Just a question I was thinking about. So, for a band that's at least moderately popular or more, how many covers is too many covers for them to play? How many is too many for one album, and also how many is too many for one show? This isn't talking about cover bands, just regular bands. What do you think?

I usually enjoy when bands play covers, especially when they change it up and make it their own. I have a bad habit when playing with a band of doing too many covers, even once we have a good bit of original material. I guess I just really enjoy taking songs I love and playing it the way I want. Another thing is that my writing skills aren't that great yet, and I can play much more complicated songs that show my ability better than when I write a song. I'm sure this will pass the more I write though. But I digress. In your opinion, how many covers do you find accept able to be placed on an album? And how many during a live show?

Depends on the development of the band - the bigger you get the more you should only do riffs etc rather than full songs imo.
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On an album? I would have to say one, two at the most. However, Jeff Buckley kind of proved me wrong.
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If you're a well loved band than if you want you could do a cover or two on your albums, make them bonus or something. Or if you really want, only do this if you're really awesome, make a special album that's all covers of popular songs, your heroes, or whoever
I love a good cover. Elvis, Zeppelin, Buckley, and Joan Jett all made their careers (for the most part) off of covers.

It really depends on who you are. Some people could get away with it, but others couldn't. I'd say for an album, you would only include covers that are extremely popular with live audiences and that you truly have made your own.
rule 1: NO covers on albums
rule 2: 1 cover during a gig is cool, 2 is doubtable, 3 suggests that you don't like your own material.

the only exception to these rules is motherfucking muse.
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Depends upon your intentions. For myself, I decided to start playing as a duo with my wife, a strong low-to-mid soprano. The challenge then became picking songs that had a fairly complex guitar riff because it's just me up there playing an instrument, yet selecting songs that also gave her an opportunity to utilize her voice.

We played a little bit of Beatles and Ani DiFranco. As for Beatles, "Penny Lane" is a pretty good one to learn, especially if you do it fingerstyle. It's not classical guitar at all, more of playing a bass line with a three-four note chord on top.

The bass walks, and the chords vary in their rhythm as well, so it's a interesting song just on solo guitar. The vocals also occupy a fairly wide range, so it's not a "guitar song," either.

We did some stuff that featured her, or both of us in harmony (I'm an untrained, but decent Baritone for Rock n Roll). June Carter and Johnny Cash type stuff worked well, though Johnny's a bit low for me - I'd often capo to F# and sound just fine.

I can do open E on a good day, but you don't want to push yourself live!

Other songs we'd do featured guitar, like "Tears in Heaven," which is fairly easy, but definitely a guitar-up-front type of song, and one that isn't "Hey, watch me play another Bach fugue!"

If you are developing your songwriting covers help you to both expand upon and discover your weakness and strength as a player/singer. Some stuff will surprise you, and some stuff, though it's not Juliard type of difficulty or anything, will just frustrate you to all Hell.

Covers definitely helped me expand my playing quite a bit.

As far as too many? It depends on what you want to do.
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Put as many as you want, as long as you put it in your own style rather than copying style. Van Halen did several covers, and half the songs the Dropkick Murphys do are covers of traditional songs.
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I suppose it depends how well known you are and if you're winning/loosing the crowd.

At a small-ish gig i'd suggest a good mix... but if there's alot of you're fans i'd suggest mainly you're own written songs.

As for albums/EPs etc. i'd suggest a couple... maybe do 10 original songs and then 2 covers as added bonuses. It depends what suites your band and what other bands are doing.

Don't want to copy or record not enough songs to you're rival bands if that makes sense.

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There are bands (that arent cover bands) that mainly play cover songs.

such as westlife
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For a guy like Michael Angelo Batio there's no such thing as too many covers. The man can do no wrong in that vein. IMO anyway.
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I like when a band comes out with a cover album.

Then again, I love covers. Bad ones, good ones, you name it. Especially covers from bands I like. It shows me to some really good music.

I also love tribute albums, like Nativity In Black (Black Sabbath tribute album. If you like Black Sabbath, I highly suggest checking it out.)