Geez, did you guys MEAN to flip those chords around in that song, or are you just...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Ekulati, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. Ekulati

    Ekulati Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Ok, yeah so at the risk of continuing the "low bar" thread, band at casual weekend afternoon watering hole gig, well known song in certain circles, completely flipped the 4 and 5 chord around in the CHORUS. Every single time.

    Cover musicians: please listen with your ears, to whatever you're covering - don't just wing it based on your (faulty) memory.

    End of rant. ;)
  2. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Well, THEY had a gig, and evidently you didn't. Just sayin' ... ;)
  3. Ekulati

    Ekulati Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    True Rusty, ya got me there. Shoulda kept my mouth shut! They've probably been playing it wrong for 40 years, and no one has noticed or cared. Ignorance is bliss...
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

  5. glocke1

    glocke1 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    I put a lot of time into learning and prepping for gigs...Only to show up and the guys are playing tunes wrong or leave parts out entirely than look at me from across the stage like they want to stab me because "I'm" playing it wrong.

    It sucks when people rely on faulty memories or play things incorrectly because they've been playing them that way for 20 years and don't want to correct it.
  6. 3Liter


    Feb 26, 2015
    For every band there is a thousand stories. As we've seen here. Did the whole band do it wrong? Then maybe they made a conscious decision for some reason to do that. Some parts get left out because guys can't hit them or some parts get looped to keep the count straight for the feeble minded. Even variances between recorded versions exist.

    I played a jam the other night and called a song that has a VI v turnaround like Thrillnis Gone. Sometime I will tell people this since rarely do they know the song. Guitar player not only knew the song (by the original artist not the version I was covering ) but asked me if I played that turnaround. It was fantastic. Often it's not.

    But even in my band we have many compromises that other bands would hate but we tolerate.
    Ekulati likes this.
  7. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    I was asked to sit in with an acoustic duo not long ago. I declined. When asked why, I reminded them of the last time they asked and I obliged. I learned the songs (covers) and when I got up to play, they didn't play them correctly. Which apparently they never do, because I was the only one that looked like an ass. I got off stage after one song.
    I don't mind different arrangements, but that's something I should know about ahead of time.
    Crazy_Jake, xbud and oldrocker like this.
  8. Ekulati

    Ekulati Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    All good comments guys. Yeah this one was the whole band did it, but I'd bet the ranch it was not a conscious decision. The vibe of these guys is very loose, sort of a front porch, pickin' and grinnin' thing. My guess is the one guy who sang it "taught" it to the rest of them that way, and neither the bass player (who SHOULD have known) nor the other guitar player said anything or knew.

    And yes there are compromises we all make. In my current band, I'm the most musically edumacated, yet I'm the new guy, so on one tune, they skip a chord on the bridge. We play "our version," yeah right. But I pointed it out, told them in no uncertain terms, "You're playing it wrong," but was overruled, as they have it as a habit. This one is less of a problem: a lesser known song, and it's not the chorus. Still bugs me every time, but I'm a team player. Pick my battles. ;)
    Avigdor, 3Liter and lfmn16 like this.
  9. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK

    Sometimes the artist can't get it right. The verse of the Jennifer Hudson song Spotlight goes G G | G A | Bm Bm | Bm A | G G | G Bm | A A | A Bm. She did an 'unplugged' version where the acoustic guitar, presumably played by a 'pro', just goes G G | G A | Bm Bm | Bm A. The harmonic meter of the song was undermined but I don't think she even noticed.
    Ekulati likes this.
  10. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    It’s bad enough when a band half @$$es their way through a song because they are too lazy to learn it. But then to try to dignify it by calling it an arrangement, that’s just being a punk.

    Having said that, I think you are smart to pick your fights. You can’t make someone else care.
    oldrocker and Ekulati like this.
  11. ZAR14


    May 15, 2016
    My Pet Peeve is when you're asked to play with other musicians who have an established project, they give you songs to learn but fail to inform you that they either play the song in a different Key or use different Tunings...
    Bass Viking and Beej like this.
  12. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    I am actually dropping out of live playing (which breaks my heart) because I haven't been in a band here yet that does it's homework. For some reason everyone on this island thinks they can just wing it and it's fine. It's not. The reason bands make crap money here is because that's all they're worth.

    I have another gig to play on Memorial Day. In this situation, a guy flies over from another island, stays REALLY stoned, gets up and starts playing and "singing" and the band has to just guess where he's gonna go and hold on for dear life. Based on what I've seen, I think- and so does he- that I am the best man for the job around here... not best player; best man to predict his next move and hold everyone together. I hate this gig and wanted to decline it but he begged and whined.

    I know this might be Famous Last Words, but I am done with being on a stage surrounded by unrehearsed bands after this gig. It's just not any fun to not be able to play WITH others instead of near them.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Last band I joined, I learned 45 songs in four weeks - note for note. I needed a one page cheat sheet for a few gigs, but not after that. Isn't that how it's done?
    Runnerman, Avigdor, oldrocker and 2 others like this.
  14. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    Y'all need to keep in mind what it was like learning tunes before the internet and Amazon.

    First of all, if you heard a cool song either because someone you knew had the record or you heard it on the radio, there was absolutely no guarantee it was at your local record store. Maybe you could borrow the record - otherwise you waited till it came back on the radio and tried like crazy to figure out what was happening during the three minutes it was on.

    There were no internet sites with chords (even if often incomplete or wrong) or lyrics. If you were doubly lucky, not only would the album eventually show up at your local record store, but the lyrics would be printed inside. But about half the time, even if you could put your hands on the record, you were going to have to figure out the lyrics by ear. Not so easy if the singer was a typical rock and roll mumbler. And of course, they didn't publish a chord sheet in the album. Fake books were something sold under the counter in Boston and New York, covering only those jazz tunes that some guys at Berklee decided to transcribe. Rock tunes? Ha ha.

    So if someone learned a tune 30 years ago, and it doesn't conform to your latest internet-enabled transcription of it, maybe you SHOULD just consider it an "arrangement".
    ChrisNJ, Avigdor, 3Liter and 2 others like this.
  15. lat


    Dec 30, 2014
    Lower Basstonia
    Nothing like a little dose of perspective.
  16. Ekulati

    Ekulati Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Well fair enough, no disagreement here. But I'm an old guy too. I learned this particular tune - and most of what I play - by playing the LP, which I still have and listen to. Certainly no "internet baby" here...

    That said, NO excuse for playing 5-4 in the chorus of a song when it only takes one listening to realize that it goes 4-5. No, this particular case was no "arrangement..." this one was just stupid wrong.
  17. For me it was 36 songs in 2 weeks with 4 chord charts and 1 overall cheat sheet. Yes that's how I think it's done.

    But in my case fot the most part the band actually played the correct arrangements so I didn't have unlearn anything.
  18. I have no problem with maybe doing a little improv, but cmon learn song the right way so we all have a blueprint. I was in a band that never played ANY song right..The guitar player let me improv heavily though so I stuck in the band for a couple of playing my own parts.
  19. I am awesome when I play in my basement. Der der der
  20. I still go back and listen to songs I’ve been playing a long time to make sure I’m not deviating. Actually, most of my practice is done playing along with music so it helps keep me familiar with the material. It drives me nuts when others play the wrong chords and on top of that won’t fix it!
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
    Ekulati likes this.

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