In my cover band, one of our favorite things to do is take a familiar song and put our own spin on it. We don’t fundamentally change the song, so people can still tell what it is, but we make it ours. Even if it’s just a matter of making the song work with a three-piece setup.
That can mean eliminating parts and changing things up. But if that’s what it takes to do it well, that’s what we do.
I’ve been teaching music for over 15 years and one of the biggest mistakes I see in all levels of musician is laser focus on playing a song right. It might sound like an odd thing for a guitar teacher to say, but hear me out…
There are parts of songs that are essential and there are those that are not. If you get caught up in the parts that are not you miss the entire point. I mean, how deep down this rabbit hole do you want to go? Is the right way simply following the chord chart correctly? Is it playing the correct notes or do the notes have to be in the exact same place on the guitar neck? Do you need to include every little mute and ghost note? Is it having the exact tone on the album? What about that background riff that was clearly overdubbed? Do we need to have a third guitarist to hold that down?