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Starting a "Top 40" type band. some questions

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by PoundinThunder, Dec 2, 2008.


  1. well around here, i dont think there are that many bar bands. i could be wrong and probably am. but we love music and we figured its a good way to play the songs we like (and others like) that dont fit into our other style of music and make a little cash too. we are doing it for pure fun and love for music. we want everyone to like us regardless of gender. tho we want to make the owners happy as well.
     
  2. rzpooch

    rzpooch

    Nov 14, 2007
    Bonney Lake Wa
    I would rather play to a roomful of chicks dancing around for me, than a bunch of dudes standing there with their arms crossed. Can anyone say sausage party? LOL Seriously...if you play for the women the men will follow...diversify bigtime! Remember that a bar gig is your chance to be a beer sales person eh...sell lots of beer you'll get axed back LOL
    have fun!
     
  3. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Hi

    Its quite simple, IMO. If the girls like it and will get up and shake around, youve picked the right songs. Seriously. The last thing you want is a club half filled with guys listening to you cover rock and metal. Suck it up and pick fun, danceable rock. Throw in some classics that are danceable.

    Go see some bands that are doing what you want to do. If you cant get in(18), have a couple friends scout it out for you. Some stuff works, some doesnt. Gotta do what you gotta do if you want to play that genre

    Rob
     
  4. ugh now my guitar player is talking about throwing in a few originals from a band him and the other guitarist/singer was in. i really dont want to. but he is complaining about all covers is dumb and i am getting really mad. what do i tell him, i told him people dont want to hear your originals. he responds "drunk people dont care as long as it rocks" he is the most stubborn egomaniac ever. but he is a guitar player
     
  5. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    HI

    Do both. Play with your buddies with originals and join/start a cover band on the side. Yes? Makes sense to me. We all do it or have done it

    Rob
     
  6. we have our own original band but its hardcore/death metal. i figured that we would start a cover band to make some money and play songs we like. he wants to use old songs from another band he was in that no one heard. i dont think people want to hear originals that much, unless there is going to be more originals coming. there arent i dont want to write new stuff unless its for the hardcore band we have.
     
  7. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    HI

    So you want to start a cover band with a guy who wants to play songs no one wants to hear? Defeats the purpose of starting one. You'll get no gigs, etc. I suggest enjoying your buddies in the hardcore band and playing covers with different people who understand the nature of the gig. Get what Im saying?

    Rob
     
  8. well its not that people dont want to hear them, they are good songs but no one has heard them. and that band isnt around anymore and i dont plan on being that band so i dont see the point in playing originals in a cover band. he got to the point where he said " i dont care, i will play what you tell me to play" he say people dont want to hear cover songs. he says its unoriginal and boring playin other peoples music.
     
  9. Sad to say, but to follow the equation theme:

    Originals = Empty dance floor.

    If you want to play in most bars, you need to play songs people know and that are danceable.

    As it has been said many times before, get the chicks dancing, the guys follow, everybody drinks more beer, people loose their inhibitions, start dancing more, drinking more....it is a vicious circle:)

    It is all about getting the crowd going.
     
  10. Those comments reveal the core issue. Being in a successfiul cover band is about playing for the audience. Being in a local originals band is about playing for yourself (sometimnes, with yourself).

    Earlier this year, I subbed for a local blues band and for a dance-oriented, local cover band. The gui****/leader for the blues band actually lied to me to get me to play with them. I told him I wasn't interested in an originals project, but 50+% of their songlist turned out to be his originals. (Yes, I figured it out after rehearsing all their covers in the first couple of practices and left as soon thereafter as practical.) 100% of the cover band's songs were 70s-based dance music (Earth Wind & Fire, Chic, etc.) including the ubiquitous "Play That Funky Music" and "Brick House".

    Both bands gig regularly; but the cover band gigs twice as often, plays in better clubs and, on average, garners a little more than twice the price of the blues band. The reason is simple, of course. The blues band plays for itself (the leader/gui****, really) and the cover band plays for its audience.

