“No Excuses” (Alice In Chains Acoustic Rock Cover)

Originally posted 2009-06-11 21:53:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff:

Welcome to Thumpin’ Thursday!  I’ve got a great alternative song that I had completely forgotten about up until recently.

Two weeks ago my wife & I bought a Nintendo Wii after a long time of debating whether we wanted it enough to buy it.  Well, thankfully that answer is yes.  We bought a few games we knew we’d like, which included the line of “Wii” games (including the Wii fit, which i’m happy to report is actually quite effective), and I also bought Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero: Metallica.

Well,  next week I hope that I can actually…cover a Metallica song!  An acoustic cover?  You bet!  I’m sure those that are reading this will probably narrow the possibilities down to about 3 songs.

But the reason I mention Guitar Hero: Metallica (besides the fact that I love it and am currently working on 5-starring all the songs on Hard) is because today’s song is in this game.  It helped to remind me that it existed, and that it would make a great session entry.

So today I bring you “No Excuses” by Alice in Chains from their 1994 album “Jar of Flies”.  This song always sounded like it’d be more difficult than it actually is.  The lyrics and song always made me sing along throughout my teenage years.  I love the chorus that fits right in to the mood.

The song is very easy to play.  Tune the guitar down 1/2 step, and play a standard A barre chord, but only press down on the low E string with your index finger, leaving the B and high E string open the entire song.  Slide that up to the 7th fret, and back again for the verse.  For the chorus, bring it down to G, then A, B, A, G, A, then E in standard position (I use my middle, ring, and pinky to play the chord so it allows me to return to the barre position for the verse).

I tried to use a slightly different position today, facing the sound hole from the guitar towards the camera.  It seemed to work for “Hello, it’s Late” from last month.

I hope you enjoy today’s entry, and next week perhaps I’ll see you for another great session!  TTFN!

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!

“Some Flowers Bloom Dead” (Wallflowers Cover)

Originally posted 2008-08-18 23:26:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

 By Jeff Copperthite:

Welcome to your Monday Night Football….er, edition of The Laptop Sessions!  It’s the man, myth, and legend Jeff Copperthite tonight with your latest acoustic cover video for the series.  I hope this song is familiar to you, because it is a good one.

The song is another one from The Wallflowers called “Some Flowers Bloom Dead” from their album “(Breach)”.  I think the album as a whole is one of the most underrated of their albums.  It has some really awesome tunes on it and I know that my friend Rory would belt out the tracklisting in order.  I’d put down $40 that he could do it.  Before session-a-day ends in a mere 4 months and 13 days (almost 2/3 done), I will do another song from this album called “Murder 101” because I think the tune is that good.

You may notice I enjoy covering this band a lot.  It has something to do with the fact I haven’t had to filter many (if any) negative comments about ANY of their covers here or on Youtube.  Maybe my singing style is similar to Jakob Dylan, or you can tell that I’m a huge fan when you watch me play their tunes.  Regardless, I love bringing you more videos of their songs.  However, I had to include a little text after my title in the video.  I must admit that I was getting a little tired in this recording session.  I’m have to sit down and record some videos this week so this doesn’t happen in the future.  My guitar playing isn’t as clean as usual, but I was trying my hardest to not ruin another take.  I don’t think I’m a perfectionist, but when it comes to recording these videos, sometimes I just have to relax and just play the song.

Terrific Tuesday is next, and Jim Fusco is on deck for that.  I hope you checked out his video from Saturday.  What a great, great video and great song.  You’re really missing out if you haven’t seen it.  Here, I’ll even give you the direct link: Ben Folds “Time”.

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 origianal 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!

“Development of a writer” – A retrospective by Jeff Copperthite (Part 2/3)

Originally posted 2009-04-02 22:40:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

One of the things that anybody who knows me well is that I am into a very special type of music.

No, it isn’t anything mainstream.  In fact, I can think of only 3 other people who enjoy this type of music as much as I do.

Quite simply, it is soundtracks from video games.   Especially Role Playing Games.

I have what I feel is a very impressive collection of OST (Original Soundtrack) from a variety of games.  One reason I think I enjoy the music so much is because I did grow up listening to the music from these games almost entirely.  When it comes to my favorite activity both now and then, it certainly is video games.

More so than any of my other hobbies.  It even surpasses the playing and writing of music.

