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#32587 by Rockstar907
Wed May 28, 2008 6:43 pm
Sick to your guns. Fight the power. Be true to yourself. Are these cliches, or do you honestly believe in raising your fist in the air, middle finger extended, screaming at the top of your lungs? So many musicians say that you have to play what the audience wants to hear. How's 'bout playing what you want and what you feel in your heart and your soul to be true to you. "We have to play the new (insert current band/genre here) if we wanna get any gigs". Does anybody believe in the thinking that if you do what you want, how you want to the best of your ability, the people will come along for the ride? OR....do you believe that you should be playing the new Nickelback, just because it's brain candy for the masses? (little side note here, i do dig Nickelback, so nyah!) Also, when your band plays cover tunes, do you play them note for note like the recording, or do you play it your way, with your own style? Just wondering here, because it seems that so many cover bands are trying to be jukeboxes and play the CD version of a song, instead of perfoming the tune with your own take on it.

just wondering.....man that's some good weed

#32592 by Silverfoot
Wed May 28, 2008 7:03 pm
I'd like to think that it's possible to be true to yourself and still entertain an audience. Tricky would be an understatement. Still, I have never really bought into the "play what the people want" mantra. Every experience in life comes from a first time, with something strange or different being introduced to you. How do you know you like steak or pizza? Because someone convinced (forced, tricked) you to try it. Nobody is just born with specific tastes. Music is the same.
That being said, yes, play what you feel in your heart, but don't expect anyone to run up and kiss your feet...or even actually listen. Humans almost always resist change.
The cover songs issue is similar. Playing covers is usually a means of connecting with the audience through material that they recognize as familiar. The more accurately you reproduce said material, the more of a connection you will make. Playing your own versions of covers, while being creative or meaningful to you, will probably not go over well with the audience, as well as possibly alienating hardcore fans of the original articts.
I'm all about the originals, man, and I even enjoy throwing in my own versions of some covers. However, I also realizes that this approach practically cripples my marketability. I'm losing many gigs (and oppurtunities to gain exposure for my ideas) to bands that are playing the same four Lynyrd Skynyrd songs to death. IMO, it's a fact of life. :(

#32593 by Andragon
Wed May 28, 2008 7:04 pm
I dig old Nickelback too.
Might do requests that fit us as a group, but I play what WE want to play. By the end of show, they will want to hear what we play.
Just my 3 cents. :D

#32594 by RhythmMan
Wed May 28, 2008 7:05 pm
I play all originals. So - seeing as I wrote the songs - of course I like them.
And my audience always seems to like / appreciate hearing my stuff.
If they didn't - I wouldn't play out.
.
But - I only write the kind of stuff I want to hear. I write for me.
When I play - it's for me. If the audience likes it - well, good. I've shared something.
If they didn't like it, I'd stay home . . .
One can't just impose one's preferences on others and demand that they like it . . .
Instead of your giving them the finger, they'll give you the finger . . .
.
Be as artsy-fartsy as you want; but be real . . .
You have to meet your audience at least half way in the style of music that they like to listen to . . .
.
If the audience doesn't like what you're playing, then, then - chances are - either it's your playing, you're playing at the wrong place . . . or you're in the wrong job . . .
#32614 by gtZip
Wed May 28, 2008 11:18 pm
Rockstar907 wrote:Sick to your guns. Fight the power. Be true to yourself. Are these cliches, or do you honestly believe in raising your fist in the air, middle finger extended, screaming at the top of your lungs? So many musicians say that you have to play what the audience wants to hear. How's 'bout playing what you want and what you feel in your heart and your soul to be true to you. "We have to play the new (insert current band/genre here) if we wanna get any gigs". Does anybody believe in the thinking that if you do what you want, how you want to the best of your ability, the people will come along for the ride? OR....do you believe that you should be playing the new Nickelback, just because it's brain candy for the masses? (little side note here, i do dig Nickelback, so nyah!) Also, when your band plays cover tunes, do you play them note for note like the recording, or do you play it your way, with your own style? Just wondering here, because it seems that so many cover bands are trying to be jukeboxes and play the CD version of a song, instead of perfoming the tune with your own take on it.

just wondering.....man that's some good weed


If you are in a cover band, play what the audience wants to hear.
If you are in an original band, play what the band wants to hear.
A cover song should be as close to the record as you can get it. Do it 'note for note' first -- then I suppose you can funk it up a bit after you have everything down cold, and have played it for awhile.
If you set out to do a cover 'your way' then that's not a cover. That's a remake.
Anyone that would argue that either doesn't believe in doing cover songs at all, or doesn't want to work that hard at it.

