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Playing songs in a covers band you dont always like.?


bubinga5

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10 minutes ago, pigface said:

I'd respectfully disagree with this. There are many songs I like just as much after playing them live for years.

Fair enough. I just can't listen to songs I've played over and over for five years that I used to really like. Now I either associate it with the memory of a bad gig or realise I've played it very, very wrong for too long!

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3 hours ago, bubinga5 said:

Ive been asked to play for a local cover band. They gave me set list and it is really varied. Some songs are great and some im not a fan of. ...

 

I've been in so-called originals bands where some songs were great and some I was not a fan off.

 

That's normal; unless maybe you are the band leader or musical director.

 

I don't think I have ever been in band where I liked all the songs.

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Yep, i have to play some Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry, even some Thomspon Twims.  Not good.

 

However, the bands USP is doing hard rock covers of cheesy pop hits, as well as the usual indie and rock covers, so its gone from being a chore to actually being quite fun.

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I was in a function band and the singer suggested 'Betcha By Golly Wow' as a possible cover...this met with all round derision, including yours truly.

 

When that band imploded, the singer asked me to join his soul band and I did. 'Betcha' was on the set list (and often announced at gigs as the greatest song ever written!). I think my initial dislike for the song was a little hasty as it became something I looked forward to playing. When everything clicked with the band it sounded great (onstage anyway, gawd knows what the punters thought of it!). Sometimes it was so good that you felt an afterglow among the band, a combined experience...almost felt like lighting up a post coital ciggy 😊

 

Anyway that's my experience of a cover I didn't (initially) like.

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1 hour ago, AdrianP said:

I had an, admittedly, tongue in cheek row with the guitarist in my band about this. He flat out accused me of not liking most of the songs we play in our covers band. I told him he was wrong; I don't like ANY of the songs we play. I was only half joking as we seem to play a lot more mid tempo soft rock than we ever did and I'd prefer something a bit more hard edged. But the audience seems to like it so who am I to object? And I like the band and showing off on stage so it's not a bad life really. 

 

But if anyone knows of a shoegaze/ My Bloody Valentine covers band needing a bassist, I'll drop this lot like a shot. 

You like My Bloody Valentine and are playing soft rock?

Can’t be fun😐

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There's four or five songs in our set that I possess and voluntarily listen to. The rest I'm indifferent to in listening terms. However, I do enjoy playing most of them, and the ones I'm not keen on still get the audience up and dancing, and that's enjoyable too. There is one red, red line though. Early UB40 - fine. The later utter dross - no way.

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There are some songs I would walk away from a band rather than play (Mustang Sally, shotgun to name but two) but what I enjoy playing doesn’t match what I like listening to necessarily. There is some overlap, the Pearl Jam songs we play I love, but most stuff is ok at best and some I would never listen to but love playing live. I would rather play stuff that is ok and the crowd love than stuff I love but the audience have never heard.

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6 hours ago, bubinga5 said:

Ive been asked to play for a local cover band. They gave me set list and it is really varied. Some songs are great and some im not a fan of. How many of you guys are in a cover band and are in this situation and what are your thoughts. Im thinking i may learn from the stuff i dont particularly like musically. It varies from AHA to Prince, to Bob Marley to Abba etc. Just wanted anyones thoughts really. 

 

Is this a permanent gig?

 

Have they got gigs lined up?

 

Do they freshen up the setlist often? Is there a theme or direction in the songs? Are there modern songs?

 

Will you get any say in suggesting new songs?

 

How far away are the gigs?

 

Questions I'd ask. Thing about covers is most songs can be learned in one listen through. So you're not investing hours of your time learning them. Lots of cover bands play standards and they can crossover to other dep gigs etc.

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5 hours ago, Newfoundfreedom said:

 

I agree. I can't imagine anything more depressing than being forced to play something you hate, when you're in a band to make music for enjoyment. Why would anyone do something they don't enjoy as a hobby? 

 

It's a good job you're not playing for money then as you'd get your marching orders fairly swiftly for refusing to play songs by a particular artist. I really don't understand this 'hate' of certain music. I can understand not liking artists; I think a few would agree that Liam is a bit of an acquired taste, but refusing to play any Oasis? The songs of theirs that I have played always go down very well indeed. Happy punters = happy hackenbacker. I've not played any Shadows material, but I'd to. I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm not a fan of Marc Almond, but I've played several Soft Cell songs over the years. There might be the odd occasion where I would argue the inclusion of a song wouldn't work with the band configuration or fit in with the existing set, but a refusal because you don't like it vs. everyone else being up for it? You've just got to put your big boy pants on IMHO.

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I like playing bass because I can play in a band, with musicians, to audiences. IMO giving a good performance is the most important part of a gig.
 

