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Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Peter Squire, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. Hello

    My covers band has been widely successful in my town.

    We have house gigs every week, we are popular and get a good crowd everytime.

    Together, we have decided to take two months off from gigging to put together a new show - new songs, new ideas etc...

    We have been playing our current set for a year now, and, frankly, we are bored with it.

    We got together yesterday to jam out some new tunes, and by the end, we had four new songs :hyper:

    Anyone else done this? refuse band work in favour of practising new stuff??
  2. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat

    We do requests on the fly and if it works so-so we keep it(learn it off time). We realize that a crowd doesn't really care if you nail the tune. They are pleased that a cover band will attempt the song they request.

    Keep playing but jam out some tunes now and then and don't bother with set lists.

    Hope this helps,
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I play Top40 and classic rock covers nearly every Friday and Saturday, sometimes Thursdays as well. We usually meet every other Thursday evening for two hours to learn a new song or two, trying to have at least four or five new songs a month.

    That keeps the show from getting stale not only for the people who come out and see us regularly, but also keeps us from getting bored still playing the same old songs.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I know of very few covers bands who take time off to work on new stuff. I don't know of any, really. Changing out your whole set list is a mistake. If you are popular, that's because your set list is connecting with the crowd. I play in a couple cover bands and we both do "Mustang Sally" every night. Sometimes I think I will puke if they make me sing it one more time, but every time we do it, the crowd fills the floor and it's one of our most popular tunes. So now I just came to terms with the fact that they love it and there's no escaping it and us performing it is reflected in our paychecks.

    Sounds like you have a good thing going and are going to F it up because of boredom. Make changes gradually and don't kill the momentum you already have by taking off two months to make a wholesale set list change. That's a long time in the crowd's mind, and when you come back, you're just going to confuse them.
  5. I agree... mistake... take that much time off, people find other bands to follow, a crowd is a horrible thing to waste.

    I understand the boredom thing. I got in a band once, we decided no Mustang Sally, no Bob Seger, nothing but what WE liked instead of pandering to the "crowd".

    Thought being there was people out there that liked what we did, and eventually they'd find us. It would take longer to build up a crowd, since we're going for a smaller % of people. BUt that's ok. Eventually once we're established, we're playing stuff we like instead of the same old crap.

    If you want to make those changes, why not keep playing, gradually change the song list, you'll gradually change the crowd without risking loosing them completely and having to start from scratch.

  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm all about playing what you want as a musician, but like Randy says, you're going to have to accept it if the crowd is smaller. You can't blame them if they don't turn out to see you. Bands that pander get the money. And it has very little to do with how good you are.
  7. Thanks guys

    I have discussed this with the band (especially the singer) and we have decided to do things a little more like the way you have suggested. We are going to learn three or four songs a week and change the sets gradually.

    Thanks for your advice. ;)
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You are a wise man, indeed.
  9. And I would say it may just take longer to build a following that way, not that it will necessarily always be smaller. Depends on how bizarre the stuff you like to play is... :D You can still fill the same bar with 5% of 10,000 people or 20% of 2500 people. Just takes more time to get greater exposure if you play stuff that only hooks 5%.


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