What do we need basically?
Current Gear:
Peavey Zodiac DE Scorpio (Bass)
Yamaha RBX-170 (Bass)
Boss ODB-3 (Overdrive Pedal)
Line 6 LowDown 150 (Amp)

Also: a cohesive image, professionalism, rehearsal to perfection, a planned set, appropriate gear for the songs you play...

Look for function gigs (playing weddings, conferences, cruises etc.), bar/club gigs (find a big city to get regular work), affordable recording (to sell CDs after shows) and affordable merchandise (to sell after shows). Note affordable, not cheap. Get the best you can with your budget.

Get every member of the band engaged in promotion. Facebook, Twitter, and e-mailing lists are just the start. If you get a gig, knock up a poster and ask the venue if you can put it up in their window. Put up flyers on café and college noticeboards, and other places that would fit your style of music.

Be friendly. Everyone you meet on the job, learn their name, ask them how they are. Get their e-mail for future jobs.

Get your finances straight. Everyone should know how much money is going in and out. Find out what tax you should be paying, see if there are any royalties you should be paying for playing the songs, and who you should pay them to. There might be a nationwide collection agency like PRS in the UK.

I thought I should probably add all that
Last edited by blue_strat at May 14, 2011,
Quote by blue_strat


Did you really need to ask?
zapatista89 wrote:

you know the music from zelda that plays when you open a chest? that played in my head reading that headline.

Quote by Swannie
dammit we're the guitar players! why don't we have all the chicks?!
Quote by blue_strat

He's right, though. Just gigs.

And you HAVE to do songs that everyone knows. It's the only way.

In my restless dreams...
I see that town.
Silent Hill.
You promised you'd take me there again someday.
But you never did.

Well, I'm alone there now.
In our 'special place'...
Waiting for you.

Though I agree with most of what Blue Strat put, there are a couple of things I would question.

1. Sell CD's and merch... for a cover band? Would *you* buy a CD of a cover band? I wouldn't. Merch... meh... maybe.

2. Royalty fees - should be paid by the venue. As a band, unless you're playing really unusual venues, I mostly wouldn't worry about it.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Maybe a covers band is different to a tribute band, but I've been to see a touring Pink Floyd tribute band that had merchandise.
For a covers band to make a bit of money, you need a P.A system for one.
This cuts out the cost of hiring a P.A for venues where there's no P.A present. And along with this, you can always get a bit more money from these venues by playing the "We've brought all our own gear" card.
With this, you will need to know how to use. Because spending too long pre-soundcheck setting up can harm your sound a bit. Also, if you don't know your set-up through and through you could end up with no miced/DI'd instruments and with vocals coming through a backup guitar amp (...that gig actually went really well despite those things happening! ).

You also need to be tight. You're a covers band. If you don't play the covers accurately to the original you'll end up with a crowd not dancing and just standing awkwardly, not a good thing. As well as this, obviously, if you play bad you'll lose the audience.

You need a lot of energy, you're a covers band playing live. What this means, is people have come to see you to hear tunes they recognise, and most likely to have a bit of fun, dancing and stuff. Thing is, people won't dance unless they are nudged into it a bit. So you need to do the same. Standing there or only gently nodding and stuff is okay for some of it, but you need to put some energy into it if you want to get the same back.

You also need your individual pieces of gear in check.
So stuff like keeping cables undamaged, having backups of things that may need a backup, a tuner (for guitarists/bassists, etc) and obviously know how to set up your gear perfectly and sort your tone out. There's nothing more annoying to the audience and to some members than turning up halfway through or going back to an amp and fiddling with EQ for ages.

And as said before, gigs, obviously.
For this, you will probably need some good footage of yourself, some demos, pictures, etc. You could go through a manager/agent of some kind, but then you won't get the full cut of your payment (I'm currently in two covers bands, one purely going off their own back and one with a booking agent) so it's up to you whether you want a bit of ease, or 10-20% more of your money.
Though, to be honest, if you're good enough you'll probably get more gigs just from people watching you play (which hurts if your band has an exclusive contract with an agent as then you can't accept, that's why my band which has a booking agent are going freelance, but whenever the agent can get a gig he's going to take 15% of the pay).

You also need to keep yourself in a position that's manageable.
Don't lie to venues, it puts you in a bad place.
Don't be like "Yeah we've played [such and such] and have two 45 minute sets, we have loads of demos too, but they don't show the atmosphere which we, blah, blah, blah".
This doesn't get you gigs. Trust me. And it makes you look a tool.
If you don't thnik you're ready to gig a full hour and a half (or however much the venues wants), then don't book a gig then try to blag it by saying the drummer isn't available and a session drummer has only learnt a small part of the set. It can (and did, luckily for my wallet, but unluckily for the douche who's in charge of booking gigs as it's harmed him a bit) work out, but don't rely on that sort of stuff.

And always, get your money. Venues will try to scam you out of your cash in some situations, if you've done a good job and everyone's happy (i.e. if the crowd enjoyed it, if lots of people turned up, if beer sales were good and if you didn't create any tension between yourselves and the venue) then they'll give you the money no problem, and maybe even more.
But, if you've done a bad or sub-par job job you'l definitely get a lower pay, or maybe even no pay at all. Though this would be because of the bad job.
However, there is still a chance that you can do a perfectly fine job, get an alright response and have the bar fairly happy with it's sales and stuff, but they will still try to take some of the cash with stupid excuses.
One's I've heard are things such as "You didn't play any original stuff" ("We're a covers band...") "You were too loud" (Arguably allowable, but in this case there were no volume issues, this is just an easy way to screw a band out of money or gig-time as there's no real way to dispute their view) "You didn't play for long enough", etc etc. Another thing I've seen is, the guy who sorts out your payment will actually just stay away, out of sight, unable to be found.
But as a covers band, as a hired professional body, you will need to get your pay if you've done everything you've been hired to do.

These are just some tips on some problems that have happened to me/I've seen happen to others.
But being a covers band, and being profitable isn't too hard if you make sure the effort is put in, in practice, in networking (stuff like Facebook, myspace, youtube pages, making demos and sending them around, etc) and as long as you all have suitable gear.
Quote by Alpha_Wolf

He's right, though. Just gigs.

And you HAVE to do songs that everyone knows. It's the only way.

this ^

gigs and songs.

the rest of it is pretty much just like any other kind of band. image and advertising, no merch for a coverband. if its a tribute band thats a different story, I've seen many tribute bands that have merch for sale, but I dunno anyone that would buy a cd or t shirt of a coverband...
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
Quote by axemanchris

1. Sell CD's and merch... for a cover band? Would *you* buy a CD of a cover band? I wouldn't. Merch... meh... maybe.

Yep I'm with you here. Why would you buy a CD of a cover band when you can just buy the cd of the original artist? You wouldn't. Before people start screaming "but Metallica released an album of covers!", your band is not Metallica, there are certain things you can do when you have millions of fans spanning all over the world that you can't when your only fans are family and friends.

Otherwise, all the rest of the answers are fine. You need a good product to compete in any market, and music is no different, so your band should be the best it can be. After that you really have to sell yourself to different venues as to why your band should play instead of some other band. The aim is slightly different in a cover band than an originals band in terms of "fans" and "loyalty" because instead of trying to appeal to individual people who want to see your next gig, instead you're attempting to please venue owners by keeping the audience there and happy, buying drinks. If you empty out the house you're not going to be hired again.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.