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I Couldn't Care Less What Cover Songs We Play. I'm a Musical Hore!!

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  • I Couldn't Care Less What Cover Songs We Play. I'm a Musical Hore!!

    As Long As The People Dance And Party To them....SO many other musicians I know, including my heavyweight band members get caught up in wanting to do tunes they think are cool...I don't get it..It's a cover song!!!  I have my own songs that I give a **** about and get off on, I do cover stuff FOR MONEY ONLY!!! I don't want to spend unncecessary time and effort on tunes that will not kill for the benefit of band members..SORRY.  I've found out that I'm in the minority with this attitude which shocked me!! Who is with me? Discuss!


  • #2
    Are you being facetious here? Aren't you the who told Grant a couple of weeks ago that you'd shoot yourself if you had to play the songs his band plays?

    But yes, I agree with your post for the most part. A cover band is about entertaining people with music, having fun doing it, and making some money while doing so. Focus on enjoying playing the song and your performance of it and connecting it with the audience. You didn't write the song, and everybody knows that. Nobody cares if YOU think it's a good song or not.

    But, having said that, you DO have to enjoy what you're doing, and if your dislike for the material is so strong that you just can't get past it then you just can't get past it. I would just suggest finding ways to do so if you want to be a successful cover band. Or finding other ways to have similar success with songs you do like.
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    • #3

      sventvkg wrote:

      As Long As The People Dance And Party To them....SO many other musicians I know, including my heavyweight band members get caught up in wanting to do tunes they think are cool...I don't get it..It's a cover song!!!  I have my own songs that I give a **** about and get off on, I do cover stuff FOR MONEY ONLY!!! I don't want to spend unncecessary time and effort on tunes that will not kill for the benefit of band members..SORRY.  I've found out that I'm in the minority with this attitude which shocked me!! Who is with me? Discuss!


      I'm somewhat with you in that I enjoy playing bass on most anything. I didn't play at all from about '83 to '03 so "missed" learning all those songs many of you hate. I just learned BEG a couple months ago LOL. Yah, a working cover band had better play what the audience wants, not what they want, if they want good gigs. Nobody wants to see a bunch of wankers playing "cool" songs that most don't know - great way to stink up the place and not get invited back.


      "We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us" - Walt Kelly​

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      • guido61
        guido61 commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm maybe lucky in this way--- I came up in the 80s and played in a couple of very popular cover bands. It was really easy to blend what the crowds wanted to hear with what I liked because we we're all on the same page. And there were enough popular songs to choose from that we could easily find stuff to play that everyone in the band was at least OK with doing. So while still being able to play stuff I liked I was also able to learn the value and importance of putting the audience first.

        So when, 20 years later, it became necessary to put aside my personal tastes sometimes for the needs of audience, it was much easier to do so because I had already learned all about putting the audience ahead of song choice.

    • #4
      You are right Dave, I did say that to Grant. I only have to do about 5-6 tunes like that to his entire night of **** songs list I wouldn't enjoy it if I had to play his stuff but if It paid well enough I'd do it. My price would be at least $750/$1000 a night however

      But your post does have a point so I will amend what I said and say I'll play anything as long as it's worth it financially. For a $100 club gig, I'm doing what I want. For 3-$500 a gig in my band there's some schlock but enough cool stuff. I'm can take or leave most if it For really bad stuff to me like hip hop laden saw synth pittbull featured party crap that a DJ should be playing my price would go up. So yes Guido, you're right..I guess there is a price.

      Comment


      • guido61
        guido61 commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep.

        At the end of the day, it's all about enjoyment. For me, there are three things that make doing a cover tune enjoyable---how much I enjoy playing the song; how much the audience is enjoying the song; how much am I getting paid. If I put each on a scale between 1 and 100, I figure that I can get any combination of the 3 to add up to 100, I'm doing good. Anything over 100 and I'm doing great.

        The thing you learn pretty quickly is that if you are getting paid well, the audience MUST be really enjoying it. Because there aren't too many gigs where you get paid well to play for crowds that don't like you. So liking the material really just becomes an exercise in how much enjoyment of the material can you wedge in without negatively effecting the other two things.

