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"Older" people in bands, do you still do originals?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by scsm, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. scsm


    Jul 26, 2009
    Manhattan, KS
    "Old" is all relative but I'm thinking about 35 or 40 plus and I don't mean to offend anyone.

    Maybe I'm mistaken but the more I look around at this section it seems to me the general attitude of more older players and bands is to just do covers or just standard chord progressions and jam. Or do "older" musicians and bands still write, perform, and record their own music for enjoyment?

    I was wondering what your experience is and why you think it's the way it is.

    I should also note I'm not looking at professional musicians but people that do music in their spare time.
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Will be 49 in Feb.

    I think my experience is the way it is because of what I believe. If someone believes they're too old, then they are. If they don't, then they're not.
  3. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I do some of both. I'm 55, btw. I back up a guy (a few years older than me) who is one of the best singer/songwriters I've ever known. All originals ... unless it's an unusually long gig, then we bring out some obscure covers. I've recently been playing with another guy, my age, all originals. Then there's my roots thing, and that's covers of obscure or rarely heard songs. Finally the country band, and that's all covers all the time.

    I think it's easier to do covers with "older" players because the tunes are known, and a decent set list for performance can be cobbled together in quick time. A great advantage when life's other concerns are pressing in.
  4. Both ~ Covers for my "living" / Originals for my 'Soul'
  5. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    Lots of issues involved here …

    I think (being 55 myself) that many times priorities change, a 20 year olds idea of “making it” may be different than someone that is say 40ish, sure there are still plenty of singer/songwriters doing original work to be sure. The dream of doing it as a full time profession though is tempered by the reality bites aspect of realizing that your target market is now older too. Generally a 35 up crowd has a set idea of the songs they the already know/like and identify with, at least in what can loosely be referred to as the rock genre, hence if ya wanna play live you tend to play what people want to hear.

    Think about how many ads you see on Craigslist looking for “serious and dedicated musicians for original project must be 19 to 28 only” these projects rightly or wrongly are looking to relate to a specific age group.

    What I personally hate to see is the seemingly endless debate/divide that cast originals only vs covers it almost always ends in a rock throwing, thread closing, get nowhere debacle! We can hope this very well placed question by the OP does not end that way.

    In my own case YES we do both. and our originals are well received, I understand the gratification of writing and performing original music and the pride and gratification of performing a well done audience pleasing cover, and the reasons why musicians do both!

    LittleFelix. ...
  6. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    The bands I play in do mostly original music with set lists peppered with obscure covers... I'm 52.
  7. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Mostly originals in 2 bands - one folk/blues, one funk.
    We're not trying to "make it big" - both groups have good songwriters and it's fun to do - and the folks we play for like it. In both groups, the covers we play are songs we love, that match what we're doing well, and the audience digs it all.
    I'm 48.
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Hey Joe, is that FEARLESS MUSIC?
  9. Well, this is depressing, but I guess I'm now officially "old" at 35 - I don't feel it, though. I still do original music for myself.

    I'm no longer delusional about "making it," or anything like that. I still make original music because I really just can't bring myselft to stop and "not do it." I think it's kinda like touchin' yerself!
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Yes. It is. The show we were on never aired though because they moved and changed formats I think the week after we shot it. They do it at crash mansion now. We'll probably shoot another show from there.

    I'd like to add that I don't believe I ever did anything 'significant' in music until after I was 40. My band got signed, I got endorsements with the biggest companies, traveled the world, toured and performed with some well known people, shot some cool vids... all after age 40. All with original music.
  11. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    This forum has been around the block on this issue so many times. Now we're talking young relates more to original music and "older" (35-40?) will trend more toward the cover category.

    If your goal is to get broad support for your original material, YOU HAVE TO HAVE GOOD MATERIAL! If feeling good about "doing originals" is your goal, well anyone can throw something on myspace, youtube or make a website nowadays. And it takes the rest of us forever to wade through all of the crap to find something worth a damn.

