Some starting bands questions.


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666WildChild666
01-18-2010, 03:48 AM
Me and a friend decided to start a band. I have a few questions to ask the wise UG members about the task ahead of me.

1. After doing a bit of research, I found out I need a Mechanical License to sell a cover CD, do I need the same for recording songs and putting them on a bands myspace or something?

2. How long should the average set list be? We have 2 lists made, a 35 min (estimate) one for things the the yearly Battle of the Bands in our area, and another 1 hr 15 min (estimating there) set but I'm not exactly sure how long the sets for like bars and stuff would be. Places like Peabody's and Legends and stuff.

3. How much is a good price to charge for playing, when we do get paid? The band has 5 members, keyboard player, a rhythm guitarist, I'm lead guitar and vocals, bassist and drummer.

Nike-Man
01-18-2010, 03:56 AM
You cant put copyrighted material on myspace

Depending if there are other bands playing too, a set can be from 45min to about 4hrs with 3 or 4 15min breaks

Depends on how good you are, and how big your entourage is. If you bring good business even though you suck, you should still get good pay. You should get paid as soon s youre done, but if the place is known for ripping people off get it first. The price should be discussed prior as well. I do solo acoustic gigs for 150-300usd. Full band I charge 500

666WildChild666
01-18-2010, 04:04 AM
Ok so we can't have people listen to covers unless they come see us without getting a license to cover it. Can we record demo type things to give to venue owners so they can hear us play and we can get gigs?

pepsi1187
01-18-2010, 04:04 AM
1. ive never heard of a mechanical license...

2. set lists usually last up to 45 minutes..it depends where you play at... and however long you think your group can hold an audiences attention without boring or annoying them to death. if your just starting out, you guys probably wont sound as good as a tighter more established group, so you'll probably do yourselves a favor by starting off with like a well rehearsed 4-5 song set list... its better to be able to play fewer songs real good.. then a million songs that sound like shit.

3. usually you get paid based on how many fans you bring to your show. if your playing a gig with like 5 other bands, the bouncers will ask each person that shows up who they are there to see.. and they will tally it up. but venues will cheat you out of money if your not paying close attention to this kind of stuff. but the more fans you bring to your show.. the more seriously venues will take you. i mean, if you ask to be paid if you showed up to a show with no fans, theyll probably just laugh at you. but if you bring like 20 people, they're gonna want to do business with you guys.

what exactly are you trying to get into.. what are your goals as a group.. do you guys just want to be a strict cover band, or do you guys want to do some original work?

Nike-Man
01-18-2010, 04:23 AM
you can make a demo of covers to give to venues to listen. Just dont sell cover cds at shows

666WildChild666
01-18-2010, 04:36 AM
1. ive never heard of a mechanical license...

2. set lists usually last up to 45 minutes..it depends where you play at... and however long you think your group can hold an audiences attention without boring or annoying them to death. if your just starting out, you guys probably wont sound as good as a tighter more established group, so you'll probably do yourselves a favor by starting off with like a well rehearsed 4-5 song set list... its better to be able to play fewer songs real good.. then a million songs that sound like shit.

3. usually you get paid based on how many fans you bring to your show. if your playing a gig with like 5 other bands, the bouncers will ask each person that shows up who they are there to see.. and they will tally it up. but venues will cheat you out of money if your not paying close attention to this kind of stuff. but the more fans you bring to your show.. the more seriously venues will take you. i mean, if you ask to be paid if you showed up to a show with no fans, theyll probably just laugh at you. but if you bring like 20 people, they're gonna want to do business with you guys.

what exactly are you trying to get into.. what are your goals as a group.. do you guys just want to be a strict cover band, or do you guys want to do some original work?

1.
What is a mechanical license?
A mechanical license is the license issued by a publisher to a licensee, typically a record company, granting the licensee the right to record and release a specific composition at an agreed-upon fee, per unit manufactured and distributed.

Source: http://www.harryfox.com/public/infoFAQMechanicalLicensing.jsp



2. We have a set of 8 songs that should last a minimum of 35-40 min. That we're pretty confident with so we will hopefully be playing some places soon.

WARNING: I sound a little bit cocky in this following paragraph, please excuse this, but seriously our only competitors, are pretty bad.

3. We don't have much of a fan-base at the moment but in high school, I just have to say my bands playing somewhere and I can get 20 people easy. Probably the only band advantage at being in a school with only one other decent band, and fortunately for us, everyone in school focuses on the guitar players, mainly solos. Since I'm much less sloppy and you can understand what I'm playing, people say I'm better. I doubt getting an audience will be difficult.

As far as the plan for this goes, right now we're just some guys who can play and one of our dads has a recording studio that gets almost professional quality recordings and has some contacts with local venues. Were starting out doing covers so we can get some loyal fans, people who listen to us regularly, then we'll slowly start easing in some originals until that's pretty much all we do (with the exceptions of course). Like in the middle of a set just throw in an original so people can go hey that was pretty good and start doing more and more.

666WildChild666
01-18-2010, 04:39 AM
you can make a demo of covers to give to venues to listen. Just dont sell cover cds at shows

Ok thanks for your help. Sorry for the double post btw.

User_Name336
01-24-2010, 03:19 AM
you've pretty much got you ideas down dead on with that. covers with a few originals. try some open mic nights around town or team up with a band thats playing shows and open for them. you could also talk to a few bars or something and openly admit that you guys are just starting out playing shows and need a place to play to build up a fan base. they wont pay you this way, but at least you're getting exposure.

kyle62
01-24-2010, 10:21 AM
No-one gives a shit about recordings of cover versions, in all honesty, unless it's on a serious label release.


