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Do you play for yourself or for the audience? (POLL)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Fabian_Aryo, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. Myself

  2. Audience

  3. Carrots!?

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Fabian_Aryo


    Mar 24, 2014
    Port Of Spain
    Do you play songs that makes the audience happy, or you play songs that you personally enjoy?
    This question kinda bugs me.
    because some of the shows(school's prom or some sort)that my band played in are not really well-known, only small amount of people know it, but personally I really enjoy playing it. I don't want to play Ed Sheeran's Sam Smiths's, Taylor Swift's songs that everyone In my school will probably like, maybe they will enjoy it, but do I enjoy playing those songs, probably not. A friend of mine said If you play for yourself why don't just play in the bedroom, he has a good point, but I would choose not to play songs that I don't like, because why please others, when you are not enjoying it yourself.

    P.S : I play covers and carrots option can also be both.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  2. BazzTard

    BazzTard Banned

    a similar question to playing originals or covers.

    In an ideal world,we'd all be playing originals we like to huge appreciative audiences.....

    then reality sets in, ok, no one wants to hear our originals. So we do covers.

    Well if I'm gonna be playing dives to ten people I may as well play songs I want to play. BUT if I play songs I want to play in dives,we will never move out of those dives.

    Play top 40 that chicks dig and you will get bigger crowds coz boys go where the chicks are. Boys don't give a damn about the music in these instances. If they wanna hear music they like they go see iron maiden with their mates, with other boys, no girls.

    In the end,I guess we all compromise and play some songs we like,and a LOT of crud that the babes like.

    Or we play our prog metal blues originals to our mates, for beer money.

    So it's Maroon 5 to hot babes or Iron Maiden to pimply boys......

    and no one but NO one wants to see a band that plays BOTH ! hehe

    now.....THAT's an idea!

    This set's for the chicks, boys go outside for a doobie.

    This set's for the boys, don't worry girls, it's only two songs long lol
  3. Alex J

    Alex J

    Jul 5, 2011
    It's entirely possible to play original songs to big crowds if you live somewhere with a half decent music scene. And are in a half decent band! I personally don't put all this time and money into learning an instrument just to play someone else's music all the time. Each to their own, I guess.
  4. It depends. If I'm entertaining a crowd who's dancing I want to lock it down and it drives me nuts when my drummer starts F-ing around with the groove because he's bored and he can. OTOH sometimes it's a jazz wallpaper situation and then I'll amuse myself one way or another.
    homecooken likes this.
  5. I live in a major metropolitan city and play in a band with veteran semi pro musicians and we are forced to play covers due to the venues around here not catering to original music unless you're a DJ playing pop tunes. We are five guys with diverse musical influences that would kill to play original material. At best all we can do is try to slip in an original song once a set for our own indulgence. But playing large corporate gigs seem to dictate playing covers and that's where the money is. I'm not playing music for the money (I'll home record my self indulgent odd metered material) but until there's an audience for this, I'm forced to play other people's music for the masses in order to play live music.
  6. lfmn16

    lfmn16 SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    With all of the millions of songs out there it always amazes me when bands struggle to find 40 that both they AND the audience like.
    Basshappi, squirefan, smogg and 6 others like this.
  7. Music is my joy, that is my selfish reason to play. That said I play many different situations for different reason. Blues & C+W for the $$, rock for the power and jazz for the joy of creation and discovery.

    When there is an audience it is important to satisfy but still my motivations to play are for the inner man. I get as much joy just jamming with my buddies as playing for any size audience, but with an audience there is an obligation to entertain but I try to not let that diminish my joy.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
    Fabian_Aryo likes this.
  8. Muddslide


    Feb 23, 2007
    Mobile, Alabama
    I think there should be a "Mixture of Both" option. Maybe right under "Carrots."

    I make music because it brings me a certain kind of pleasure I haven't found from any other pursuit. I played for 3-4 years before I started gigging (and I was still pretty dang young when I started gigging.)

    But while the whole reason I play may ultimately be "for myself," when playing live I always hope to give the audience something.

    I'll never forget my first gig at an actual club (after playing a few house & basement shows.)

    Somewhere in the first song I finally took my eyes off the floor and the neck of my bass and looked out at the audience. Guys were pumping their fists up, chicks were bobbing their heads and smiling. The whole audience looked like one dancing organism.

