Topic: What is going wrong??? Help needed.

When I play songs, they sound nothing like the actual song.
I know i'm placing my fingers in the correct spots on the fret board but I can't get the sound of the chords to match??
Is it my guitar, strings or what??

Note: I'm using a Simon & Patrick woodland, as well as a Washburn.. If that helps.


Re: What is going wrong??? Help needed.

Make sure it's tuned right, first of all.  And that you are using the same chords as the song if you are playing along with the song.  Other than that, you can change to any chords to fit your voice.  And make sure you are strumming the song reasonably the way the song is.  And welcome to Chordie.  There will be some more help along shortly.  Good luck Chris.

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Re: What is going wrong??? Help needed.

Welcome to Chordie Chris!!!

There are lots of songs that won't sound right with just you playing. Remember that most songs are played by a band with 3 or more instruments involved. With just an acoustic guitar it is hard to reproduce the song. Unless the song was originally done with just an acoustic or acoustic driven, it might be off. As benson said, make sure your guitar is tuned, is the song played in a different key than the chords you are playing, is the song in standard tuning, is there a strum pattern discrepancy, is their acoustic plugged in with some effects added? Just some things to check out.

Good luck!!!

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4 (edited by dino48 2011-05-13 01:13:05)

Re: What is going wrong??? Help needed.

Sometimes it is the timing,are you going fast enough and changing chords quick enough? That makes a real big differance. Welcome to the site.

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5 (edited by tandm3 2011-05-13 01:49:39)

Re: What is going wrong??? Help needed.

AND...Sometimes these players are actually tuned to something other than standard E tuning.  OR..They are playing those chords the way their daddy (or Mama) taught them on a front porch in Waynesboro. In any case, you're going to hear certain notes more than you would if the chords were played in standard notation. Unfortunately, most renditions of songs are written in standard notation, which is why it is so hard to learn some Beatles songs for example.
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Re: What is going wrong??? Help needed.

So lets start at the beginning. What type of music are you playing? If it's heavy metal, grunge, hard rock or rap you will never get it to sound good. In order for it to sound good you need to be playing old country, 60's rock n roll of blues (ha ha)

As it was mention, above, be sure that your guitar is in tune to what you are listening too. Standard tuning is E, A, D, G, B & E. (low to high). Some songs could be in a open tuning and will sound different. Make sure that you are playng to the same rythem / tempo as what you are listening, too. Some songs are played in a higher octave key than listed - if a song is called out in the Key of A it can be played with the open chords of A, D & E. Or it could be played with a capo on the 2nd fret and played with the chords of G, C & D.  Same key being played at different location to match the singers voice.

Learn the song with the chord changes in the right locations - then make it yours by changing the Key to match your voice of whomever will be singing the song. Any song can be transposed.


Re: What is going wrong??? Help needed.

Make sure your guitar is tuned right.  Play it in a different style.  Call it an arrangement.  Congratulate yourself on how clever you are.  Works for me.  I don't play anything at all like a cover.  Not one song.  Well, maybe one.  Sort of. 

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Re: What is going wrong??? Help needed.

That's why I like Zurf. He does his own thing, AND he hates the B chord just like me.

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Re: What is going wrong??? Help needed.

I'm guessing you are playing in a different key from the recording. Get yourself a capo and check out how to use it to change key. Or simply move it up a fret at a time till you get it to match.

Is anything really made up of zeros and ones??

Re: What is going wrong??? Help needed.

Don't forget, when you play rhythm your often not playing the actual melody of the song.  If you play this style you often need to be accompanied by another instrument or singer to follow the melody.

There are loads of popular songs that if you heard just the rhythm guitar you wouldn't know what the song was.

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Re: What is going wrong??? Help needed.

here is one way to look at it.Unless you are one of the beatles,Any beatle song you play will not sound like the beatles.That is a good thing.If you are good at a song,why do you want to sound exactly like the disc.Or if youre not good at  it and you are playing for yourself,who cares.A band I played with in the 80s, the leader would say"I am trying to get a Boston sound".I would say there is already a Boston sound,and the group Boston seems to have it down pretty good.See where this is going.If my wife can recognize a song we are playing that is good.If she cant,who   cares    JOE

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Re: What is going wrong??? Help needed.

If you go to top of the acoustic forum you'll see several green stickies. One is for some different strum patterns and the other is a capo conversion chart. Good stuff