Archive and Search
« Want a Rare David Bowie CD? | Main | On Repeat »

You Really Got Me

I swear, "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks is the bane of my existence. I am supposed to learn this song for my next bass lesson - which is Saturday - and I can't get up to speed. Quite frankly, I should be practicing instead of writing this. At any rate, I can't play the song fast enough - and the whole song is based around speed.

The main riff to "You Really Got Me" is instantly recognizable, thanks in part to the popular Van Halen cover.  It's that popular riff that also earned the track a spot on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 best rock songs of all time. 

The song isn't just fast - it's aggressive in a way that music fans were unfamiliar when Ray Davies first penned the song back in the early 1960s. I have trouble with the aggression part, too. Oh, I am a frustrated artist for sure - but that never comes through when I play my bass. The only thing that comes through is... mud.

I grew up listening to the Van Halen version of "You Really Got Me."  That song still enjoys a healthy rotation on classic rock radio. I think part of song's charm is its length - you get in, you get out, you get some rock - in about two and half minutes. Van Halen were smart to not mess with the timing of the original. 

I think "You Really Got Me" is one of those songs that will make anyone look cool. I'm sure you are familiar with at least one local band that isn't very good, but has spirit nonetheless. I would suspect that playing a Kinks classic equals automatic street cred.

I guess I should practice now.

*Musicians - ever been really frustrated by one song in particular?

The Kinks:

Van Halen's version:

Reader Comments (11)

Its a long way to the top if ya wanna Rock an Roll!!

Practice, Practice, Practice you will get it.
August 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMonte
Allyson all you gotta do is relax and it will all come into place. There's no point in putting added pressure on yourself as that way you will never get the riff down patt.Try cutting out playing the song from start to finish and just concentrate on playing the song in seperate segments.

August 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBillykiss
Oh yes. Sweet Child O Mine. I gave up and years later, found the tab and quickly realised I really HAD gotten better. To this day, I forget some songs, but I always know how to play that one.

The trick is, either choose a slower song first ( as I did with sweet child ), or buy a metronome and practice at slower speeds. If it's mud, then you're pushing too hard. Play at the fastest speed it is clean ( WITH a metronome ) then keep pushing yourself a little further. There's no point in playing as fast as the song, sloppy. That's not going to help you learn anything.
August 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Too fast for love on the guitar - for some reason i just cant get it - its very annoying. i even email Mick to see if he could help me out bet alas i got no responce.
August 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred6ixx
I have the tab for 'too fast for love' if your problem is working it out. Email me - christian dot graus at gmail dot com and I'd be happy to send it to you
August 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Da da da da da... da da da da DAH...

Guuurl... yew rilly got me naw...

You can do it, Allyson.

Our "signature" show closer was, for years, "It's a Long Way to the Top if you Wanna Rock and Roll." Even though were were an original band - played our own songs - that song became a clear indication of time for all hell to break loose.

To this day I'm still not certain about a couple of the lyrics... I just slur 'em creatively and jump around a lot...
August 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterValentine
Best of luck to you Allyson, I know it can be hard and frustratin at times, but you just got to hang in there and keep trying. You'll get it. =)
August 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
Yeah i had the hardest time getting the solos down on hanger 18 by megadeth and the pre chorus to master of puppets


Van Halen's version is better!
August 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMotleyCrue666
Which words don't you know to 'it's a long way to the top' ? I'm intrigued.
August 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
You know Girl also covered that song. I think thier version is my favorite. But forever i always thought it was a Van Halen song still a few years ago
August 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChey
yer out to get me im learning now grrrrrr cant do it :)
February 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercruecrasy

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.