#32617 by sanshouheil
Wed May 28, 2008 11:25 pm
Its my guitar I'll play what I like. :D

#32628 by The KIDD
Thu May 29, 2008 1:49 am
Hey Gang,

76-94 I made alivin playin so 95% of the material played HAD to be what the audiences wanted..Since 94, IM FINALLY gettin to play all the classic rock,jazz/fusion and originals I never got to play..Am I too late? .. :lol: ...Some good points have been made about HOW a band delivers and SELLS the originals and tunes of choice and THAT being the deciding factor...You can build a following locally who will accept your stuff over time as you mix them in with the covers..Thats way Ive seen it done on a local level...Much different on the road unless your workin for a fairly well known artist...

John

#32634 by sanshouheil
Thu May 29, 2008 2:31 am
IT"S MINE, ALL MINE, MINE MINE MINE! Whew I feel better.

#32650 by Crip2Nite
Thu May 29, 2008 8:13 am
I play exactly what I want and luckily the audience loves it too... so I guess it's a win-win situation! :wink:

#32651 by philbymon
Thu May 29, 2008 11:18 am
I've written a helluva lotta material, but some of it doesn't apply in every place I play.

I always do my own rendition of any cover. Why would I want to be/sound like the original when I've taken all this time to develop my own style? Besides, there is also the issue of vocal range, & I often have to alter the key to fit myself.

I've had ppl tell me I sound exactly like this act or that, & I just smile or chuckle & thank them. I don't really sound like the original. I have, however, taken the song & "made it my own," & that can & often does fool them into thinking they've heard it my way on the original recording.

I take up to 2 weeks to perfect a song before I take it to the stage as a solo. I know exactly how it will go, note for note, before I'll perform it. But I always do it my own way.

In bands, I never push to play any tune note for note. I think it cheapens the abilities of the band members. I would much rather do an original rendition of the song, and add/subtract stuff to make it our own. I like to work on it until it's really down pat. I prefer to know where the signature licks will fall in, the timing/key changes, etc. I hate it when all someone wants to do is jam out on every song. I do prefer structure. Just make it our own structure.

This has always worked for me. I get to play what I want. If the audience wants a certain tune I can't play, well, duh! I can't play it. Maybe I'll learn it later. But for tonight, see if you like this one.

#32653 by fisherman bob
Thu May 29, 2008 12:35 pm
If you're in a cover band and you honestly enjoy what you're playing AND the audience enjoys what you're playing AND the venue is making money AND you get repeat business there then it's a win-win-win situation. If you're in a cover band and DON'T enjoy what you're playing but the audience enjoys it AND you're making money, then it's sort of a win-win situation. The sad part is there's too many bands playing material to strictly make money, kind of like human juke boxes. A lot of these bands NEVER play originals and/or NEVER play what they want. They've gotten into a money making situation and that's it. I have talked with many bands who have original material and NEVER play any of it live because they feel it won't go over or it's "not allowed." The ulimate for me is to play ANY song WE want AND make money. Since I'm doing this for my own enjoyment that's what I do. I feel sorry for those people who NEVER play what they want. That's NOT what music is about. There has to be some creativity involved. Later...

#32658 by gtZip
Thu May 29, 2008 1:18 pm
Dang it fisherman bob, I was kind of hoping my 'bear bait' cover song comments would set you off on a rant. :)
I know how you dig cover bands.

#32659 by gtZip
Thu May 29, 2008 1:27 pm
philbymon wrote:I've written a helluva lotta material, but some of it doesn't apply in every place I play.

