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The Cure - Lovecats (Read 686 times)

Offline foryoda

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The Cure - Lovecats
« on: June 19, 2021, 12:11:33 AM »
Here is my piano arrangement of The Cure - Lovecats which was a 80's new wave classic back in the the day.  I'm not used to the jazz rhythms but I really enjoyed the challenge.


Offline ranjit

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Re: The Cure - Lovecats
«Reply #1 on: June 19, 2021, 02:21:47 AM »
Really nice! The rhythm in the left hand (the stride pattern) is really groovy. You might consider creating variations on that idea. For example, you could add arpeggios which follow a similar pattern. Or adding a middle voice, if you're up for it! Arranging can be a lot of fun.

Offline foryoda

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Re: The Cure - Lovecats
«Reply #2 on: June 19, 2021, 09:46:02 AM »
Thank you! Those are very good suggestions and I will definitely play around to see how I can add a bit more.

Offline ranjit

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Re: The Cure - Lovecats
«Reply #3 on: June 19, 2021, 05:24:35 PM »
It's a common piece of advice to not imitate the exact same configuration more than 2-3 times, and one which I think is generally true.

I like this introduction to arranging. You might find it useful.
https://animenz.wordpress.com/learn-how-to-transcribe/

Offline foryoda

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Re: The Cure - Lovecats
«Reply #4 on: June 19, 2021, 07:32:27 PM »
Thank you. In this case I was trying to be faithful to the song and using the original as a guide. But the link is helpful. Thank you.

Offline ranjit

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Re: The Cure - Lovecats
«Reply #5 on: June 19, 2021, 07:49:25 PM »
Thank you. In this case I was trying to be faithful to the song and using the original as a guide.
Yes, I know ;) But, the problem with that is that the producer has a lot more tools at their disposal to create interest, and can vary instrumentation and effects a lot in order to play the exact same notes multiple times while still retaining interest. As pianists, we need to somehow simulate that effect without having multiple instruments at our disposal. So, a literal reproduction is usually not enough, and sounds bland in comparison.

Edit: Or, you'll have to create a really good jazz (ragtime-ish) groove with broken tenths etc. in the left hand. Even then, you probably will need to add something to a piano solo arrangement to keep it interesting. You could check out Tom Brier to get an idea of the kind of thing I'm talking about here.

Oh, and you could also look up how to do walking basslines on the piano to imitate the bass section.

Offline j_tour

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Re: The Cure - Lovecats
«Reply #6 on: June 19, 2021, 10:29:00 PM »
That's quite an achivement, this arrangement, and I think you should be proud.

The stride/ragtime LH does capture some of the off-kilter "retro" (even for the time....although I was a young kid when the song was released and didn't remember it until now, if I ever heard it) flavor.

Right up to the piano part on the original recording.

I can't think of what you could do "better," really.  You have the feel down just fine, and you get the bassline down just after the impressionistic sort of "intro" to the tune.

And you return to the signature bassline...I guess I'd call that the "hook" of the tune.

You exploit octaves in both hands to good effect, but I suppose if anything, since the vocal melody is rather plain, I'd maybe take advantage of octaves in the RH to try to forcefully build dynamics over the already prominent LH (which is not a criticism of your LH, just the nature of that kind of pattern on piano....the RH must struggle sometimes to be heard or to anticipate where the "bass" or accompaniment is going, as though the RH were horns or a piano struggling over a full orchestra).

And, equally, although you do this, a little more playfulness in the LH.  Yes, I know how the original recording is, but you can occasionally vary the pattern by throwing in a firm octave in LH and then resume the pattern.


So, no, there's not much to add, other than it's a good introduction or re-introduction to a tune, and you play it convincingly.  If anything, more improvisatory elements will probably come to you if you keep playing the tune.

I like it, and I thank you for the contribution!

EDIT, on review, I've stricken the parts of my response which I don't think apply after listening to your arrangement and the original side-by-side.

I can't think of a single thing I'd change or do differently than you (other than just choices about how to articulate the introductory 'noises' and so forth, minor things that are just up to choice):  you managed to incorporate just about everything from the original tune into a succinct, idiomatic statement, in real time. 

It must have been a bit like being a "one-man-band" type thing trying to decide how to play it (you know, those people who have a cymbal attached to a knee, and a melodica or harmonica, an open-tuned guitar, and so forth, while walking around for entertainment).

So, my original thought must stand:  that's an extraordinary accomplishment, and you should be proud.

And the original is an odd, kind of hyped-up feel to the rhythm:  it wouldn't really be the same tune without that aggressive, on top of the beat feeling.  Knee-jerk reaction for me is that I like to play that stuff a bit behind (but still keeping the tempo), but hearing the original, you get that exactly right.





