Being in a cover band is harder than being a touring musician

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by doghouseman, Nov 9, 2017.


  1. Frank Prince

    Frank Prince Member

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    I guess it's just a personal preference. I find it both boring and annoying when I hear a cover band guitarist playing the Sultans Of Swing solo with the same nasty heavy metal lead sound he used in a Poison song, or playing You Shook Me All Night Long with barre chords. I tend to think that the player is lazy, or can't hear the difference.
     
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  2. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Supporting Member

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    Or both.
     
  3. Defendant

    Defendant Member

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    Just goes to show that starting with a heaping spoonful of entitled ignorance can make a really entertaining internet thread.

    I look back on the touring I did, and it was a blast. All the good stuff:

    -Had to learn to sleep sitting upright in a van packed with 12 people -trick was packing bags between myself and the seat in front
    -Been woken up by having my head stood on by a bandmate needing to get to the hostel bunk above me
    -Realised that the house the band is sleeping in for the night is abandoned
    -Learned the hard way to make sure the van does not leave until the bass player proves he has spare strings
    -Contributed to unbelievably toxic cumulative fart concentrations and standing wave snorefests
    -Played ferry bars to get a discount on the van, in choppy, puke inducing weather, and barfing as soon as the set finished
    -Floated away in tents in festival mudfests

    ...I could go on and on. Best of times.

    Would I do it now at my age - no.
    It's easier when you're young. Greatest admiration for those out there doing it as they get older.
    Super glad I did.
     
  4. cosmic_ape

    cosmic_ape Supporting Member

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    I couldn't have said it better.

    OP, seriously, go get a touring gig. You'll be singing a different tune.
     
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  5. Simon

    Simon Supporting Member

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    Touring,,, unless you are catered to,, is a young Man's game, it is extremely hard on you for many reasons, being stuck with the same snoring idiots 24/7 is just the beginning!
    If You have a good act doing covers, making good $, and sleeping in your own bed, it's much easier from my experience.

    Unless You are famous, or play with a famous person, you generally don't make squat on the road.
    I remember playing gigs all the way from Michigan to Florida, then playing in Jacksonville, getting out of there at 2am and driving to St Petersburg, arriving at 7am and playing a 2pm show. Then going to Key West to start again. Very nauseating at times, and can make You feel all kinds of Home Sick.

    I'm not sure why every Hot shot here feels the need to pile on the OP though, pretty rude of some of You.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  6. jpage

    jpage Member

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    Come on that is a silly example. I am talking about the difference between gigging with a multi channel head and needing 6 different variations of distortion to get through a set. And I am pretty sure you know that.
     
  7. jpage

    jpage Member

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    That’s not what I was getting at at all. I never think that distinctly different guitar tones in one set sound good. And I never hear that. I just wanted to hear an example of the different tones that work for these guys.
     
  8. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    I've done both and now straddle a middle ground between my base tones - clean, clean-ish / broken tones, straight rock and smooth and syrupy deliciously delightful lead tones a la Schon or Luke, just less congested and more articulate :)
    But of course I also have patches for The Police tunes, Edge-ish stuff (used on a surprisingly number of songs including some Bruno Mars), Man in the Box automatic wah engaged (NOT an auto-wah, a wah controlled by envelope filter), etc...
    Obviously the patches are fairly specific but still not dead on - they need to closely adhere to my basic tones, volume levels, etc to actually work live and be consistent.

    But, I would never begrudge someone for going all out to "nail" the specific tones of guitarist performing in a cover band. It's possible I guess, but a shitload of work and of course very easy to have major issues with non-consistent volumes, tones that are disjointed per song per set, etc...

    I primarily use my Fractal AX8 but could easily play the same gigs with a clean / dirty amp and a boost for leads.
    Different strokes...
    The other poster's comment about playing Sultan's with that "metal lead tone" or "barre chords on AC/DC" wreaks of typical TGP arrogance.
     
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  9. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

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    I've done both, and quite frankly, the touring musician is a very tough life. You don't sleep in your own bed, you must get along well with other people because you spend so much time with them. Even then the little things they do get on every nerve. Unless you are in the rock star category, the money isn't all that great because you have so many unforseen expenses to cover. I personally like sleeping in my own bed after a cover band gig, having time for my family and enjoying the people I play with and having fun at gigs even though I haul my own gear. BTW, I play in two cover bands playing everything from blues, to country to rock and all I usually play a les paul with an orange tiny terror head and a 2x12 cab. Learn to use your volume and tone knobs, and don't rely so much on pedals.
     
  10. jpage

    jpage Member

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    Yup, pretty much that. I just read all the time here how folks assume cover bands all try and sound like the record. I see a lot of bands and I don’t ever see that. Like you said, to put that together is a huge PITA and IME just doesn’t work.

    And yes, of course no one is going to use a metal tone for Sultans...that is just being obtuse.
     
  11. MGT

    MGT Member

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    Van Halen started by playing covers.
     
  12. blobe

    blobe Member

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    you dont have to create anything.
     

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