Instrumentals at pub gigs...

Turi

Member
Messages
9,485
..what works for you?

My band has suggested playing a couple, I threw in a few killer suggestions..

Closing In from The Living End.
Apache - the Shadows (maybe Riders In The Sky or Moonlight Shadow too)
Wipeout - The Surfaris (or w/e was the original)
Sleepwalk - Jonny and Santo (bit slow though, don't think it'd work)
Mission Impossible theme song (lol)...
Scuttlebuttlin' or Rude Mood - SRV (already know about Lenny and Riviera Paradise and Stangs Swang etc but they don't fit what we're doing).

You know, that sorta thing.
Another idea is to take something well-known or current, and turn it into an instrumental.
Running with that idea would be to have an instrumental that constantly gets swapped out for whatever is current, so that we've always got something new happening.

I don't know.
I'm not up to date on instrumental stuff, no clue what works and what doesn't.

All I know is instrumentals were suggested, and I think it's a killer idea... after some more suggestions..
 

Bobby D

Member
Messages
11,821
I like doing Sleepwalk from time to time.

For a bluesy gig, I usually soundcheck with "Chitlins Con Carne" by Kenny Burrell. Nice bluesy instrumental that allows the soundman to dial in the stage volume and get things happening.

"Cause We've Ended as Lovers" is a fun one to play for the right crowd.

and with the right drummer, there's nothing wrong with a little "Wipeout" from time to time.

for a rock gig, I might break out MOBY DICK :D
 

Bobby D

Member
Messages
11,821
yeah, I usually put "Tequila" in the middle of something else that's in the key of E.......always gets a smile from the audience......

the best instrumental band I have ever heard is The Mermen - psychedelic surf rock from another planet.
 

Bobby D

Member
Messages
11,821
I did a three year long house gig at a real blue collar kinda bar back when I was in college - usually had a couple of fights in there each week.

The band would always break into Dick Dale's "Miserlou" to add some ambience during the fights :D
 

Turi

Member
Messages
9,485
Mad! A heap of killer suggestions already! Thanks fellas!
I had no idea people were still gigging playing just instrumentals, that's brilliant.

I like doing Sleepwalk from time to time.

For a bluesy gig, I usually soundcheck with "Chitlins Con Carne" by Kenny Burrell. Nice bluesy instrumental that allows the soundman to dial in the stage volume and get things happening.

"Cause We've Ended as Lovers" is a fun one to play for the right crowd.

and with the right drummer, there's nothing wrong with a little "Wipeout" from time to time.

for a rock gig, I might break out MOBY DICK :D
Awesome man, I forgot all about Chitlins Con Carne - will have to give it another listen.. how does Sleepwalk usually go over for you?
Which version of it is yours based on? The Jonny and Santo one feels a little slow.. I really like it.. just don't want to have anything flop, haha..

Wipeout is pretty much a given, haha.

Haven't heard "Cause We've Ended As Lovers", will get onto that right now. Cheers mate.

I perform in a band known to focus on vintage 60's california instrumental surf tunes, and it goes over very well

"Sleepwalk" and "Tequilla" and "Wipeout" always fills the dance floor
Brilliant.
I don't think I know "Tequilla". Will get onto that ASAP.

Great selections and a great idea. It would blow my mind if I went to see a pub band and they played Chitlins Con Carne.
Yeah, I thought it was a killer idea too. It'll help set us even further apart from any local acts.
I made some sick suggestions, seriously check out Closing In by The Living End, IMO it'll totally rock a pub.. some great suggestions in this thread too.

We will do : Hideaway
Green onions
Chicken shack
Left overs (Joe B)
We usually start a set with an instrumental, let the front guy check levels on the floor before we hit vocals.
Sweet, cheers mate.
I don't think I could actually play Hideaway at the moment!
Will have to check out the others, not familiar with them - isn't Green Onions the ice cream van tune?

don't forget "3rd Stone from the Sun" - that's a fun one too for the blues/rock gigs.....
Mate, thanks again - I know this one (well, not how to play it) - good choice.
Can see it working in my head.

Mad choice man, doesn't fit what my bands doing but I'd love to see a band pull that out at a pub, haha.

Consider

Runaway (Del Shannon)
Hawaii Five O
Pipeline

I'm in an instrumental surf music band with a set list of over 50 songs. It can be fun.
Awesome, cheers mate - all of those are ones that hadn't even crossed my mind, but Runaway has vocals - I'm sure it'd translate brilliantly to instrumental.
The other two I'm familiar with and dig. Nice man. Thanks.
 

Bobby D

Member
Messages
11,821
you can have quite a bit of latitude and creative freedom with instrumentals. do a reggae version of "Tequila". do a funk interpretation of "3rd Stone".

when I do Sleepwalk, I kind of mix the Santo and Johnny version with my idea of what it would song like if a drunk Bill Frisell was playing it. I like making it slow and groovy and pitch modulated weird with lots of vibrato bar action....
 

Lucidology

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,058
What ...:) I do nothing but instrumentals at Pub gigs...
Take a Santana classic for instance ... almost all his ballads ... Samba Pa Ti, Europa, El Faro, Moonflower ...
Then I play his songs with vocals ... just play the melodies ...

Plus I do songs like "Get Lucky" ... Cheerleader ...etc. Just playing the melody with a slightly overdriven tone.
& a bundle of Hip-hop grooves
Do a bunch of Beatles tunes ... like soul ballads ... In My Life, Imagine...
Reggae versions of Hey Jude,,,, Hotel California ... So Happy Together... I shot the sheriff... Knocking on heavens door... etc

No Mic at all ... Young folk & Older Folk love this stuff ... (as long as I don't use a muted Jazz guitar tone) it totally works. & With all generations too ..