So I have an ingrained affinity to the music.  I always had a great auditory memory as well.  I can still hum music from old Nintendo games I haven’t played in over 15 years.  If you say “Flash Man from Mega Man 2”, I will hum it in tune and on key.  You may even get some of that terrible synth drum channel that NES was notorious for.

But the ones I latched onto immediately are the Final Fantasy series’ OSTs.  I have them all.  And not just some remixed versions or user-generated remixes.  Just like I was playing the original version of the game.

Why do I enjoy listening to the music so much?  Plain and simple – it is something for me to listen too, and I can do almost any regular task while I listen.  Simply put, many papers got written while I listened to “Dancing Mad”, the final boss music from Final Fantasy 6, and other songs from those series.

As I discovered the fact that some more uncommon OSTs existed, I found as many of them as I could and got them.  I have the OSTs for such obscure games as Emperor: Battle for Dune (a favorite actually), Dune 2000, StarFox, Perfect Dark, Super Mario RPG, Secret of Mana (and all of it’s prequels and sequels), Ogre Battle (and it’s derivatives), and the F-Zero series.  Simply put, there’s a soundtrack for all kinds of moods.

Actually, now that I mention the “Emperor” soundtrack, it reminds me of a story.

About a year ago, I did something that I was always a bit afraid of, but knew I had to do – I donated blood.  I’ve always been a bit squeamish about things like this, but I knew it was the right thing to do.  To get me through it, however, I popped up the Emperor Soundtrack because the music had such a driving beat to it, and the tunes are so engrossing overall (I even asked the Phlebotomist to cover the donation bags so I couldn’t watch my blood being drawn).  I looked up at the ceiling of Sacred Heart’s Field House for a while and enjoyed it.  Hey, it got me through it.  I may even do it again in the future.

Well anyway, point is I have always enjoyed VG music.   I downloaded MIDI tracks as well.  But then I found a game that had a great soundtrack, but very few MIDI files for its music.

And so, I began the Final Fantasy Tactics Battle Music Project, which at the time was a regularly updated website with the files that I created using various implements, most notably a program called Noteworthy Composer.  My methods were this easy.  I used an audio recorder to tape the particular song of interest off of the TV while the game was playing.  Then I systematically tried to pick out the different instruments and parts, then try to transcribe them on the keyboard.  Once I had figured out one or two instruments, usually the rest were easy to pick out as well.  This method certainly wasn’t the best, but at the time I was very mad that these files didn’t exist, and I wanted to change that.

I ended up transcribing quite a few of the songs from the game, and within the next two years, I noticed lots of fan sites posting my MIDI files.  I also got lots of great comments, emails, and requests.  I did the majority of the work for files in this game within those two years, but I would go back periodically until I was done in college to update some of the songs that I knew better.

I also at one point in college (~2000 I think) did a similar site for Final Fantasy 9 called (how original) the FF9 MIDI Project.  Similar to FFT, I transcribed select songs due to not many being transcribed at the time.  I still find both of the MIDI files from these games around the internet.

It wasn’t long after this that I began composing music similar in style.  There will be more on that in the next edition of this series.  Stay tuned for that next month!

“Polly” (Nirvana Cover)

Originally posted 2008-10-14 22:18:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

Good evening and welcome to another awesome edition of The Laptop Sessions!  Tuesday is always a tricky day for me since I usually have school, then a couple of hours to practice and spend time with my wife, then my weekly Dynamis run.  We had a good run tonight, but then I get to post my performance – and tonight it’s a new band!

The band I am featuring tonight is Nirvana, one of the most well-known alternative rock acts of all time.  The song I am playing is from their awesome 1991 album “Nevermind”, and it is “Polly”.  It’s a sweet, acoustic number that is kind of out of place on the album.  All the songs have a grunge feel to them (perhaps not the last track, but the rest of them sure do), and this song breaks up the flow of the album, but in a good way.  It makes all the songs not sound the same, and I think the hooking tracks were all singles, which is why the album sold so well in the first place.

The band was fronted by Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide in the mid-90’s much to the dismay of many Nirvana fans.  But that’s a topic you can read about nearly anywhere.

As far as me, I am nearing another viewcount milestone, and can’t wait to reach the 1/20 of a million mark (that’s for my students who say “I hate fractions”).  I’ll be sure to let you know when I cross that threshold.

It’s also my birthday tomorrow – another year added on to my old fart status.

Enjoy tonight’s session, and report back tomorrow for another awesome original tune by Jim Fusco!

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 origianal 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!