      • wheresgrant3
        wheresgrant3 commented
        Editing a comment

        sventvkg wrote:
        You are right Dave, I did say that to Grant. I only have to do about 5-6 tunes like that to his entire night of **** songs list I wouldn't enjoy it if I had to play his stuff but if It paid well enough I'd do it. My price would be at least $750/$1000 a night however 

        But your post does have a point so I will amend what I said and say I'll play anything as long as it's worth it financially. For a $100 club gig, I'm doing what I want. For 3-$500 a gig in my band there's some schlock but enough cool stuff. I'm can take or leave most if it For really bad stuff to me like hip hop laden saw synth pittbull featured party crap that a DJ should be playing my price would go up. So yes Guido, you're right..I guess there is a price.

        I'm assuming $750-1000 per man... which is moot since only the top of the agency bands can command that pay (and assuming you're not in one). The reason why they get that pay ironically is because they play that s**t song list and have been doing so successfully for 20 years or more. So you're logic isn't really flawed... only if you believed you'd have an opportunity to apply it.  That's not a dig, just reality (not for lack of talent... it's just the bands that are established for decades set the $premium rate ) 

         

        If it makes you feel any better in terms of shlock... I have to play Toby Keith,  Brooks & Dunn and Luke Bryan... so that sorta goes hand in hand with  hip hop laden saw synth pittbull featured party crap that a DJ should be playing...


    • #5

      I consider myself pretty lucky in this regard.  I've come to the realization that the satisfaction I get out of playing in front of people comes from the execution rather than the material itself.  That said - I can be happy playing pretty much anything - as long as we play it well.  I'm happy that I'm wired this way - it would suck to be one of those guys who struggles to enjoy playing out because they're not happy with the material on the setlist.

      I can honestly saw that I manage to find something I like about virtually every tune I play.   Sometimes, it's the way a vocal comes together, other times - it's a simple "weird" chord somewhere in the tune.  Regardless of what it is - there's always something that I look forward to each tune on the list.

      I satisfy my artsy side in other ways.  I'm always working on a tune or two that I find musically stimulating as part of my personal practice routine - and have an on "again / off again" jazz project that gives me a forum to stretch out. 

      I'm thankful that I can be happy in pretty much any musical context - whether it's working on material that I find musically stimulating - or simply banging out well worn classics.   It sure makes my musical life a lot less tortured!

      The SpaceNorman

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      • #6
        I don't listen to most of what we play, but I have fun playing it. I think one of my favorites is Some Kind of Wonderful. Great groove, get those 4 part harmonies going. I have a lot of fun playing. Even the country music we do, which I wouldn't be caught dead listening to. I feed off the crowd and I love a full dance floor. I make enough that its worthwhile.

        I was in another band a few years back. We made the conscious decision to NOT play the classics. We played everything that was current at the time.

        Matchbox 20
        Refreshments
        Tragically Hip
        Collective Soul
        Four Horsemen
        The Headstones

        Plus some stuff a bit older

        The Cult
        Black Crowes

        We agreed that we wouldn't play as much but we were going to play what we wanted. We always went over well. Got paid well enough that it was worthwhile. But not as much as I do now.

        To me, one cover is as good as the next. There might be a couple groaners in our set (Dreams and La Grange) but I still put on a happy face and in 3 minutes its all over.


        That's what she said haha




        Wait.


        :,(
        NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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        • 3shiftgtr
          3shiftgtr commented
          Editing a comment

          guido61 wrote:

          3shiftgtr wrote:


          I guess the countless successful artists that say "Worrying about what anyone else thinks is the kiss of death." either didn't say it, or isn't playing covers right?


          Countless successful artists playing covers have said this?   

          I'd say we must have different definitions of either "countless", "successful" or "artists playing covers"


          You missed the point. Over the years I've read this numerous times. Robert Plant comes to mind....but the idea that you can feel this as an artist vs the point of a cover band which is to entertain not express. It's a simple concept really.....having something you need to say might actually be something others might want to hear. Not always, but sometimes. Thus omitted points C, D, E etc

           

          Playing obscure covers that the musician likes is the kiss of death in poularity for a coverband. Duh. But what about original music....was that part of your conversation...is it applicable to your point or no?


