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What is the perfect gigging guitar for a cover band?

Meals

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637
A buddy and I sat around over the 4th discussing what would be the perfect gigging guitar to use in a potential cover band we have been throwing around. From metal to jazz and blues, soft rock, pop, etc. An HSS Fender strat was pretty much a given, but a Parker Fly and PRS HBII were also up there due to their piezo pickups.

I'd be afraid to use a PRS HBII at a gig just because of its value, but I could see grabbing a Parker for ~$1200 and using it.


Any members of a cover band want to chime in? What do you use?
 

c94123

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1,121
Tyler or Yamaha Variax from Line6. They can cover just about anything. Much less than $1,200 and pretty nice guitars.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
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28,533
Will your band really play metal, jazz and soft rock? I take two guitars to my gigs. A Floyd equipped HSS Super Strat style and a hard tail HH G&L that's kind of a PRS style. That lets me cover a lot of ground and the hard tail makes it easy to switch between standard and drop D, but there are lots of guitars that are up to the task.
 

rockinrobby

Senior member Professional musician ...
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Been in a cover band for the last 15 years now.. I use a Strat for about 90% of the stuff and I have a 335 for 10% of the other stuff..
 

SPROING!

Member
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8,794
The guitarists in cover bands I know well:
PRS SE with P90s
American Std Telecaster
Peavey T-60
Les Paul studio
Mexican strat SSS

All those guys play one guitar all night. Never heard a complaint.
 

lp_bruce

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,816
It depends a lot on the band. I can get through any cover gig I do with any one of my guitars, but I'm not usually trying to mimic the tones precisely. I think a guitar with a coil tap, like my Tempest, really has a lot of sonic range. That said, I can get a lot out tones out of my Tele.

If you do acoustic and electric stuff, a Hybrid can be ideal. I have a Michael Kelly Hybrid that can get me through any night and I have another on the way. :)

Peace,
 

Garrett Bagby

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1,215
My ideal is HSS Strat, but more specifically with switches to allow for neck/bridge combo and coil split for the bridge.
 

donnievaz

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3,563
I use a PRS SE Custom 24 Floyd with Duncan P-Rails. VERY versatile but more a jack of all trades, master of none type guitar. That said, I'm very happy with it. I use the P90 mode about 80% of the time. I also bring along a second guitar for dropped D and as a backup. Lately it's been a Strat because it sounds really good on Cougar's "Authority Song" and right now that's the only song I need dropped D for.
 

dazco

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15,708
It's always been a HSS strat for me, but lately i'm thinking my PRS SE santana would be even better. Stopped gigging a decade ago but since i got the santana and modded it for coil splitting and put A5 mags in the stock pups, it does everything my HSS strat does and then some. The strat stops short of having true Gibsonesque wall of sound bridge humbucker tones. It's just not the same thing and won't truly do that. The PRS does it in spades yet with splitting gets so close to the strat tones i need i don't even feel like i'm compromising. I only wish i had the opportunity to gig with it but that only happens on very rare occasions when old bandmates get together. Last time it happened wasn't long ago but i foolishly left the PRS at home because i had 2 new teles i was honeymooning with and thats all i could think about at that time and i took those. Looking back i shoulda brought one of the teles and the PRS instead of both teles. It would no doubt be one hellofa great do it all gigging axe. It cuts thru a mix incredibly well too for such a fat sound. Better then the strat ! (judging by playing to mp3's loud at home)
 

C-4

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Messages
14,562
I've been working in cover bands since I was 12. I'm now 67, and still play live.
I've used just about every type of guitar in cover bands, and feel that it gets down to what you each personally like to play, and the periferral gear, such as amps, and pedals.

Currently, I have a strat which will be getting a loaded Clapton Fender pick guard assembly, a Vigier H-S-H, and my favorite guitar, an XOX Handle.

I could do any job with any of these guitars. I've used teles, strats, 335's, 330's, 355's, 356's, 339's, Gretsches, Guilds, Deusenberg TV Players, LP's, SG's, arch top jazz guitars. While each guitar has it's optimum tone best used for certain music, it also depends on what the player prefers.

If I was told that all of my guitars will be taken away but for one, I could do work with any of them, but I would prefer to keep the Handle. It's not as generic sounding as some guitars, but it seems to adapt well to any style and not just get by.
 
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wilblee

Hack sans shame
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5,056
My favorite is the PRS DGT. Close behind it are all my guitars with a trem. Close behind them are the rest of my guitars. Take any decent guitar, a good amp with wah, delay, fuzz, compressor, overdrive pedals - perhaps reverb and tremolo if the amp doesn't have 'em - and you can do covers 'til you just can't play no more.
 

Krausewitz

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Messages
3,537
Will your band really play metal, jazz and soft rock?

That was my reaction too. Good luck getting booked..... o_O

EDIT: to actually answer the question: either a Strat or Tele and a HB guitar for backup. Sometimes you get a noisy venue (power issues or whatever) and you'll need HBs to quiet things down.
 

Gtrman100

Gold Supporting Member
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2,005
I've been gigging with Variax's for the last 7-8 years. Rock, blues, acoustic, 12 string, etc,etc. There is nothing as convenient and versatile with almost no down side. And BTW, it's a really nice guitar- mag pickups are very good. If the modeling quits, it's still a nice standard guitar.
IMG_0961.jpg
 

rockinrobby

Senior member Professional musician ...
Double Platinum Member
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i gig in a modern country band and an all over the map type band. i hit on country, jazz, blues, motown, a few heavy diddys, rock and pop. i bring 1 guitar....................TELE!!!!sheesh....

Yeah I forgot i bring my Tele when we do our country covers.. I'm a big Tele fan!!!! Spank my plank...
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
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7,216
My favorite is the PRS DGT. Close behind it are all my guitars with a trem. Close behind them are the rest of my guitars. Take any decent guitar, a good amp with wah, delay, fuzz, compressor, overdrive pedals - perhaps reverb and tremolo if the amp doesn't have 'em - and you can do covers 'til you just can't play no more.

That's probably the one I'd take, though realistically I could cover all the bases with just my Les Paul, Strat or Tele too. Unless you're talking about a tribute band (in which case you need roughly the gear that player uses), most folks just want you to play the song right. I'd think the amp and board would be way more an issue than the guitar, because you can't cover a chorus heavy song without chorus, but you can play a chorus heavy song on a Les Paul even if the original player used a Strat.
 

beanoboy

Member
Messages
76
A buddy and I sat around over the 4th discussing what would be the perfect gigging guitar to use in a potential cover band we have been throwing around. From metal to jazz and blues, soft rock, pop, etc. An HSS Fender strat was pretty much a given, but a Parker Fly and PRS HBII were also up there due to their piezo pickups.

I'd be afraid to use a PRS HBII at a gig just because of its value, but I could see grabbing a Parker for ~$1200 and using it.


Any members of a cover band want to chime in? What do you use?
For years I used a Strat for most of the material with my PRS Artist for the "beefier" Rock tunes. Now I'm using my PRS Artist and a PRS SE Custom 24. I used to use a lot of pedals or a floor processor. I use a Kemper Profiler now and get most of my sounds via the amp profiles and more importantly, volume and tone knob manipulation on my PRS guitars. I love how the volume control is REAL close to the strings on PRS guitars. I don't have to look or feel around. The Kemper cleans up incredibly well and has great dynamic range on the Marshall and Vox profiles I use.
 




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