“Mama Said” (Metallica Cover)

Originally posted 2009-06-18 22:48:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff:

Yep, welcome to Thumpin’ Thursday, which is a day where many firsts happen.  This week it’s a first from a band you wouldn’t think makes music that would be fitting for an acoustic cover.

Well, even they have to record an acoustic one here and there.

However, I refuse to stoop to their commercially successful song “Nothing Else Matters” partly because I don’t think it’s as good of an acoustic song as the one today, but also because I’m really focusing on covering the tunes that I enjoy the most.

So with that said, here’s a 12 year old song called “Mama Said” from their 1996 album “Load”.  This album was received to mixed reviews for multiple reasons.  Firstly, the music tended to lean more towards the alternative movement that was still exploding in the mid-90s.  Secondly, the album was a style change from the traditional “everything in E-minor” key that was common in their previous albums.  Thirdly, they all cut their hair and posed in some weird outfits for the album photo shoot.  While the third one doesn’t have anything to do with the music, the die hard fans enjoyed watching them sway their hair around stage as they pumped out their music.

This song is one of James Hetfield’s recurring themes when he write lyrics – his mother.  While I can’t recall every one of their songs that deals with this, it is quite numerous.  The tune is a bit of a sad one if you pay attention to the lyrics.

I also continue to focus on getting the sound to work out on the condenser mic on my camera.  I just don’t have the time to invest on anything better for recording the videos.  I’ll have to work with what I have.  Currently i’m focusing on aiming the sound hole from the guitar at the microphone to amplify the quality of the guitar.  However, in this video it does seem to be a bit much.  If you have suggestions, i’ll be happy to entertain them (short of buying new equipment).

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and original music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

“Slide” (Goo Goo Dolls Cover)

Originally posted 2008-07-22 21:45:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

What’s happening world?  It’s Jeff Copperthite here with the latest installment of The Laptop Sessions.  After two incredible showings by Chris and Jim, I can only hope that today’s video comes close to the quality that is on theirs.

I am happy to bring another new band to the sessions, and it is a band I have been a long time fan of.  I’m more surprised that it has taken me this long to dig up a song i’d like to cover by them.  The band is The Goo Goo Dolls – a band that has been around for over 20 years and has released multiple albums.   It took their 5th album to gain a significant following, upon the release of the song “Name”.

Well, i’m not doing “Name”, but I am doing one of their other popular songs – hey, it’s only one more character too – called “Slide” from their album “Dizzy Up The Girl”.  While seemlingly simple to play, getting the strum pattern and the arpeggiated intro/middle down was tough.

I hope you enjoy the new original album scrolling image on top of the page – be sure to check out our material as all three of us are very proud of our work, and we hope you agree!

Be sure to come tomorrow to see another terrific original tune performed by our very own Jim Fusco.  I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us all.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and original music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

“Something Good This Way Comes” (Jakob Dylan Cover)

Originally posted 2008-06-10 18:54:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

And now, I am proud to bring you another great addition to The Laptop Sessions library. While he is technically not a new artist, his solo work is.

Today, Jakob Dylan released his first solo album “Seeing Things”, and to celebrate this release, I have dedicated today’s Laptop Session to this album. I have been very excited about it and can’t wait until amazon ships it to me.

Meanwhile, about 2 days ago I finally figured out how to play today’s song “Something Good This Way Comes”. It is track 8 and has been one of the songs on his website for quite some time. The album is very heavy on the acoustic guitar, and also finger picking. While I’m not new to it, I don’t do it often. Obviously, a single acoustic guitar (where Jakob Dylan is using 4+ in some songs) will not sound as much like the album, but I think this effort is quite good.

Also, you’ll notice the first verse I seem a bit loud. I sorta forgot “gee i’m fingerpicking I better sing a little softer”. The rest of it sounds fine, however.

