Most Difficult Song You’ve Ever Learned?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by blueruins, Aug 13, 2021.

  1. dlew919

    dlew919 Country Gent

    Jul 18, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    Don’t get married without me, punch Bros. I played banjo. The banjo doubles the fiddle.

    For bass - I think bird land or maybe dean town

    mandolin - rawhide (monroe, not the tv theme) or maybe a David grisman piece or jethro burns oiece

    For guitar I’m not sure. They all seem hard then I get them and then they seem easy.
    blueruins likes this.
  2. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Country Gent

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    For me, The Cliff Gallup lead in Race With The Devil.
    - I can still play it if I review it first.
    -Took me hella long just to remember the sequence of changes
    -Picked it because Gallup is one of the rockabilly greats, maybe the greatest, and has so many unique pieces in this
    -As mentioned, the biggest challenge was remembering the riff variations in sequence and key change

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
    JC higgy and blueruins like this.
  3. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    I can only narrow it down.

    The summer I was fourteen, I had heard Classical Gas twice, bought the sheet music and set out to learn it. My parent’s record player wasn’t working at the time, so I didn’t have any way to listen to it, so I went strictly from sheet music. Amazingly, I got the fingerings right and play it identically, to this day.

    A few of years later, I wanted to learn The Shadow of Your Smile, as a chord melody piece. This song has great changes, and was a lesson in chord melody.

    Chet Atkins’ Young Thing is a study in fingering, where he keeps a Honky Tonk style bass pattern going but adapting it to being played in three different positions. It was a great lesson in thinking outside of the box.

    The last one was Dance With Me, by Orleans. Chet used this as a big production number in his concerts, and I always wanted to learn it.

    My arrangement is completely different from Chet’s, and based upon mostly open bass strings, with the melody played mostly on the 2nd and 3rd strings. The fingerings are tricky and, while the theoretical aspect of the arrangement was straightforward, the logic required for the fingering is anything but straightforward. It took a couple of years to commit it to procedural memory.
    SledDawg, RRGuitarCo and blueruins like this.
  4. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I’ve never mastered a complete song unless it was with the band.
    I’ve played bits of Van Halen and tried Randy’s Dee as well, bits of Bach, etc. Then I realised it was too much like work and gave up. :oops:
    blueruins likes this.
  5. JC higgy

    JC higgy Gretschified

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Chet's version of You're Just In Love was another that took a while to get right,but i don't think i ever did...:oops:
    blueruins likes this.
  6. Archtops

    Archtops Synchromatic

    Mar 4, 2021
    The one I didn’t practice playing.
  7. mgomes

    mgomes Electromatic

    Oct 23, 2020
    Currently learning this, big Julian Lage fan! I go to songs I can learn to fluency in a maximum of 2 or 3 months. I'm in my late forties so don't have the patient to be learning something for years!

    blueruins likes this.
  8. blueruins

    blueruins Country Gent

    May 28, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    That would take me months at least!

    In my early fifties and I get that. I’m working on two that have particular meaning for me because I started learning them as a kid but never achieved the goal.

    I remember thinking that I would be about as good a guitar player as I hoped to be if I could master them;)

    Of course now I know that learning is the journey and I’ll never be close to attaining mastery. However, it’s a personal challenge I need to move on from.
    mgomes likes this.
  9. tom_poynton

    tom_poynton Electromatic

    Oct 23, 2020
    Bristol, UK
    Sometimes I dream about being able to play Help On The Way/Slipknot by the Grateful Dead, but that day will never come
    blueruins likes this.
  10. Cdb1961

    Cdb1961 Gretschie

    May 5, 2018
    Orange Park, Fl
    The Guess Who, Undun.

    heavily finger picked and so many transitional chords. The flow of the song also challenging and I had work really hard to develop the feel to keep time.

