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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Songster Bob Versions of songs, and etiquette (67* d) RE: Versions of songs, and etiquette 19 Nov 07

I recall once doing this to a fellow 'catter here, at a small, living-room sing-around, when he started a song I thought I knew. I started singing the version I knew, more or less quietly, but in a living room, there's no "quiet enough," and it soon became apparent that our versions differed. I thought he might be having a 'senior moment,' and persisted in trying to 'right' him and set him on-course, but it eventually dawned on me that it was truly a different version, and that I should shut up. After the song, we (he, I, and his wife) discussed the differences in the versions, and I felt pretty stupid that it took me so long to figure out the difference in versions.

Another time, I was playing along on a bluegrassy/old-timey number started by a singer who did know a number of good songs, but whose mannerisms sometimes put my back up. He started the song at a good clip, and I, playing guitar, kept his tempo up. But shortly it became obvious he was slowing down, so I played louder, so he wouldn't lose the beat. In another half-chorus or so, it became even more obvious that he WANTED to slow down, so I shrugged and stopped trying to beat the beat (the one he'd started with) into his head. Sometimes you have to go where the singer wants to go.

I do notice, though, that when the crowd sings on the chorus, it's harder to keep the tempo up where you want it. The more voices, the slower it seems to go. Sometimes, I even set a different tempo for the choruses, and pick it up again for the verses, trying to make another silk purse out of the situation. For some songs, you have to make the chorus 'stately' in tempo just to keep the crowd from dragging.

But singing a different version while the singer is doing his own, if you realize that's what's happening (see above for when I didn't), that's sort of anti-social. And recognizing when someone 'owns' a song is important, too.


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