        • guido61
          guido61 commented
          Editing a comment

          3shiftgtr wrote:

          guido61 wrote:

          3shiftgtr wrote:


          I guess the countless successful artists that say "Worrying about what anyone else thinks is the kiss of death." either didn't say it, or isn't playing covers right?


          Countless successful artists playing covers have said this?   

          I'd say we must have different definitions of either "countless", "successful" or "artists playing covers"


          You missed the point. Over the years I've read this numerous times. Robert Plant comes to mind....but the idea that you can feel this as an artist vs the point of a cover band which is to entertain not express. It's a simple concept really.....having something you need to say might actually be something others might want to hear. Not always, but sometimes. Thus omitted points C, D, E etc

           

          Playing obscure covers that the musician likes is the kiss of death in poularity for a coverband. Duh. But what about original music....was that part of your conversation...is it applicable to your point or no?


          Well first of all, I wouldn't consider Robert Plant to be a guy who has made his living playing covers.   Especially in the same regard as what most of us on this forum do and in the way the OP was bringing it up for this thread.

          What about original music?   Again, the topic of the thread is cover bands.

          And again, I've talked about the  C, D, and Es of this business ad naseum on this forum.   I don't think anyone here has probably said "it doesn't matter WHICH songs you play, it's what you do with them" and "it's about making that connection to the audience.  The song you choose to play is just one tool you use" more than I have.   So where this perception that I'm a "you gotta play the latest top 40 hits or you SUCK!" type of guy comes from escapes me.  

          I certainly hope this misperception doesn't mean I should be posting MORE!

          But yes, I'll go back to my original point.   A successful coverband (or any band, really) is about making a connection with the audience.  About moving them.  If you can do this by playing only obscure stuff in an insular manner...great!   I've just never seen any cover bands have any success with this.  I've certainly never been able to do it.   The only way I know how to do it is to play FOR them.  

          The basics of it are easy.   First---know your audience.   If they are there to dance or to party or to listen to some hot blues licks or whatever it is...then there you go.   Give them that and you at least won't completely fail.   2nd step is to take the audience to the next level.   Leave them thinking "wow, I know I came here to hear some hot blues, but I didn't except to end up enjoying it THAT much!"  

          You have to meet them halfway first---reach out TO them, and then one you draw them in, take them on the ride YOU want them to be on.    I can't imagine that Robert Plant doesn't understand these basic concepts.

          For most coverbands, those popular, recognizable songs are the chum to get them in the water.   The difference between the successful and not-so-successful bands are what you do with them once you got them all wet.

           


        • tlbonehead
          tlbonehead commented
          Editing a comment

          guido61 wrote:

          Everyone's mileage will vary, of course.   But while I usually pride myself on being able to understand other peoples' points of view on a subject, one thing I've never really been able to get is when faced with these two different scenarios:

          A) Playing a cover tune you absolutely personally love to crickets.

          B) Playing a cover tune you don't care for to a packed dance floor and/or huge applause

          was ANYBODY would prefer A).    And when you add that B) is the path that is almost always followed up by being paid well....it's just always seemed a no-brainer to me.

          Now obviously the best of all possible worlds is to like the songs you play as much as possible and we all try to do that to some degree or another (I agree with Norman that I like enjoy playing every song we do for some reason or another), but whenever I hear somebody tell me that when faced with only those two choice they'd pick A)??

          My only thought is that maybe they've never actually experienced B)....  Or, it's something that I just simply can't wrap my head around and understand.

           

           


          There's a lot of room between A and B


      • #7
        I like what we play, and how it goes over, lets just say our set lists and my personal mix tapes/playlists don't match up.

        Unfortunately there just isn't much of a market in my area for a Foo Fighters/weezer tribute act.


        NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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        • #8
          It's way too easy to play "lead bass" it's so much fun. I've never played a gig on bass. But it's sure fun to mess around with!!
          NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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          • benzem
            benzem commented
            Editing a comment

            StratGuy22 wrote:
            It's way too easy to play "lead bass" it's so much fun. I've never played a gig on bass. But it's sure fun to mess around with!!

