Smells Like Teen Spirit - JK Nov 23 thread

Here’s my next Justin Guitar Rock Songbook series update. But the original thread was getting unwieldy so I figured I’d simplify by just going to monthly threads like everyone else.

The idea is to work through the songs in the rock songbook and get them to pub cover band level (skipping ones I don’t like). This is the next one in the book.

I thought Smells Like Teen Spirit would be simple. Turns out, this took more practice than I expected. What I found tricky - still find tricky - is switching between the different parts, with the speed and tone changes. I also weirdly find the long pauses in the verse section really tricky as far as picking accuracy. Picking more consistently is easier! Also, tone switching at the right time was hard. I’ve mostly got that part down now but it really threw me.

This is a live style recording. No compositing or editing of audio after recording. So tone is from my amp live (via line out), and I’m switching tones on my footswitch while playing. I could have probably made this better with more practice, but I’m not recording an album here and want to move on. A few mistakes throughout.

Anyway, here’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. Backing track without guitar courtesy of someone on YouTube.



Way to go JK!

That sounds great man.
Ya did that song justice for sure.
Ya did great on the hard for you parts too. Ya stayed right in time with the song and the tone switching seemed just right to me.

Interesting about using your amp line out. I’ve not tried that yet and may have to look into this. Out of curiosity, what amp is that? It sounded real good.

fwiw, I like these unedited songs. It does give the ‘live’ feel to it.

Very well done and a enjoyable listen for sure.

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Nicely done, JK.

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That was well played, JK. You made those hard parts look easy.

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Late Saturday afternoon and its been chucking it down all day. Just what I needed ! :sunglasses:

Headbangers 2



Fantastic, thanks. Brightened up my day.

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Nicely played !!! :clap::metal:

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Great work JK. Some nice skills on display there mate.

Cheers, Shane

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Brilliant JK and wow were you in the zone. You really looked like you were feeling that all the way through. Great work mate.

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That was cool, JK :sunglasses: Got the song down, with the changes and solo and all. Like you say, I’m sure you’d have had it flawless with more time, but I could understand wanting to move on. I liked your clean tone sounded great, but less into the distorted tone. It becomes quite apparent during the solo when the BT’s rhythm guitar comes in, which sounds more what I hear in my head. But I suspect you didn’t spend a great deal of time on that aspect, and as you said, you’re not recording an album here! :joy: This is a good one to tick off the list, you’d no doubt be requested to play it some stage in the future so a worthwhile addition to the library for sure :metal::wink:


Sweet! sounds great JK! :clap:
You do rock! :metal:

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Great stuff JK. Well played and I enjoyed the live feel to it. Your rock album project is progressing nicely.

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Hi Jk, I’m not qualified in any way to judge your work, just wanted to let you know, that I value your work and progress, which is really great. I very much enjoyed the clean tones at the beginning, which amp was that? Your Fender? The part from 2:52 drifted a bit away from my preferences tonewise, sounded slightly off (can’t find the exact expression in English, sorry), but I have to admit, that I don’t like the song so much anyway, so I’m not very familiar with it. Just take this from an amateur listeners perspective…
As always, very good work and I only see the dust cloud you leave behind you, while progressing so fast :astonished: :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Jk ,
Nice played :sunglasses: :clap:
Gorgeous clean tone … I thought the distortion was a bit …well I don’t really know what I was missing/or heard too much, but I have to say right away that I don’t like to put on the original at home either… so it must be just me, and you played it good and that`s what matters :sunglasses:

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Wow Jk…that sounds awesome! You were so well in the groove of it and dancing with it! Loved it, and I don’t have much more to say, except for well done :raised_hands: :guitar::love_you_gesture::guitar::love_you_gesture::blush:

Hi James,

Great energy. Nice playing. Fit in well with the backing track.
Clean tone sounds great.
Distorted tone perhaps a little bright?


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Cool stuff, JK! :clap:

Switching worked fine and on point and the tones really suited to piece. You seemed to be so relaxed while playing. You’ve come a long way in 2 years and all the dedication to guitar shows in your videos. :+1: Nevermind a few small mistakes, as they are mostly not recognizable to the listeners (at least to me) and it further adds to the feeling of listening to a human playing live and not a machine.

I thoroughly enjoyed the listen! :smiley:

Thanks for sharing.

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I thought that was really excellent! I love Nirvana and your cover sounded brilliant and I liked your choice of effects. I was hooked from the start, great power chords and timing. The solo was great too, bends sounded in tune and I liked your vibrato too. Thanks for sharing! Susan

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@DavidP @Socio @TheMadman_tobyjenner @GeoffMolyneux @Cyril82 @sclay @Eddie_09 Thanks for the comments and kudos guys!

Hey Jim! Thanks for the kudos. And the enjoyment of live style performances, they’re definitely not as polished as the recording-studio style ones. My amp is a Fender Mustang GTX50, not an expensive amp at all. The line out does speaker cabinet/microphone simulation so it sounds a bit like a miced amp, but can be played silent :smiley:.

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Hey Jeff! Yeah took a bit of practice to get it down. I did set up a different tone for chorus vs solo initially but couldn’t nail the footstomp into the solo… so decided to make them the same but in the middle, which ended up with chorus tone a bit brighter and the solo not quite as bright. The solo sounded really, really weak if I used a darker distortion tone.

The distortion has basically just an emulated BOSS DS-1. In hindsight with all the comments I should have put more tone work in :roll_eyes:

Ages ago I read about the recording of the album… I think the cleans were through a Fender Deluxe Reverb and chorus etc through a Bassman? Which is why it’s so heavy.

I’ll take that :rofl:

Thank you Gordon! Lovers of live music, I’m one of that club as well.

Sure you are Andrea! You don’t need a PhD is musicology to judge someone’s guitar playing or music, just being a person that’s interested is enough. Nirvana is definitely not everyone’s thing btw, and neither is my tone selection :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:. Your comments are too kind btw…

Hey Stephen, Rogier. @Digger72 nailed it I think, distorted tone was a bit bright. A learning for me on figuring out a tone :wink:. I think I was too focused on trying to get the chorus effect for the verse to sound right that I didn’t pay enough attention to the distorted tone. Although Stephen knows all about Teen Spirit having covered it in a completely new way, brilliantly.

Haha, I’m so glad that the being in the groove came through in the recording Silvia :smiley:. I’m trying to enjoy the playing to make the video more interesting and have some more fun!