I always do my own rendition of any cover. Why would I want to be/sound like the original when I've taken all this time to develop my own style? .


Because if you're playing cover songs, they didn't come to hear your artistic interpretations of songs that they know. They want to hear the songs as they know them.
Until they get drunk enough not to care anyways...
If youre an original act that throws in someone elses tune here and there, by all means do it your own way.
Example: Rage Against The Machine's version of The Ghost of Tom Joad.

#32661 by jw123
Thu May 29, 2008 2:05 pm
I cant speak for original bands cause Ive never had any success with original groups. Sure we would play out get all the friends out to see us and have a few cool gigs. Felt like we were the next big thing, but I never got in a situation where clubs were calling us trying to get us to play originals. Ive probably written 100 original songs thru the years with various groups, some of which I thought were killer, they just never grabbed an audience. I always had to beg just to get a gig for my original groups.

Now as far as covers I have a lot of experience and some moderate success. I will say if you have the attitude that I as a cover artists I am going to play whatever I want and the crowd will love it cause Im so good at what I do. I think you are setting yourself up for dissapointment.

My first couple of cover groups we would play songs note for note, but we played our pet songs that we personally liked. Most of us as musicians dont like the hit songs, we tend to lean toward the super technical songs that groups play, or maybe the b-side songs of big artist. In those bands we had to beg borrow and steal gigs.

From my experience Joe Blow out here in club land with his girlfriend doesnt want to hear your favorites, they want to hear THEIR Favorites. I think you have to base your basic set list off of songs that work in the enviroment and that means putting on the hits, whatever they may be for the club your in. Once you establish a fan base you can start vearing off into material that you personally like. I love Soundgarden and we always played Outshined, but it just fell dead on the audience, now we could turn around and play Spoonman and they loved it and still do for some reason.

My current group we play covers, but we do take a lot of libertys with the songs. A song like Play That Funky Music White Boy has a more metal edge than the original, even Sweet Home Alabama takes on a heavier sound. So I guess I would say we play these songs in a manner that we can get into and stand to play. We also ask the audience what they want to hear, just ask THEY WILL TELL YOU WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR.

Hey if your playing covers what difference does it make. Play Freebird funky, play Stairway raggae. Make the songs your own in some way, whatever you are good at.

In business the customer is king, cater to that and you will go far. Cater to yourself too much and you ultimately will be playing to yourself.

When my group took the attitude that we were there to play for the crowd and do what they wanted, we had to start turning down gigs we were being offered so many. We are currently rebuilding our network of friends and fans and a lot of them remind me that they loved our group cause we looked like we were having fun and played what they wanted to hear. Thats music to my ears.

I end this saying that this is all my opinion, but it is what Ive observed over a 25 yr period in and around the club scene.

#32666 by Axesligner for hire
Thu May 29, 2008 3:34 pm
We're a mix of both. We play what we want to play, tunes that we really dig and get into. The crowds seem to appreciate that you're really into what you're playing, and that's so much easier when it's a tune you like. There are also the ones that you just seem to "have to" play to keep the audience interested. Catch 22 really.

As far as playing note for note to the original, go out and buy the CD. The cool thing about playing covers is putting your own little twist to them. It keeps it more interesting for the band, and adds a little level of excitement for the crowd. Just when they think they've got the song you're playing nailed down, you change it up a little; add a little of this or that, and surprise them. Most of the time it works.

As far as guitar solos go, being a lead guitar player that's where I get the chance to let my own style out. There are a couple that I think the original solos are so cool that I just have to play them note for note. The 2 that come to mind are Crazy Train and You Give Love a Bad Name. Detroit Rock City is another. Those solos are so part of the song that they have to be played as note for note as possible.

We do Comfortably Numb, mostly because we all like the song. The rhythm guitar player wants to start playing a few leads and asked if he could do the 1st lead in the song. I said go for it. He learned it note for note and kicks the crap out of it when he plays it. Then the 2nd, long extended one I'm up there doing my own thing. I stick to the "spirit" of the original, but add my own style to it.

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