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Band Line-ups - advice sought

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Mar 25, 2003.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I'm wondering what people think of a five piece cover band - drums/ bass/ guitar/ guitar/ vocals - of course this would work, but the problem I see is it's a little over-staffed. That is, when your playing a cover with only one guitar - what does the other one do? (the band would be just forming and intends to keep it nice and simple musically) The proposed guitar players have suggested that they can help each other out on tricky songs even if the original only had one guitar, make up some rhythm parts, and if there really isn't any other guitar part, somebody goes off stage.
    I am slightly concerned with this proposed line up. I talked it over with a friend who has experience putting bands together and he agrees with me. It would work out better if the guitar players (and the bass player too) could cover the vocal parts and avoid having a lead singer. That way when one of the guitar players has no part - he can sing. My buddy thinks that trading guitar players back and forth mid set with guys sometimes sitting off stage, while employing a full time lead singer in an intermediate level cover band might all seem a little unprofessional and hinder the bands success. Opinions please!
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Cover songs that work with your lineup. In my experience, there's an ample repetoire to keep you going and many bands that use just the line up you describe - it's not like you're saying 'do you think I can do a rock covers trio with bongos, violin and theremin'.

    For example, AC/DC - two guitars, drums, bass and vocals. Or what about Lynyrd Skynyrd - didn't they have three guitars? I've certainly got fond memories of the P'tang Yang Kipper Band, a five piece covers group I was in during my final years at school and university.

    The only disadvantage is that you've got an extra person to split the money with. However, you'll sound better with a good singer rather than a guitarist filling in. If one of the guitarists is able to effectively front the band well and good, and if the singer you've got is really not up to the part, I could dig that too, but otherwise, I'd suggest that you just need to pick appropriate covers.

  3. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    There are bands that have only one guitarist, but overdub another guitar track onto their songs(think Goo Goo Dolls), so there is something for guitarist #2 to do. Ive been in bands with one and two guitarists, and I prefer having two.

    It also depends on what/who youre covering. Like Wulf said, pick appropriate covers, you'll be ok. But, if youre trying to do Maiden, Reo Speedwagon, Night Ranger and Def Leppard(like we do) you need two guitarists.
  4. I kind of prefer the Bass/drums/guitar/keys/lead vocal lineup. I was in a band with this for 8 years. it works out real good because it allows you to do song that have keys, and the keys fill-up the sound that might be missing in a 2 guitar song. Two guitar bands take a lot of disicipline to pull off. Both guitars need to compliment each other playing and tone wise.

    If you want to go this way I dont see a problem picking songs, just about any recorded rock tune have overdubbed guitars even if there is only one guitarist. And for those songs that don't have 2 distinct parts, you can get creative.. No one says you have to play it EXACT.... I dont see any reason to have someone sit out a song.

    If you can find a Lead vocalist that plays rythem that is a good way to go as well, all though that combo is hard to find.

    I am in a 4 piece cover band and find that there are a few songs that we have to avoid because of only having one guitarist, but for the most part it sounds great. It also helps you develop as a Bassist because it lets you stretch out to fill in some of that missing sound. For instance I find myself playing a lot of chords and double stops.


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