Rocktober challenge!

35 posts / 0 new
Last post

I'm already looking towards Rocktober! I don't do covers at all, and have always been doing my own material, but I am much considering this one to get me into learning songs that may help my overall music creativity and performance... maybe even performing in front of audiences sometime, so considering the only songs I know are the typical first songs you learn on guitar by Oasis (including the song that shall not be named!! :P) what would be some good advice for doing Rocktober as a pre-anti-cover guy? Is it possible for me to do 31 covers in a month from not learning any song since I was a teenager??

dzd's picture

Very possible! if it's a complex song just 3chord or less it out to your own liking Smile bam, instant "cover" with your own flair! hahaha
I'm usually pretty anti-cover myself, looking forward to this as well. It will help you with performance, as you have a "standard" to then look at, and non-musician crowds will have no problem telling you, I don't like that, that doesn't sound like the original :D, or I so like that it's so much different than the original Wink Word of advice though, if you're going to do any Hendrix covers make you you knot your headband the right way, or you'll never sound like Jimi Biggrin

Im usually another non cover person. But i have done a few the last few years in rocktober and listened to lots. Only a few people do it, (more songs last year) and some of them do a lot , but most just a handful. Usually a couple of albums are suggested as well as anything else you want! Personaly i didnt really enjoy last year much, i think coz it was just a few people doing a lot. The 2 years before i had great fun, people seemed to be doing some amazing and some wacky versions of well know songs! I do remember last years amazing full cover of in the court of the crimson king, i think by eric roussac. I will listen and may do a couple this year. I dont think its usually used as a place to practice covers but rather to put a very different slant on an original. But hey its an offshoot of 50/90 so rules are rare, you do whatever you want.

For me, don't karaoke it; do your own heart felt version as if you wrote it.

Life long, other than to "learn" music ? never did a cover, or as P&W stuff went too, -- always even in that, my own take on it as if I wrote it. Some folks "locally" then linked in and commented if mixed into a set, some may not know was not yours (unless doing Top-40).

So, for me, when those reasons to engage it became viable, -- I did.

As said above, -- no rules. However, "me" personally, make it clear it's my interpretation and since list on BandCamp are clearly marked "Free". (What are the chances there's an issue?, not the point... lot of folks are not getting paid, so just a "respect" thing, if that exists anymore Smile )

Since I am a big fan of "shut up and play", -- then "we'll" judge... here's 10 from 2019:

Not bad, aye! Wink hahhh, if even say so myself.

Oh, and in this project, -- if you just post and never comment or only comment within your "clique", -- that's how it will be. It was fun when folks forgot theirselves and just went with the music. So, there's that too.

-- Me, I never think I'll engage it, or even "this", FAWM 5090... and then? Smile hahhh, just how it goes.

Hey folks, I'll be starting another Rocktober thread in a couple of weeks so we can discuss which album we're gonna cover.
I always look forward to Rocktober!

What I like to do is take a song and make some changes. This includes, going from major to minor, changing the arrangement to another genre or making an instrumental version.

I always try to do at least one song for Rocktober; usually a song I like, but never learned to play until October!

Agree with @coolparadiso. I prefer to do covers in a different way than the original artist. Always enjoy Rocktober. So I am mulling things over.

all over rocktober

Where does Rocktober take place?

@Jessica Szturmann Here on this site, there's a section called Rocktober that opens up on October 1!

Guess soon all months will be taken by fancy songwriting challenges Lol Just like the old pagan times.

New guy here, I know nothing of this Rocktober of which you speak. From context I gather that it is similar to fawm and fifty-ninety, but doing covers... Is that correct?

I went to the FAQ for guidance, but saw nothing applicable. Is there a listing of events somewhere?

dzd's picture

@lowhum Yeah just maybe a little less lenient on the rules of participation, I might not be up for the whole sacrificial requirement if not completed, or for an entry fee Biggrin Those pagans were/are a wild bunch Biggrin

Yeah, @mikehex, Rocktober is an all-covers month. Just for fun!

Some good tips here and advice! Cheers for your responses!

Looking forward to it already Biggrin

Yeah it looks like variation is the way to go, I don't know how I'm gonna approach it exactly but I have some ideas cooking up so it'll be fun! I'll be hitting the research booth in a couple of weeks for preparation. Not gonna karaoke it, (mostly, hehe :D) looks like a fun way to explore and learn some things. Think it'll be a good time to learn some rap songs too Biggrin since I've been putting that off for donkey years. As well as some spoken word stuff, which I have been meaning to do also for a long time.

I take two parallel approaches to Rocktober. One track is to take, say, a 60s song and turn it into something electronic (I had fun with 'The Word' by The Beatles a couple of Rocktober's ago and reworked Dave Brubeck's 'Take 5' last); the second is to use it as a production learning exercise by trying to get close to the original (within my limits) - my attempt at 'Tainted Love' fell into that category.

Best thing is to mix it up - years, artists, genres, whatever ... same as 50/90; treat it as a musical playground.

So it looks like it's either an early Beatles album or the year 1980.

Any votes?

@atitlan I remember your Tainted Love cover and enjoyed it. I also like how you electrofy your covers.
We played Take 5 in high school jazz band, so I'm sure I dug your cover of that, too.
I'm not sure if I'm gonna be motivated enough to participate, but I'll taking that same route. Also had a thought to just do a few video game covers.
I feel like an outsider during rocktober sometimes because I'm not a Beatles listener (nothing against them, just haven't found my way to their catalog yet).
Hope to hear some of you blues folks do some John Lee Hooker.
And all this talk of 80s music has me interested to hear what you all do.

