Cover Song Criticism?!? Thoughts...


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04-01-2006, 09:21 PM
So me and a high school buddy formed a cover band (although we have written a few of our own songs) a few months back. We've both been playing guitar for several years, the both of us are 100% self taught. I've never been in a band before, so basically I didn't care at all what type of music we played, I just wanted to get some stage experience, play with a full band, and just have some fun. Of course they are huge "punk" fans, and I would rather play classic rock/80's/early 90's style music.

Anyways last week we had our very first gig in my hometown...(where noone really knows how to play guitar, or any instrument for that matter) And it was a huge turnout for such a little town and the gig went great, everyone loved it, it was a lot of fun, blah blah blah.

The thing is, many of the songs we did require little skill...Some Green Day, Blink, All American Rejects, etc.....I'm sure you understand what I'm getting at. We are a cover band and our intent is to have fun and entertain, maybe even make a little bit of money on the side. But we both live in a college town, where ALL of the bands are original....there aren't really any cover bands around the area. In these forums you see trash talk regarding that music all the time, which I can understand because it is simple to play...

We play on campus in just over a month, and I'm just worried about a negative reaction, simply because its a cover band and even more because of the style of songs we do. There are many musicians on campus, and judging by the way people talk on this forum, I'm afraid of the same reaction. Is this logical? Is there any advice you can give me regarding this? Any experience with this?

04-01-2006, 09:28 PM
all american rejects suck get some balls and learn how to really play guitar like slayer and metallica or even children of bodom screw that **** greenday plays

04-01-2006, 09:31 PM
Wow...that comment was incredibly rude^. Go check your other thread, i posted in there.

04-01-2006, 09:33 PM
I'm not saying I can't play anything more difficult than that....Metallica is not so difficult either.....

I like ALL types of music...except for that nonsense screaming bull****. Personally, I think Slayer blows, but if you like it more power to you and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Its the narrow-minded people like that that I am talking about.

04-01-2006, 09:41 PM
You could try to learn something fairly difficult (maybe Metallica or Ozzy), or try your hand at some more advanced composition.
If you don't have at least a few original songs, you will receive heavy criticism for your lack of originality or for ruining the songs.

04-01-2006, 09:46 PM
Something from the Scorpions might work also.

04-01-2006, 11:23 PM
Just play what you like. I don't see why you should change for an audience if you're just playing for fun.

04-01-2006, 11:33 PM
if you play the songs well, they'll dig it. I'll listen to anything if its played with good musicianship.

04-02-2006, 09:38 AM
you might get a bad reputation, but play what you want
screw them if they don't like because of the music you like/play

04-02-2006, 10:46 AM
I dunno who its like over there, but for instance at my school, you could split the students by musical preference approximately according to the following:

80 % hip hop, r&b, that ****....
10% Rock, punk rock
4% Metal, classic rock
6% screaming ****

now despite that, there are some 'universal songs', which no matter where they are in that chart, they like it. for my school, i know almost everyoen likes the song Hotel California by the Eagles. So thats the universla song there. Try and find out what that famous song is that most people like, and try and follow that genre, and throw in some songs out of your own preference.

04-02-2006, 04:42 PM

-SD :dance:

04-02-2006, 04:54 PM
ha! i left a band for exactly the same reason about 6 months ago and i now play the music you prefer. Small world eh. Anyway, the universal song idea is pretty damn goodi like that but also, if you are playing on campus try and scatter in those original songs you mentioned.

04-02-2006, 07:47 PM

-SD :dance:

why did u warn me?
if you think about it all american rejects do suck no offense but ya

04-02-2006, 08:07 PM
There is nothing wrong with being a cover band, and if you realize you are the only one around your area, that is a smart career move (for now.) There are some covers that are just standard for rock bands such as Shimmer by Fuel, Crash- dave Matthews, etc. It sounds like you are young, so what I strongly recommend is learning as MANY covers as possible on your own and then present the best ones for a band. Trust me, once you get a good repetiore you can get a job anywhere. Learning 500 songs isn't out of the question, get one of those "Guitar White pages" or "Real Rock books" that usually have 200-300 songs in them. Most of them are standards.

As for the pop-punk covers, they can probably go over well if properly executed and in the right market. You can always do what I do is have an originals band AND a covers band. The covers band usually plays more gigs. Let's put it this way:

Last summer, I was gigging in an acoustic duo in a Beach resort town. I had a gig every Sunday and was making $150-$200 for myself for 4 hours of playing music a night. I am now in an originals band that gigs 2-3 times a month and the gigs pay $0-$80 for the entire band! Screw that, I'm going to audition for another covers band in the next few weeks. You can't compete against that money. I"m also writing a children's album so that's my side original part that can led to creativity.

Wedding bands are another option and you can seriously make a good living with the money they make. I heard of one guy making $900 a gig and having 3 wedding gigs a weekend. That's $2,700 a week... I bet he is making more than some people on the charts.

Don't let anyone talk you down about covers.