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Coversongs-which and how?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by FourstringPluck, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. FourstringPluck


    Jul 2, 2004
    I, just wondered how you guys and gals decide what songs to cover and how to cover them. Because right now I'm having a hedeace finding out whether or not to cover Over the hills and far away by Gary Moore(later done by Nightwish)
    How do you decide which songs to play??
  2. hate to correct you bud , but over the hills and far away is a Led Zeppelin song. But as to cover songs, my only advice is dont copy the song exactly as the original.
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Our leader (girl singer) picks them. Make sure to play them as close to the original as possible. People really dig that.

    Danceability is the most important thing in choosing songs.
  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    There is no rule - just a range of options. With Lovesjones, we all take turns in suggesting tunes and gradually reach a consensus on which ones are in and which ones are out. We often end up with some relatively obscure stuff (being in the band has certainly broadened my musical education!) and tend to take a lot of liberties with the tunes to make them fit our strengths.

    I'd agree with Munji on one thing though - "danceability" is one of the main considerations :D

  5. victobass


    Nov 27, 2003
    Hate to correct you Charles, but "Over The Hills And Far Away" is a Gary Moore song from his "Wild Frontier" album released around 1987. And a very good song at that! I think that would be a great cover tune that not too many people do. Rock on bro!
  6. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    We pick songs that will, A) catch people off guard, B) that at least 80% of the crowd will know, & C) something that we can put our own spin on, and make people say say, "Wow! That's an interesting take!" We've covered the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere", a punk version of New Edition's ballad "Is This the End?", and even Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean". All have gotten great responses.
  7. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    we all (5) think of a couple and then we vote. that's fun cause u can do some strategic voting.
  8. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Try to pick songs your band can do well vocally! If the singer(s) sounds bad, then the band sounds bad...
  9. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    That's a great song! At least the Nighwish version. I've never heard the original.

    We basically pick old favorites that we think will go over well with the audience and then pick songs off the billboard charts to stay up to date. We try to play them as much like the originals as possible, whereas other bands completely transform the cover to make it their own. There's no right or wrong way to do a cover IMO.
  10. We generally cull them off "classic rock" radio or some stupid rememberance.

    Every band I've been in has tried to steer clear of recent stuff- I'd guess mid-90's is fair game now. A few year ago I was in a metal band doing that one "woo hoo" song by Blur, or Blah, or Blink, or Blob, or Bl...
  11. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    we like to do a couple of songs that are currently on the radio so we sound like a fresh band. For instance, we just learned "the reason" by hoobastank and "slither" by velvet revolver. But I would rather just play classic metal stuff if I could always have it my way :)
  12. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    It's been kind of a mish mash of ideas. Everybody pretty much brings their thoughts on a few songs. Our keyboard player is a Jerry Lee Lewis clone, see when things start to taper down, we just wind him up and try to follow. Other than that it's sort of a semi-group consensus. Unless someone violently objects to a particular song, we give it a shot in rehearsal.


  13. appler

    appler Guest

    Our band either picks songs that either aren't super-popular (we just did Ben Folds Five - Tom and Mary) or are songs that people haven't heard in a while but really liked. (in another set we did Deep Blue Something - Breakfast at Tiffany's) Usually, varying only a little bit is good. We changed Breakfast at Tiffany's up a bit, though. Our drummer played acoustic guitar and I simulated the kick and snare with thumps and muted plucks, and I also handled the little guitar fills after the choruses. It was fun and people seemed to like it. So I think the best way to go is to pick songs that people like and are doable.
  14. My initial reaction was also Hey, "Over the Hills and Far Away" is Led Zep, not Gary Moore Because, of course, Led Zep did release their song back in the 70's. But a search on Amazon reveals that Gary Moore released the album Wild Frontier in 1987 and he included a song by the same name. But it's not the Led Zep song at all, different words, different melody. Hence the confusion....everybody's right!!! :cool:
  15. Avoid ALL bar band standards and ALL Southern rock. And never, ever compromise.
  16. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I disagree, if you don't compromise about something, you'll play in your garage forever.
  17. Yaw


    Feb 5, 2004
    I'm in two different bands. Both have different approaches to choosing our covers:

    It's very easy for my progressive metal-band: we just play what WE like and that's it. We do a metallized version of Joni Mitchell's "Hissing of Summer Lawns" for example. I don't think someone in an audience made a request for that ever.

    Now my other band actually has to think about what the audience wants to hear because we have to work real hard for appreciation since our own songs are in Dutch (which is considered the superlative of uncool). We sure need to win them over by making good use of the kind of covers everybody knows. And that's how we pick them. The only condition for the songs is that they match the rest of our setlist (which consists of artrock and hardrock).
  18. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
    we think that to do tracks you know the crowd will like and know and make em feel good before u play your own stuff

    i recommend career opportunities by the clash

    heh heh but thats just us
  19. Yaw


    Feb 5, 2004
    You just have to consider what you want to do with your covers (or what they can do for you).
  20. Don't forget the karaoke rule of thumb: If you're good, sing something by an artist of your sex and range. If you're bad, cover something by an artist of the opposite sex and possibly an octave off. You'll be different enough not to be compared as harshly.