Musicians Corner – What Were The First Songs You Learned To Play????

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On Bass… Here’s the list!

Sultains Of Swing – Dire Straights

I remember it sounded so easy, yet when I tried to play it, I just couldn’t get the timing right. Then, one day…. It just fell into place! That was the first song I knew I could play reasonably well. That was followed quickly by

Africa and Rosanna – Toto

I’m a HUGE Toto fan. The little bass slide at the end of Africa really helped me to develop that technique. I added some percussion bits to Rosanna until I realized… David Hungate never played them. But I have them in my tool shed if I need them!

Under The Milky-way – The Church

It’s just such a fun bass line. My drummer friend Dan, who would later be my drummer in my San Diego band RareForm, played this in one of his high school garage bands. It just sounded so good live, I knew I had to play it! Curiously enough… I don’t think I’ve ever played it live!!!! 🙂 Will have to do it when we play the Beachcomber on Oct 8th!


On Guitar?

Fragile – Sting

Would not have been my first choice. But since we play it in Acoustic Highway, and they showed me how to play it, it became my first song. It helped that it didn’t have any bar chords!

Last Dance w/ Mary Jane – Tom Petty

This is a classic RareForm performance piece! When Darren joined the band a year ago, he said he wanted to play the bass on this one. This was perfect, because I wanted to try my hand at playing guitar, and I’m pretty sure this is the first song I played on stage with my Taylor.

Persuasion – Tim Finn

I had always though the Richard Thompson penned Persuasion was a beautiful, under appreciated song. Long before I ever (finally) picked up the guitar, I wanted to learn this. I have only performed it once at an open mic – I wasn’t ready to do a solo gig, just me all by my lonesome. But Jim Rust, my partner in the Taylor Martin duo, got very sick and couldn’t perform that night. I decided “What The Hell!” and went on all by my self. I skipped the middle bridge because at the time I could not hit bar chords at all without crashing. It’s taken a year or more, but my bars are finally getting consistent enough to have a go at playing this song the whole way through. Here’s my post documenting this momentous occasion.

Driving Me Mad – Neil Finn

Loves my Finn Brothers!!!!! (Split Enz, Crowded House and all that) Driving Me Mad is a Neil Finn solo classic. I was surfing the web one day and stumbled on a video of him performing it on his acoustic guitar. I leaned it in three minutes! It helps that I absolutely love the song and already had it seared into my brain… AND… It doesn’t have any bar chords!!!! 🙂


Songs on the drawing table for guitar:

Is That Love – Squeeze.

Played this in my college band Out Of Hand! It would sound soooo cool on acoustic! I tried to learn it half a year ago, but it has a few bar chords, and I wasn’t up to the task. Now that my bars are getting better, I’ll have to give it another whirl.

Over My Shoulder – Mike And The Mechanics

Mike Rutherford is a HUGE influence on my bassing! This is such a wonderful song, and it’s not hard to play. But when I started learning to play it… That was about the time I found the Neil Finn song and this one got brushed aside. Need to pick it up again.

How Long – Ace

Or, I should say Paul Carrack, the man with a voice from GOD! Just last week I found a video of him doing this song on the acoustic. There are bar chords, but I think I can handle it. Note, Carrack played with both Squeeze and Mike and the Mechanics, and i think very highly of him as a musician.



My plate is so full with everything else… I haven’t had time to think about that instrument!!!!

Zep’s Battle Of Evermore……..??????

2 Comments to “Musicians Corner – What Were The First Songs You Learned To Play????”

  1. By Tweed, August 22, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

    Come as You Are – Nirvana
    Smoke on the Water (duh)
    Dont Cry – GnR
    Glycerine – Bush

    Oh, and I can help you with some zep mandolin. I know them. I ordered a doubleneck tele/mandolin…how awesome is that?

  2. By Cliff, August 22, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

    Stairway to Heaven – Zep
    Godzila – BOC
    Clock Strikes Ten – Cheap Trick
    Let it Be – Beatles, was my 1st public performance, instrumentally with another guitarist. Talk about being nervous!

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