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Covers vs. Originals

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Casey C., Oct 1, 2003.

  1. Covers

    26 vote(s)
  2. Originals

    46 vote(s)
  3. A mix of both

    56 vote(s)
  1. I prefer a little of both. You have to really know your crowd and what they want to hear. A band i played with for a while but i'm just now getting out of started with both. We'd generally play 3 originals then throw a cover in there to keep the music that people know and play our own songs that sound alot like the cover song so people connect us with that popular band. As i said i'm now leaving the band because they're signing a record deal and i'm leaving for the army soon but as you can tell with the fact that they're signing a little bit of both helps.
  2. Smurf


    Dec 27, 2003
    The last 2 bands I was in played all originals. Between the 2 sold close to 600 cd's and giged 120 to 200 gigs a year. Traveled a lot, and had a lot of out of pocket spending, but like anything, if you love what you do it's worth it. Looking back, it was well worth it. All in all, I broke even....:)
  3. bplayerofdoom


    Aug 6, 2002
    It made me very sad when i saw a Op ivy cover the other day. They played the crowd. I was so sad to see the base player not even attemp the intro nor the chorus.
  4. Amen, I whole heartedly agree. It really is a "vicious" circle the whole original debarcle. A: it takes for ever to build the profile of the band, and like most musicians,speaking for myself am impatient. You write material, and in a month, you get bored with it. And the high end of the industry is a really "clicky" environment, alot of sausage smokin going on, and with competition the way it is. Thats where you only do original stuff for yourself and thats it. The chances of "making it" with a band is very slim, and then you have to keep the band together!! It's funny, the companies make their money cause they have these "contracts" that are geared in their direction. Even with session work, its clicky as well. Fortunatley I make a full time living outta playing covers in Aust so I guess I'm lucky. I recommend for any young bassist to start playing covers, and do originals on the side. Just because you play covers doesn't mean you are any less a "worse" player, its being smart. I can garauntee most "pro" players have been in covers bands in some time of their career. BOTH is GOOD, the bucks on the side come in handy. :cool:
  5. spot on!
    GO THE 6ers :D
  6. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    I make a living as a "pro" bassist, personally I love working on originals, I get a fair bit of work as a session musician and I've played on everything from acoustic folk tracks to "chart" dance music and I love playing them all (so many different disciplines and styles ya gotta love the challenge :) .

    However this is mostly a feast or a famine so in order to pay the bills/live etc. my main gig is with a covers band, we do everything from classic rock to dance/hip hop/chart stuff and we use a LOT of backing tracks :eek: ....but...the average punter in a pub gig dosent know the difference, the fact that they're hearing keyboards and brass without any visible keyboardist on stage dosent mean a thing , they just love hearing the songs they know (it helps that our lead singer is a 6 ft amazon with HUGE...err lung capacity).

    We gig 4 nights a week every week and I make a respectable weekly wage from just 2 of those gigs. The sad thing is the amount of begrudgery we get from the other covers bands in the area (rock types mostly), so I may be a musical whore but I can make a good living from doing what I love. (and I still get the calls for the cool originals gigs).

  7. A good balance there Murf. Nice 1. :)
  8. ChildoftheKorn


    May 21, 2003
    why hello all its me again...well at the moment im in a cover band right now we play all 80's metal and we have a blast doing it. the drummer is awesome the guitarist is funny as hell. i never liked these guys before we started playing and well i realized theyre awesome are 2nd guitarist switches between my cousin and the drummers "bass" playing brother who loves guitar. Hes a better bassist knows more stuff and has been playing with longer, so chances are im going to lose this spot. by the wya were 15-18 with me being the youngest of the group and for where im at know with my playing and mindset i wouldnt even attempt covers being a younger band sucks getting gigs and we usually have to open for horrible "original" local punk and metal bands. I have to say 98% of the local "originals" ive heard suck and forces me to choice the cover side :D
  9. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Covers. No time to write songs even if we wanted to, which we don't.

    The saddest thing for me to see when I go out to clubs is an orginal band playing their heart out and no one is listeneing. A co-worker of mine has a kick ass original band, and they played last year at a company party. People literally turned their backs to the band, and after each song you could have heard a pin drop. I made a point of whooping it up to try to encorage them, but it was futile. :crying:
  10. IvanMike

    IvanMike TTRPG enthusiast, Happy, Joyous, & Free. Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    definitely sad to hear a GOOD original band get ignored
    sadder still is the continuing trend away from having bands play period................... :meh:
  11. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My band plays a mix of both. We just started writing originals and only have 2.
  12. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    I like playing both. They are each rewarding and challenging in their own way.

