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!  

How do you shoot down song requests?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Fingerer, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. What is a respectful way to tell someone, or an audience, your band does not take requests? Would making an announcement before the first break help? Or would that be looked at as unprofessional?

    We are a new band so our setlist is limited to songs we know we can perform together. I'm sure we will eventually be able to accommodate requests, but would prefer to stick with a setlist to stay in the flow. Anyhoo, curious how you experienced folks handle it.

    In an unrelated note, our guitar player actually asked if he was too loud. Yeah, go ahead and read that again. He's not the greatest of players, and doesn't learn songs quickly as the rest of us, but he is very capable with a great attitude. I'll take it. They do exist.
  2. RhynoRock


    Dec 19, 2012
    Fredonia, NY
    Usually one of us says we don't know how to play the song, because that's more likely the truth anyway that one or more members doesn't. But what annoys me is when people harass us to play a song that's not even related to what we do. We're a POP band, as in current and recent top 40 stuff like Katy Perry, Lizzo, Maroon 5 etc. people will come up and harass us to play Slipknot or 5 Finger Death Punch (the latter NONE of us can stomach). Or when they want us to play classic rock. NO. And they're frequently not nice about the request.
    alanolynn, mexicant, Mr_Moo and 2 others like this.
  3. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I usually tell them if they ask me for a request that I know it but the rest of the band doesn't .;)
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  4. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Yep, a simple "Sorry, we don't know that one" usually ends the matter politely, though a few (usually intoxicated) patrons may persist anyway. At that point you have my permission to ignore them :).
  5. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    I have heard of or used several fairly effective methods. Merely suggest that the requestee (is that a thing?) fill out the appropriate gubment paperwork ie: "Write your request on the back of a $20 bill and deposit in the container." Or:"We take all requests, but usually don't do them." Or: "Requests? Oh, we already did it, didn't you hear it? You must've been in the bathroom!" Or, best of all: "You bet, we'll get to it in a bit." And then, of course...
  6. "Oh sorry, that's a great song but we don't know it".

    Then if we know something by the same artist we do it.

    Keep the customer happy.
  7. lfmn16

    lfmn16 SUSPENDED

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv

    it ain’t rocket science.
    Shrubber, dcr, jdh3000 and 7 others like this.
  8. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    Pull a "Kramer"and have the bass player do the "Seinfeld"bass.
    Kramer 2.gif
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
    Old man, DeepHz, Microbass and 6 others like this.
  9. Rebel Rocker

    Rebel Rocker Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2017
    I used to be in a Southern Rock band. We had someone come up and ask if we could play some Tammy Wynette. Our guitar player told him we use to do a whole Tammy Wynette set but after she passed away we couldn't bring our self to do it anymore. He said he understood and walked away with a tear in his eye.
  10. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    :laugh:that is funny
    Michedelic, DJ Bebop and Artman like this.
  11. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    Omaha, NE
    Tell them no...or sometimes my band had this go-to line we'd say if we either did not know the song or did not like the song of "if we play your request we also have a policy we play a minimum of five times of "Never give you up" and everyone in the crowd will know you requested it." Joking of course but usually most people joking as well would withdraw their request.
    Artman and Fingerer like this.
  12. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Never happened. I get 30-45 minutes to play. You burn through your set and then GTFO.
    Mr_Moo and Fingerer like this.
  13. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    Depending on the mood of both the patron and establishment, there are several ways I do this:

    "No we don't know that one but here's one that <band in question> wanted to do"

    "No but here's a song that sounds just like that"

    "Sorry, we don't do that song because <band in question> doesn't do any of our songs"

    "Why are you telling us what to play? We don't tell you what to drink

    "If you have a request, visit my website at www dot buythebassplayeradrink dot com"

    There's others.....reading your audience, being friendly animated, and being light hearted charasmatic is crucial and goes a long way to fronting a band in this way......if a person has a stoic demeanor or lacks skill in vibe deciphering, I wouldn't suggest trying any of these
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  14. watspan


    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    "That song's in the third set" if someone yells out "FREEBIRD" we point at them and say Free Beer--he's buying! ;)
  15. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man

    Apr 10, 2015
    "We don't know it, but we'll try to learn it for next time."
  16. TrevorR


    Oct 3, 2015
    Near London, UK
    We’ve used a number of the ones above but our BL’s fave line was, “Sorry don’t know that one. We’ll see if we can learn it for next time!” Or just “Awww, we already did that in the first set... you must have missed it” or “We’ll see if we can squeeze it in later...”
    jdh3000, Mr_Moo and Fingerer like this.
  17. Jackcrow

    Jackcrow Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2017
    North Dakota
    If it’s something on our set list already we will play it. If not but it’s by a band we play, we will usually say “we don’t know it, but we will be playing some more of “whatever band” later tonight.

    Being a classic rock cover band in the upper Midwest, it seems like we get at least 1 person per show that comes up and says “do you play any country?”, or “you don’t play any country?!”. We just tell them no, that’s not our thing, sorry.

    There was one guy, right after we played some Black Sabbath and some Zeppelin, in the middle of a song he yells “You call this rock and roll?!?” walked out.
    Mr_Moo, Microbass and Fingerer like this.
  18. If you work out tight transitions from song to song you’ll never give an audience member the chance to ask.
  19. Hey folks, don't forget, if you have any requests, feel free to keep em to yourself!
    Followed by..
    And remember, the more you drink, the better we sound!
  20. We just got a request but we're gonna keep playing anyway.
    Mr_Moo, Nev375, DJ Bebop and 9 others like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.