Originals vs. Covers

Deftone

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I'm guessing that if you have an original with a good hook, and keep it simple...then you might be able to mix it in with the covers and get a good reaction.
 

ErictheRed

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I'm age 56,

I haven't been out to intentionally watch a cover band since I was a teen playing halls and keggers.........and those were all Rock/Metal bands usually doing a mix of covers and their own material.....

The last thing I would ever enjoy is a live band covering a bunch of classic and radio shit I already dislike.....

I've been out to a hundred shows where bands are doing originals........I enjoy that everytime.....just seeing and hearing what other musicians are really about.


** Not a shot at guys in cover bands or their skill etc.......it would take me a year to learn enough songs to play in a "bad" cover band......
It depends on where you live, also. Some places have a vibrant original music scene (lots of Hawaii if you like a certain genre, lots of college towns, Seattle, Nashville, etc, etc). Other places don't and the original bands are not very good or only play rarely. A lot of pros or semi-pros have an original band and a cover band because the original band doesn't get enough play.

I very rarely go out specifically to see a particular band these days, unless they're an actually successful band on tour. Otherwise I just "go out" and end up at a club or bar or beer and wine festival or wherever where there happens to be music playing. You've got to be pretty damn good for me to make plans around when you're playing, and most local musicians don't quite meet that standard to me. Caveat that I've got a wife and three kids and time is scarce and I need a babysitter and all that.
 

ehb

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SOOOOO TRUE! All of that.

Funny, just last band practice I brought this very subject up. Now that we have finally booked our first gigs we need to run through sets like a dress rehearsal. We have never done that in band practice yet....Which means minimum dead air. We'd just play the song and then talk...post mortem analysis etc. I've always been a big believer in flow...no dead air....I really like to string together 3 and 4 songs with NO gap in between them. This is particularly important for a party/dance band. You cannot let the crowd simmer down.
There was a club scene I think in Washington ...can't remember what the genre was called, but it was where the drummer NEVER stopped. The beat kept going.


Tight and polished seems to be a bit rare with local area bands.... All the 'prancing' in the world and throwing the rock n roll hand sign with tongue every few seconds doesn't even begin to cover 'half-ass' up....

Again, for those insane enough or bored silly enough to read my blatherings, playing ability has almost zero to do with it....
 

Tim Fezziwig

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We do play Be Your Dog as our final song,stunt guitarist grabs the mic,dances like a snake,I BASH out the chords....guess what? NOBODY cares....can't win them over even with a great 10th round....

Bbbbbbooooooo hisssssssss
 

Tim Fezziwig

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SOOOOO TRUE! All of that.

Funny, just last band practice I brought this very subject up. Now that we have finally booked our first gigs we need to run through sets like a dress rehearsal. We have never done that in band practice yet....Which means minimum dead air. We'd just play the song and then talk...post mortem analysis etc. I've always been a big believer in flow...no dead air....I really like to string together 3 and 4 songs with NO gap in between them. This is particularly important for a party/dance band. You cannot let the crowd simmer down.
There was a club scene I think in Washington ...can't remember what the genre was called, but it was where the drummer NEVER stopped. The beat kept going.
Freddy, this is exactly why I "stall",I want no pace ...WAM BAM ...then some POETRY....stand up comedy? I do not respect the audience,they get what they get,you want a Good Time Band? Go see Bon Jovi......I'm up there to hold a mirror to their drunken faces.
 

Freddy G

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Freddy, this is exactly why I "stall",I want no pace ...WAM BAM ...then some POETRY....stand up comedy? I do not respect the audience,they get what they get,you want a Good Time Band? Go see Bon Jovi......I'm up there to hold a mirror to their drunken faces.
Well, I guess you go to your church and I'll go to mine. But then I imagine Fezz band is more of an experience that cannot be summarized.
 

ErictheRed

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I am so grateful for Denver's music scene, honestly a wealth of incredible original acts (and a scene that comes up and supports it).
Yeah I lived in Fort Collins for three years, I miss that area at times!
 

