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#32703 by gbheil
Fri May 30, 2008 1:48 am
Man I read some of ya'll talkin bout playin a cover "note for note".
Hell, is that really do-able. It amazes me that there are people who could just listen to a song and then play it note for note. Even if I hade the music before me note for note, it seems an emense undertakeing.
So much easier it seems to have music it my head, and just struggle to let it out. Or to share that vision with another musician or best of all the whole band takes some lyics you wrote at 2am wore out and depressed, on the back of a lumber recept, and by the end of the night your rockin your heart out. Talk about your support group.

#32712 by Craig Maxim
Fri May 30, 2008 5:57 am
Well, our band does a few covers each set on occasion, when the gig calls for it. We enjoy much more, reworking the cover and juicing it up, but if you aren't going to improve it, don't do that. Some covers we do pretty much note for note, very very close to the originals. We do that because some songs are just about perfect as they are. You aren't going to improve some covers by speeding them up, or making them reggae. And some people remember certain songs note for note, they grew up to them, got married to them, or whatever. It can be risky screwing with some songs.

And I don't think I understand the "playing for the audience" question? Unless you are a sadist or anarchist, ultimately you are ALWAYS playing for your audience's enjoyment or entertainment, otherwise, why are you playing in front of an audience? If you can play what you like personally, and the crowd digs it too, then yes, that is ideal.

We are an originals based band, but we have very good material, and just about every audience we have ever played for has dug them immensely. We had an exception to this at a gig not long ago. It reminded me of something out of the original Blues Brothers movie, where they play behind chicken wire in a country joint, and get bottles thrown at them, and they end up playing "rawhide" over and over, which the crowd seems to appreciate finally.

Our gig wasn't that bad, but after 2 songs, just 2, which were originals, some old dude literally comes up to the stage and says "Don't you guys know any Jimmy Buffet or something?"

It was an experience we had NEVER had before in this band. Yes, some people really dug the music, originals and covers, but there was very little screaming after each song, which we have been spoiled to enjoy on every gig we have had so far.

Later that night, after we had packed up, the sound guy told us we were awesome, and he absolutely loved all our originals. We mentioned that it was too bad the crowd didn't all seem to feel that way. He then conveyed to us, that the place was f*cked up, as far as the crowd goes. He said there was an internationally famous act which had been through there not long before, and the saxophonist had almost quit the band over their gig there. This sax man was one of the best he had ever seen, and he says he was so stunned by the cricket-like response from this crowd, that he almost quit the band over it. Can you imagine that? One gig and he was ready to throw his career away. I thought that was a little extreme, but damn, these people had me questioning myself as well.

So, hell, I don't care how good you are, you can't please every single crowd, every single time.

#32715 by Starfish Scott
Fri May 30, 2008 12:50 pm
Play what you like.. Who cares what the audience wants, not I.

Covers are done with a little bit of originality that makes it unique to us.

Never played anything note for note and we aren't starting now.

Rather stop playing than do it sterile, no ad lib, no original content.

#32745 by Kramerguy
Fri May 30, 2008 4:37 pm
I'm surprised to see so much resistance to the note-for-note covers. For me it's all about TONE. If you are going to do a SRV cover, you better sound like SRV, or you are gonna get dirty looks from the crowd. They may not know the songs note for note, but they know the sound. Other songs like Mony Mony, or You Really Got Me are FAR more open to interpretation than others, of course.

But in the same light, there are songs that are NOT open for interpretation, like All Right Now, or American Band...

Our former guitarist couldn't learn note-for-note so he learned the key notes and bullshitted his way through songs. It was a shame because he was a damn good lead player, but frankly his rhythm sucked, and that showed when he was called upon to play note for note.

Just sayin...

#32746 by Kramerguy
Fri May 30, 2008 4:39 pm
Craig Maxim wrote:So, hell, I don't care how good you are, you can't please every single crowd, every single time.

I couldn't agree more. We've played the same set and one night had everyone up dancing and cheering, and another night, nothing but crickets chirping in the distance.

#32751 by Axesligner for hire
Fri May 30, 2008 5:23 pm
Kramerguy wrote:
Craig Maxim wrote:So, hell, I don't care how good you are, you can't please every single crowd, every single time.

I couldn't agree more. We've played the same set and one night had everyone up dancing and cheering, and another night, nothing but crickets chirping in the distance.

Ain't that the truth!!! Has happened to me more than once over 20 years. All you can do is please as many people as you can.

#32752 by Mike Gentry
Fri May 30, 2008 5:48 pm
It's all about the audience but play what you want to play. There is an audience for just about every type of music out there. The key is to target your audience and play only venues that cater to that type of audience. In other words don't book your grindcore metal band at a country western club. It's pretty simple.

#32755 by Craig Maxim
Fri May 30, 2008 6:50 pm
Shredd6 wrote:

Ha ha. That was good! LOL

#32781 by HowlinJ
Sat May 31, 2008 1:01 am

#32791 by fisherman bob
Sat May 31, 2008 4:35 am
On some of our past gigs I thought we sounded awesome and the audience didn't have any reaction. Other gigs I thought we sounded awful and the audience went crazy for us. You just never know what's going to happen sometimes. There's almost no rhyme or reason to the reaction you get. That's one of the reasons I play what I want. If the band is into it that has a positive effect on the audience for sure. The first band I was ever in did everything note-for-note. I thought it was insane for a blues band to play like that. We did well and got a good number of gigs. From my point of view if you play a song the same way every time it gets old and boring really fast. It's good to build into a song room to jam a little and try and create something new each time you play the song. This particular topic is probably the most argued topic in almost every band I've been in. Later...

#32804 by RhythmMan
Sat May 31, 2008 4:00 pm
I'm going to open up a can of worms, here; but it's got to be pointed out.
Imagine if some of the all-time music greats only played other people's cover songs note-for-note.
. . . what a waste of talent . . .

#32806 by philbymon
Sat May 31, 2008 6:04 pm
Exactly, RM...they aren't there to hear Floyd or whoever I'm covering...they're there listening to ME

Therefore, I do whatever I do in my own fashion, as well as I can do it.

I don't get complaints, so I guess it works for me.

I mean, I cover everything from Floyd to Tull to Johnny Cash, for heaven's sake. Do you think that as a soloist I'm gonna even TRY to sound like the original? Why would I bother? I do it the Philby way.

As a band, for me it's basically the same thing. They showed up to hear what WE do, in OUR way. If they wanted a tribute band or the original, they should have paid for it & gone to see them instead of us.

#32807 by ezen
Sat May 31, 2008 6:07 pm
We played mostly what the audience wanted.
We sorta look at it as the job description and the bar owners/managers love it. Everytime the boss smiles ya just got another gig.

However...we always opened and closed sets with whatever we liked being as people never dance to first and last songs anyway.

Its a good win/win recipe.
I like the extra money.

Of course that applies to cover bands only so....I guess its different for everybody.


#32863 by The Hunter
Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:43 pm
It's hard to get away with playing only what you want.
Eventually, somebody's gonna yell out "FREEBIRD!!!!!!!!!!" :lol:

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