cover band question
So my band has already gone through about 3 different people in various parts -and I feel that we have a solid and responsible group of people (I hope?). We have about 10 covers now and will be adding 2 a week or so.
I have a few questions now about playing live and audiences. I'm always hearing about how picky audiences are. We'll be playing 90s to current rock music. Is it true that audiences will leave because they dislike one song you play? Do audiences bash on bands for occasional missed notes?
I'm having a blast playing in the band - and hope that when we get some solid sets, that we'll eventually make some original music. I was just wondering what to expect when we get to the point of playing live.
Is it true that audiences will leave because they dislike one song you play? Do audiences bash on bands for occasional missed notes?
No. They'll leave if they don't like the genre, you are too loud, you aren't very good, you don't play what the audience wants to hear - just what you want to play, they'll leave if it looks like you are just going through the motions, if the beer is warm or happy hour ends. I've never heard of anyone leaving because of one song. I've played songs that should make people leave and they don't.
Most audiences can't figure out a missed note, unless you jump up and down and shout about it.
I would think everything and anything is possible when you are talking about an audience but I think in general 99% of the people aren't really listening that critically to the music to really notice anything but a real major screwup so I wouldn't worry about that.
Will someone not like you because of a song or certain songs you play...I'd bet money there will be some that are like that but who cares. You can't please everybody so you got to please yourself! OK I stole that line.
I'm playing in a cover band..OK I shoudln't say band because we haven't actually played out as a full group but there a couple reasons the main one is none of us can sing, or better none of us can sing good enough that I'd even be seen in public with them including myself. It's getting frustrating since we have close to enough songs now but can't seem to find a singer.
Now from my personal experience long before I ever got into actually playing I liked to hear cover bands that keep it very close (even note for note) to the original. I think I am in the minority on this forum but the reality for me is that the reason I liked the song in the first place was the way I heard it and the way I would want to hear it in a bar type setting.
But I didn't hit the submit buttom before Nick so everything he said too. I already know we'll be too loud...
But I have left for pretty much every reason Nick described even when I went knowing the band that was playing, but gnease is right there needs to be something to keep the audience's interest and hopefully that's the music but go-go dancers on stage would work pretty well too!
One more thing and I think it's somewhat more important and that is you need to know your audience based on the music you guys are playing you might not go over real big at a bar with older people so it helps to know your audience a bit.
"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!
+1 on Nick's post.
general audiences are pretty tolerant of mistakes, interpretations and songs they don't know (and Nick and I have plenty of experience with each of these). but you will need to engage the audience in some way. get them singing, tapping, bobbing, dancing, smiling, moshing or put 'em in a trance. something about you and/or your music or the venue (beer, coffee, pizza, go-go dancers ...) has to grab them -- hopefully you and not so much the venue. after that, you pretty much have to chase them away with proactive sucking.
-=tension & release=-
Thanks for your comments guys. You have made me more at ease about the future :D
I think our band is definitely not bad - and most of our listeners told us we were great. A few of them were shocked when they found out that the bassist and I had only been playing 14 months each. But most importantly, we're all having fun and seem to like the same music!
Someday when we get to the point of getting somewhere, I'll put up a link to our myspace or soundclick
Hi guys... cool site, and this is my first post!
I've played in a cover band with pretty much the same people for the last 20 years or so. No idea how many gigs we've played... thousands. So, here's my take on being in a cover band.
My band like most started off by playing about half the songs in each set that we thought would show that we were good musicians. Songs like "Long Distance Runarund" by "Yes" and "YYZ" by "Rush". We quickly found out that we'd get "golf claps" for that kind of stuff, but if we played "Sweet Home Alabama" the energy in the place would jump, the dance floor would fill up and the bar in general just seemed "happier". So, we dumped almost all of the "showcase" tunes and started playing stuff that would get people up and going. Result... bar owners loved us because we "entertained" instead of "impressed" and people stayed in the bars longer. And if you own the joint, that's what you want.
Sound like we "sold out"... Not at all!!! If you are in an "original" band, you are there to play your stuff and promote your music. If you are in a cover band, you are there to ENTERTAIN the crowd. So, focus on being entertaining. We had lots of little things that we did to set us apart and be entertaining. We played medleys; we only stopped playing to talk once a set (nothing worse than watching a cover band who stops for 2min after every song to change their settings or tune up); We got the crowd involved in the shows... bunch of stuff. And, even if you aren't showing all your chops, there is no better feeling than really putting on a good, entertaining crowd pleasing show (plus, you don't have to practice "Sweet Home Alabama" nearly as much as "YYZ" :mrgreen: Peace, TR
I agree with Triterocker, you have to be lively. The most entertaining bands are those who look and sound like they are having fun on stage. I also agree about the talking. I once saw a very good band who for some reason felt they must talk and joke for 2 minutes or more between songs. The first two times it was OK, but they did this between each song. Maybe they didn't have enough songs. They did this for the whole first set. I had enough and left, it was very annoying.