Tim Fezziwig

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Well, I guess you go to your church and I'll go to mine. But then I imagine Fezz band is more of an experience that cannot be summarized.
Freddy- I'm a "straight" POET in EXILE-"forced" to play R+R to "express my pain". Believe me-ALL THIS HYPE....I live up to it---dashing EVERY expectation. I take "cast offs"- fired from your band--Come...I will "heal" you. I never so NO- just play- you can STINK-no worries-I'm great enough for all of us.....

Dang, if I read this I would think? I don't know what I'd think and I write/play/think this CRAP!
 

rogue3

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I'm interested in hearing how everyone feels about playing covers vs. playing originals. I realize if you're playing for a living ,unless you're a name act you need to play covers to survive. It just feels to me that playing other people's songs note for note is more like being a technician than an artist. It leaves almost no room for creativity. Once again I do know that's what the audience demands, that you be a human jukebox. Also, there are precious few locations to perform original material and even fewer fans (outside friends and family). Not trying to start a range war about who has the moral high ground, just a discussion of how you all feel on this subject.
yeah.good question.prefer originals here,because that is what i have done, but long time ago.good with a couple covers...today a different scene.what is the consensus?
 

frater106

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50/50, good covers are great but good originals are better to me
As a musician, I agree. Playing music at the amateur to semi-pro you have to do it for the expressive value-it's simply a losing proposition money-wise and it's a thankless job touring.
 

freebyrd 69

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OK........:rolleyes:
Wasn’t meant to be a smart ass reply, just a fact. Most people want songs they know and recognize. I’d be with ya on going to see an original band if I liked the style of music. Most people aren’t that way. If they are going out for the evening, they want familiar music.
 

marksoundguitars

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Seems to me that bar bands that play country music don't really worry about it. They can play the classics any way they want and people still buy drinks and dance. If the band throws in an original here and there, people still buy drinks and dance.

Rednecks just want to have fun. :cool:
 

freebyrd 69

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Some have said never announce an original. I agree with that to an extent.
As with all my blatherings, read/ignore, your call... I don't much care who agrees/disagrees.

I would add and/or clarify:

Don't even announce every song. Taking time to blather the same thing over and over between songs is eating clock.

Does anybody in their right mind actually think that a band would need to announce 'Gimme Free Chips"? Jeebus.

Just play. I think they'll recognize covers. Don't give em time to start jabbering among themselves while you wax poetically with the typical eat the clock bullshit that most bands do, while ignoring the rumblings of 'I wish he'd STFU and just sing' by the popcorn munchers... Too many think they are funny and/or entertaining... Nawt.

Punch out one cover after another, slip in an original, if folks clap, say a quick 'that was one of ours called 'Yadda Yadda' and move the fark on with the next cover before they can blink...

No matter if it is 45/15s, 60/20s, whatever, a Hurry-Up Offense is da cheeze... Best club bands I've seen may not have been the best players but rather the best prepared... Had they shit together.... Bamm Bamm Bamm and set was over before you knew it. No soliloquy bullshit on stage, no need to announce standards. End & Begin Next without more than seconds burned.

Done right, you could toss originals in here and there with no issue... Play your ass off, play tight, and play good tuneage and you can pull off about anything.... You can pull off Beverly Hillbillies theme if done right... Some years back, a bud's band did that... They used it as an in-between if I rem correctly. Went kinda funkish all of a second and he 'rapped' the lyrics to Bev H'billies... Popcorn munchers ate that shit up..... Bamm into another song with no break. Pro. Very Pro.

A good punchy original is no different to the popcorn munchers than a standard. News Flash: All the popcorn munchers in the building are not familiar with an entire song list of COVERS. Just play it and move on. Resist the urge of blathering 'It all started for me when I was just a little chillren and I knew then that I wanted to play rock and roll and be a star and be on tv and be rich.....and shit.' N O B O D Y C A R E S. Just play the damn tune and see if anybody reacts. If NO reaction at all, then maybe it 'ain't all that' or needs some more work... Just keep moving on....


