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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...


Vito Corleone

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...and considering how many bands I've directly ripped-off over the years, nobody know that better than I do!

 

But I heard through the grapevine a couple of days ago that a group of local music veterans are putting together a band to, as it was put to me, "do what you guys are doing". Having heard a few complimentary (and a bit envious-sounding) comments from these guys over the past few month, I'm not at all surprised they are trying this.

 

I will be interested to see how it goes. Knowing these people individually, I have a hard time seeing them getting past the 2nd rehearsal without exploding, but putting that aside for the moment....

 

...I have to wonder if they really understand how much goes into what we do. I fear they might be simply looking at our songlist, seeing the kind of gigs we book, and thinking it is as simple as that. I'm not sure they understand that it's about the show, the pacing, the interaction with the audience and all the attention to detail all that involves as WELL as all the time, effort and expense put into promotion.

 

I will have a good time following their progress. AND I will wish them good luck. At the very least, it will be more inspiration for me to keep our game up!

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It just means you're doing something right, man! Keep it up. Keep your setlists and stage show fresh, and you guys will come out on top.


Hell, their failure may only serve to reinforce your popularity!
:thu:

 

THIS.

 

and then you can start promoting your band like this: accept NO imitations! or something like that.

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I don't think you'll find any industry where competitors aren't closely watching each other. It's just the nature of business. I'm a sales rep for a big multi-national company, and a HUGE part of my job is monitoring what my competitors are doing on a local level.

 

You don't know what the market is doing if you don't know what your competitors are doing.

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Also a band once sat and took notes at a gig

 

hahah! This happened to us a few gigs ago! there were a couple younger musician types in the crowd that were just staring at us through our 1st set. then I noticed in the 2nd set one of the guys had a note book jotting down stuff. I assume he was taking notes but he could have been a struggling novelist. It just so happenes that the muse hit him in a crowd of people at a bar on a saturday night and he needed to WRITE stuff down right then and there :lol:

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hahah! This happened to us a few gigs ago! there were a couple younger musician types in the crowd that were just staring at us through our 1st set. then I noticed in the 2nd set one of the guys had a note book jotting down stuff. I assume he was taking notes but he could have been a struggling novelist. It just so happenes that the muse hit him in a crowd of people at a bar on a saturday night and he needed to WRITE stuff down right then and there
:lol:

 

While I don't "take notes," I will pull out my phone and make a quick note regarding a song the band was playing that I might want to add to my list.

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While I don't "take notes," I will pull out my phone and make a quick note regarding a song the band was playing that I might want to add to my list.

 

:cop:

 

Then you have to rely on playing it better or different from those guys, or you will have nothing to distinguish yourself from what they do.

 

That's nowhere.

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:cop:

Then you have to rely on playing it better or different from those guys, or you will have nothing to distinguish yourself from what they do.


That's nowhere.

 

Yeah, because me covering one song from their 40 songs will make me sound just like them.

 

:facepalm:

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hahah! This happened to us a few gigs ago! there were a couple younger musician types in the crowd that were just staring at us through our 1st set. then I noticed in the 2nd set one of the guys had a note book jotting down stuff. I assume he was taking notes but he could have been a struggling novelist. It just so happenes that the muse hit him in a crowd of people at a bar on a saturday night and he needed to WRITE stuff down right then and there
:lol:

 

 

Two years ago, we couldn't figure out how a brand-spankin' new band got booked at a particular A-list venue, so I wanted to see why. I took a sheet of paper with two columns: "Good" and "Suck"

 

Their songlist was EXACTLY like ours although we were playing songs that we thought no one else was playing (it turns out that posting our songlist on myspace was probably not a good idea at the time). It was almost as if they were our dopplegangers, bordering on pure copycat. It was a little disparaging, but it allowed us to take a step back and see what worked and what didn't for that venue's crowd.

 

Their "good" and "suck" columns were about even at the end of the night. We already did a lot of their "good" things and we made sure we didn't repeat their "suck". Since then, we've lost a bunch of the more obscure songs and added more stuff that the party crowd likes, added more "show" and figured out how to better work a crowd. We're not experts, but we keep getting better at all of it.

 

That band never played there again and disintegrated a few months later. We still haven't played that venue, but we learned a lot about what works and what doesn't very early in our game and were able to grow from the experience. Now people are coming to check US out and taking notes on what we do and use it for themselves - and sometimes it backfires on them. The bottom line is that some things just won't work for every band. You have to take the time to figure out what is going to work for YOU.

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My guitar player was telling me a story the other day. About 10 years ago he was in a popular country band. About a year after they broke up he got called to sub for a another band. He showed up and the set list was from his old band.:eek: Apparently they had left it at a bar and the other band found it and learned the songs and were playing it in the same order.:facepalm:

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The bottom line is that some things just won't work for every band. You have to take the time to figure out what is going to work for YOU.

 

 

I'll definitely agree with that. Of every 10 or so songs that I put onto the "maybe I'll learn this" list, maybe 2 or 3 will ever make it to the setlist. It's got to work for my vocal style and playing ability.

 

 

 

Yeah, it kind of will actually.

 

I fail to see your point. Learning a song from another band's setlist is just one way to get a song idea. The ideas for adding songs to your setlist have to come from somewhere. I pull ideas for songs from all kinds of places. Whether I hear another band play it, hear it on the radio in the car, see the video on TV, stumble onto it from a tab site, hear a national band do a cover at a concert, read about it on a forum, accidentally figure out the lead riff/chord progression while jamming, read about it while researching billboard charts, read an article in a magazine about the artist, or hear it on Muzak in the grocery store, it just doesn't matter.

