Free Fallin’ for an electric cover of Tom Petty

Only five days since my last guitar cover and having had a truly fantastic Christmas with my awesome son Joseph (who is now four!), I have found myself today with a little extra time to practice whilst my son enjoys some quality time with his Mum, so in the spirit of keeping up this roll of distorted electric covers of originally acoustic songs (can you call two videos a roll?), I present a cover of what can only be described as a classic: Tom Petty‘s – ‘Free Fallin”.

Clearly my ESP electric guitar is built for hard rock and metal, so even after winding back the output volume from the guitar and dialling back the gain on my amp, playing Free Fallin’ still requires an infinitely more subtle touch with the pick than most of the songs I have covered to date, so I’m curious to see if the song translates very well to a heavier sounding electric guitar. I’ll let you be the judge!

I seem to be in the mood for acoustic rock at the moment, albeit playing distorted versions of such songs, so I am curious where this path is leading me, though hopefully my rhythm playing will benefit as a consequence of my journey down this road. Attempting to cover songs like this can’t help but improve my picking dynamics and generally improve my touch as I strive for some clarity in the chords, through the distorted growl.

There is something to be said though, for the extra punch an aggressive electric gives a track like this. Not that a great song such as this needs it or anything, the original is perfect, but given that I don’t actually own and have never played an acoustic guitar, learning how to cover this type of song with my roaring electric, will hopefully improve the spectrum of sounds that I am able to wield via my trusty ESP axe, and perhaps simply improve the depths of what I am able to wrangle from the beast.

Despite this song being a deceptively simple song to play, the subtleties in your playing that make a relatively simple song sound truly great, are always a work in progress. Being entirely self-taught and never having had a single guitar lesson, it is difficult to know if I am where I should be given the elapsed three years and approximately four months since picking up a guitar for the very first time, but for now, I am simply enjoying the spontaneous direction my playing is taking me, as I free fall towards becoming a better guitar player …well, all in good time!

Best wishes for the New Year!

– Joel BB


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