Have almost 200 tunes totally all generation recognizable that I just groove with by playing the melody over the top ....

I loves my job ...
 

D4V3?

Member
Messages
560
I've been in lots of bands with instrumental songs in the set.

A few off the top of my head that usually got good response:

Europa (Santana)
Always With Me, Always With You (Satriani)
Misirlou (Dick Dale)
Rumble (Link Wray)
Samba Pa Ti (Santana)
Take Five (Desmond)
Chitlins Con Carne (SRV version)
 

Bobby D

Member
Messages
11,821
one of the first instrumentals I ever learned was "Raunchy" - still love this one


My grandpa was friends and jammed quite a bit with this great player Arthur Smith, who lived in Charlotte NC and had a morning TV show that he would play on every day. Used to love seeing him playing every morning before I went to school. This is the song he is best known for, and it's another great old school instrumental that people dig - "Guitar Boogie"

 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,756
..what works for you?

My band has suggested playing a couple, I threw in a few killer suggestions..

Closing In from The Living End.
Apache - the Shadows (maybe Riders In The Sky or Moonlight Shadow too)
Wipeout - The Surfaris (or w/e was the original)
Sleepwalk - Jonny and Santo (bit slow though, don't think it'd work)
Mission Impossible theme song (lol)...
Scuttlebuttlin' or Rude Mood - SRV (already know about Lenny and Riviera Paradise and Stangs Swang etc but they don't fit what we're doing).

You know, that sorta thing.
Another idea is to take something well-known or current, and turn it into an instrumental.
Running with that idea would be to have an instrumental that constantly gets swapped out for whatever is current, so that we've always got something new happening.

I don't know.
I'm not up to date on instrumental stuff, no clue what works and what doesn't.

All I know is instrumentals were suggested, and I think it's a killer idea... after some more suggestions..
My band is instrumental, and we do about half covers, I just play the vocal line on guitar. We pretty much stick to tunes that were hits in the 60-80's. So, Beatles, Police, REM, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Stevie Wonder. When doing pop/rock instrumental tunes, the key is a vocal line that's not too simple and thus monotonous when played on guitar, and not to complex to remember. There's a lot of good cover tunes that have like a three note vocal line for like all of the verses, and these can be tough to put over without words.

But, if you want to do things that were instrumental in the original recording, I'd go with Sleepwalk (always goes over well), Peter Gunn, any of the big Shadows hits, your classic Surf tunes, etc.
 

Turi

Member
Messages
9,485
What ...:) I do nothing but instrumentals at Pub gigs...
Take a Santana classic for instance ... almost all his ballads ... Samba Pa Ti, Europa, El Faro, Moonflower ...
Then I play his songs with vocals ... just play the melodies ...

Plus I do songs like "Get Lucky" ... Cheerleader ...etc. Just playing the melody with a slightly overdriven tone.
& a bundle of Hip-hop grooves
Do a bunch of Beatles tunes ... like soul ballads ... In My Life, Imagine...
Reggae versions of Hey Jude,,,, Hotel California ... So Happy Together... I shot the sheriff... Knocking on heavens door... etc

No Mic at all ... Young folk & Older Folk love this stuff ... (as long as I don't use a muted Jazz guitar tone) it totally works. & With all generations too ..

Have almost 200 tunes totally all generation recognizable that I just groove with by playing the melody over the top ....

I loves my job ...
That sounds cool as. I really like the idea of doing an instrumental version of whatever pop hit/s are current.
Cool way to improve my chops + slip an instrumental in there.
Very nice man.

Are you in demand at all?
It sounds kinda cheesy just playing some guitar over backing tracks, for a pub gig, but I think I'd really enjoy it.. could be something to consider for my solo act... maybe replace the tracks with a looper or something, I don't know.
Very cool.

Sounds like a whole lot of fun.

I've been in lots of bands with instrumental songs in the set.

A few off the top of my head that usually got good response:

Europa (Santana)
Always With Me, Always With You (Satriani)
Misirlou (Dick Dale)
Rumble (Link Wray)
Samba Pa Ti (Santana)
Take Five (Desmond)
Chitlins Con Carne (SRV version)
Awesome man, didn't think I'd recognise Misirlou but it's been turned into Pump It by the Black Eyed Peas, hasn't it? Lol.
Cool choice.

I did the others too. I really like Europa.
I checked out Cause We've Ended As Lovers too and it's a little similar in places to Europa.
They've both got like a Careless Whisper kinda thing happening.
Which could actually be an awesome one to cover instrumentally.
 

Turi

Member
Messages
9,485
My band is instrumental, and we do about half covers, I just play the vocal line on guitar. We pretty much stick to tunes that were hits in the 60-80's. So, Beatles, Police, REM, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Stevie Wonder. When doing pop/rock instrumental tunes, the key is a vocal line that's not too simple and thus monotonous when played on guitar, and not to complex to remember. There's a lot of good cover tunes that have like a three note vocal line for like all of the verses, and these can be tough to put over without words.

But, if you want to do things that were instrumental in the original recording, I'd go with Sleepwalk (always goes over well), Peter Gunn, any of the big Shadows hits, your classic Surf tunes, etc.
Man, it is almost absurd to me that people are able to get gigs and make some $$$ playing instrumentals at pubs.
You do play pubs, yeah?
In my head it's for like events or functions etc etc.. to imagine an instrumental band in a pub is just nuts but I think it'd be ****ing awesome, and seeing people are actually doing it has me a little excited about throwing some in with the band, very cool.

We don't play pop-rock, we play blues/rockabilly but we could do a similar thing and cover things along those lines, instrumentally, for kicks..

Never heard of Peter Gunn - what's his hit/s?
I need to brush up on all the surf tunes, there appears to be loads of them.
 




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