 

Learn the songs that fit your band. Unless you are deliberately out to copy another artist's setlist or stage show, I don't see how it can matter.

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I've never bothered trying to copy other bands' set lists. It doesn't seem that hard for two or three guys to sit around a table and come up with cover song ideas that make sense. Especially these days when you can view stuff on Youtube instantly. Then you can go back, try 'em out the next practice, and drop the ones that don't work for your group.

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This same thing has happened to us over the past few years. We never bother anyone, and certainly never try to copy anyone. But when we got to the point of being a threat to the area's "top band" then it was like war broke out. They went as far as showing up at our gigs if they weren't playing. They even stole a copy of our set list one night. But there is nothing you can really do about it other than strive to do it better than the next guy. We have always tried to weave songs together to be unique, so these days we really focus on that.

 

The funny thing is, that same band is one that uses samples and backing tracks as part of their show. HAHA!

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I fail to see your point. Learning a song from another band's setlist is just one way to get a song idea.

 

Smoking crack is just one way to get high on cocaine.

 

The first hit is always free.

 

In other words, where does it end?

 

It's so easy to snag songs off of other bands that I'd rather avoid that if possible, because it will snowball and the next thing you know, your band is playing largely the same tunes that everyone else is.

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next thing you know, your band is playing largely the same tunes that everyone else is.

 

 

I think this is where you and most people disagree. While, Yes I agree that you don't want to have identical song lists as another band, what would diferentiate you from them? There is also a reason why every single song is on their list in the first place.

 

If I'm in a party cover band, I'm going to see what other party cover bands are doing and what their crowd reacts to. Same demographic. However, those same exact people are most likely not showing up at every gig for that band, or just goes to that venue on a particular night.

 

I'm a big proponant of probability. Chances are that the songs on the "best" band in the area's set list are going to work for a majority of other bands with the same demographic (of course, you have to play the song well). But it all comes down to this, how can you do the same songs but be unique? Do you have the talent to pull those songs off (granted if their not 100% Jesse's Girl type songs)

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If I'm in a party cover band, I'm going to see what other party cover bands are doing and what their crowd reacts to. Same demographic. However, those same exact people are most likely not showing up at every gig for that band, or just goes to that venue on a particular night.

 

I get that.

 

My band isn't going for mass market.

 

We're looking to create new markets and venues for live music and/or work closely with those that are interested in giving live music a shot in their venue.

 

So again, I don't give a damn what other bands play. This is definitely not the traditional approach. But maybe if more bands stopped being so goddamn derivative in every way, then there would be more opportunities for bands.

 

Y'all are just decreasing the size of the pie that you're fighting over sometimes.

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I think this is where you and most people disagree. While, Yes I agree that you don't want to have identical song lists as another band, what would diferentiate you from them? There is also a reason why every single song is on their list in the first place.


If I'm in a party cover band, I'm going to see what other party cover bands are doing and what their crowd reacts to. Same demographic. However, those same exact people are most likely not showing up at every gig for that band, or just goes to that venue on a particular night.


I'm a big proponant of probability. Chances are that the songs on the "best" band in the area's set list are going to work for a
majority
of other bands with the same demographic (of course, you have to play the song well). But it all comes down to this, how can you do the same songs but be unique? Do you have the talent to pull those songs off (granted if their not 100% Jesse's Girl type songs)

 

 

We're DEFINITELY a party band and 70% of the songs we play, most other partyish bands play. One of the reason people remember us and we're able to consistantly play to 200+ people is the other 30%. You can't play all doozies, but if you tune the crowd up with "Your Love" and "Jessie's Girl" then hit them with something off the wall, that's the {censored} that sets you apart. AND, once you make a name for yourself, you "own" that song. Anyone else tries to play it, and people will be like "oh they're trying to be like XXXXX"

 

We have about a dozen tunes like that and probably another 6-8 in the pipeline. Look, I see bands and think "we should do that tune". A perfect example is I saw a band do "What I Got" and I had forgotten about that tune. So, we medleyed it with "Santeria" and played it last show, it killed. But sometimes you need to think outside of the box. We do "Thank God I'm A Country Boy". It kills.

 

BTW, we've had our fair share of songs that we thought were clever, but when we played them the crowd took a collective 4 minute {censored}. It happens. But the reward of going outside the box definitely is much greater than the risk of having a 4 minute dud in the middle of your second set.

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^ That's cool. You know your market and it looks like you've settled into some steady gigs at a few locals, which is pretty much what you need to do if you're gonna maintain a band and a real life outside of it. :thu:

 

If my band were to adapt that approach, it wouldn't fly in the places we play, which would mean we'd have to move more into the bar scene, 10-2am gigs and all that.

 

That wouldn't work for us.:thu:

 

How many bands have you seen break up because they try to be something they're not? Or they ignore family and work?

 

There is no one cookie-cutter approach.

 

You all are doing the creative arrangement thing - that's a cool approach.

 

We're trying to focus on musicality, having consistently good guests sit in, and more lately doing instrument swapping. It seems to be working okay for us and gives em a little something to remember us by.

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Wade, I think you and I are in agreement. It's all about finding what works for you and the working it. And I was also agreeing with you in my last post in that yeah from time to tome you'll hear another band play a tune and decide you should do it as well, but if you just copy the top bands set list, you're just another "me too" coverband.

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