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


bubinga5

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Our setlist seems to consist mainly of simple 3 and 4 chord songs. I wouldn't want to go through and check which ones I like playing and which ones I don't. 

 

But I wouldn't listen to a single on of them given the choice. I tend to change radio stations if any of them come on.  

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1 hour ago, TimR said:

Our setlist seems to consist mainly of simple 3 and 4 chord songs. I wouldn't want to go through and check which ones I like playing and which ones I don't. 

 

But I wouldn't listen to a single on of them given the choice. I tend to change radio stations if any of them come on.  

 

 

This was my exact point. If we played songs that were only what I wanted to play because they were songs I liked, the bar would empty. We were forced, because we wanted more gigs, to play what went down well and brought people in to the bar. You used to hear massive cheers when we played Wagon Wheel. I detest that song and it's beyond boring to play but drunken punters loved it. We used to fill our set with rubbish like this and throw in a couple of songs that we liked and you could tell. They preferred the rubbish, commercialised bore fest that every other band did.

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On 15/10/2021 at 23:29, TimR said:

Thing about covers is most songs can be learned in one listen through. So you're not investing hours of your time learning them

This may vary from person to person. Definitely not one listen for me I'm afraid, and I do invest hours for covers.

If there's a method I'm all ears!

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On 15/10/2021 at 23:29, TimR said:

 

 

 

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.

 

One listen?

 

To performance standard? 

 

No even a conservatoire trained 1st chair for the London Phil would say that was accurate even if it was 7 Nation Army.

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6 minutes ago, Nail Soup said:

This may vary from person to person. Definitely not one listen for me I'm afraid, and I do invest hours for covers.

If there's a method I'm all ears!

 

 

He must be talking about Status Quo songs mate. Not many musicians can play any song after one listen.

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Due to necessity (remote part of the world) found myself in a covers band the other year where every song we played I genuinely hated. Not a problem though as the audience didn't and it was great fun. Even learnt some great bass lines I wouldn't have otherwise. 

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22 minutes ago, ubit said:

He must be talking about Status Quo songs mate. Not many musicians can play any song after one listen.


Ah the enduring myth that Quo songs are simple 😂.

My rock covers band tried Never Tear Us Apart by INXS on Sunday and even I would say that attempt #1 was spot on.

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I played for 3 years or so in a Thin Lizzy tribute band - and I really don't like them that much at all!  I think I liked 5-6 tracks max - the rest I hammed it up, did the front man thing and went home with money!!!

 

Edited by DaytonaRik
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33 minutes ago, Geek99 said:

You’re there to entertain, you have to play what is popular with your audience

This.


This is the reason we get paid for it; we provide a service to venues so they can draw punters in.

 

Most of the material for covers/function gigs I’ve done has been outside of my usual listening repertoire. If you don’t want to play it, don’t take the gig.

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46 minutes ago, Nail Soup said:

This may vary from person to person. Definitely not one listen for me I'm afraid, and I do invest hours for covers.

If there's a method I'm all ears!

 

You should be able to get your fingers under the notes by the end of the first verse and chorus. Chord progressions on popular covers are all pretty much the same. It's that familiarity that gets people listening to them over and over.

 

Blues numbers are all I-IV-V. Either 8, 12 or 16 bar versions. 

The chart numbers at the moment predominantly feature I-IV-V-vi in various rotations. 

 

Then it's just a case of getting how many verses and choruses and whatever mid section there is.

 

There's a tendency for people not to use their ears but to rely on tab and charts. 

 

As I say 'most' pop covers are ridiculously simple to pick up. 

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2 minutes ago, TimR said:

 

You should be able to get your fingers under the notes by the end of the first verse and chorus. Chord progressions on popular covers are all pretty much the same. It's that familiarity that gets people listening to them over and over.

 

Blues numbers are all I-IV-V. Either 8, 12 or 16 bar versions. 

The chart numbers at the moment predominantly feature I-IV-V-vi in various rotations. 

 

Then it's just a case of getting how many verses and choruses and whatever mid section there is.

 

There's a tendency for people not to use their ears but to rely on tab and charts. 

 

As I say 'most' pop covers are ridiculously simple to pick up. 

 

 

Spoken like a player of a traditionally single note at a time instrument.

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26 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:


Ah the enduring myth that Quo songs are simple 😂.

My rock covers band tried Never Tear Us Apart by INXS on Sunday and even I would say that attempt #1 was spot on.

 

 

verse

vi-IV-ii-IV

Chorus

I IV

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7 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

 

 

Spoken like a player of a traditionally single note at a time instrument.

 

That's probably part of the problem. If you're the kind of bass player looking for interesting complicated bass lines, you'll be limited to the number of tunes you want to play and even more limited to the tunes people want to listen to. 

 

I didn't say all tunes, just the vast majority of them. If you are ruling songs out because you're only playing one note at a time, you're not going to last long in a covers band. 

 

Learn the chords and structure. The song is learned. If you want to add runs and fills later at your leisure you can, but that's runs and fills and aren't essential parts of the song.

Edited by TimR
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5 minutes ago, TimR said:

 

That's probably part of the problem. If you're the kind of bass player looking for interesting complicated bass lines, you'll be limited to the number of tunes you want to play and even more limited to the tunes people want to listen to. 

 

I didn't say all tunes, just the vast majority of them. If you are ruling songs out because you're only playing one note at a time, you're not going to last long in a covers band. 

 

Learn the chords and structure. The song is learned. If you want to add runs and fills later at your leisure you can, but that's runs and fills and aren't essential parts of the song.

