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Cover Band Mates Keep Suggesting Unknown Songs

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
41,849
Is the band a democracy or dictatorship?

If the former, then figure out a couple of tunes like @DrumBob suggests. If the later, be prepared for a revolving door of players since we all like to have input on the tunes we play.
 

Norm N Playin

Member
Messages
380
^ Fatboy666
nailed it.

Local band use to play GFR "Closer to home" ...So they could endlessly solo all over it... cleared the dance floor in record time. (pun intended.)
 

ToneDeVille

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,678
People don't come out to hear cover bands play music they can't dance to or songs they don't recognize. Best to keep the memory buttons flowing and listen to the deep cuts and complicated stuff at home on your own.
 

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,805
This is an old, old story... "Hey, you know what? Nobody does obscure great songs that most people have never heard! We'll be known as the only band around who covers this stuff!" Six months later: "Why won't any bookers call us back? And why'd all those people leave in the middle of our one and only gig? Nobody else does this stuff!" Sometimes there's a reason nobody does it.
 

Cedar

Member
Messages
340
I don't understand why non-singing band members think they can suggest songs and that they should be listened to after the suggestion.

My answer to these non-singing players is usually "Do you want to sing it?"

People don't like this, but there is a hierarchy in bands. Non-singers have less say and input.

Don't like it? Learn to sing.
 

lhallam

Member
Messages
17,039
Find some compromise.
See if one of his suggestions might work in your situation.
Learn it and try it out at a gig. If it doesn't work, drop it, if it does work keep it.
OR - Learn it but never play it on a gig.
 

bgio

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,090
This can be one of my pet peeves about hobby bands: band members will pressure you to play songs that they can play “cool parts” on. No thought about the overall arrangement or about audience reaction. Having a band leader who clearly makes set list choices reduces this....I also rarely experience this in the more professional gigs I take. And if the band leader is the one pressuring for the obscure and/or don’t fit the theme songs it’s not a band I want to play in.

All that said I do have to say I was in a band that played Bobcaygeon by the Tragically Hip....not one you’d expect anyone but a Canadian expat to know in the US. The band played it great, singer sang the hell out of it and it always got a killer reaction. So a few left turns may not always be a bad thing....as long as the band is all enthusiastic, plays it well, pays attention to how the audience responds and doesn’t stray for too long.

I would love it if a band started playing a Hip song!
 

8len8

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,173
I don't understand why non-singing band members think they can suggest songs and that they should be listened to after the suggestion.

My answer to these non-singing players is usually "Do you want to sing it?"

People don't like this, but there is a hierarchy in bands. Non-singers have less say and input.

Don't like it? Learn to sing.
In my last band it was the singer who wanted to do the weird stuff. Idiocy is not dedicated to non-musicians.
 

amdowell

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,731
the great cover band dilemma

the band wants to work, so they play the hits. But a couple guys also want to play offbeat stuff to show how hip they are or that they're "real musicians" to the guy up front with the folded arms judging them.

had a bandmate that played the circuit for years, he was tired of playing the same old songs. You know, the ones that people dance to and get thirsty and buy beer to and make bar owners happy. So he tried to start a band that would only play slightly off the beaten path songs and deep cuts. Took him a couple of years to finally get something going. They found a bar or two that would hire them, and they knew enough people that their first few gigs were fairly successful. But their early crowds were fellow musicians who of course dug the songs, and co-workers and relatives. Well, fellow musicians have gigs too, and family don't usually go out every week - they made the 1 or 2 gigs as a special occasion. So their "following" quickly dried up. The band was done within a year.

it comes down to ego

you're in a cover band, you're playing a bar, your job is to sell liquor

the sooner you recognize and accept this, the better a time you will have. Sweet heysus on a tilt-a-whirl, is there anything better than watchin' ladies move their jiggly stuff to Earth, Wind, and Fire right in front of you?????

you reeeeeeeally need to flex your musical chops? That's what the last set is for. At that point the drunks won't care if you slip in a deep cut or two. Just don't go crazy.
Thank you for this. I think it's what I've needed to hear, but no one's put it to me this way before.
 

briwinters

Member
Messages
793
I would love it if a band started playing a Hip song!
Yah, they are an example of a band you can get away with playing a cover that lots of people don’t know. Just because the material is so good. A song like Poets just flat out rips....toss it in between a Stones and a Black Crowes cover and no one is complaining.
 

bgio

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,090
Yah, they are an example of a band you can get away with playing a cover that lots of people don’t know. Just because the material is so good. A song like Poets just flat out rips....toss it in between a Stones and a Black Crowes cover and no one is complaining.
I hear ya! One of my previous bands did Three Pistols. People got into it.
 

John Quinn

Member
Messages
1,168
. any suggestion on how I should handle this? am I being too close minded?
No you aren't being 'close minded'. And you handle your band with a straightforward talk with Mr. Obscure
Tunes telling him to keep the suggestions coming - but think about what the band is about. Or if he wants to go in a different direction to form his own band and do that - but hopefully he'll stay and contribute to your band.

This is assuming he's a great player who would be difficult to replace. If not....
 
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ned7flat5

Member
Messages
4,530
Be ready for anything.

I joined a rehearsing tribute band. The name of the famous act being paid “tribute” (and its official logo design) had been incorporated into our own band name.

One night, about three months later, the bass player suddenly asks “hey guys, are we only doing songs by (famous act)?”
 
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Doomrider78

Member
Messages
3,454
As a punter, I can't begin to express how refreshing it is to hear a covers band play different and unexpected songs. If I ever hear a band play Sweet Home Alabama or Sweet Child of mine again, I'm going to go postal.
 




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