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.

In the table below, there are one to three versions of each song. The different versions are as follows.

lesson
This is the version recorded during the lesson with Steve
clean
During the coronavirus lockdown of 2020, I went back and re-recorded each of these covers. Between having a bit more practice and having fewer issues with room acoustics, this version is a lot cleaner. All the same, each is a single take with no edits, though usually there is some EQ and compression to make it pop more.
bass
This is the isolated bass track from the clean recording. It is remarkable how much sloppiness is hidden in the full mix!
Date Song lesson clean bass only Artist Time Comments
2020-04-08 Stormy Monday clean bass 8:38 Allman Brothers quick take playing my new fretless bass
2020-03-11 Melissa lesson clean bass 4:01 Allman Brothers
2020-03-04 Mercy Mercy Me lesson clean bass 3:18 Marvin Gaye I didn't spend enough time practicing it
2020-02-19 What's Going On lesson clean bass 3:57 Marvin Gaye lots of faking on my part
2020-02-12 Alison lesson clean bass 3:32 Elvis Costello
2020-01-22 Pump It Up lesson clean bass 3:25 Elvis Costello
2020-01-15 Too Rolling Stoned lesson clean bass 5:45 Robin Trower Steve had the shred dial turned up to 9
2020-01-08 Peace Love and Understanding lesson clean bass 3:41 Elvis Costello
2020-01-01 Christmas Wrapping clean bass 5:41 The Waitresses bass-heavy mix
2019-12-18 Cinnamon Girl lesson clean bass 2:52 Neil Young
2019-12-11 It's Only Natural lesson clean bass 3:27 Crowded House clean take has original on left; me on right (too stiffly)
2019-12-04 Radio Free Europe lesson clean bass 3:37 R.E.M.
2019-11-27 Hey Hey What Can I Do lesson clean bass 4:03 Led Zeppelin 1:30 is the sound of me tossing down pages of sheet music
2019-11-13 Back On The Chain Gang lesson clean bass 4:07 The Pretenders
2019-11-06 Watching The Detectives lesson clean bass 3:57 Elvis Costello
2019-10-30 Fire lesson clean bass 2:47 Jimi Hendrix
2019-10-16 Money lesson clean bass 6:26 Pink Floyd the lesson had a few problems with transitions
2019-10-09 You Might Think lesson clean bass 3:10 The Cars Rick Ocasek, 1944-2019
2019-10-02 Roxanne lesson clean bass 3:22 The Police using a pick; palm muting the quiet parts
2019-09-25 And She Was clean bass 3:39 Talking Heads
2019-09-18 Carry On Wayward Son lesson 5:25 Kansas
2019-09-04 Taxman lesson 2:46 The Beatles the busy bass part at 0'54" is a fun train wreck
2019-09-04 La Grange lesson clean bass 3:46 ZZ Top took another try at this
2019-08-28 La Grange lesson 3:48 ZZ Top
2019-08-21 Manic Depression lesson clean bass 3:45 Jimi Hendrix took 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 clean bass 3:29 The Police lesson: played to drum cover; clean: me on left channel and original on right
2019-07-24 Sunshine Of Your Love lesson clean bass 3:32 / 4:07 Cream drum machine backing; next student arrived in the middle
2019-07-17 Purple Haze lesson clean bass 3:18 Jimi Hendrix drum machine backing on lesson take, karaoke backing track on clean take