be neglected.

When we, as humans, certainly are a "sum of our experiences", then we, as musicians, really are a sum of our "musical experiences". Everything that we have ever played, exactly what we have ever heard, all the little bits and pieces, and all sorts of full length scores - are common rolled up together into what makes us each unique as individual musicians.

Jason Richardson guitar cover

One could then conclude that, to be remembered as a better songwriter and broader musician, you need to "learn more cover songs".

Although that theory may be contrary to a songwriting "purist", it isn't surprising that even the staunchest supporter of the "original material only" path had, early in their journey, listened to and emulated artists that inspired them in the past.

And probably without even realizing it, those "cover" songs have at least had a subconscious impact on their own original music.

Learning cover songs is a great exercise in expanding your musical vocabulary. Exactly what you learn from cover songs use a way of filtering through and receiving part of your own personal style.

What you learn from cover songs will not only help you as a songwriter, it will have an impact on your guitar playing.

My early days of learning to play lead guitar were spent hoovering more than a turntable while, "stealing licks" from Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Jeff Beck, Robin Trower, Jimmy Page and Clapton. Those early influences continue to have a big impact on my type of play, even decades later.

There are many neat things that can happen while learning and dissecting cover songs. The experience of finally nailing an arduous lick, the satisfaction of figuring out an inconspicuous chord, the invention of a new chord progression that you had not considered before - there are many "aha" moments when learning cover songs that would have been missed otherwise.

And all those moments make a conscious, or unconscious, contribution to who you are and what you will become musically.

Sometimes, new guitar players be put off by attempting to learn cover songs. There is a thought that songs on the recording are somehow beyond their hands, somehow "un-learnable".

But the truth is that, for the guitarist that has basic principles under their belt, many of the songs in popular music that they can aspire to learn are in reality comprised of chord progressions and patterns which they already know, or understand. Many are surprised to find out that it's really not everything that difficult to learn them.

It can be through this discovery procedure that a new guitar player may start to truly expand their horizons and start to progress as musicians by beginning the whole process of figuring out how to play cover songs.

So regardless of which path you ultimately end up taking, be it the pure original songwriting route, the duvet song route, or a combination thereof - remember that spending the time and effort to find out cover songs is often a healthy habit to buy and that the effort pays off in dividends for your requirements musically for as long as you play guitar.