If you wanna know the chords (relative to 2nd fret Capo), the verse is:

D G D D G D Em D A Em D A

Chorus is: G A D
Bridge is: F#m, Bm, A, D, E, A7

I hope you enjoy today’s session, and I hope you have picked up (or will pick up) “Seeing Things”. I can’t wait to hear the entire album! Come on amazon…

Meanwhile, enjoy today’s session, and come back tomorrow for another Original Song by Jim Fusco! I can’t wait to see what he chooses.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and original music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

Insight on acoustic video covers for the Laptop Sessions

Originally posted 2008-05-24 22:10:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

When the idea came across to do The Laptop Sessions as a free video series, Jim started it all off by watching a video of Let It Be that was covered highly incorrectly, and Jim recorded himself playing it correctly. He wanted to put a good name to music covers on Youtube – especially covers of one of his favorite bands The Beatles. Also, in spirit of “The Bathroom Sessions”, which was a free music video series by two members of Barenaked Ladies, I helped coin the term “Laptop Sessions”, since Jim was using the camera on his laptop to record the video.

After the positive response to sessions that Jim put out, Chris and I decided to help Jim with the “Session a day” project starting in 2008. Initially, Jim enlisted Chris to put up one video between each of them, so that the site had a new music video each day. I had tried ten sessions in late 2007, but I had stopped doing them due to the low quality web camera I owned. In general, I was still new to the realm of video as well.

After nearly 60 new video sessions recorded for The Laptop Sessions this year, I have recording videos down to a science. Here is a typical rundown of what it takes for me to make each session.

1) Practice the song

This is the obvious one. As a songwriter, I know the more comfortable I am with the song, the better the video will come out. I grew up hearing a lot of music in the 90’s, so I tend to be most comfortable when I decide to do a song by bands such as Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and Radiohead. However we do try to diversify our recordings across the years, and I know I cannot limit myself to alternative music bands. Therefore, some songs require up to a week of practice. Others I can learn and play comfortably in an hour or two. I will usually begin practicing the song regularly up to two-three days before I record it.

2) Set up the video recording station

Lately I have four common locations for my videos. The biggest problem I have is that I do not have a tripod for my camera (yet – I do plan to buy one). Therefore, I have to rest my camera on a makeshift stand. I also have to make sure there is enough light. Even during the day, I have to have at least one lamp on so the video doesn’t come out dark. After that, I position the camera, set the zoom, tune the guitar, and do a practice run of the song on the acoustic. Music tends to be easy for me – it’s singing and remembering lyrics that is the most difficult. For this reason, I have to put a small sheet of “notes” that remind me what verse or line to sing next. Sometimes, I have to include the entire lyric sheet, but that is rare. “Round Here” comes to mind as a song I just needed that entire lyric sheet by the camera for.

3) Record the video

When I am satisfied that I can record the song, I psych up for the performance. Lately, I have been able to record the song in about three or four takes. I don’t worry about what happens before or after the performance, since I can edit that out in the next step. As you have seen on our site, recording acoustic guitar video covers is real easy some days, other days you want to throw your guitar against the wall because something minor keeps messing takes up. “Jane” comes to mind with this (despite it being a piano cover). I had played it on the first take and was very happy to have satisfactorily made it through the song. That is, until I discovered the battery had died in the middle of the recording. I charged the battery, and then it took me another 20 or so takes to get it again. Other times, the performance comes so naturally you wonder why you practiced the song so much beforehand.

4) Edit the Video

This is probably the easiest step, despite it taking up to 30 minutes. I transfer the video to my laptop (as you can tell, I don’t own a laptop with a built-in camera, so technically I should be doing “The Powershot Sessions”). Once the video is transferred, I split the clip to the parts I want (usually this involves trimming out the beginning and end of the clip), then add on two title screens and a credit roll. Then, depending on the length of the performance, I render the video, which can take up to 12 minutes for long songs.

5) Write the description, and upload the video.

While the video renders, I write the Youtube description and tags. Usually I will comment on the song I chose, why I chose it, the album it is from, and any comments on the performance itself. I will also usually throw in some current news and other tidbits of info. My descriptions tend to be at least 100 words long. I can usually get both descriptions on the blog and Youtube before the video finishes rendering. Then I upload the video, copy the embedding information onto the blog, and publish!

What keeps me fresh for the sessions is when I try to listen to new music that I may like to cover. I found on Chris and Jim to introduce me to bands and songs I’d otherwise not know, but some people I know also help me out in that department. It is also fun to use this as a springboard to get people to hear our independent music. That is why we do “Original Wednesday”, and slowly we are building up some excitement from our subscribers when that day rolls around. At least we know everyone watching will be listening to something they’ve never heard before.

I hope you enjoyed getting some insight on the process on my end. As always, if you have questions please email [email protected], and direct your questions to me, Jeff Copperthite. Have a great evening!