Lesson Cover Songs

In the middle of 2019 I started taking bass lessons from Steve Baranowski once a week for an hour. After a few weeks I asked if we could spend part of each lesson covering a new song every week. It didn't have to be challenging necessarily -- I just wanted the pleasure of making music, instead of it being me endlessly fumbling about with scales and concepts. Steve agreed to it, and so here they are -- the songs we've covered.

They are one take affairs, mostly the first/only take, captured by an ambient mic. This is quick and dirty, and the resulting mix is not great, but this way leaves more time for the real lesson. Usually we play along to a karaoke backing track which has had guitar and bass removed. Lacking that, we either play to a generic drum pattern or, once, to a youtube drum cover.

Recently I've started also recording a clean version of me playing along to the backing track using a direct input from my bass, resulting in a lot cleaner sound. By "clean" I don't mean it is perfect -- just a cleaner recording; all are single takes and could be improved with more practice or via editing, but that isn't the point. I may eventually work my way through the list and make clean versions of most of them.

Date Song lesson clean Artist Time Comments
2020-03-11 Melissa lesson clean 4:01 Allman Brothers karaoke backing track
2020-03-04 Mercy Mercy Me lesson clean 3:18 Marvin Gaye karaoke backing track; I didn't spend enough time practicing it
2020-02-19 What's Going On lesson clean 3:57 Marvin Gaye karaoke backing track; lots of faking on my part
2020-02-12 Alison lesson clean 3:32 Elvis Costello karaoke backing track
2020-01-22 Pump It Up lesson clean 3:25 Elvis Costello karaoke backing track
2020-01-15 Too Rolling Stoned lesson 5:45 Robin Trower karaoke backing track; Steve had the shred dial turned up to 9
2020-01-08 (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding lesson clean 3:41 Elvis Costello karaoke backing track
2020-01-01 Christmas Wrapping clean 5:41 The Waitresses karaoke backing track, bass-heavy mix
2019-12-18 Cinnamon Girl lesson 2:52 Neil Young karaoke backing track
2019-12-11 It's Only Natural lesson clean 3:27 Crowded House clean take has original on left; me on right (too stiffly)
2019-12-04 Radio Free Europe lesson 3:37 R.E.M. karaoke backing track
2019-11-27 Hey Hey What Can I Do lesson 4:03 Led Zeppelin karaoke backing track; 1:30 is the sound of me tossing down pages of sheet music
2019-11-13 Back On The Chain Gang lesson 4:07 The Pretenders karaoke backing track
2019-11-06 Watching The Detectives lesson 3:57 Elvis Costello karaoke backing track
2019-10-30 Fire lesson 2:47 Jimi Hendrix karaoke backing track
2019-10-16 Money lesson 6:26 Pink Floyd karaoke backing track; a few problems with transitions
2019-10-09 You Might Think lesson 3:10 The Cars karaoke backing track
2019-10-02 Roxanne lesson 3:22 The Police karaoke backing track; not a great mix
2019-09-25 And She Was clean 3:39 Talking Heads karaoke backing track
2019-09-18 Carry On My Wayward Son lesson 5:25 Kansas karaoke backing track
2019-09-04 Taxman lesson 2:46 The Beatles karaoke backing track; the busy bass part at 0'54" is a fun train wreck
2019-09-04 La Grange lesson 3:46 ZZ Top took another try at this
2019-08-28 La Grange lesson 3:48 ZZ Top karaoke backing track
2019-08-21 Manic Depression lesson 3:45 Jimi Hendrix had to take another try at this; better, but still fumbled a few times
2019-08-07 Manic Depression lesson 4:28 Jimi Hendrix playing to drum cover; bass sucks
2019-07-31 Driven To Tears lesson 3:29 The Police playing to drum cover
2019-07-24 Sunshine Of Your Love lesson 3:32 Cream drum machine backing; next student arrived in the middle
2019-07-17 Purple Haze lesson 3:18 Jimi Hendrix drum machine backing