    In my many years of gigging experience, I've learned that cover bands play and dedicated original bands showcase. Cover bands are predictable, that’s why they get paid after their gigs. Strictly originals players possess a certain air of precociousness and almost always, bad material.

    With that said, Joe, you look great for pushing 50!
  12. mward69


    Jan 20, 2007
    Conyers, GA
    I'm a 40 yr old in a hard rock cover band..still "headbang" {feel it the next day. I have no desire to "make it" no offense to you younger folk, but the crap I hear with the emo rock, or pop crap...no-one writes GOOD songs. It's the industry's BS way of making $$$$ If you look good, it appeals to the teens, and you can play 3 notes then your signed.
    I still write stuff, but for fun..we play the cover stuff to get paid for playing..and play free on the original gigs.
  13. I'm 59 in January. I play covers and Blues because I just started a year ago for all intents and purposes. I'm still a babe in the woods musically speaking. I committed to learning music theory vs. my garage band days decades ago (hack). I;m trying to cycle through different experiences to grow on a wider front. For example, I just realized I'm overly finger-pattern oriented and downloaded Fretboard Warrior. I want to learn to read music more proficiently. I'm learning all the weird chords and scales. And I played my first gig in 40 years a couple weeks ago to learn about stage presence (and have a blast, btw!). My vision is to get to Jazz. I listen to guys like Avishai Cohen for inspiration.

    Gonna retire in a couple years and guess what I wanna be doing? Ready to gig with a jazz trio, head down to Harry's in Hyannis on Blues Jam night, use my EE for some recording learning and maybe produce, who knows? I want to buy all the kool GAS gear I need before retiring. (Warwick - done; GK 700RB-II/Neo 212 next).

    Wish me luck!
  14. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005
    Age factor mainly comes up in 'popular' music (pop), maybe heavy metal and a few other forms. Nobody cares how old you are in the jazz world, blues, etc.

    It's mainly when 'hits' and marketability are a consideration, that age matters the most to people.
  15. scsm


    Jul 26, 2009
    Manhattan, KS
    That is the coolest retirement plan I have heard yet! Good luck!

    Its also interesting that 8/11 people that admitted they were over my cut off age of 35 are supporting members.....

    If I did my math right that is. :)
  16. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    I love playing original music and do so henever I get the chance.

    However the local scene where I live is not "original music friendly", even the 'young' bands I know who perform good original music can rarely get gigs, and so I mostly perform cover music. But that's okay too.

    In my opinion music is "ageless". Young or 'old', it's hard enough to get good gigs nowadays and it seems to me that there are fewer and fewer youngsters commiting themselves to becoming competent musicians, so if there is going to continue to be ANY live music in the future musicians need to stop focusing on age, race, sex etc and concentrate on simply making it happen!
  17. JLP


    Mar 15, 2008
    I,m 43 and my group plays both.We,ve been together nearly 4 yrs. and have 75 plus songs to plck from so we just play for the crowd. Whatever makes it fun. I was in Atlanta recently at the arena downtown and the Jonas Bros. were playing that evening. While I was waiting the band started their sound check and I would guess the average age was mid 30,s. They jammed cover riffs and solos and just fooling around before the kids (Jonas Bros.) came out. They were pros. My point is that the Jonas Bros. are a marketed package like a Big Mac or a Ford pickup. They held a Q&A and played some songs for some contest winners and the kids were nice and all but the hired musicians make the music for the show just like Madonna,Beyonce,Michael Jackson etc. Anyway,It was interesting,I guess, to watch these kids getting credit for something that was put together for them.
  18. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    How old is Sir Paul? Doesn't he do original and a few Beatles covers?
  19. scsm


    Jul 26, 2009
    Manhattan, KS
    I'm sure a lot of TBers burnt their magazine when they saw the JoBros name on "Bass Player" but they had an article about the Jonas Brothers bassist, he's 22 which I thought was interesting because I thought most Pop acts were all established musicians.

    I still think a Pop gig like Ashlee Simpson or Britney Spears would be AWESOME, it pays very well, you would be working with really good musicians and most guys would be envious that your back stage rubbing elbows with their fantasy :)

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