And I agree about popular songs. You may hate Mustang Sally, but I've yet to see a crowd that did not love this song. People like songs they know, songs they can sing along too. They do not care how complicated the music is, in fact, the more simple, the better.
If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis
hey guys, long time no see. Welcome to the site Triterocker :mrgreen: .
I went to a Seger concert not to long ago where Bob simple screwed the whole tune up. the crowd was singing along with him then he sang a different verse then the whole audience. Guess what, nobody left! I wouldn't worry about missing a note or two.
Occasional butt-shaking is a great way to keep a crowd! Honest. :D
Don't worry about it, you'll be fine. Audiences don't leave because of one mistake. Audiences even don't leave when you drop your guitar before the opening song starts and your singer decides to plunge straight in to that track before you have a chance to retune so you're left to try to stumble through a guitar-driven track with a badly out-of-tune guitar. Not that I've ever experienced that firsthand or anything...
Ra Er Ga.
Ninjazz have SuperChops.
Agree with all of the above. I don't get out much these days, but can't say I ever left based on one song. Now several in a row that weren't what I liked to listen to, that is different. Mistakes? The patrons are mostly non musicians and have altered their senses with drink. Play a song they know at closing time and they will remember the way it sounded on the album, not the way you actually sounded. :lol: Totally agreed on the song selection too. Only other musicians will be impressed by technical songs. If you want to do that, find one that is both hard to play and rocks so you kill 2 birds with one stone.
Oh, and TriteRocker ......... We already have a TR here. Awe, there's always room for another TR here ......... WELCOME TO GUITAR NOISE! :wink:
"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --
deffinately +1 or 2 to all of the posts above. In my minimal experience (playing at little socials, and under 21 clubs), people are either getting slammed, or chatting up the opposite sex. Though Im sure thats not the case for everyone. I remember I was playing at a club, and after the show, I walked up to a friend who arrived around the same time we started playing, and he said he didnt even notice it was my group... sad face. lol but there have been just as many times when the audience has dug my band, and even asked for a card.
And to TriteRocker, welcome to GN!!!! These are good people, and will help you with every related need...
I play the guitar, I taught myself how to play the guitar, which was a bad decision... because I didn't know how to play it, so I was a sh***y teacher. I would never have went to me. -Mitch Hedberg
again. Thanks for all of your responses. They're greatly appreciated. So the epic Coheed & Cambria - "Welcome Home" might not be nearly as good for audiences as a catchy weezer tune such as Undone or Beverly Hills :(
How sad. On the other hand, the songs audiences probably will get into are generally a lot easier to learn and play.
You can screw up a song and no one will leave. You can play a song they hate and they won't leave (unless you start playing all songs they hate) but many songs have a signature riff, chord progression, vocal hook, that make the song and it must be there. Could you imagine playing sweet home alabama without the 3 chord progression? The song can work without the lead riff (it is better with it) but not without those three chords. How about joy to the world without the C, C#, D, after the lines of the verse?
Sorry, I'm ranting. I saw a band the other night at a graduation and though the band was quite good they stripped out all the little added things that (in my opinion) made the songs they played worth listening to. Now, that's not saying that you have to cover every song exactly as in was originally done. Just that some songs have something that gives them life and if you remove it, it falls flat. I'll stop now I'm not sure this makes sense but I hope you understand.
I know exactly what you mean and that's what would make me walk out of a show. But I think Triterocker is right on, you need to entertain the crowd and play music THEY want to hear not want the band wants to play unless you are playing all originals.
I still have trouble trying to explain that to the guys that I play with. We have a bunch of songs that we play well and people will know them but hey aren't really songs that you would dance too and the main thing to remember is that when you are playing in a bar it isn't a concert where people are just going to sit there listening to the music...well they might be but if they are you ain't gettin another gig at that bar, it's all about making the bar money and people that are just sitting around don't drink as much.
I never liked and still really don't like Mustang Sally but evry time that I was in a bar where a band played this it was a big hit everytime!!
Wes had it right too, keep it simple and songs that the masses are familiar with and can sing/dance too, those are the songs that will keep thew bar hopping.
Personally I don't think Coheed and Cambria would be a great choice although I don't know the song.
"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!
I would agree that it's not a great choice. It's certainly fun to play - and will keep our other guitarist happy though.