1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Cover Song Advice

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lilcrate, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. lilcrate

    lilcrate Tortdaddy

    Sep 9, 2013
    St. Louis
    I have hung out in this section a lot to try and learn because I am new to playing and in my first "band" so I have a feeling I know some of the advice that will be given, but thought it can't hurt to see.

    So far my "band" is just my brother-in law (lead guitarist) and I, but we are talking to a rhythm guitarist about joining and he played with us once over the weekend. We are working on originals and have a few down that we both like a lot. We decided to throw in a couple covers. Here is the issue I have. He is really pushing covering the SRV version of "Third Stone from the Sun" (w/o little wing). I think the Jimi version is okay, but think SRV's cover is terrible (at least the videos I have seen). I told him I didn't think it was that great and that it might not be a "crowd pleaser", but all he said was "Yeah right, it's f'ing awesome".

    I really want to continue to work on stuff with him, but not sure I want to go in the direction he is going (showboat lead guitarist with an extreme resemblance to SRV).

    1. Do you think that song will go over well?
    2. Do I continue to push that I don't think it will or that I don't really care for it?
    3. Do I just shut up and play it because I do want to be in a band with him and don't have anything else going on anyway?

    Any other input, feel free to share.
  2. tmdazed


    Sep 29, 2012
    I think SRV is more for muso fan boys than the great unwashed masses, but if you were to do an SRV cover, Pride and joy may be a better choice , more recognizable, pretty much everyone knows the song and it gets cougars in tight jeans up and shaking their asses
  3. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I would treat it like any other cover song. Give it a shot, and if it consistently clears the dance floor every time you play it, drop it like it's hot. I find it hard to judge what will go over, but if a song doesn't go over it has no place in your set list.

    The key to getting gigs is playing songs that people actually want to hear. If you do that, they'll come out to see you play them, or at the very least not head for the exit when your band is playing. The club owner makes money, and they hire you back. More people catch on that they like what you do, and then you ask the club for more money.........

    Nobody cares if the band likes the music. It's important that the audience likes the band. A big part of that is playing music that people want to hear, and not being a jackass about not wanting to play music you don't like.
  4. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    If you are going to do covers, you should do songs that people recognize. I don't "Third Stone From The Sun" would go over very well. "Pride and Joy" and "The Sky Is Cryin" have been over played but there are plenty of other well known SRV songs.
  5. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv

    I've had a few shockers over the years - songs I though would bomb that consistently killed and songs I thought would pack the dance floor that left people in their seats.

    Most shocking song - War Pigs. We did the whole song and it brought the house down every time. I was very iffy about learning it.
  6. kikstand454


    Sep 28, 2012
    If you're primarily an original band....and you're going to do original band shows/showcases.....then his selection is actually spot on.

    it doesn't have to be the dance hit that other srv songs are (pride and joy, crossfire, coldshot, sweet little sister...etc).
    Because you're not necessarily trying to make women dance and sell beer- you're trying to promote your band and its image and talent. An obscure cover of a much revered guitarist/artist that your GUITAR player can nail is the only way to keep any integrity in the original scene.

    Do the song. If it fails as a crowd pleaser....let it do so on its own merit. Not the performance. After a few times of rocking it out and noone caring, your guitarist will get the hint.
    Or.... it may just kill.
  7. Lobomov


    Aug 2, 2013
    Lol .. I haven't heard the SRV version, but if it is anything like the Jimi one, then hell no .. music like that died the day the 60s ended - It was new and exiting, when Jimi played it, but it really isn't anymore ... and I'm a fellow gui**** that just dabbles in bass on occasions.

    That song is for the satisfaction of the guitarist and not the audience. If he likes to play it, then fine, play it when hanging out, but you really want something else out there.

    Off course, it is a reasonable option to just play it live and if it doesn't go down well, then just take it off and you can say, that you at least tried it.
  8. lilcrate

    lilcrate Tortdaddy

    Sep 9, 2013
    St. Louis
    I agree, but I don't think he would want to be that "mainstream". I will bring that song up to him though.

    I agree, and that is the mindset I told him we should follow with our originals. With that being said, I feel like I have a decent idea of what your average person would like or relate to. I played it for the GF and she was like "***" is that with an odd look. It is essentially an instrumental with a jazzy feel and very little guitar playing. Just weird noises from the guitar. The version he sent me is on youtube called "Stevie Ray Vaughan - Third stone from the sun 7/11/83". I would post it but I'm at work and Youtube is block.

    But maybe you're right, I guess it can't hurt to try it and have it in the arsenal.

    I agree and would be open to either of those or even any other song that at least has lyrics and people would be able to relate to in some sort of way.
  9. lilcrate

    lilcrate Tortdaddy

    Sep 9, 2013
    St. Louis
    I mentioned to him I thought our covers should be songs people were aware of or some people had heard, but weren't the big hits. Like the song on the album everyone liked but did't get as mainstream as the hits. I guess that's what made him come up with this one, IDK.

    It sounds much worse than the Jimi version IMO.