            I played bass for 1/2 a gig(bassist had a family situation and had to leave right before the 3rd set) and it was one of the most fun gigs I have played. It didn't hurt that the entire bar was on my side knowing I was put on the spot, but once we kicked in, I realized what fun bassists have! And power! You move the whole place and MAKE people dance. And yes, it's kinda like playing lead guitar all nite as opposed to strumming chords. He had a Fender bassman and I cranked it, sounded amazing.


        • #9

          sventvkg wrote:

          As Long As The People Dance And Party To them....SO many other musicians I know, including my heavyweight band members get caught up in wanting to do tunes they think are cool...I don't get it..It's a cover song!!!  I have my own songs that I give a **** about and get off on, I do cover stuff FOR MONEY ONLY!!! I don't want to spend unncecessary time and effort on tunes that will not kill for the benefit of band members..SORRY.  I've found out that I'm in the minority with this attitude which shocked me!! Who is with me? Discuss!


          Well, I don't agree 100% BUT this is the way I feel about my current project. Maybe I am old or something but to me, in a band sit., I am all about what the other players and audience will dig. If a guy in my band sings something real well, I am fine with it. That's the main issue, is it sung well and with conviction.

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          • #10

            There is very little I won't play...maybe Norwegian Black Metal, or something that is just so overfocused on evil rhetorically. But in actuality, I love to play music....all kinds. It wasn't always that way, but it is now. If the musicians are great, then the music will be great regardless of genre.

             

            So I don't care what the song/style etc is.  Are you gonna pay me? Great! Then I'm gonna play my ass off and make sure that that music is the way it's supposed to be.  Every style has a "thing" and finding it and getting inside it is a most excellent challenge.  Like being an actor. That doesn't make me a whore....it just makes me a guy who likes to f**k. 

             

            Now, that said....there is lots of stuff I HATE HATE HATE to listen to, but gladly play. And have. And do. I can have lots of fun playing music I hate to listen to. See, the stuff I like is rarely popular. In fact, I really don't ever listen to pop anything. I'm not anti pop, I just don't gravitate to it listening wise. 60% of my 1200 cd's are instrumental.  So when I play the style of music I love to listen to, am I getting off a little more? Well, kinda. But kinda not. Fun to listen to and fun to play are different for me.

             

            But playing my orig stuff? Well I'll take that any day. Any day.  

            <div class="signaturecontainer"><font face="Arial">&quot;Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be </font><font face="Arial Black"><font size="2">violent and original</font></font> <font face="Arial">in your work&quot; - Gustave Flaubert</font></div>

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            • #11
              Show me the money.




              First gig in a new town this weekend. Pretty stoked!!

              NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

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              • #12

                ^^^^^LOL^^^^^

                 

                Dude, you're loaded for bear aintcha?

                 

                Your answer to this question:

                 

                Playing obscure covers that the musician likes is the kiss of death in poularity for a coverband. Duh. But what about original music....was that part of your conversation...is it applicable to your point or no?  

                 

                .....um, is NO. See how easy that was?

                 

                FIFY. :smiley-eatdrink013:

                <div class="signaturecontainer"><font face="Arial">&quot;Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be </font><font face="Arial Black"><font size="2">violent and original</font></font> <font face="Arial">in your work&quot; - Gustave Flaubert</font></div>

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                • MartinC
                  MartinC commented
                  Editing a comment

                  3shiftgtr wrote:

                  MartinC wrote:

                   I'm going to pull out my left handed sitar and master Peruvian goat chants, which I will only perform at high end corporate events. Ironically, there just might be a market for that here in San Francisco.

                   


                  Dude, you got a lot of work to do. That stuff makes Giant Steps look like La Bamba.

                   

                  There's a great Mel Bay book called "The music of Peruvia" and it has a killer section on goat chants adapted for 8 string djent metal guitar. Which you know,  makes sense cuz the Baphomet of Mendes is a goat.

                   

                  Anyway, congrats on the new guitar....eastman makes a damn good jazz box. 


                  Thanks, I do like the guitar. I really wanted something collectable, but first and foremost, something that plays and sounds well. Being a lefty, I don't get to try out many guitars, and so my knowledge of the playability of various brands is limited. I was ready to buy it sight unseen from the net, but after making a few calls found a local shop in Berkeley that was full of jazz guitars. Only one lefty, the model I was after.

