WATCH: Dude Plays Amazing Full Band Cover of ‘Billie Jean’ on a Single Guitar
I had never heard of Alexandr Misko before this video, but I've never heard the Michael Jackson classic 'Billie Jean' played like this before either... and likely will never listen to it the same way again.
I've been a fan of people doing percussion by slapping their acoustic guitars ever since I first saw Rodrigo y Gabriela at Lollapalooza in 2007. It amazes me that they can add so much to their playing with a few slaps here and there, but what Alexandr Misko does in this video is on a whole other level.
As a guitarist, it can be difficult to play your favorite songs on an acoustic guitar without a partner. Often times, you'll have to sacrifice certain elements of the song, and strip it down to its barest essentials in order to play a recognizable version of it. For example, 'Billie Jean' has multiple awesome parts, but my favorite is the bass line. It absolutely makes the song, but on an acoustic, it would sound dumb to just play the bass line and nothing else. That is why people usually play chords in those situations -- not this guy.
What Alexandr Misko does here is employ a multitude of different techniques to emulate, not just the bass line, but the rhythm guitar, keys, percussion, and vocals on his acoustic guitar... simultaneously! He, by himself, emulates every dominant sound within a song that is normally performed by a full band. Seriously, I can hardly understand how this works, but it's one of the most amazing and unique performances of a song I've ever witnessed.
Somebody joked in the comments that he has been working on that arrangement since the original was released in 1982, which is not true, but would be believable if he looked older. I would have to practice that song, and nothing else, for at least that long and I'd still suck at it.
This young Russian kid has some serious talent, but only a modest amount of views on his YouTube channel. I have a feeling that will change after this video, which is just starting to go viral. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on his work from here on out. He already has a ton of videos, and while the guitar may not be mic'd as well in the others, his covers of songs like System of a Down's 'Chop Suey' are still pretty badass.