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Tips for doing cover songs?


New Member
Hey everyone, hope the winter is treating you well. It's cold and snowy (and icy) in New England right now, naturally.
Anyways, I wanted to do covers and post some videos and such on youtube, but I don't know how to go about doing it. Or chose songs (do I just chose ones that have bari sax already in them and build of the part or can I just choose anything?). Also, should I just pick a song, find the chart with the chord changes and play around with it from there?
Oh and recording techniques would be good to hear as well.

Thanks guys!

- Allie


Hey, this would be a good topic for my blog Allie. Here's my thumbnail outline for the video neophyte:

1. To respect copyright issues either subscribe to the Association of Concert Bands or only excerpt the music you play.
2. Get a decent video camera that doesn't require you to move media to and from the computer. It should use a standard USB cable.
3. Use the free Windows Live Movie Maker to edit your piece. Brain-dead easy to use that.
4. Use Aebersold backings for your first recordings. Or play to a CD that you like.
5. Post those videos you are happy with to YouTube or, for just your friends, Facebook. You could even create for free your own YouTube channel.

I find most recordings of myself to be hard for me to listen too. They are very humbling. For example, on this recording at the 3:40 mark I solo (without a mic) and I'm immediately followed by professional Darren Motamedy. That's kinda like following a Pete Thomas solo! Yikes, what was I thinking?
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Busking Oracle
Hi Allie, I'm not sure how subscribing to anything will demonstrate any form of copyright respect, I've not heard that one before. I think you can play almost anything as long as your not trying to sell it on, or pass it off as your own work.
To my way of thinking, if you want to play other peoples material, then all you have to do is to find a backing track that you like and know (well enough to humm a long to it anyway) and then play the harmony line. When you get to the solo parts then do just that and solo to your hearts content.
I find one of the best places to get backing tracks is to look for Karaoke tracks. You have to watch which ones you get though as some are very badly made and don't sound exactly like the original.
Video is fairly easy, just use a web cam if you have one. If not a standard video cam. The problem you will have will be syncing the video and audio.
Recording, just use a USB mic and record it onto Audacity (it's free to download) You can import you mp3 backing track into the first track and record yourself onto the second track. Simples!


A little tip to help with syncing audio and video is to have something like a bell that you can ring once to create a sharp spike in the audio trace together with a physical movement in the video which you can line up on. (nees to be the type of bell you tap). A clap will also work but not quite as easily.


New Member
Thanks for all the help guys!
The only thing I still need answered is how to figure out what to play on bari itself. There are plenty of songs I would like to play I just don't know how to go about finding melody and the notes/chords that go along with the vocals. For instance I'd like to do a cover of Dave Matthew Band's "Too Much" or "So Much to Say"


Hi Allison,
Can't you just do it by ear? When i havent got the dot's that's what i do. I know a lot of people who only read dots have a hard time doing it by ear, give it a go it's liberating.
Saxholder Pro

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