Like I said you’re there to keep punters happy, help beer to sell and go home with some cash. If you want to play Rush for your own satisfaction then rent a rehearsal room because given a choice between Rush and Mustang Sally / S3x on fire most punters will vote for the former option with their feet 

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Being able to play a song after one through is certainly possible if you just want a passable backing/busk, or are under time constraints. Whether that is good enough for your inner musician (being satisfied that you’re doing the best that you can), is a matter for personal reflection. For my part, I know when I’ve not given a song the attention it deserves and I’m usually not happy with that, feeling that I’ve not only cheated the punters and fellow band members, but also myself. YMMV.

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4 minutes ago, ezbass said:

Being able to play a song after one through is certainly possible if you just want a passable backing/busk, or are under time constraints. Whether that is good enough for your inner musician (being satisfied that you’re doing the best that you can), is a matter for personal reflection. For my part, I know when I’ve not given a song the attention it deserves and I’m usually not happy with that, feeling that I’ve not only cheated the punters and fellow band members, but also myself. YMMV.

 

You only have to learn the song. You don't have to perform it or write a critique essay on its form and place in modern music. 

 

The idea is you learn it, come to rehearsal and everyone else has learned something approachably passable, and you can get a good idea whether to spend any more time on it.

 

Try playing some dep gigs, or jam nights, where you get told the key of a song you've never heard before and have to pick the song up on the fly. 

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4 minutes ago, TimR said:

 

That's probably part of the problem. If you're the kind of bass player looking for interesting complicated bass lines, you'll be limited to the number of tunes you want to play and even more limited to the tunes people want to listen to. 

 

I didn't say all tunes, just the vast majority of them. If you are ruling songs out because you're only playing one note at a time, you're not going to last long in a covers band. 

 

Learn the chords and structure. The song is learned. If you want to add runs and fills later at your leisure you can, but that's runs and fills and aren't essential parts of the song.

 

Many runs are part of the hook and in a covers band that is important because the audience expects them to be there.

 

Many recordings are not clear enough to get the chord voicings right in 1 listen. 

 

And the bass player looking for interesting lines is moving the goalposts. Could be a U2 tune with crotchet root notes that could be worked out in 1 listen. But what is the point of that if the drums, vocal, and guitar parts cannot be? And that's assuming only 3 players and 1 singer - no harmony instrument parts or vocal parts.

 

Getting a rough idea of a tune in a single listen is vastly different for that song to be ready for a performance by multiple players. A jam along to youtube isn't even the same sport as a gig with other people.

 

Are you really claiming that a band could be in the dressing room, put the CD on for 1 listen and then go out and perform it after that single listen?

 

No chance. Even the greatest sight-readers on earth rehearse.

 

 

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I love the way basschat threads go off topic quite quickly! We go from 'pros/cons' of playing in a covers band where you don't like all the songs, to how to enjoy playing in said band (still relevant), to how to learn songs (not very relevant). 

PS as we're off topic, if you want a covers band that'll challenge you, do jazz standards, and there's an audience for it.

Edited by Boodang
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3 minutes ago, TimR said:

 

You only have to learn the song. You don't have to perform it or write a critique essay on its form and place in modern music. 

 

The idea is you learn it, come to rehearsal and everyone else has learned something approachably passable, and you can get a good idea whether to spend any more time on it.

 

Try playing some dep gigs, or jam nights, where you get told the key of a song you've never heard before and have to pick the song up on the fly. 

 

 

Just seen this.

 

My definition of learning the song means being able to play it (with the other players) to a performance standard. Anything under performance standard means to me that it has not been learned.

All stages up until it is ready to be performed is "still learning it."

Edited by fretmeister
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Just now, fretmeister said:

Even the greatest sight-readers on earth rehearse.

 

How do you define rehearse?

 

Both Carol Kaye and Chuck Rainey said you got 3 takes on film score sessions. The first time was the run through, the second time was the take. The third time was the last chance before you were marked down not to be called next time.

 

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14 minutes ago, Geek99 said:

Like I said you’re there to keep punters happy, help beer to sell and go home with some cash. If you want to play Rush for your own satisfaction then rent a rehearsal room because given a choice between Rush and Mustang Sally / S3x on fire most punters will vote for the former option with their feet 

I'm sure if you have the talent there's an audience for a Rush tribute band! But as always you have to be happy, at some level, with what you're playing and the gigs you are doing.

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3 minutes ago, chris_b said:

 

How do you define rehearse?

 

Both Carol Kaye and Chuck Rainey said you got 3 takes on film score sessions. The first time was the run through, the second time was the take. The third time was the last chance before you were marked down not to be called next time.

 

 

 

Film session musicians get the sheet music.

Rainey formally studied music  - piano, trumpet, bass, violin and went to college majoring in brass instruments.

 

He's not a valid comparator for an average covers band - and as you noted - even he gets 3 attempts. Carol Kaye is equally qualified.

 

Point is - they aren't learning the song by listening to it. Film sessions are fully scored. All the players get notation. If the conductor wants a particular player to not sight read it they get an arrangement chart and asked to improv it.

They are playing what is on the page in front of them and trusting the other players to do the same. No memory needed, no chance of missing a change. No need to actually learn it at all. Can play it, get paid, go home and forget it completely.

 

 

 

That still isn't the same sport as listening to the track on a CD and knowing it. Unless that definition is now expanding to listening once but being allowed to pause it every 3 seconds to take notes.

 

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