365 DotU, Day 126 Has Broken Up With The Police

You know how it is. They’re all needy and law-and-ordery, you’re all free-wheeling and fun. It just didn’t work out.


Today’s trip into coverworld is a lesson in stuff I can’t play. I’m getting a little better, I think — I mean, judging by some of the earlier entries in this series, I had nowhere to go but up, amirite? Hurhur. Seriously, I’m getting there. It’s slow going, though. Guitars make different demands on the brain than violins do, after all, and it takes trying to change the ol’ mind.

One good way to learn is to try the impossible (or at least the “not possible at the moment”). I am no good at all with the fingerpickin’ stuff — I still struggle with it. But I want to play a song that’s got a neat riff and some pickin’ in it. What do I do? Well, in this case, I punt (again), but it forces me to learn to think about individual strings instead of just full chords (which is something I really need to work on). I struggle with that, and with walkdowns.

The original: Sting’s Shape of My Heart, off of the Ten Summoner’s Tales record. I linked to a wonderful little acoustic performance here (just voices and what looks like a little parlor acoustic/classical guitar), because (a) it’s beautiful, and (b) you have to see just how totally made of fail I am compared to the original. I cannot play that. I had to find a workaround.

Here’s how I did it:

My workaround consisted in giving up entirely on the fine picking and the break, putting a capo at the 2nd fret so I could play chords that are easier for me, and faking the riff by walking around in the capo’d chords. It’s not as sweet, and it’s not nearly as elegant as the original, but I think it’s an acceptable fix for a beginner. I didn’t put the backing vocal in, although I thought about it. Doing it my way drives the rhythm a little differently, and I feel like a shoved a bit too much strumming in, but it sort of works for what it is. The album version of the original fills things in differently, and I like that, too.


About L. M. Bernhardt

For a good long while (15 years or so), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music, dabbling in photography, experimenting with food, and writing nonsense on my blog. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization), but never fear! I've just finished my MLIS at San Jose State University, and I'm currently on the market looking for new adventures in either philosophy or LIS. For now, I labor at a fairly interesting administrative job in order to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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