    Bluesy Soul :cool:
     
  11. When band members can't agree on a musical direction, frustration, venting, anger, yadda, yadda, isn't far behind for anyone involved. Y'all need to decide what you want to do as a band and then work toward that goal.

    FWIW, I've been in bands with "stubborn egomaniac" guitar players before. It's taken me a lot of years to figure out that it really isn't worth it ....even if he's good.
     
  12. butchblack

    butchblack Life is short. Do good. Find and do what you love.

    Jan 25, 2007
    Waltham Massachusetts
    Some wisdom in that quote... if you're not enjoying the music that you're playing then the band won't be a long term success. Beware of making radical changes to cover songs. The less recognizable the changed song is the less impact it may have to the crowd. Joe Cocker made a living covering other's current music significantly rearranged. Very few others have. A lot of rearranged covers are from older or obscure music. Find music that fits your band's playing style and abilities. In my band there is a lot of material that would fit our genre that for one reason or another we can't pull off successfully. A popular song poorly done does nothing good for your band. If your goal is to play bars etc. your play list should be heavily biased towards popular recognizable songs. It's OK to throw a few obscure songs in that you really like, keyword is few. Also, as you mentioned that you are 18, check local laws to make sure you can legally play in bars. A bar getting fined for an underage musician will squash your hopes of playing out for a long while.

    Most important thing. Make sure you are having fun at this. If it starts to feel like a drag, stop before it's too late.
     
  13. i am from upstate NY. not sure about the laws here though. me and the gui**** figured things out (after a guitarist fomr a popular local band that he looks up to said i was right haha) we are gonna have a good time and make sure the crowd is having a blast as well. hopefully it goes well. the thing is, we dont know any bars around here, like we know where they are but i havent heard any live music being played from them. i will have to ask around
     
  14. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    HI

    Where in Upstate?

    Rob
     
  15. we are from Victor/farmington area. by Eastview mall
     
  16. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    HI

    Ok. Im Albany/Saratoga area. We play around the state, VT, and Mass. About 175 days a year. There are plenty of gigs to be had. Get your sets together, be pro, work hard. Most importantly, patience!!

    Rob
     
  17. I am truly envious of you sir.
     
  18. Here are my 2 centavos....

    1. Make sure everyone is happy with the tunes. Happy bands stay together. Wearing someone out with tunes they don't like is a quick way to find yourself missing a band member or two.

    2. Do a little reasearch about your competition. LOL, I live in a town where a majority of the bar bands have identical set lists. The only updates are new tunes that are on the radio, which are also being covered by their competition. Even non-musicians sometimes joke that you can see identical setlists no matter which bar you go to and no matter which night.

    3. Be smart about booking gigs. Keep gigging, but since I'm guessing everyone has a 9-5, don't turn the band in too much of a job. Working M-F 9-5 with shows all weekend might be fun for a while, but even the toughest people need some down time.

    4. Back to your competition....be at least as good as your competition. Don't go out before the band is ready. Don't suck!
     
  19. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    HI

    LOL. Dont be envious. Just do your thing. Takes a while to get a pro cover band off the ground. Prolly gonna have to play some "audition" shows. This means some nights for next to nothing to prove you are "club" worthy. LOL.

    Also, prolly have to invest in some PA. Not all clubs and bars have one. Also, some lighting. Nothing fancy but.....

    Take your time finding members. Make sure everyone really wants to do it. Its a grind. Fun on stage and during the night but the rest is work. Loading in and out, dealing with clubs and booking people, driving to shows, etc. No glory in it except for smiling and dancing people as you play and making music

    I wish you all the luck at it

    Rob
     
  20. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Yes. You want to slow it down a few times durring the course of the night so that couples can dance with each other. Its like a roller coaster ride, you pick them up, bring them down, then pick em right back up again, repeat process. Most of the bands I sub for have at least 2 slow songs per set.
     

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