    I have not played it in a while, as much as we liked the song, it got a completely flat response the several times we played it for an audience so it was set aside and we moved on. I have moved on from that group too.
    blueruins likes this.
  11. Wavey

    Wavey Gretschie

    Dec 31, 2016
    Nokie Edwards rendition of Ray Charles' I Got A Woman, as played by Nokie on his Hitchhiker custom guitar. I'll let you know when I get there...
    blueruins likes this.
  12. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    That’s a great tune. I learned it years ago, but have never played it with a band.

    A few years ago, we learned the Young Rascals “How Can I Be Sure”, which is a great tune, but zero response from the audience.
    Cdb1961 and blueruins like this.
  13. Lister

    Lister Gretschie

    Oct 25, 2019
    There's several that fit the bill.
    Rivera Paradise-SRV- that was a song that spoke to me. I still play it. I bought the In Step tab book when it came out and still spent months getting it down.

    Melissa - Allman Brothers. Not a difficult song, I just learned it backwards. I was still a fairly new player and worked out the solo part by running the tape back over and over before I even started in on the chord progression. Absolutely still play it, still love it. IMHO, probably Gregg's best song.

    Chaplin In New Shoes- Chet version. My Dad bought the album(For The Good Times-1971) when it first came out and that song just floored me. I've spent a ton of time on it, and it's still not 100%. If I'm honest with myself, I may never get it to 100%, but I still love messing with it.
    blueruins likes this.
  14. amp360

    amp360 Synchromatic

    Oct 21, 2012
    Politician - Robben Ford version. Getting the right chirp without the fizz was nearly impossible. Directional cables were a big help.
    blueruins likes this.
  15. MentalTossFlycoon

    MentalTossFlycoon Gretschie

    Dec 22, 2018
    I guess for me it would be the instrumental version of Last Date as done by the Ventures. If I knock the rust off I can still play it. This was during my younger formative years of learning ear training and learning this song completely by ear (no YouTube) paid big dividends in later years learning songs by ear. I probably spent 5 months of an hour every weekday night learning it all the way through. I picked the song because I'm primarily into instrumental/surf instrumental guitar music and my Dad had the Floyd Ctamer piano version that I heard a lot as a kid. The song was pretty challenging for me at the time because it covered a lot of neck real estate, had single note and double stop runs, chord arpeggios and chord melody. Once I learned it , learning any other song by ear was much easier
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021
    blueruins likes this.
  16. mbkri

    mbkri Country Gent

    Sep 22, 2012
    Let It Die by the Foo Fighters was easy to play BADLY and hard to play cleanly. Ive been getting better at it for years. Still not clean enough and its been 5 years i think!
    blueruins likes this.
  17. senojnad

    senojnad Synchromatic

    Jul 13, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    In 1964 the band wanted me to do "Miserlou" (Dick Dale version). It was the picking speed that was WORK! I think it took a couple of weeks to get it going...... Can I still play it? Probably, but it would take some time since I've played finger-style for the last 4 decades or so........
    blueruins likes this.
  18. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Great to hear from you, Dan.

    For me, RH tremolos do not come easy. After countless hours of practicing alternate picking, I still can barely plausible the tremolos in the third verse of Honky Tonk and. I find it fatiguing. I think that it’s not likely to improve at this point. I’ve tried Miser-lou, but for me, it’s miser-bul. :)
  19. JAP09

    JAP09 Electromatic

    Nov 12, 2019
    Atlanta, Ga
    The live Oklahoma Borderline ending solo. Vince has played it different over the years, so I took the longest version I could find and learned my best approximation of it. I heard Charlie Worsham play it at the basement east several years ago, and during the pandemic I finally decided to work it out. Once I started woodshedding it took about 8 weeks. Here’s a video of me practicing it to a drum loop.
    blueruins likes this.
  20. NowEarThis

    NowEarThis Gretschie

    Jun 23, 2021
    Northern Rivers NSW Australia
    Funk Parade by Joe Beck.
    The section where he plays a 4-note whole tone scale moving down the neck chromatically, at speed :eek: Still working on it. :(
    blueruins likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.