Happy New Year! It’s a new year and I’m kicking things off with a bit of a change in direction and an entirely different genre to the usual rock that I am typically inclining towards. I guess sometimes you just have to follow your heart and try something new!
The song that has captured my attention? Adele – ‘Someone Like You’!
I guess I would describe it as a somewhat melancholic, soulful pop ballad, but for some reason I just had to cover it after my jaw hit the floor when I heard it played recently by a popular guitarist on YouTube called Matt Rach. His performance can only be described as awe-inspiring. The eternal question of whether I do it justice or not is an entirely different matter, but it has definitely stretched my current abilities and given me something new to aspire to in my playing.
Yes, this song has without a doubt been the cause of an absolutely obsessed guitar work-ethic these last few days, in order to get this song under my fingertips, although I would never actually think of playing as ‘work’, but if I am honest …it did become an obsession. I think it is the sort of song that will really mature over time, in terms of my performance of it and general ability to do it justice and hopefully really bring a whole lot more emotional character to it as I develop as a guitarist.
For now though, it was interesting to simply navigate my own journey in learning how to play it within the scope of my current abilities, and although others often include a lot of string bends in their renditions, I found that currently I sounded better personally using slides between notes, which is perhaps an indication of my need to work on string-bending exercises more often, to ensure I can bend up to the right notes at speed and on any string, anywhere on the fretboard.
At this moment in time though, finding my own way to express myself within the realms of my current abilities, has resulted in a cover that may indeed have been inspired by the playing of others out there, such as Matt Rach and also Ely Jaffe (who produced a fantastic backing track and tutorial for this song), but it is a cover nevertheless, that, in the simplest sense …I can call my own.
– Joel BB