In a cover band? Take this poll!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Hategear, Nov 27, 2001.

  1. 1

    1 vote(s)
  2. 2 - 3

    13 vote(s)
  3. 4 - 5

    25 vote(s)
  4. 6 - 7

    11 vote(s)
  5. 8 or more

    22 vote(s)
  1. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Tell me, about how many songs do you learn in a month? My band sucks -- we rarely add anything new, but I voted 4-5, because sometimes I just learn songs just to learn 'em. :)
  2. Depends on how good the members are, and how big the ambition is..

    but 2 to 3 a month is the minimum imho
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I don't do Top 40 anymore, but when I did we were adding a song a week on average.

    We used to tape Casey Kasem and try to figure out what songs were getting hot and start learning them so when they hit the top 10 we had them ready.
  4. Our band covers primarily 60's music,having a reportoir of about 110 songs(on a regular gig we play about 40 songs).
    We tend to try to learn about 4 songs a month but as we do most of the popular songs it does tend to get difficult finding ones that we should do next.But as it is coming to Xmas we have slightly more to choose from.
  5. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Cover songs are tricky. It really depends on a number of factors. For me and the bands I've tended to be a part of, I've always been of the mentality that it's better to be good and tight with each song, rather than have a good volume of material.

    I'd build your band's growth along those lines. If it takes you guys 3 months to put together 30 songs, make sure that they sound great! Remember that audiences are more critical of cover songs because they already know how they were written to sound...
  6. Jeez!!! Just 4-5 for over 50% of you??? Are you guys playing out or do your audiences like repetition??? ;)

    Admittedly, getting a lot of the lines down note-perfect is tough. As RAM says, they already know how the songs are supposed to sound. But I don't always find the original bassist's way to get "there" is my way. However, whatever I throw in fits.

    Hate - The biggest fault I find with doing covers is the tendency to do what the band likes instead of what the audience wants ......sad but true.
  7. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Yeah, this is my band's biggest fault as well. I have expressed in many different threads and consequent posts, my displeasure with the group I am currently with, yet I am still with 'em (in my defense, I am trying to put something else together)! I have always said that to be a successful cover band, you need only follow a very simple formula -- play what the audience wants to hear and play it well!

    The second biggest problem with my band, IMO, is that we only add about 1 song per month (if that) to our set-list. The crowd turnout at our gigs has been suffering for the last few months, but instead of concentrating on adding new songs and tightening up some of the older ones, our singer and drummer (!) decided that it was our sound that was driving them away (I need to post something by this guitarist, so you can truly appreciate how ironic that statement is), so the drummer bought a board and snake and the guitarist hired a sound-guy. The guitarist's next plan of action is to buy a huge light rig -- cuz "we need to look more proffessional." I guess we needed the board, snake and sound-man, but it doesn't make much sense to put new tires on your car if the brakes are junk.

    Like I said, we only add about 1 song per month, but I checked 4-5, because I like to learn new stuff, even if it is just to play along with it on the radio. :)
  8. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    In my old band we were learning 2-3 per week.
    My new band is just getting together,so we havent gotten a scedule down at this point.
  9. My band learns between 20-30 new songs every month, and i have the charts to prove it! The show i play on is completly different every week, with different guests every week. Most of the songs are covers, but a few do originals too. The band is very strong, and pretty tight for the most part considering the amount of new material we do every week. We do have to kinda simplify the endings at times in the interest of time and memory at rehersal, and we can't always do the little "cool" things you add to songs after playing them 1,000 times. On an average week i learn between 4-10 new songs, play about 10-15 that i maybe played once months ago, and maybe 10-15 that i actually know well. It's a great way to keep your chops up, but some weeks i just wish back in one of those bands that adds 1 new song a month tops. I also sing around 3 or 4 new songs to me every month, which is a real challenge too, as well as singing harmony on alot of the other new ones i have to learn. Trent
  10. Well for us it all depends on the gig and when we actually have one. For a typical gig we learn around 15 covers in three weeks, we just played one where we had to learn 30 requests in four weeks.

