#1
Currently, my band and I are learning some covers to play for a future show. However, my more-than-unenthusiastic drummer friend keeps challenging me on whether we should actually be covering songs or not.

So my question is, how important is it for a small band to do cover songs with their shows?
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#2
i think its a good idea, especially if your originals aren't well known. don't play more than 1 or 2 though, you wont get taken as seriously if you just play covers
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#3
well i dont see any problem with it.
if anything it helps your band become experienced playing with eachother, so then down the road itll be easier to write your own stuff if you want.
#4
i think its somewhat important, people like to hear songs they like especially if your original songs are not amazing
#5
Throw one or two in. no more. depending on the gig - no less.
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#6
From my experience when my band was starting out is people will remeber you on your stage presance and overall musicality...my drummer doesnt like to play any covers at all because he feels like people automatically "over-judge" and compare you to a record which is hard enough...ive heard people do amazing covers and ive heard people do really crappy covers, my suggestion is to do covers because as a small band it helps people pay attention, but dont let the covers run your set and be known as a coverband...but pick your covers wisely.
#7
hey id throw in a well known song just to help get the crowd get more into the performance, they are going to respond a little better to music they know
#8
A small band? Just fairly recently starting out? Yeah, play some covers. They help a hell of a lot to get you to the point where you have some form of a following. Once your following learn a few of your songs (ie. when you can see people in the audience singing along to your tunes) then you can gradualy drop the covers and replace them with originals.
#9
I agree with SlackerBlabbath.

that's what my band did, we plays some covers to get people to listen..then we'd throw on some originals. It really does help, and we got a pretty decent following until we broke up.
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#10
Covers are fun and often you can get some crowd participation having them sing along with the chorus and stuff. I say throw 1 or 2 in depending on how long your set is
#11
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i think its a good idea, especially if your originals aren't well known. don't play more than 1 or 2 though, you wont get taken as seriously if you just play covers


Depends on what they play though. My friend's in a blues band and almost their whole set is based around covers, but they use most of their songs to jam, so they make they their own.
#12
It would depend what genre you're playing. For like blues, rock, and metal, I think it's totally alright to play mostly covers or a mix. If it's more like punk or metalcore/screamo or something, you should probably play mostly originals.
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#13
Who is your audience? What does your AUDIENCE want and expect? Some venues want covers and really don't greet original material with any enthusiasm. Some venues it's the exact opposite.

Haven't chosen which audiences to pursue? Pick, and go primarily with one or the other, but not being afraid to throw the *odd* one in of the other variety. Whatever audience you pursue, you don't want to alienate them by giving them too much of what they don't really want.

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#14
Like it has been stated before, 1 or 2 covers is no big deal. My band plays a cover at the top of our set to work through the nerves and such. Be sure to make the cover your own to. Don't be afraid that it does not sound exactly like original. Also pick covers that you want to play, and I speak from experience, there is no use in playing songs you don't want to play.
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#15
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Depends on what they play though. My friend's in a blues band and almost their whole set is based around covers, but they use most of their songs to jam, so they make they their own.

That's a good point. There's a few ways of doing a cover song. Two right ways and a wrong way.
You can either get it as absolutely, perfectly, close to the original as you possibly can, like a tribute band would, which I can tell you isn't actualy as easy as it sounds, or you can completely change it and make it your own.
The first works because people, especialy non musicians, generaly tend to like stuff they are familiar with. The second works because it shows off a band's creativeness, which is more apparent in a cover song because people can see how much you've changed it.
But.
Either way, it has to be good, especialy if you're doing it your own way, otherwise people will say 'Man, you just slaughtered my favourite song dude.'

Quote by axemanchris
Who is your audience? What does your AUDIENCE want and expect? Some venues want covers and really don't greet original material with any enthusiasm. Some venues it's the exact opposite.

Haven't chosen which audiences to pursue? Pick, and go primarily with one or the other, but not being afraid to throw the *odd* one in of the other variety. Whatever audience you pursue, you don't want to alienate them by giving them too much of what they don't really want.

CT

Yeah, my other band, Three Amigos, (which is basicaly Slack Babbath with me on bass and our bassist on the mixing desk) have a huge list of songs at our disposal.
Covers, originals, rock, metal, rock 'n' roll, blues, funk, even skiffle and disco tunes. The point is, it doesn't matter what type of audience we get. We start the set with the Beatles 'I Saw Her Standing There' which we rev up to Judas Priest levels, and from then on we can kinda read the audience. We don't actualy have a set list for the first set as such, we just have a 'suggestion list' with about 60 songs on it, just to remind us of what we can actualy do and play it by ear as to what to play and when. After the first set, we generaly know the audience well enough to write out a proper set list for the second set that'll go down a storm with this particular audience.
We also ask the audience to shout out the names of their favourite bands, and we're practicaly guarranteed to know something by at least a couple of the bands they shout out.
The beauty of it is, if you see us at two different venues, you'll probably see two totaly different gigs.
It's kinda like gigging by the seat of your pants sometimes, but it never gets boring.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Mar 24, 2008,
#16
my band just does cover songs that noones ever heard of.
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