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Offline foryoda

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Re: The Cure - Lovecats
«Reply #7 on: June 21, 2021, 02:03:53 AM »
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a well thought out response to my cover.

I've been thinking a lot about what you and ranjit said about covers and embellishment and I am going to attempt to add some of my own elements into future covers.  I think it has been an iterative learning process for me.  I found stepping out of many years of classical music training and then not playing for many more into pop has been a big transition.  It was the covers from vkgoeswild (she is an international calibre classical pianist) that really inspired me and I learned a couple of her covers from her sheet music.  Her Bohemian Rhapsody is really fun!  My next step was to do my own arrangements and I tend to pick ones that I find challenging.  Going forward I am going to try to add more of my own elements to make it my own, but so far I have been playing it safe and going with a more faithful interpretation of the original.

Thank you so much for your words of support.  I am always looking for ways to improve and all of the comments here are very helpful!

That's quite an achivement, this arrangement, and I think you should be proud.

The stride/ragtime LH does capture some of the off-kilter "retro" (even for the time....although I was a young kid when the song was released and didn't remember it until now, if I ever heard it) flavor.

Right up to the piano part on the original recording.

I can't think of what you could do "better," really.  You have the feel down just fine, and you get the bassline down just after the impressionistic sort of "intro" to the tune.

And you return to the signature bassline...I guess I'd call that the "hook" of the tune.

You exploit octaves in both hands to good effect, but I suppose if anything, since the vocal melody is rather plain, I'd maybe take advantage of octaves in the RH to try to forcefully build dynamics over the already prominent LH (which is not a criticism of your LH, just the nature of that kind of pattern on piano....the RH must struggle sometimes to be heard or to anticipate where the "bass" or accompaniment is going, as though the RH were horns or a piano struggling over a full orchestra).

And, equally, although you do this, a little more playfulness in the LH.  Yes, I know how the original recording is, but you can occasionally vary the pattern by throwing in a firm octave in LH and then resume the pattern.


So, no, there's not much to add, other than it's a good introduction or re-introduction to a tune, and you play it convincingly.  If anything, more improvisatory elements will probably come to you if you keep playing the tune.

I like it, and I thank you for the contribution!

EDIT, on review, I've stricken the parts of my response which I don't think apply after listening to your arrangement and the original side-by-side.

I can't think of a single thing I'd change or do differently than you (other than just choices about how to articulate the introductory 'noises' and so forth, minor things that are just up to choice):  you managed to incorporate just about everything from the original tune into a succinct, idiomatic statement, in real time. 

It must have been a bit like being a "one-man-band" type thing trying to decide how to play it (you know, those people who have a cymbal attached to a knee, and a melodica or harmonica, an open-tuned guitar, and so forth, while walking around for entertainment).

So, my original thought must stand:  that's an extraordinary accomplishment, and you should be proud.

And the original is an odd, kind of hyped-up feel to the rhythm:  it wouldn't really be the same tune without that aggressive, on top of the beat feeling.  Knee-jerk reaction for me is that I like to play that stuff a bit behind (but still keeping the tempo), but hearing the original, you get that exactly right.

Offline ranjit

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Re: The Cure - Lovecats
«Reply #8 on: June 21, 2021, 03:52:47 AM »
vkgoeswild is great, although she's not international caliber haha.

You could also check out Jarrod Radnich and Jacob Koller if you haven't already. There are some really nice cover artists out there on Youtube.

Offline foryoda

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Re: The Cure - Lovecats
«Reply #9 on: June 21, 2021, 12:32:29 PM »
I agree vkgoeswild isn't that well known on the international stage but she did win a number of classical competitions years ago before switching to rock.

I will definitely check out Jarrod Radnich and Jacob Koller.  Thank you!

Offline quantum

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Re: The Cure - Lovecats
«Reply #10 on: June 21, 2021, 08:16:16 PM »
Nice arrangement.

For this kind of music, I think sitting in the groove is one of the prevailing characteristics.  One does not need to stick to that LH stride pattern so literally, especially if it causes other more salient parts to be sacrificed - all that is needed is the implied illusion that the stride continues while other more important parts poke through once in a while.  You are arranging for two hands what an entire band and post production team was able to do in the recording. 




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Offline foryoda

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Re: The Cure - Lovecats
«Reply #11 on: June 21, 2021, 09:14:52 PM »
Thank you, I will definitely keep that in mind.  I agree that there is room to play with and I will try to venture more into that zone for my next covers.

This has been a challenge for me rhythmically and also being true to the score.  Now that I have this as a base maybe I'll feel more comfortable changing it up.  The suggestions definitely all make sense.