Fortunately most of my gigs are playing songs I like. There are some I don't like, but that's not a problem. If the audience likes them then it's a good job done. My tastes and preferences are for a different place.

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It is unfortunately part of the covers band compromise. Even with tributes or originals there are always going to be some numbers which will not be enjoyable to play but the crowd demands (and pays your wages) 

If you really object strongly then maybe best move on to another musical venture. Imho the only musical venture where you stand a realistic chance of eliminating this issue entirely is going solo and even then you might end up rubbing yourself up the wrong way if you are super fussy and self critical

Hope this helps

 

 

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I've only ever played in covers bands. I love playing with my current band and being with people that I really like and wouldn't have met any other way. I've a few friends from previous bands that I still meet up with regularly. I get a lot of joy from playing almost any song when the band gels, that out of body feeling when the music seems to be coming from somewhere else. Most of all though I love an audience, love to see people having fun that I'm part of providing. For that I'll pretty much sacrifice musical taste. I've absolutely no problem with Summer 69, Mustang Sally, Sweet Caroline or any of the others we all get asked to play. There are so many pot-boilers it brings down the cost of learning a new set list as in the end you'll know half the set list of almost any covers band. I've no time for other band members who are constantly whining about having to play things the audience love. I'll freely admit I'm a musical tart, but I do enjoy turning tricks. I'd never listen to this stuff willingly if i didn't play the songs. I freely admit to never having heard 7 Nation Army until I was asked to play it but offer me a room full of middle aged men playing air bass and I'm your man.

 

There is a balance however, there have to be a few songs you want to play, and a few for each of the rest of the band members, our drummer wanted to play Nancy Boy/ Placebo. God it's boring for the bassist but he loves it so it's a small price to pay. I'd stick with a band playing fun songs longer even if I didn't get on with some of the band and i'd put up with a 'lesser' set list if the band were getting good gigs or were good musicians. I don't need the money fortunately but it's also lovely to get £2-3,000 a year for your hobby.

 

So, I reckon I'm lucky if I like 25% of the set and I wouldn't listen to any of the songs by choice but the deal is sweet and I'm not selling my soul, just a few hours getting each song together instead of watching trash on the telly. 

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i don’t play much in a band now apart from the occasional get together in the studio for fun, or a private party ,but I still play every day because it’s what I enjoy doing , I think you can  learn a lot from playing different styles which improves your playing overall, I think it’s worth a shot, what’s the worse that can happen  🙂

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It looks like the consensus is just grin and bear it if you're having to play a few songs that you dislike. This is the experience of pretty much anyone who plays in a covers act. In my last band we played a mixture of pop and rock and there were certain numbers that each of us couldn't stand, but not all at the same time! Three of us liked 'Club Foot' by Kasabian, drummer hated it. The others loved the two AC/DC songs we did, I'd rather gnaw off my own foot than listen to them. And so on. It's compromise time, OK, you can have that if I can have this. Never any rows about it, we're all doing something that's fun so there's no way we're going to fall out over something as trivial as 'Whole Lotta Rosie'!

 

It's also true that sometimes playing something you wouldn't listen to by choice is actually quite fun to play. It can take you out of your comfort zone and make you work that little bit harder. And when I say work I really mean it opens up more creative routes in your playing. 'Place Your Hands' and 'Dani California' were two such tunes for me. Likewise, there's song I love but with dull as dishwater bass parts. 

 

Just enjoy it. I'm currently bandless and am starting to miss it. Right, where's that short scale....

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, upside downer said:

It's also true that sometimes playing something you wouldn't listen to by choice is actually quite fun to play. It can take you out of your comfort zone and make you work that little bit harder. And when I say work I really mean it opens up more creative routes in your playing

Definitely 👍, as long as it’s nothing by will young :ph34r:

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I hated plenty of our set but it was decided on what the punters liked. If we loved a song and played it a number of times and it was met with a wall of silence we would drop it.

What used to annoy me was the fact that I seemed to be better than the rest at knowing which songs would go down well and so if I suggested something and the guitarist didn't like it we wouldn't do it. It was a democracy up until he didn't want to do something. We would all agree and then next week at rehearsal we would ask did everyone learn it? He would often say no but I learned this and launch into something he had fancied. It was total passive aggression.

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1 hour ago, ubit said:

I hated plenty of our set but it was decided on what the punters liked. If we loved a song and played it a number of times and it was met with a wall of silence we would drop it.

What used to annoy me was the fact that I seemed to be better than the rest at knowing which songs would go down well and so if I suggested something and the guitarist didn't like it we wouldn't do it. It was a democracy up until he didn't want to do something. We would all agree and then next week at rehearsal we would ask did everyone learn it? He would often say no but I learned this and launch into something he had fancied. It was total passive aggression.

Pet hate for me too

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