                  When I walked in, the owner was playing a gibson L5, playing pretty well. He said the eastman was a professional guitar, and that many pros are gigging with them. He plugged it in, and it had that nice jazz tone. The action felt pretty good, so I bought it. Later at home, playing unplugged, I noticed some buzzing on some frets. Should have caught that in the store, but I was so excited to find the model I was looking for in a lefty, I grabbed it. After spending some time with the guitar, I'd hate to have to raise the action to eliminate the buzzes. I'm also not sure it's worth paying for a plek job or setup on a 700. guitar.  I really don't know what to expect. Any of you guys have any opinions to offer, I'd apreciate it. I'm still looking at a few vintage Gibson jazz boxes on line, but it would be a sight unseen purchase that would be for a lot more dough. Anyone have experience as to the playability of those older gibson jazz axes compared to the Eastman's?


                • 3shiftgtr
                  3shiftgtr commented
                  Editing a comment

                  MartinC wrote:

                  3shiftgtr wrote:

                  MartinC wrote:

                   I'm going to pull out my left handed sitar and master Peruvian goat chants, which I will only perform at high end corporate events. Ironically, there just might be a market for that here in San Francisco.

                   


                  Dude, you got a lot of work to do. That stuff makes Giant Steps look like La Bamba.

                   

                  There's a great Mel Bay book called "The music of Peruvia" and it has a killer section on goat chants adapted for 8 string djent metal guitar. Which you know,  makes sense cuz the Baphomet of Mendes is a goat.

                   

                  Anyway, congrats on the new guitar....eastman makes a damn good jazz box. 


                  Thanks, I do like the guitar. I really wanted something collectable, but first and foremost, something that plays and sounds well. Being a lefty, I don't get to try out many guitars, and so my knowledge of the playability of various brands is limited. I was ready to buy it sight unseen from the net, but after making a few calls found a local shop in Berkeley that was full of jazz guitars. Only one lefty, the model I was after.

                  When I walked in, the owner was playing a gibson L5, playing pretty well. He said the eastman was a professional guitar, and that many pros are gigging with them. He plugged it in, and it had that nice jazz tone. The action felt pretty good, so I bought it. Later at home, playing unplugged, I noticed some buzzing on some frets. Should have caught that in the store, but I was so excited to find the model I was looking for in a lefty, I grabbed it. After spending some time with the guitar, I'd hate to have to raise the action to eliminate the buzzes. I'm also not sure it's worth paying for a plek job or setup on a 700. guitar.  I really don't know what to expect. Any of you guys have any opinions to offer, I'd apreciate it. I'm still looking at a few vintage Gibson jazz boxes on line, but it would be a sight unseen purchase that would be for a lot more dough. Anyone have experience as to the playability of those older gibson jazz axes compared to the Eastman's?


                   Is it a stopbar/fixed bridge? If not, go to eastman's site and get the scale length and make sure the 'jazz bridge' is in the proper spot, then make neck/bridge adjustments. Non fixed bridge guitars have a sweet spot when it comes to set up. Those bridges get moved around in shipping cuz they often ship them detuned, or with the bridge not even attached. Then you got some metal kid blindly guessing where the bridge goes.

                   

                  If you don't have set up experience, take it to a good tech and have him do a set up then go from there. Definitely worth it.

                   

                  I just picked up a Godin 5th Ave Kingpin CW II....it blew me away when I played it so even though I couldn't afford it, I grabbed it anyway. I've gigged alot with it and it KILLS.  Best guitar purchase I've made since I bought my PRS in 91. And it took me a while and a few set up attempts to get it where I like it.


                • TIMKEYS
                  TIMKEYS commented
                  Editing a comment
                  If you are looking for lefty guitars ,, check out heritage guitar company in kalamazoo mi . They are as close to custom guitars that you will find off a production line. All old school , pretty wells still hand made. Those guys will work with you and the price and quality is top level. I used to live in kalamazoo and know the guys at the factory. their jazz boxes are world class and affordable.

              • #13

                I like to meet the audience halfway.  Some things that I KNOW they're going to like, and some things that I'm pretty sure they've never heard before, so it's a chance you just have to take every time.  I get a kick out of seeing people dance and/or enjoy themselves, either way. 

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