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songs that have been just played way too much

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Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2171

The reason folks like those songs no one wants to play is that they know all the words and everyone in the bar can sing along.

A lot of the other songs that are being listed are much more hit and miss.

Crowds like to get involved. It's fun for them to have everyone singing along.

So if you're playing covers, you need to have tunes that everyone in the bar will know. Because you'd rather that when they leave they'll tell their friends how they had a blast and everyone was singing along than if they leave and tell their friends "well, they were an ok band, but I didn't know half the songs they were playing."

The reality is -- one or two "standards" means that they'll feel you involved the audience. Every genre has their standards set. If you're a jazz player you know you're going to be playing Misty AGAIN. If you're a classic rock guy, suck it up and learn to do a kick-ass version of Margaritaville, if you're a country singer you know that you've got friends in low places, punk cover bands generally want to be sedated . . .

Not only is it good commercial sense to have the standards in your set, it's good art. Not because everyone else does it, but because part of the roll of music as art is to provide a shared experience. Those songs are popular because people relate to them in a common way.

That doesn't mean you need to play nothing but standards every time you play, but if you are doing covers, you need to have some standards in your plan to help carry the audience along with you, and to get them involved.

If you don't want to play covers, then the rules change -- but even then having a few handy for the band to whip out if you start to lose the audience is still good sense.

There's nothing better after a bar fight, for example, than to break out "Let's Get Drunk and Screw" :)

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST

Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 158
Topic starter  

ive always wanted to play Ry Cooders steel guitar parts on Sister Morphine on my Tele but I cant come close. that would be an awesome cover song to do. We have also been practicing "I Need You" by Skynyrd, one of their best but you never hear it for some reason.

Thinkin' bout the times we had
Some were good and some were bad
guitar fightin' the tv
i was thinkin bout you and me

Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 339

as for the original question....ANY bob marley song IMO. I used to like the guy, now I just cringe when one of his songs comes on.

Guitarin' isn't a job, so don't make it one.

Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 25

being a "youthful"[sorry guys] 21 y/o i thought i may have something to add,
covers are covers but putting your own charicteristics,phrases,accents,hell even divebomb whammy bar pinch harmonics they make it YOUR version,give them something with a twist and they will be enthralled as to what youre gonna do next

ps if you cover that song that starts hey ho lets go x4 then#shock# 3 chords
do not read the above!!!its all i hear in england!

all da best

"forever stronger than all"

dimebag darrell[rip]

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582

kingpatzer has it.

When you get out there gigging, people are going to ask you to play certain songs. I have probably been asked to play Mustang Sally and Freebird dozens of times.

Mustang Sally is great because the crowd loves to sing along. They love Freebird for the extended jam.

Then there is always someone who shouts out "Metallica!!"

If you want to get regular gigs you have to please the crowd. The club owner is not paying you to be an "artist" with all your arrogance and idiosyncrasies. The owner wants a crowd pleaser. You must be fun and keep the crowd there.

If you are trying to make it big as an original artist that is a different story altogether. In this situation it is probably best to have some attitude and do your own thing.

But if you are a small time weekend warrior that plays for enjoyment and maybe a little extra spending money, you need to be flexible.

I try to put some originality into covers. You have to make it your own. Listen to bands who play covers. When Aerosmith covered the Beatles Come Together they are very different. This is what people like.

So to me this makes covers exciting. You have to come up with your own slant. And it has to be good. 8)

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2649

I wiil play Mustang Sally anytime for the simple
reason it gets the people up and dancing.

After that as long as you don't go too far out there
can choose to be more eclectic.

Sometimes going back is the way to go like
instead of Van Halen's Pretty Woman do it
closer to Roy Orbison's. Remeber people
tend to know the popular version of a song
that is not always the original .

Good examples are J.J. Cale's After Midnight
or Cocaine. Everybody knows them as Clapton.

John Hiatt has many songs that are better known
by other performers as well.

And like Wes said " You have to make it your own "
Always give a little of yourself to every song you
play. If I want to here note for note I can always
play the juke box.


My SoundClick Page


" It's easier than waiting around to die" Townes Van Zandt

Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8184

i am requested to do country roads by john denver wherever i go.sometimes i feel sick but i do play as they wish.

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