    If it's just a show of our band, we play about 50/50 covers and originals usually learning about 10 covers. It's definitely tough considering I have the worlds worst memory, but it's fun nonetheless. I would say in the last year we have learned around 100 covers.
  11. We generally play at least 5 new songs a gig, which is once a week. I think I can currently play about 400 covers (each in any key), though I would have to count to verify that number. Its around there anyway.

  12. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    That could be very true, that audiences are driven away because there's nothing new. It could also be that the songs are just not well performed.

    A stark reality that I've seen in recent years with even so-called "semi-pro" musicians is that they often feel that if they learn the chord structures, the basic rythm and all the words to a song, they've nailed it. One band I was in would pop out 3 new covers per 3 hour session! We played out once and got asked back to nowhere. Even my friends who saw us said we sucked.

    On the other hand, another band I was in was really a nose-to-the-grindstone organization. We spent over a year putting together about 20 songs, only half of which were original. People who came to our first show told us that they thought we'd suck because it took so long for us to get a gig. When they heard us, they started telling their friends and our audiences grew by leaps and bounds, despite the fact that our setlist didn't.

    The point I'm trying to make is that if a performance is absolutely outstanding, it may not make as much a difference of how many songs you play, rather the quality of the songs you DO play.

    I learned some very important lessons in that band:D
  13. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Somtimes my band practices every week, somtimes we go 3 or 4 weeks without practicing, so it's very sporadic and I can't really give a set amount of songs a month. We generally learn about 2 to 3 new songs per practice. There have been times I've walked into the place we are playing, and our lead singer has told me that we are playing song X tonight it's in the key of B or whatever. I've never played the song before, so I just feel my way through it, and we've learned songs that we do regularly now, that way.
  14. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I agree with that statement 100%. Espcially since you have to consider if you are covering a band that features a peice that your band doesn't have. (Say a keyboard) The orginal bassist may have been playing a more simple line because the keyboard helped fill in, where if you played the same part in your band, (which doesn't have a keyboard) it might sound hollow, forcing you to add more to your line, which isn't in the orginal line. (How's that for some run on sentences? :D )
  15. Thats very true, but in my band we can pound out 4-5 songs in a 5 hour practice, and be able to perform them awesome. We do this all the time, and constantly get asked to play at different places. So I guess we are good at learning songs quickly.

    If we could only find a steady drummer:rolleyes:
  16. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    The funk/soul/rhythm & blues cover band that I'm in was originally working on 7-10 new tunes a month for the first 5 months of our existence to get a decent size setlist built up. Now we work on, on average, 2-3 new tunes a month. It really depends on how difficult the songs are. Currently, our "new tunes" are "Squib Cakes" and "Give Me The Proof" by Tower of Power, "Some Skunk Funk" by The Brecker Brothers and "Introduction" by Chicago.
  17. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    This is so completely and utterly true. I saw a cover band play a few weeks ago at a local bar. They were a 3-piece playing 60's and 70's rock. I hung around for a few sets to see just how much they could possibly suck, and wow.. let me tell you, it was really ugly. The biggest problem with their performance was the extremely weak interpretations of the tunes. Everything from playing simplified versions of the original parts to playing a completely and utterly diffirent part than the original. Oh yeah, and imagine if you will, SRV's "Pride & Joy" being played straight... no swing feel, no big fat back beat.. just square as a very square thing from Squareland. It was bad. You could have framed a building with it...

    Quality of the performance is everything, especially in a cover band. If you absolutely own the songs, the crowd will enjoy it more and you will get more gigs. If you know 100 songs, but all of them sound half-assed, you're not going to get gigs; it's that simple.
  18. Our band used to practice twice a week, and we would work on a new song at every practice. After about 5 months, though, we stopped doing that cause we had such a huge repetiore of song that we could play at the drop of a hat.

    Rock on
  19. I voted 4-5, because We're starting over from scratch.I learn more than that, but they're not for the band.
  20. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Where's the option for less than 1?

    I must say I'm impressed to see that most of you learn 4-5. In Australia most cover bands play out so they don't bother learning new songs, much to my disgust. I can never get band members motivated to learn new material. It's bloody frustrating!