Mudcat Café message #1580916 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #85294   Message #1580916
Posted By: GUEST,Whistle Stop
11-Oct-05 - 09:11 AM
Thread Name: Incomplete Beatles songs
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
This may be a bit presumptuous of me, but I don't think the question is whether these songs "work acoustically". I think the question is full arrangement vs. little or no arrangement. In other words, if you're just looking to strum chords in the background -- no instrumental breaks, nothing more elaborate to pique the listener's interest -- then I agree, a lot of these songs don't have all that much to them.

The key to taking a song that was structured for a rock and roll band and performing it in another context is to replace the band stuff with something equally interesting and musically valid. Often (usually?) this will call for some radical restructuring of the musical elements. If you have an acoustic group, then arrange the song for an acoustic group. If you're playing solo, you'll have to determine whether you have the skills necessary to pull off a restructuring of the musical elements all by yourself (I mean no offense, Les; I don't know you personally, so I don't know what your capabilities are). If you have neither a band nor an advanced skill set, maybe you should consider skipping some of these songs in favor of others that will work better for you.

That being said, I think it can be very effective to play something for an audience that they don't immediately recognize -- because it has been so radically restructured -- and then watch as they "discover" the familiar song underneath. It can create a real shared sense of discovery between the performer and the audience. My set list generally contains a few of these reworkings of familiar songs, and they tend to be very well received.