  13. MMSterling

    MMSterling Guest

    Feb 19, 2004
    Leicester, England
    The UK Music scene must be totally different to the American/Aus one. Here originals bands (like mine :p ) are the ones who make it somewhere, and the local cover bands get no respect at all :confused: ! Sure some of the local cover bands are good fun, but most of them are what I like to call 'college' bands, they aren't taking it seriously, just there to have fun, not make it their career.

    Original bands around here get paid more, get to play more gigs/ at bigger better venues, and have an infinately bigger chance of making it anywhere in music. American scene kinda sounds the opposite! So keep rocking them covers my American friends.

    Andy :p
  14. I have a lot of fun playing cover tunes to people that get into them, and the more that get up off their chairs, the better. Heck, when I'm checking out a band (covers or originals), I always make it up to the front and dance around at least a little. Sometimes when the crowd is good I wish I could get out there with them and watch us play. I really need a cordless.

    I was in an original outfit that I was very proud of. We only gigged a couple of times, unfortunately, but the creative process was very fulfilling. These guys were freinds of mine, not a bunch of hired guns. It was a real collaborative effort. It's really too bad that we didn't get to share our music more, but it's our fault. WE LACKED FOCAS!

    I've just gotta say that I think it's all good if it's fun. Nothing kills the fun more than some snotty critic that picks everything apart <cough insecure> or the guy that doesn't like covers. How did they get into music anyway?
  15. I've found it to be the complete opposite to that MMSterling. Obviously if an original band makes it big then they're going to be making the big money, but at just a local level the cover bands make easily more, or at least from my experience that's the case. For example, I'm from Leicester like you are (well, Melton Mowbray, near enough), and when I was in original bands playing at places like The Charlotte and The Shed we were only getting about £2 per person we brought into the place, so even if we managed to get a coach load over there we'd get about £100 tops for the whole band. Now I'm doing a cover band and we've been getting around £150-£200 for playing in pubs, plus we're trying to get a few wedding and party gigs where you can get some really decent money, e.g. we're doing a wedding early April for £500. We havent been gigging for that long, but already we're playing gigs more regularly then I ever was in any of my former original bands. You're obviously right that an original band has greater chance of making it big, you don't get cover bands getting record deals really (unless they're a rubbish boy/girl band of course).

    That's just what I've experienced over the years anyway, as have a lot of my mates who have been in original bands, and that's one reason me and a couple of mates started up the cover band, to get more regular gigs and get paid more, which has been the case so far.
  16. I think I'll move to England...

    I definitely like playing the originals more. It may be a bit more thankless sometimes, but I have a strong creative side, and there's no better feeling than getting up there and playing a song that you had a part in creating. If people don't like or ignore us, I think, "Their loss."

    Someone earlier mentioned that bassplayers don't really contribute to originals much (or something like that), but that's not true, at least in my band. It's cool; EVERYBODY contributes. We all throw around ideas, how to change this riff up, how to liven up the drum beat, etc. It's good chemistry, and that's the other part of doing originals that I love; just creating them.

    I could never do just covers, because once you play someone else's song note for note and do it for the money, it becomes just another job. The people don't cheer for you; they cheer for the song they've heard a billion times over :( I'd rather not make my living by being a jukebox...
  17. MMSterling

    MMSterling Guest

    Feb 19, 2004
    Leicester, England
    Wow your from Melton Mowbray, you know where Hinckley is? I live there, its a pretty big town so you may know it! Not far away at all!

  18. Yeah I know where Hinckley is, not too far away at all. I played football there a fair few times in the past against a team called Burbage United.

    By the way, I've also got an Musicman Sterling, awesome basses.
  19. MMSterling

    MMSterling Guest

    Feb 19, 2004
    Leicester, England
    Kinda strange that on a board with not that many people from the UK that I'd find someone who lives just down the road so to speak :p !

    Enjoy the Sterling lol I love mine, if your band ever plays in/around Hinckley/Leicester let me know when it is, I'll come and watch!

    Andy :)
  20. Yep, small world isn't it?

    I'll let you know if we play around your way. I think our next gig in Leicester is at the Three Bells in Oadby on Thursday 8th April. Likewise let us know if you're playing anywhere too and I'll try to come along and have a listen.
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