    When you see that, and receive that energy back, and you know you are part of what is feeding the audience and making them feel good...that is the most addictive feeling in the world to me. Outside the love of my family and friends, there is no drug, no kinky sex act, no fine dining, no spiritual catharsis, nothing that can equal that feeling. For me, at least.

    There is no shame in this at all. I went from playing in bands that did mostly originals with 3-4 covers per set to bands that did mostly covers with 3-4 originals per set.

    You know what? I had the same amount of fun, and playing covers paid a LOT better.

    My only criteria is that--for the most part--we had ot be playing covers I liked. I would bite the bullet and play stuff I didn't dig (and still had fun) but I wouldn't want to be in a cover band that only played music I didn't like or found boring. Because then I don't get as much of MY part of the pleasure of playing.

    I haven't gigged in several years (and I miss it terribly.) I hope to get back into it soon, and when I do, I'm stealing that.
    hrodbert696 and mb94952 like this.
  9. HarrisonJ.Gool


    Sep 18, 2014
    I would like to say thank you to the other people who said carrots.
  10. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC

    Depends on the gig, but usually both. A lot of the time I'm playing for the band leader/MD because that's how I keep my gig.
  11. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    I've a guitarist & drummer who do such groove-busters at the worst times(i.e. dance floor full of eye candy, smiling & dancing). Should I drop Geddy Lee, Chris Squire, Lemmy, or Stanley Clarke riffs into Brown Eyed Girl or modify the timing? Um, no.

    Corporate event gigs are sometimes wallpaper where enjoying oneself and the privilege of performing is what is best.
    fenwickbacker and David Jayne like this.
  12. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    Both. If you're not enjoying it, what's the point? Similarly, if the audience isn't enjoying it, what's the point?

    As a performer, I feed on the audience's energy, so that I can enjoy myself more, which in turn, helps the audience enjoy the show more. Its a positive feedback loop and we should be encouraging it, otherwise... What's the point?
    D.M.N., GregT, christopea and 2 others like this.
  13. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    What? This doesn't make sense.
  14. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    If you cannot connect with the audience, it doesn't matter what you play. Great stage performers don't necessarily need familiar songs, but they certainly help. You must keep the self-indulgent song choices to a minimum. Focus on performing. Songs come and go.
    10cc and superheavyfunk like this.
  15. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    does anyone play for the song? :bag:
    Snaxster likes this.
  16. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    I have a problem with this poll mostly due to my current skill / gigging level. Now I play for myself, it is my goal to play for an audience of one... (I want to do Praise and Worship stuff...)
  17. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Back in the day when I gigged regularly I had two criteria and would accept the gig if either condition existed. The criteria are as a follows: 1) the gig will be fun, or 2) the gig will pay well. In my opinion it's not a gig if there is no audience, thus as gigging musicians we have a responsibility to factor the needs of the audience into the equation. If we fail to do this, we will not provide any value to the audience and they will quit funding gigs. Thus the audience's needs are a significant factor in determining the makeup of criteria 1) and 2). If the audience needs me to play music I really don't enjoy, then I will need to be compensated better. If the audience is happy to observe my musical masturbation and shower me with lavish applause after it is over all too quickly, then the price goes way down. So I guess the correct answer is carrots. It's all academic because I pretty much stay in the basement these days.
    superheavyfunk likes this.
  18. gnarlyWarlock


    Dec 23, 2014
    It's a creative outlet more so than anything. I play bass for hours sitting in my room, and I don't particularly care whether someone hears. Simultaneously, I'd be a liar if I said I don't constantly fantasize about having a fainting audience. though that won't make me start playing covers, inferior to the original artist, just for the cheap views. I know I play my own music the best, and I feel no honor or satisfaction in only covering others' work, lest it were for learning purposes, and that's what I'll continue doing, in vain hope I'll attract fans.
    Gospel Bass Player likes this.
  19. wmhill


    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    The audience.....it's a job. I hope to someday be in a situation where I'm playing for myself, and yet still be able to find work with it. I don't see that happening anytime soon.
  20. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    It also amazes me that most classic rock cover band set lists are practically the same.

    My bands play songs that we enjoy but we also want the audience to enjoy them. If someone mentions a new song, we discuss it and try to come up with a consensus as to whether or not it will go over well. Majority rules. If we add a song that doesn't go over well at one venue, we will try it at another. If it bombs again, we drop the song. Most successful bands end playing a combination of songs they like and songs they don't like. If the audience is having a good time and you enjoy most of what you play you will be fine.
    delta7fred and superheavyfunk like this.

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