    But I guess, it can't hurt to try it. He is a good guitarist, I guess I should just let him try and make something cool out of it. I told him after his response of "yeah right that song is f'ing awesome" that if he really wanted to try it I'm all in and I think with some thought and effort he has the ability to make it sound a lot cooler than that version.
  10. I'd say play it. There's bound to be songs in the future that you want to play and he doesnt. Since you've only just started concessions you make now will cause him to look more kindly on you in any future disagreements.
    On the other hand I hate that version too.
  11. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    This^. Most of the other advice in this thread, while sound for a cover band, doesn't make much sense in the context of an originals band.

    A semi-obscure instrumental? Not really. Then again, my band kills with King Crimson's "Red". But I don't think it's because the audience knows it. It's just because it's a killer tune.

    If you've already made both of these points clear, continuing to push will make you seem like a jerk. If you haven't, go ahead and make them clear. If he still wants to do the tune, your choices are: do the tune, refuse to do the tune, or quit. Then you have to decide what's important.

    Well, it's probably not worth breaking up the band over. Just be aware of a potential power struggle here. If there's a song that you want to do and he doesn't, make sure your choice gets as fair a shot as his. And watch out for this common behavior: guy doesn't want to do a tune, guy makes excuses rehearsal after rehearsal about not having time to work on it, tune eventually gets forgotten about.

    In short, my concern here if I were in your shoes would be equal treatment.
  12. Give it shot and find out.

    Oh wait, on second thought - "maybe" none of the songs picked will fly, so you should pull all of them and start all over - right? :D
  13. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Exactly right!

    If an original tune doesn't go over, dump it and write new material.

    A song is only as good as the audience says it is. I used to work with a song writer that would get all bent out of shape and whine when a song he thought was gold turned out to be poo.
  14. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    Commercially speaking, OK. Artistically speaking, I must disagree.
  15. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Yea give the people what they want. Jimi or Stevie's version is not going to go over well in allot of venues unless its a blues club.

    Stick to the known songs. I hate when a band member digs up an old B side or album deep cut and says " let's play this man the folks will love it" Ummm.... no they wont :rolleyes:
  16. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Yea I see your point but Commercially is all that matters and pays the $$ :smug:
  17. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    we have been working on born under a bad sign at drone speed with drum loops, therefore i'm not sure anybody will realize it's a jimi song ;)
  18. sparkyfender2


    Nov 25, 2013
    You are a man of great wisdom!

    I used to work with a guitar man who had his own originals that he wanted us to work into the show....... Mmmm.

    We put it off for a long time, but he was a friend, and a killer player so we agreed, "Okay. We will play one of your songs at the next gig. Now, be happy!"

    We played it the next job. Song was a quirky, off beat number with an annoying hook, abrasive vocals, and was pretty much a piece of crap....... We played it in the middle of our rock covers set, and the yuppie-esque crowd just stared at us like we had passed a cloud of noxious gas. We were red faced and quickly shifted gears to something a bit more palatable. But the guitar player was thrilled, screw those dimwit bar patrons.

    The club manager actually came up to me and whispered in my ear; "Don't ever play that again, okay." Yes, sir.

    We didn't directly tell the songwriter about the manager's displeasure with his tune, or he would have thrown the offended artist hissy fit. Unfortunately, he heard about it from a third person, {bar waitress} and was, per choice, outraged. He showed late up at the next band meeting wearing a bitter little smirk, and when our BL called out a friendly, "There's our guitar player," he shot back, "Not any more I'm not!!" And then packed up his stuff. Bye.
  19. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    Ask yourself:- would YOU go to a bar/dance to listen to that?

    I wouldn't.......I'm going to a bar not a concert.

    I think that most women don't care much about how good Jimi or Stevie was technically......

    They go the bar to have a good time/dance

    I like to listen to a song like VoodooChild for example over the headphones at home......where I can float off mentally into the imagery etc.

    Don't want to hear it in a bar/dance though......
  20. see now, I disagree. You HAVE to do at least 3 Clapton/Cream tunes. You HAVE to play Mustang Sally, Tush, Keep Your Hands to Yourself, What I Like About You, and other tunes that have been trampled to death my legions of cover bands before you. Do NOT try to play any music newer than about 1980 except for the couple mentioned above. Make sure to play some Bad Company, because everyone REALLY wants to hear an old guy singing about how he Feels Like Makin' Love. Finally - make sure you definitely play a few blues songs (SRV is a great example) then constantly be looking to add MORE blues to the set, even though it very clearly doesn't go over at ALL.

    I'm sorry. That's my current band frustration. Let me simply give a BIG +1 to the poster above who said "it's not about what you want to play, it's about what people want to hear" Now, if you have a good ear for that, you can do well. Sounds like you may have that ear, and are thinking in that vein. This is very good. If you are like your guitar player (and my band) then clearly, it's not going to go well. If you play that SRV tune, nobody will know it, and very very few will like it - unless they are your friends you are telling you 'you guys sound GREAT!' - just because they don't want to hurt your feelings.