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Would you learn a song just to have someone in the crowd sing it?


jeff42

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Here's something for discussion.

 

A guy came up to me during one of our breaks and asked if we know Barracuda. I said no. When he asked why not I explained that it's a female fronted classic rock tune with some crazy vocals in it. Since we don't have a female singer and we don't do a ton of classic rock tunes we just never felt the need to add it.

 

He tells me his girlfriend wants to sing it with us and asks if we could learn it. I said I'll talk with the guys but I don't know if it's going to happen. He was cool with that.

 

It got me thinking this morning that this may lead to a decent discussion. What would you do?

 

learn the song or not?

 

Here are some of the things I thought about.

 

* The guy was nice about it and not a dick, his girl is even nicer and she just started following the band a few months ago. They usually bring a few friends out to see us when they come. This would most likely win their undying loyalty.

 

* It wouldn't take that long to work up a basic version but it would take away from learning songs we would actually play more. We wouldn't be pulling her up to sing this song every gig.

 

Basically I'm just thinking out loud but it beats doing work stuff today.

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I've certainly done that sort of thing for private gigs. (My dad wants to get up and sing "My Way"....that sort of thing.) But never really done it for a club gig for a regular fan. I suppose if they were a REALLY good fan. No real reason NOT to do it except if: the girl can't sing all that well ("Barracuda" is a big chunk to bite off, vocal-wise...) and she then expects to be able to get up and sing it pretty much whenever she's out to see you guys. It might be easier to say "no" NOW than a few weeks from now when the novelty has worn off.

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I suppose if they were a REALLY good fan. No real reason NOT to do it except if: the girl can't sing all that well ("Barracuda" is a big chunk to bite off, vocal-wise...)

 

Yep. this too. She may not be able to do it... even a passable job on it. We had a girl talk my ear off of Friday night about singing Your Love with us.

 

Well she got her chance... and she sucked. :lol: So John (our singer) helped her along a bit. With barracuda there isn't really much help we can give.

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we have done it on jam night. No big deal. You do songs you know in different keys. you do songs maybe only one guy in the whole band knows... you may do songs no one knows, where the front man will go to the office and youtube a song ,, and come back and hit it cold in the next set.

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Yep. this too. She may not be able to do it... even a passable job on it. We had a girl talk my ear off of Friday night about singing Your Love with us.


Well she got her chance... and she sucked.
:lol:
So John (our singer) helped her along a bit. With barracuda there isn't really much help we can give.

 

Yep. When we do something like that at a private gig, everybody in the crowd is usually in on it. Everyone knows Dad, and if sucks singing My Way, nobody cares and is laughing WITH him not AT him. Whether he's good or bad, WE look good because we were the cool band that let Dad get up and sing.

 

At a club gig, most of the people aren't going to know WHO this girl is or WHY she's up there. If she sucks, it's only going to reflect badly on YOU as in "why did you guys subject us to this {censored}?" If it were the clubowner's wife, or some such, that'd be a different story, of course.

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We did it for my GF's birthday, her friend wanted to sing "Ice Ice Baby", we all half-ass knew it, her friends loved it.

3 months later, she was at another gig and we did it again, but then every other girl in the bar wanted to get up and sing a song so that was the last of that.

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If the song wasn't a ton of work, and the person could sing and was nice about it, sure. :idk:

 

I know someone who has a voice that's very reminiscient of Harriet Wheeler from the 90's alt/pop band The Sundays, and since I'm a fan but didn't really want to attempt the vocals, I asked her to join us to do that song. She showed up at our practice before the show and we ran through it two or three times, then we did it at the show. It was fun.

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If it's something I already know for the most part....... I'll do it. But I'd be reluctant to go out of my way to learn something just cause someone wants to get up and sing it.

 

However....

 

1. If they come out to see the band regularly.... I'd appreciate the loyalty and I'd be more inclined to.

 

2. I love learning songs. Adding to repertoire is always a positive thing.

 

Just don't let it get out of hand where they start treating you as their karaoke.

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On the other hand:


"Barracuda" is a bitch-of-a-song to sing well. If this girl gets up there and nails it, you may just have found yourself a new lead singer.

 

 

 

^^^^^^^

THIS!

 

If you learn it, make sure the musicians catch all the odd-time measures in there. There are a few 5/4 (I think) in that song. Maybe others...

 

jamieb

+++++

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We worked up Black Velvet once because a friend of the drummer was going to sing it, I think she even came to one of our practices. We never did perform the song at a gig however because her husband supposedly pulled the plug on her.

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I've seen this done before. Where fairly regularly someone comes up onstage to sing play a specific song on a semi-regular basis. Actually has its benefits as chick will very likely start bringing her buddies out to see her sing her one song, so you could end up with a crew at the shows she shows up to that you wouldn't have if she didn't sing that song.

 

The pitfalls - personally, I think the song is a downer, especially when contrasted to the rest of your set. I really think going from your normal stuff into Barracuda, no matter how well the song is pulled off, would totally lower the mood of the place. And as has been stated, it is a bitch to sing, so there's a real good chance of it being a train wreck.

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^^^^^^^

THIS!


If you learn it, make sure the musicians catch all the odd-time measures in there. There are a few 5/4 (I think) in that song. Maybe others...


jamieb

+++++

 

 

I played that song for years. Fun song to do, but I don't remember how hard it was to learn initially. There are a lot of little parts and some tricky bits and some pretty deft footwork for the drummer. It's definiately not a "jam through it twice and you're done" song. Not if you want to play it correctly, anyway. But we had a powerhouse-of-a-female vocalist who was a huge Ann Wilson fan and even SHE had trouble with this song on some nights.

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I've done it a few times. There was a guy that did a very funny Jagger. Pouting and all chicken arms and elbows. We learned a Stones tune or two that he could do. There was Yakaty Sax for a retired player/fan. There was a guy that had all the Spanish La Bamba down pat. He'd get drunk and we'd do a real version of it including bombed singer. If it works for the crowd and more than just that one person or two or three... then yeah. It's fun.

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The classic rock band I play with sometimes was going to play Barracuda, Magic man, and Crazy on you with a guest singer as a one time deal. Heres the catch we were going to do this with no rehearsal.:facepalm: This was a trainwreck looking for a place to happen.:lol: Lucky for me my main band got a gig and so I didn't have to try and learn them. The band came to there senses and played some songs they already knew like "Hit me with your wet snot"

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Yes, IF any of the following apply, otherwise no:

 

1. It's a song we can learn by just showing up and playing it unrehearsed, or maybe just a once-through at rehearsal

 

2. It's a song we can continue to use at later gigs

 

3. We've been offered something worthwhile in return.

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