Violin & Guitar [popular] Covers (HELP!!!)

November 20, 2022, 9:18 PM · omg so...I was voluntold to play something at work next month w/ a guy who plays guitar (he strums chords). The idea is for us to play some sort of cover; something recognizable; modern. I am a fairly accomplished violinist and am not worried about being able to play whatever song. I just don't want a disaster i.e., cring-tier bad cover.

Any of you have ideas for songs that ideally: a) wont be cringe, b) an average, amateur guitarist can play, and c) the music exists for?

Please help, tia!

Replies (9)

Edited: November 21, 2022, 2:31 AM · Just my 5 cents: you approach a popsong like a classical violinist and that is often the start of a cringe. The average guitarist can strum the average popsong without a lot of effort if they only have the chords (which are all over internet) Don't look for sheet music. Pic a popsong and learn it by ear. The most are very simple, it takes you 1 evening to figure it out.
When you play it as sheet music it will never sound catchy most of the time.
And choose a popsong that has a real melodic line. Not a popsong with a lot of the same notes (like a lot of the songs of Amy Winehouse) I don't know your taste so it is not easy to recommend just 1 song. With just guitar and violin you can look best for singer-songwriter-ish songs ( I like Ed Sheeran, Nina Simone etc) When you look on youtube violin guitar covers, there are a lot of Ideas
Hope this helps a little bit. Have fun!
Edited: November 21, 2022, 1:15 PM · I personally am going to do a duet of Cafe 1930, from Piazzolla's Histoire du Tango, with a friend of mine (This piece was recently more popular). If the guy you're working with is willing to play mostly notes instead of just chords, this piece is something you can consider. My friend who had learnt the classical guitar for a little over a year already learnt this piece halfway after two weeks. I personally took a month to finish learning the piece (violin) as I just got back to playing the violin after 3 years of not touching it, so I was touching up my playing skills halfway through learning the piece. Overall, it is a beautiful piece and not very hard to play.

However, if this piece might be a little too complex, you might want to search up some popular pop songs (or ask around) to play, and you can either search some scores with you can transcribe to the violin and guitar (piano sheet music works nice), or you can make your own arrangements by solely listening to it. (I am currently learning a Sam Smith song from looking at piano sheet music while my other friend who only strum chords play the guitar)

November 21, 2022, 3:39 PM · Fake Books;--have hundreds of tunes in the format of melody and chord symbols.
Just a few things to remember; the notation of the melody line has frequent rhythmic errors and imperfections, just think of how a pop vocalist would phrase it. The chord symbols can be over calculated; not every note needs a different chord. And-- you are allowed to change the key. Some guitarists are very good at that.
Edited: November 21, 2022, 6:46 PM · I agree with M snellen. Learn by ear. The pentatonic scale is the ultimate crutch: find the ones that work in the song and you can noodle to fill time. Just watch for the dominant.
November 21, 2022, 9:05 PM · Fake books, as Joel has suggested.

Or you could get a book of piano arrangements of Beatles tunes. Such books often have guitar chords over the piano part. Beatles tunes are melodic and easily recognizable, and almost everybody likes them.

November 22, 2022, 1:38 AM · Could somebody clarify what is meant by 'fake books'? I'm a little puzzled.
November 22, 2022, 2:52 AM · A fake book is a collection of lead sheets. These sheets will have the chords symbols, the basic melody, and notated chords/harmony, generally no more than one or two sheets of music per tune. A fake book could contain hundreds of such sheets.

Google “fake book” violin and you will see.

November 22, 2022, 3:28 AM · Thanks, Mary Ellen! I was baffled, but I realize I have one or two of these - Broadway hit tunes etc. squirreled away at home.
November 22, 2022, 9:19 PM · I'm seconding Mary Ellen's recommendation of Beatles tunes. Tunes like "Yesterday" and "Eleanor Rigby" will span a couple of audience generations at least.

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