Poll: Covers or originals?
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View poll results: Covers or originals?
Only covers, originals are hard to do, and no-one enjoys listening to songs they've never heard.
1 1%
Only originals. People want an unsigned band to come out with the next sound.
6 9%
A bit of both, Originals look impressive, but popular covers get the crowd going.
56 84%
Other. Please comment
4 6%
Voters: 67.
#1
My band is split in half about wether to do covers or originals. The lead guitarist and drummer think we should go for all originals, but me and the bassist think we should do mainly originals but still do a few covers to keep people interested.

What do you think?
hello
#2
Do original stuff. Sure it is fun to play a few covers here and there, but nothing more satisfying that creating something on your own.


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#3
I'd always do more originals and a few covers until you have a proper following of people, say you do a set of 8, maximum id do 2 covers.
#4
Do a cover, but dont do more than two per set max, and i would do one only!

Its also best to do something unusual, make the cover more interesting! Otherwise people might call u a sub par version of the band your covering!
#5
Quote by Anthony1991
I'd always do more originals and a few covers until you have a proper following of people, say you do a set of 8, maximum id do 2 covers.

You see, I think we should do it the other way round, get people interested by playing popular covers and a few originals to keep it fresh, then once we have people interested and coming to a few gigs, hit them with originals and 1 or 2 covers that went down well previously.
hello
#6
I'd say do 2 or 3 covers, depending on the length of the originals and the setlist in general. Generally a cover in the middle of the setlist, and then on encore (if you're good enough for encores of course ) should do the job.

Hell, even Red Hot Chili Peppers play covers.
#7
Quote by opc100
You see, I think we should do it the other way round, get people interested by playing popular covers and a few originals to keep it fresh, then once we have people interested and coming to a few gigs, hit them with originals and 1 or 2 covers that went down well previously.


The problem I see with this, is now you have fans who expect 80% of your set to be covers.

Personally I would do as much original as possible, and if you do some covers, cover the songs that no one else covers. Seems most of the covers for any given band are the same 2 or 3 hits
#8
Quote by chillbeast
The problem I see with this, is now you have fans who expect 80% of your set to be covers.

Personally I would do as much original as possible, and if you do some covers, cover the songs that no one else covers. Seems most of the covers for any given band are the same 2 or 3 hits


We've just been talking about this on another thread and I said;
Quote by SlackerBabbath

Personaly, if I was you, I'd start with a full set of covers, (plus any originals you already have) and keep replacing the covers with original songs as and when you write new material. Eventualy, you will have a set full of originals with maybe one or two really good covers, (and they'll be the best covers you can play as well because they would be the ones that have survived elimination) but in the meantime you can gig to your heart's content, building up a following while slowly introducing them to your own music.
By the time you have a set full of originals, (and by playing the new material in a 'trial and error' way of trying them out in front of an audience, then if they don't work quite right, either drop them or re-work them until they do work) your following will know and love them almost as well as the covers you used to play, which means that they will be more likely to buy your debut album, which you hopefully will be recording once you have enough tried and tested material.

Which is slightly different from going straight from an all covers band to a practicaly all original band.
It kinda takes your following with you as you evolve your band and generaly results in a really good hardcore following who say things like 'I remember them when they were just a covers band.'
#9
Playing all originals is fine if they don't suck. Most people can't accurately judge how much suck their songs contain, hence the need for covers. If you happen to have a real stinker, at least you've got a good cover to wash away the scent.

Just try to play something that isn't on the radio all day. If you're a hard rock band, play something like "16 Century Greensleeves" by Rainbow. Very "hard rock" but not on the radio often. That's just an example.
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#10
Here's Motorhead's set list for their first ever gig at the Roundhouse, London, 20th July 1975.

Motorhead (Written by Lemmy but originaly a Hawkwind song.)
Leaving Here (Cover, written by The Who)
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (Cover, written by Sonny Boy Williamson I)
Lost Johnny (Written by Lemmy and Mick Farren, again, originaly a Hawkwind song.)
City Kids (Cover, written by The Pink Fairies)
Silver Machine (Written by Dave Brock and Robert Calvert of Hawkwind, Lemmy sang on the second release version of the song.)
Waiting For The Man (Cover written by Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground)

So Motorhead started off doing covers, and it never did them any harm.
#11
Quote by SlackerBabbath
So Motorhead started off doing covers, and it never did them any harm.

Actually, they'd have been better off sticking with covers >.>
I saw them at a gig a few months back, apart from Ace of Spades pretty much all the songs were the same.
#12
Quote by Retro Rocker
Actually, they'd have been better off sticking with covers >.>
I saw them at a gig a few months back, apart from Ace of Spades pretty much all the songs were the same.


