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Is there room in a rock/semi acoustic cover band for an electric violinist?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by FingerDub, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. FingerDub

    FingerDub Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2016
    I play in a fairly new cover band, we've been together for about 5 months and it put together about 2 good sets. We have a rhythm guitarist and lead singer, lead guitarist, me and the drummer. In about 50% of our songs the guys are playing their acoustics. We are doing very well and after our first gig this week, people were saying we sounded really professional, so it is going good.

    Some of our songs are:
    Redemption Song - Marley
    New Slang - The Shins
    Off He Goes - Pearl Jam
    Little Lion Man - Mumford
    Sultan of Swing - Dire Straits
    Folsom Prison - Cash
    Say It Ain't So - Weezer
    Close to the Sun - Slightly Stoopid
    Smoke Another Joint -Petty
    Sorrow - Bad Religion
    Can' You See - Marshall Tucker Band
    Two Step - Dave Matthews
    China Grove - Doobies

    This girl was invited to our practice on Tuesday and was great. She really wants to join the band. I liked her more in some songs than others and although fun, I'm just not sure. The 2 guitarists want her, the drummer and I dont. Am I off in thinking that it's just not a good long-term match for the band? Also we need to put together four full sets. I feel like she might be a more viable option once we get all the sets together but even then we would have to tailor a set list or put together specific songs just for her. Plus I'm not so sure about adding a female to the mix with four guys. I can certainly act professional, but we are all friends and I don't want to have to feel limited in that I can't talk about certain things or make stupid man jokes.

    What do you guys think? Is this something worth making happen? Or should we just stick to the four?
  2. If she sings some lead vocals that would tip things that way. Unless you are going big time I doubt the extra split would be worth it. It's hard enough to get paid for four. I assume the existIng vocals are saleable.
  3. FingerDub

    FingerDub Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2016
    Yes, our vocals are great. I agree about the pay also, and it's a goal of mine to get paid, but the other guys don't care that much and to be honest if the pay was never there it would be fine.
  4. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    Does everyone agree that the violin adds something to some songs, but not others?

    What else can the violinist add to the band? Violin, yes, but what else? Keyboards? Vocals? Kazoo?

    Why is the drummer against the addition of the violinist? Same reasons as you?

    Maybe talk with the drummer, and agree on your reasons why you don't want a violinist in the band. Ask for a band meeting, and ask them why they want to add a violin to the mix, and what else the violinist can bring to the table for the benefit of the band. Tell them why the drummer & you think that they shouldn't add a violinist (but keep it calm & professional!).

    If they give a valid argument for the violinist, or if they overrule the drummer & you and add the violinist anyway, accept the decision gracefully, and give it some time to see if they really do add something to the band. Make your decisions from there. I would suspect that the guitarists have already made the decision, and that they'll ask the violinist to join anyway, whether the drummer & you want to or not.
    Plectrum72, FingerDub and gln1955 like this.
  5. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Just giving some positives here:

    Regarding the only chick in a dude band: I bet she’d become one of the “dudes”. After all, she’s not a “singer babe”.
    Seriously though she could actually add a lot to the band dynamic.

    You could add a lot more obscure songs: willie the pimp, devil went down to Georgia. Any country type of stuff would benefit from a fiddle.

    Mandolin should be an easy step from violin.
  6. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    1. Violin on every song: NO
    2. If she adds another instrument or multiple instruments: YES
    3. Like to talk about stupid guy stuff: C'MON, MAN.
  7. Man, throw in Come On Eileen, by Dexie’s Midnight Runners, and some Riverdance, and play ball!
  8. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Yes. She should be able to add something to every song. Your vocals are good, but a female voice in the backing harmonies can be a real nice addition. If she can do a couple leads, so much the better to add some variety to the show. Playing another instrument would be a big plus. If nothing else, she should be able to do some percussion of some sort.

    As far as the hang goes, it's just like adding any other person to the mix. She'll either fit in or not. Everyone just needs to keep their pen out of the company ink.
    craigie, design, HolmeBass and 3 others like this.
  9. FingerDub

    FingerDub Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2016
    Thanks for all the input.
  10. Like many others have said, if she contributes more than just violin, she's in. If she ruins some songs by playing non-existent violin parts grafted onto the real song, rethink it. Talk to the drummer (before you fire him :laugh:) and if you agree, bring your concerns to the rest of the band and let the chips fall where they may. Best to you and let us know how you make out.
    Plectrum72 and FingerDub like this.
  11. crossthestyx


    Sep 16, 2017
    Don't let your wiener get the best of you. LOL.. If she fits in the band, and she works well with the others, talk it over with the guys. However, "If it ain't broke, Don't fix it!", AND don't feel bad about it either. The limitations of adding that instrument may be far less than you think. I suggest you do a few recordings with her there, than go back and listen to what you've got. Also checkout bands similar to yours with a violin, and hear how it sounds. That way you can make an informed decision.
    DrummerwStrings and FingerDub like this.
  12. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    FingerDub likes this.
  13. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    I would kill to have a violin in a band. I'd make adjustments to make it fit. You'll immediately stand out from the hundred other bands around playing all the same songs.

    Add some Blue October tunes to your set. That band has some incredible songs, and a lot of them have great bass lines as well. Their violinist also plays mandolin and keys.

  14. postalflunkie

    postalflunkie Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2013
    Westerville, Ohio
    Check out some Hot Tuna with Papa John Creach on fiddle
  15. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I've a recording of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, including violinist Suki Lahav, live at Main Point, 1975.
    I've also got many other recordings of the band...but that violin...that took things to another level.

    Sure, violin won't work in all songs, but when it's right, it's so right.
    Go for it.

    4StringTheorist likes this.
  16. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    Sly and the Family Stone incorporated a wah violin in the 70's. Nirvana incorporated a cello in the 90's.

    You can incorporate a violin here in the New Millennium, if you're creative about it. Everything is possible... It's up to you and your fellow players to figure out the best way to get it done.
  17. Ben B

    Ben B Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Violin doesn't seem necessary based on your set list. Can she improvise/solo? If so, I guess it could give your lead guitarist a little break on some songs and add a unique sound. So, it could work out. If she can't solo/improvise very well, don't take her.
  18. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    There's room if you make room.

    Jeff Elkins likes this.
  19. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010

    Violin all over that one!

    I actually like violin in band settings, but as previously noted you can have too much - unless the focus of the band is that feature (ELO for example). Kansas did alright...

    Can she play banjo? Ukulele? Cello?
    ihaveaquestion and Nev375 like this.
  20. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Acoustic guitars and violin = "Dust In The Wind" dude!

    Seriously though, can she sing, does she play other instruments? Is she pretty? (hey it's showbiz, eye candy helps)

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