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Cover band jams are too long...just a vent

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mboogiemanusa, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Just a vent ....I recently joined an established cover band that needed a bassist. Nice group of guys, decent musicians and paying gigs on the calendar. Problem is the setlist is short on popular dancable songs and long on extended concert style lead guitar jams. Once the lead gui**** goes into wank mode ....it can last forever. At a recent gig .....the guitarist started his lead by playing with his teeth ala Hendrix....then jammed on what seemed like forever then went back to playing with his teeth because he had forgot that he had already done that already. Even if your a lead guitarist in another band ...your probably bored by this point. A few times...the drummer and I have had to end songs ......in mid lead. There is a place for this kind of concert style jamming but the local clubs want the cougars to dance ...not sit and watch a night of extended lead guitar wankin. The problem is these guys want me to use my connections to book them into bars and clubs where they are not really musically appropriate. Oh well.......guess I'll try to book them into festivals and biker events where dancing cougars are not the priority.
  2. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    I'd rather hear that than Mustang Sally/Brick House/Play that Funky Music... again.
  3. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
  4. Change the Key and mess with his head mid lead
  5. Guitar players all believe that the audience adores their guitar solos, one after another. However after the fourth pentatonic wanking solo few bothers to listen.
  6. slaps76


    Jul 10, 2008
    Medford, MA
    I'd have a talk with them, especially if they want you to book them in clubs. I'd just be upfront and explain that most of the audience doesn't want to see that from a cover band. If he argues, explain you can't book the band in the clubs you know...if the guys are really open, see if they're open to going out as a group to see other cover bands one weekend.

    My last cover band's lead guitarist did that in a couple songs, and it drove me nuts. People just stand there and stare for a few moments, then walk away.
  7. nrauch2


    Sep 9, 2011
  8. mstillman


    Dec 6, 2011
    Agree with OP. Cover band jams get old real fast. It's been my experience that the sports bar crowd likes hearing their favorite songs with little variation. YMMV.
  9. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    It's not necessarily that the jams go on too long, whether it's a cover band or not. It's the self-absorption.

    Not having anything significant to say as a player is the real culprit here. Guitarists are particularly narcissistic about it, but it is not limited to them.

    Aimless improvisation ranks right up there with watching the minute hand move on an analog clock as one of the world's greatest sleeping pills.

    It doesn't matter how well you can recite the alphabet if you have no stories to tell.
  10. the bedroom!
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    This is a pretty good post for any instrument and any genre.
  12. Exactly.
  13. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I quit a band over this once! Guitarist seemed to have an extended solo in every frikkin' song! I had enough and bounced!
  14. That's why we call them gui****s.

    And why I quit my last band. I just could not thump "E" for another 20 minute solo in Roxy Roller.
  15. JASON221


    Oct 6, 2011
    That's what i think too .[​IMG]
  16. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    Man, you just hit on my numero uno pet peeve so I gotta weigh in. Guitarists (and soloists in general) who act like the music is just some back drop for their endless solos are totally (as someone said earlier) "self absorbed", are not team players and will always be a drag on the overall ensemble sound and the success of the band. To make matters worse, I've also found that more often than not, guitarists who live to solo are lousy rhythm players ... like it's some thankless chore they have to do between their "inspirational" solos. I've got news for them ... if you can't play good rhythm, you're not a good guitarist. I remember reading about a well known Jazz band leader who, when he auditioned piano players, auditioned only their left hand at first. If, and only if they showed that they had good comping skills and groove, did he allow them to show what they could do as a soloist. Another thing is that super long solos are like someone talking and talking, but never really getting to the point ... it's lame, boring and amateur. I understand that everybody wants to show what they can do and have the audience think they're good. However, if you are really good, it'll come shining through for the people in the audience who know the difference. A good example ... back when I was playing full time in the late 70's/early 80's, the Country Rock band I was in opened for Vassar Clements who was/is a very good Nashville fiddle player who'd done mucho studio work backing a veritable who's who of Country music. Anyway, he had this bass player who, along with the good drummer, played really solid rhythm and served the music very nicely. Towards the end of their set, Vassar gave him a bass solo. I usually don't care much for bass solos ... even if done well because the bass player has the disadvantage of not being backed by, well ... BASS! Anyway, this guy did a concise solo that was not only very musical and melodic, but kept the original song melody buried within it, took you from point A to point B and was very dynamic. This guy (I never did catch his name) made _music_ and it wasn't just a chops showcase. Anyway, I left that gig knowing that I'd seen someone who could REALLY play and all I needed was a glimpse of what he could do.
  17. makkE


    Jan 19, 2010
    Normandie, France
    Spot on - a pure jam band with players that make every note mean something would be able to captivate the listeners - but it takes very good players for that.

    I'd try to settle for one "show off jam" per night, and the rest doing solid business...
  18. AdamR


    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT

    agreed :bassist:
  19. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Much as I dislike them, at least those are finished in 4 minutes and encourage some audience participation.
  20. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota

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