I'm biased, I'm a big Motorhead fan. First saw them in 1979 on the Bomber tour and I've seen them on most of their British tours ever since and loved every minute of it.
Still, I maintane that it hasn't done them any harm. They are one of the most influencial bands in rock and have consistently toured and recorded for 33 years.
#13
Quote by SlackerBabbath
I'm biased, I'm a big Motorhead fan. First saw them in 1979 on the Bomber tour and I've seen them on most of their British tours ever since and loved every minute of it.
Still, I maintane that it hasn't done them any harm. They are one of the most influencial bands in rock and have consistently toured and recorded for 33 years.

Can't hate on them for that. That's nearly twice as long as I've been alive.

Good job Alice Cooper came on 10 minutes after. He's still my favourite frontman/songwriter, and his various band lineups over the years have whacked out some of my most listened-to tracks.
#14
Quote by Retro Rocker
Can't hate on them for that. That's nearly twice as long as I've been alive.



I'm nine years older than Motorhead...


....god I feel old.
#15
Quote by SlackerBabbath
I'm nine years older than Motorhead...


....god I feel old.

Really? In the few pics you've put up in that other thread you look pretty young.
#17
mostly originals with a few covers, but make your own arrangements of the songs you cover.
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#18
listen to slacker (he's genius )
Who decided that pie would be sold on Tuesday but not Wednesday?
#20
Quote by FuzzyBear
i personally have alot more enjoyment from writing and playing all originals

Which implies that you have played covers, showing once again that covers are a good place to start.
#21
ive played round with covers at practice, but never played one at a gig


i have been working on my own take of alice coopers poison for awhile though.......

i think covers are best when you add your own twist sometimes making them radically different from the original
#22
My duet with my brother (Me on guitar/vox, him on drums) started out playing almost entirely covers. Over the past couple of months, I've put together enough good originals that our second gig (TOMORROW!), which will be acoustic, will be mostly originals. Though we can whip out some generic pop songs easily, we usually play the less popular stuff by popular bands. For example, our opener tomorrow is a cover of "City of Devils" by Yellowcard. On the album version, it's heavily orchestrated, but for this, we've cut it down so it's a bare bones acoustic song, much nicer in my opinion. We're also working on doing what I've called "Retarded Covers" which are songs done in the opposite way they were conceived. These include our acoustic version of Walk by Pantera, and a metal, 10 second long rendition of twinkle twinkle little star. Badass.
#24
I like originals. If I play covers at gigs (which I plan on doing) it won't be to get the crowd going with popular songs. I would cover songs/artists that are important to me personally, whether anyone else has heard of them or not. And if I were to cover a really popular band like Green Day or Nirvana, I'd play a song that not many people know.
I'm the type of nigga that's built to last
If you fuck with me, I'll put my foot in your ass
See, I don't give a fuck cause I keep bailin
Yo, what the fuck are they yellin?!


GANGSTA, GANGSTA
#25
What are your goals as individuals and as a live band? The answer to that should dictate which you do.

-get signed - originals
-play large crowds - covers
-make money - covers
-play with other recording acts - originals

Get the idea?

If you play covers, you will get better paying gigs, and tend to play for larger audiences. You will play at venues where people will expect to play covers, and will tolerate the odd original so long as it is good and so long as there aren't too many of them.

If you play originals, you will play smaller clubs to smaller crowds. You'll need to hustle to get people to come out. You'll make very little money. However, the crowds that you play to in the venues that will book you will expect to hear original material, but will tolerate a few covers if they are well-chosen, you do them well, and don't do too many of them.

We're an all-original band. We've thrown in the odd cover here and there for special occasions, but it has been at least 95% original. Being original has allowed us to play venues and festivals that would not have been available to us if we were simply a cover band. It has also helped us get print, TV, and radio exposure that is totally unavailable to cover bands. We average less than $100 a gig.

But! We've opened for recording acts, have been on TV and radio on multiple occasions, have played to audiences in the thousands at festivals, etc.

There's your perspective.

CT
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#26
My band use to only play covers, and for the last 2 gigs we played, we played 5 covers and one original. Now for our next gig, I got some original songs I've been working on and we are planning to have an equal amount of covers and originals. For our next gig, we are planning on doing like 2 sets of 7-8 songs each, and each set will be half covers and half originals.
#27
Play covers untill you have enough original material down to fill out your set. that way every one wins.
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#28
When a band starts off... covers are the best way to go because it helps members gel together nd get used to playing with one another..... I believe that it is beneficial for a band to have a large repertoire of covers but not play them all at one gig... different covers broadens your musical perspective and this will then show through in your original music.

That said I would always try and play more originals than covers.. ALWAYS.. unless of course your aim is to be a cover band... The first gig i played with my current band we played 3 covers and 3 originals.. but it was an 18th so i wasnt too pushed.... This august we are going to fermanagh for a 2 day unsigned band festival and we will play 1 cover if any. Our aim is to make a name for ourselves and playing covers isnt going to do that for us.