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View Poll Results: How do you perform "cover" songs?
Everyone gets their part down, exactly like the record. 12 20.00%
We try to get is as close as possible, with some variations. 19 31.67%
We'll get it bascially right, but everyone gets to put their own "twist" on it. 23 38.33%
A complete rearrangement that reflects the musicians performing it. 12 20.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 60. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-20-2009, 12:04 AM
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Default Cover Songs

This is always the first discussion I have had with fellow musicians when either starting a band or joining one.

Do we do covers just like the record, kinda close, similar or a completley new arrangement.

And the response is always = "Well the people want to hear....." Which of course is not true, its the musician who "thinks" he knows what the people want to hear, but in fact it's what he wants to hear.

I have played all four scenarios, and bottom line seems to be, if the people at least recognize the tune they are happy. I have noticed recently there is a new version of "All You Need Is Love" by the Beatles on a commercial on TV, and the new arrangement is killer. I love bands taking a chance with songs and making it their own.

But if you want the bass part just like the record, thats the way I'll play it - but you better have that lead part down - just like the record!!!!!
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:22 AM
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Personally I feel that it is butchering a song if you add your twist to it. I have been there so many times when the lead guitarist couldn't play it or was just too lazy to learn the part and trash the whole song with their version. Which really means ( I have no clue about music and I am just gonna riff on the pentatonic scale on the 12th cause that's what I know), never mind that I do that on every song. I feel that this is what drives people to see a DJ. They and I if I am sitting in the audience want to hear the song the way it was written. I have been in bars drinking and there would be a band playing, they announce the song and you think hey some one else must have written a similar song then realize they just butchered a good tune to the point of, lets go some where else and hear a jukebox. Riffman
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:07 AM
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i'm just the opposite- if i am going to cover a song, i want it different than the original, and completely redone by the band- otherwise what's the point, we aren't ventriloquists, a jukebox, or a cover band, but then again, most of the covers i have done were pretty obscure to begin with and weren't hits, just good songs everyone in the band likes.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoff_law View Post
we aren't ventriloquists, a jukebox, or a cover band,
You must be a cover band if you are playing covers. I think people have a misunderstanding. I am in an all original band. I had to add a cover for the last bassist. ONE SONG. Slayers' Seasons in the Abyss. Out of an hour set we played one cover. = not a cover band. I have been in cover bands. The sets are just the opposite, one original song per 45 minute set. = cover band. Does the symphony orchestra add their twist? Now I understand articulation of notes but does the 2nd violinist change the piece because he wants to add his own twist or does he play whats on the sheet? What would the conductor think if the tuba player decided to add a big blast during the violin solo because he wanted to add his own twist. I think they are more professional and realize that Bach wrote it that way because he wanted it that way. Or maybe the current crop feels more at liberty to change things because they don't respect the musicians they cover because they are in it for the money. Riffman
The Slayer song? We tried to be as exact as we could and it was reflected by the crowds approval.
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:46 PM
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in my experience an orchestra plays it the way the conductor tells 'em to, and when the conductor says play it this way not that way, the player had better play it that way or leave. heck as classical musicians go, listen to the myriad covers the Kronos quartet has done, their "purple haze" is pretty close, but thats about the only one.

however, very few pop tunes imo rise to that level of art. heck the "song" is a pretty trite musical form to begin with, so it's hard for me to get worked up over the idea of farting around with someone else's 4 or 5 chord trick.

very few people have recognized that what they heard was a 5/4 cover of Loverboy's "turn me loose"- (all credit to terry duhammer)..and folks typically like the ska version of "crazy train")...
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:24 PM
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Talking

One cover I like to do is "Brown Eyed Girl." But I don't like the Van Morrison version. We cover the Henry Paul Band's version. It rocks more, gets a lot more dancers, and nobody in the audience ever complains.

So, are we wrong to cover a non-original artist's version?

Seymore Swine's "Blue Christmas" or the Elvis version? Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone" or Hank Jr.'s? ZZ Top's "Dust My Broom" or Elmore James' version?
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:12 AM
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While Van had a different sound, I really never cared for anything except the bass line from moon dance. We didn't cover out of date stuff. My cover career was mostly in the late 80's early 90's. We went from hair metal to metal. We mostly played what was popular on FM105. Those big hair songs were easy to cover to the t. The level of lead players in those bands was minimal at best, the leads did at least fit the songs. I never found it hard to play any of that knowing the 5 positions of the pentatonic and being able to see it in any key and also knowing that the relative (country scale) was 3 steps down. When I started on Megadeth things changed real quick and work was needed to make it right. I learned to play several classical songs. AVE MARIA is so beautiful the way it is I couldn't see putting my own twist on it. I need to find that book and retouch on those songs again. I can't remember who the guitarist was but he was killer. I learned a lot from playing things that were so difficult, it was always cool to see guitarist's that I looked up to stop in their tracks and say DA-- where did you lean that. If I have to cover something I want it to be classical. We need a wv-musicians network cover party and a set list/sineup sheet kinda thing. Any one else think this is a good idea? This would be a cool event to have this spring. And kev could get some donations face to face. Charge no admission and pay no one. Free event open to the public. Play just for fun. And for those that cant do the covers have a jam hour. Riffy
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:31 AM
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Default sets of cover tunes

The first couple sets in the alcohol consumption environment are essential to setting up the rest of the event ,you paint your best picture of your band before the alcohol kicks in ,for the crowd,then you become back ground music for people who are intoxicated,drunks,then you play to the libido of the crowd,strong rhythm section,bass and drums are the most essential,during last sets.Toss in a few lead licks that are distinguishable and you have the formula to keep the crowd pleased.I have studied this method very closely and it works ,play to your crowd ,you obviously cant play metal to a country crowd,or classic rock to a death metal crowd do your homework before you book a gig just for the sake of playing out--the venues we play should advertise whether the band plays originals or covers or whatever and the type of music classic rock,metal or whatever ---keep rockin
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:23 AM
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Don your observations are right on. I never even heard any one explain it like that.
strong rhythm section,bass and drums are the most essential,during last sets
I gotta start looking at my set list this way. Thanks for waking up my mind in this department. Riffman
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:00 PM
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Ive never heard a cover band play a song to the T. In a bar or on a recording. Even when they try. I almost never hear a band play a song that they wrote exactly like the record And for good reason. Its a waste of time and leads to alcohol abuse. The audience does not care if you change but still invoke the emotion. A lot of songs can be changed for the better. Just my 2 cents.
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