@Fuzzy, +1 for the USA release in 1980 of The Beatles Rarities! And I think there are a couple of votes already on the other thread for this one.

So, are folks doing "one a day", all at once, as/when/if finished, -- does not matter, as usual (as soon as we have a usual Smile ) ?

Just a wonderment. I figured the way it fell off "here", -- that's what folks are considering. I love how 5 non-demos show up day one Smile hahhh!

I was looking at folks who are 180 degrees from me that I would never "do"... and trying to understand, - them, it, that. Also, friends will laugh hysterically at/with me if do a "serious" 1+1 rendition, -- so, I've got a solid 180 direction and scope anyway Wink

(I'll be a "hit" as "warm up" this new years eve, anyway... hahhh! I love drunk people with money. I can probably wear the PPE-Mask and a Thong w/Trench Coat, like Prince! Who'd know!)

Seems like an obvious thing but i just wondered! my memory is not what it was! Does the Rocktober link on the home page not go up until October? I assume we have asked for it to happen this year?

Absolutely could not pick myself up from the floor for 50/90 this year, but I've been waiting for Rocktober the whole year, really. I've never participated before.

@coolparadiso @Eric Distad Usually puts a link up pretty close to October.

I've done a few Beatles covers for Rocktober over the years - "Polythene Pam/Bathroom Window" (last year), "Baby You Can Drive My Car" (2018), "I've Got a Feeling" (a few years ago). All four became songs I performed for a while.
I like doing covers more than my own material when I perform - although it's fun to sneak in an original and then tell folks who ask that I wrote it! Last Saturday was my first time on a stage (outdoor market) in over 6 months, and I did a short set of Grateful Dead covers.
Back when I first started quarantining in March, I learned a bunch of Grateful Dead covers on ukulele (usually I perform those on acoustic guitar). I posted them on my Soundcloud but took them down to make room for 100/180 material.
This October, I may do the usual Beatles cover, and I'll add a few more Dead uke songs.

@nerdjealous sharing some experience, and having heard your stuff, maybe an idea in general for playing covers. I've played the same gig mentioned by @Chip Withrow basically as background music. Mostly we are playing for the vendors (maybe a few friends or visitors pausing at a picnic table) listening when they aren't talking. It is fun for me because of low expectations and I play what I feel like playing. The covers I like to play are songs I love written and feel as much as songs I have written. Some by friends and some by record label artists I admire. Most of those songs are obscure non-hits or album cuts.

Even when I am trying to be consistent with the recording, I am only one voice with one instrument so I can only do a simplified arrangement of the song. The recordings people are familiar with have a full band, and sometimes multiple vocals and layers of each instrument. A couple of fun ideas I sometimes do. One is to find the lyrics and maybe chords for a song I do not know well (that my practice partner wants to play) and play the way it sounds to me. One example was 'Creep' by Radiohead. Another is to do a mashup of two different songs that have some type of connection. One time I was playing Rolling Stones 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' and my partner on the stage inserted Lou Reed 'Take A Walk On the Wild Side' because the verses use a I-IV chord vamp. I read that the songwriters for the Hollies song sued Radiohead for Creep due to similarities to 'Air That I Breathe' so I sometimes mash those two up. Mainly if I decide to learn or rearrange covers, then I have fun with it!

i dont try to re invent the covers i do. i just sing them as if i had written them because they are songs i wish i had written. i try to bring out the aspects of the song that i like and to reveal how that song might have influenced me. i dont do karaoke versions but i try to get get the feel of what the writer of the song was expressing. people who listen to my covers will get a pretty good idea where my own songs are coming from. i see the generations of songwriters as one great continuum. my own songs are a small part of the wholem and i would learn nothing about the fulll spectrum of songwriting if i limited my performances to songs i had written.

dzd's picture

Just an idea to kick around...........what if like in a skirmish challenge format even if 12-24 hours whatever... a random song from a hat drawing, be it 1980 or Beatles or whatever, could just solely be up to the host...... if even any loose guidelines.............go learn/cover and come back? Would be fun to hear lots of different takes on the same tunes, at least for me.

Well then @dzd, there's a thing for you to take charge of! I'd love to do something like that. That's a great idea!

great dea but i suggest the range be much broader than beatles or 1980....

dzd's picture

Yeah I'd rather the range big bigger as well, I'd seriously just randomly select a tune any tune, just not something so obscure you couldn't at least find a recording on YouTube or somewhere, and nothing so complex it couldn't be done with just a chord or four................I don't necessarily want to run it, but will if no one else wants to..... a host schedule or something like the super skirmishes perhaps? Just thoughts, and it might be something to keep more people involved.

I second making it broader. Although I will do a 1980 cover, I tend to pull more from the 60's and 70's. I like to cover songs that have a personal connection in some way, even if it is small.

Just a can cover any song(s) you want! The organized efforts are just like any other challenge, totally optional!

@dzd re: Just an idea to kick around...........

Love that idea... -- something unusual... all know, yet obscure, Smile hahhhh like the, "Archies" sugar sugar or the "Monkees" here we come... just toss it in the hat, hahhh... (no stairwell to weaven, though), that would be hysterical if got pulled in the draw (try to redo it all serious like, betcha can't).

Great idea!

Ah, yes, two more daze... and then.