User_Name336 is right on the money, great post.
A few rookie bands have turned up to our weekly jam night and we've ended up getting them all sorts of gigs and experience.

axemanchris
01-25-2010, 10:09 PM
Me and a friend decided to start a band. I have a few questions to ask the wise UG members about the task ahead of me.


1. After doing a bit of research, I found out I need a Mechanical License to sell a cover CD, do I need the same for recording songs and putting them on a bands myspace or something?

You're 99% correct. You need a mechanical licence to *make* a cover CD, whether you sell it or not. The minimum "pay to press" licence assumes 500 copies. That sounds like a lot, but for roughly $40 per song, you can legally make as many CDs as you will ever need for promotional use.

Now, here is where I start guessing.... If you have purchased a mechanical licence to use a cover song, I can't see MySpace taking issue with this. However, I would expect that they will expect to see proof that you have purchased these rights. Expect some red tape. I mean, lots of bands do covers. Would MySpace take down Guns'n'Roses' version of Live and Let Die? That's a cover. The point is, they have purchased the right to use the song, so.... they can. [/educated guess]

Kudos to you for even having an inkling about this. You're already ahead of half of the musicians out there in your knowledge of the industry.


2. How long should the average set list be? We have 2 lists made, a 35 min (estimate) one for things the the yearly Battle of the Bands in our area, and another 1 hr 15 min (estimating there) set but I'm not exactly sure how long the sets for like bars and stuff would be. Places like Peabody's and Legends and stuff.

Depends on what your function is. If you're opening, the norm is a 30-45 minute set. If you're headlining with an opener, you should have at least 90 minutes of material. If you're going the whole night on your own, you should have at least three 45-minute sets. At that point, you're doing covers. No original band does that. Even bands like Green Day and G'n'R rarely play more than 90 minutes.


3. How much is a good price to charge for playing, when we do get paid? The band has 5 members, keyboard player, a rhythm guitarist, I'm lead guitar and vocals, bassist and drummer.

Depends on how much you're worth to the venue. If you can pack the room and have people stay all night, eat lots of food, and drink till the bar is dry, you name your price, and they'll still fall all over themselves to make sure some other venue doesn't book you first.

If nobody has ever heard of you, resulting in you drawing six people, and of those six people, five of them are gone before the end of your first set, you'll be lucky to get anything, never mind a call back.

As an unknown, the bar will tell you how much you are worth to them. Take it or leave it. Once you establish yourself, the tables start to turn. "Our price is $2500 for a show. If you want us, great. Let's sign it up. If not... we'll just play at so-and-so's. Take it or leave it."

There is always room for negotiation, but how much depends on how much sway one side or the other has as a means towards shifting the balance.

As a general rule, original bands get paid the least. Cover bands do well. Tribute bands and Wedding/corporate bands do the best. This falls apart once you try to factor in original bands with radio and video play who are supported by record labels. They can do as little as an above-average cover band and upwards well into the thousands of dollars and beyond.

CT

Johny Burninate
01-26-2010, 07:02 PM
Even bands like Green Day and G'n'R rarely play more than 90 minutes.

CT

Thats very inaccurate,Gnr plays anyway from 2 to 3 1/2 shows.

scguitarking927
01-26-2010, 08:46 PM
Thats very inaccurate,Gnr plays anyway from 2 to 3 1/2 shows.

especially gnr's latest shows lol upwards of 2 1/2+ hours, heard its a hell of a show

axemanchris
01-27-2010, 08:43 AM
Fine, maybe they're a bad example, then. Nonetheless, it is rare for even arena headliners to play much more than 90 mins.

CT

Guitar-est-GOD
01-29-2010, 05:06 PM
I find it rather dissapointing that cover bands/tribute bands net so much more. Theres no talent in that. Well, there is talent, but no innovation really. I'd much rather hear a good original band than hear someone play Journey's Greatest Hits. :/

AlanHB
01-30-2010, 04:27 PM
I find it rather dissapointing that cover bands/tribute bands net so much more. Theres no talent in that. Well, there is talent, but no innovation really. I'd much rather hear a good original band than hear someone play Journey's Greatest Hits. :/

It's not about talent matey, it's about demand. People would rather listen to songs that they know. There's no good or bad about it, I also prefer going to a pub and hearing a good cover band than an experimental dude with emo hair.

Cover bands do generally play for longer than an original band too. Have you been to a pub and the cover band seems to be there all night? Yep, 3-4 hours worth of music in their repetoire people.

RadioMuse
01-30-2010, 07:19 PM
^yeah. It take a decade + to build up enough solid original material to play for 3+ hours. But with covers and a group of talented musicians it might take a couple months to get it down and start doin' showz. Idk... it's tricky. Some of the best live bands I've seen were basically cover bands with about and album worth of original material and they were an absolute blast.

axemanchris
01-31-2010, 10:03 AM
^Not only that, how many original bands actually have 3 hours of even half-decent material? Seriously.... I have seen recording acts play too long. Whereas a 60 minute set of a dozen really great songs would have been awesome, they played 2 hours, played a dozen really good songs, and a dozen songs that were really just... kinda.... blah. It made their set feel like it was dragging on forever, and they literally lost half of their audience.

CT