I have the same complaint about every cover/mixed/orig bands which I think affects their rep more than they think.
STFU & Play. You're not as funny or enlightening as you may think. They didn't come to the bar to hear speeches and they don't care what happened to you this morning on the way to Starducks to get your morning latte.... They don't care. Play.

Wanna be respected as being a pro level band? Act like it... Playing ability ain't the issue.

edro.
100% TRUTH!
 
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SteveC

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Some have said never announce an original. I agree with that to an extent.
As with all my blatherings, read/ignore, your call... I don't much care who agrees/disagrees.

I would add and/or clarify:

Don't even announce every song. Taking time to blather the same thing over and over between songs is eating clock.

Does anybody in their right mind actually think that a band would need to announce 'Gimme Free Chips"? Jeebus.

Just play. I think they'll recognize covers. Don't give em time to start jabbering among themselves while you wax poetically with the typical eat the clock bullshit that most bands do, while ignoring the rumblings of 'I wish he'd STFU and just sing' by the popcorn munchers... Too many think they are funny and/or entertaining... Nawt.

Punch out one cover after another, slip in an original, if folks clap, say a quick 'that was one of ours called 'Yadda Yadda' and move the fark on with the next cover before they can blink...

No matter if it is 45/15s, 60/20s, whatever, a Hurry-Up Offense is da cheeze... Best club bands I've seen may not have been the best players but rather the best prepared... Had they shit together.... Bamm Bamm Bamm and set was over before you knew it. No soliloquy bullshit on stage, no need to announce standards. End & Begin Next without more than seconds burned.

Done right, you could toss originals in here and there with no issue... Play your ass off, play tight, and play good tuneage and you can pull off about anything.... You can pull off Beverly Hillbillies theme if done right... Some years back, a bud's band did that... They used it as an in-between if I rem correctly. Went kinda funkish all of a second and he 'rapped' the lyrics to Bev H'billies... Popcorn munchers ate that shit up..... Bamm into another song with no break. Pro. Very Pro.

A good punchy original is no different to the popcorn munchers than a standard. News Flash: All the popcorn munchers in the building are not familiar with an entire song list of COVERS. Just play it and move on. Resist the urge of blathering 'It all started for me when I was just a little chillren and I knew then that I wanted to play rock and roll and be a star and be on tv and be rich.....and shit.' N O B O D Y C A R E S. Just play the damn tune and see if anybody reacts. If NO reaction at all, then maybe it 'ain't all that' or needs some more work... Just keep moving on....


I have the same complaint about every cover/mixed/orig bands which I think affects their rep more than they think.
STFU & Play. You're not as funny or enlightening as you may think. They didn't come to the bar to hear speeches and they don't care what happened to you this morning on the way to Starducks to get your morning latte.... They don't care. Play.

Wanna be respected as being a pro level band? Act like it... Playing ability ain't the issue.

edro.

I agree with all of that, and I have one add...

Your "job" isn't to entertain the unwashed masses. Your job is to get them to drink and drink and drink some more. You need to encourage that behavior. There is a right way and a wrong way.

The successful bands that get called back over & over have figured out the right way.

We used the "ring game" with owners. If you "ring" more than $XXX, we get paid $YYY. If you ring less than $XXX, we get paid less than $YYY. They loved it, often times we'd negotiate the ring amount. Even on nights when we missed the ring (few and far between) the owners still loved us for promoting the guzzling (and for getting to pay us less) - LOL

And, we would get called back. Again & again.
 
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Zungle

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Wasn’t meant to be a smart ass reply, just a fact. Most people want songs they know and recognize. I’d be with ya on going to see an original band if I liked the style of music. Most people aren’t that way. If they are going out for the evening, they want familiar music.

All good......

The greater Seattle /Puget Sound music scene has generally been heavy on original music.......curbside ,coffe shops, bars etc........
 

Zungle

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I'm a technician, I play covers, always have. I'm not very creative and don't play original material

I'm just terrible......most covers are next level for me.......:laugh2::laugh2:
 

SteveC

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Memorizing 100, 200, 300 songs is a daunting task.


Remembering them weeks, months, years later is even harder :rofl:
 

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