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How many songs do you know?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Depth_Charge, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. I called a cover band about an audition and asked what they wanted me to play on the day. He said "we'll play some Foo Fighters, some Green Day and stuff like that"...when I asked specifically what song they wanted to play he asked if I could learn Killing in the Name of..I told him "Yeah I know it already, you guys play it in Drop D yeah?" and he replies "No we don't, but can if you want".

    So that bands not a prospect for me anymore :D, But the conversation did get me thinking about what songs I could play off the bat cold after 10 years of playing - and it wasn't nearly as many as I thought...

    So now I'm curious how many songs people on Talkbass here know, and I mean how many your band could call and you could play cold, without having to practice it beforehand?

    I'll start, I've played on and off for ten years more recently off (only picked it back up January of this year after a while off) and I can play maybe 20 songs without revision, 7 of which I wrote myself :D

    How about you guys?
  2. Lower-Than-Low


    Jun 7, 2006
    I don't know any songs full... But I can play the intros and beginnings to a couple Showbread songs, the first riff of Project 86's "Spy Hunter", and the cool intro to For Whom The Bell Tolls.
  3. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006
    on guitar - too many to remember list them. chances are if someone i'm with plays a popular rock song from the late 50's through 2000 i can jump in on guitar. with bass i'd say between 100-150 since beginning in march.
  4. Jeff Martinez

    Jeff Martinez

    May 10, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Originals: about 50

    Covers: maybe 3. I play along with the radio all the time, I just never bother to commit those tunes to memory.
  5. lawsonman


    Dec 19, 2005
    NW IL
    I'm taking a wild guess here,but probaly over 300. That's one advantage of being old:)
  6. sedan_dad


    Feb 5, 2006
    The guitar player frequently asks me "Do you know this one"?
    I always reply "I will when we're done".
    A bunch I guess.
  7. I'll admit I've been pretty lazy about learning songs for most of the time I've been playing. I mostly just learn a lick from a song here or there that I think sounds really good.

    Ummm...in ten years, give or take, worth of playing. I can probably play 20-30 songs without a bit of practice. Although...at one point I had a friend who was obsessed with nirvana, so over the course of a summer we learned nearly every song they wrote. Give me a few days to remember them all and I could play those.
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I don't know..... (one of the disadvantages of being old)

    Over 100 for sure. But I regularly use a lot of the notes found in a whole bunch of tunes that I don't know. So, by extension........All of them?
  9. Goose72


    Dec 24, 2006
    NW Indiana
    i just started playing bass on christmas and already know two

    one of which me and my buddy made up
    and the other is "walking on the moon" by the police

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    I usually dont memorize songs since I allways have the music infront of me when I play although after many years of playing the same songs it has started to become second nature playing them.
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    None. I don't bother to learn other people's music unless I have a reason to. Unless I'm covering it or serenading a girl, I won't bother to learn it from end to end.
  12. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    My guitarist and I grabbed a stack of fakebooks and made a list of tunes we already knew well enough to play at gigs.

    When he read song titles, I sometimes returned a blank stare, but when he played a few bars or started singing the lyrics, I knew the songs, but not the names.

    At the end of the night, we had several hundred songs listed. Now, we're trying to pare them down and figure out which songs can be segued into medleys or seamless transitions with other songs.
  13. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I wouldn't even know how to assign a number to that question ..... a huge number of tunes, for sure. After playing for so many years in so many different types of groups, it's rare that I can't at least grind my way through just about any popular tune from the '40's to late '90's, if not actually be intimate with the changes.

    For example, when I went with my current classic rock cover band they had a set list of 140 tunes, and there wasn't one that I didn't know. Since joining them this past summer, that list has increased to well over 200 songs, and we rarely get stumped at a gig when someone asks for a certain song. And that doesn't include the tons of standards from jazz and wedding band scene ..... as someone said above, the benefit of being old .... ;)

    My really weak points are metal or punk, along with some of the "on the radio now" new songs .... and as someone said above, that's the disadvantage of being old ... :rolleyes:
  14. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    I usually have the music in front of me too. My Jazz trio has been together for almost a year and we has around 140 charts on our song list. That number grows a little each week.

    I don't have them memorized; however, I probably should. My memory stinks and I hate that about myself. I need to do a tune a lot before it's really in my memory. Tunes like Chameleon, Cantelope Island, Watermelon Man, and Mercy Mercy Mercy I can do without a chart.

  15. Johnny Crab

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

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    There's 125 on the list, about 15 are originals.
    We play almost anything requested.
    No telling what the real answer is to your question, 'cause I don't know. At least 125 but doing ALMOST any request got me to taking the ZOOM H4 to gigs to record as sometimes our versions of songs we've NEVER done as a band kick major "backside". Those get added to the list now as we've got a copy of us doing them....to listen to(!!??!!).
  16. About 50 band originals about 10 others (maybe), a few licks here and there. Just never had the need nor want.
  17. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Joining a classic rock band over a year ago i picked up over 50 real quick:p .. needed to. I learned another 20 myself and since then its about 100 in the current rock/pop band i'm in and its growing daily. joining a cover band gets you learning songs real quick. A tascam bass trainer really helps.
  18. ogrossman


    May 20, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Our play list is about 90 tunes. We rotate through them every six months or so. I think there are at least 60 that we could play cold at any given time. The rest we could probably do for an audience with only one or two times through, depending on the tune.
  19. Now a days there is no need to store information in your head:D
  20. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Phfffppptttt - who knows. I'm old. I'm finding that I'm dropping songs from my brain almost as quick as I'm adding them.

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