Nate from Richards Guitar Studio In This Moment – The Promise guitar cover. Richards Rock Academy song for upcoming show.
I used a 7-string guitar with the E string dropped to D (for teaching purposes for rock band school). Lots of fun, and our rock band is currently playing this at local shows.
A few words about playing cover songs on guitar:
- Your main goal – play the music exactly as recorded. At Richards Guitar Studio, our goal is to cover songs as dead-on accurate as possible. We prefer to not water anything down, and we push the student to go that extra mile and not settle for just “good” or half-ass. There are countless reasons why we do this (work ethic, motivation, etc.), but I’ll stick to just one here. By learning the exact transcription, the student is getting a guitar lesson from the artists themselves. As we all don’t have personal access to, let’s say, Kirk Hammett, and we can’t just go over to his house and get a guitar lesson, we can study his playing and basically get a lesson from him. Learning his music note-for-note, through this process he is showing us, “Here is how I approach playing in a minor key in a ballad situation” or, “Check out how I do blues licks and bends” or, “Here’s how I play alternate picking riffs.” If the teacher re-arranges the song, waters it down, puts it into a different key, etc. – the student learns nothing from the pros whom they are trying to emulate.
- However, sometimes rearranging is unavoidable. The Promise by In This Moment is a great example of this. The song is played on a 7-string guitar (or at least a super-tuned-down 6-string), and our rock academy students do not all own a 7-string (and we’re not going to stop the show for 10 minutes while we tune everyone down). So, you figure out exactly what was written and get as close as possible. For example, instead of low 7-string power chords, I used inverted power chords (4ths instead of 5ths) to get a heavy sound but without the extra low string.
- Covering songs accurately improves band rehearsal and performance. We’ve had many experiences at Richards Guitar Studio where the students learned the songs at home, walked into practice, and played through the song first take. We avoided hours of back and forth, correcting bad habits or mistakes, etc. Also, the performance of the song will be much tighter rhythmically, creating a powerful live show.
Richards Guitar Studio offers professional guitar lessons in Aston PA. We serve Delaware County PA towns such as Swarthmore, Media, Springfield, Ridley Park, Garnet Valley, and Brookhaven.