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Covers vs originals?


Frosty Jack
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I don't think I get covers bands. I'm honestly not wanting to have a go at anyone, but I just kinda struggle to understand why anyone aspires to be in one. I l know there's money to be had, and I understand it's better to be playing something than not, but I can't get past the thought that simply reproducing someone else's work must surely always be second best to writing and playing original music, and actually expressing yourself.

Anyone explain/prove me wrong?

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Because re-producing your favourite songs is good fun, then getting paid to play them to other people is more fun. Some of the best gigs i've played have been Christmas eve and Hogmany gigs, people are up for a brilliant night, your playing songs you enjoy, the people watching enjoy and it creates a brilliant atmosphere. Not everyone out there cares for new music they have never heard, especially not at weddings and nights like i've described. You dont go to a pub in bridge of don to watch the next point of origin, but you do go to enjoy a disco, or a covers band, something you already know and enjoy. Plus learning someone else's work can help you massively, not only do you end up playing things you probably wouldnt have come up with on your own, but learning a song or a solo can give you ideas for your own original stuff.

Plus man, chicks love a half naked drummer playing and signing Teenage Kicks,

"it must be so hard playing drums and signing"

"you've no idea love, lets go back to mine and ill explain it all to you"

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For me, i like playing covers because:

1) i enjoy playing tunes by my favourite bands

2) people in pubs dig it

3) you can put together a set and start gigging in half the time of an original band. ideal if you're short on time

4) Play 2 hour shows right off the bat rather than 20 minute slots

5) i'm not particularly arty or creative, so i find original music a frustrating process

When i started out, playing covers wasn't the 'aspiration' but having done both originals and covers, the latter sits most comfortably with me

Money has nothing to do with it

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I dont have a problem with the "idea" of it, everyone likes learning someone elses tune dont they? the problem is, the genral public have no clue about music which causes cover bands to choose the 15 same fucking songs in every pub in every town every Saturday night - forever, the vast majority have decent guitarists and drummers but shite singers, which we all know most of the time that means - drivel.

Someone doing a good job of pretending to be KISS or, i dunno Pearl Jam is ok for a larrrrffff. Id prefer to listen to that than a lot of other shit thats played in pubs.

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I just generally like live music so have no problems with cover bands. I've got cover bands together for one off gigs a couple of times before and really enjoyed it. The performance aspect - the thrill of playing live with other people and generally letting loose in front of people who are digging it - gives me a buzz. The ready made songs mean you can skip the months of writing and get a set together very quickly and get straight to the performance bit which is my favourite part of being in a band. Most people like hearing something they know and like and I'm no different - I've even seen myself going to the bar at a 'professional' gig announcing 'I da ken this een' - so if a cover band are playing good songs well then I'll enjoy it.

I also like going to see original music being performed and writing my own stuff (by that I mean drumming to things my friends have written). It's a different kick you get out of performing your own songs. You're less likely to get people singing along but the compliments feel better afterwards and you can feel like a real artist (TM X Factor) rather than just a performer.

They're two separate things each with their place. I'd rather hear a good band knocking out the Beatles and the Stones covers at a wedding than a good band playing they're own stuff that I don't know. I'd rather go and see an original band playing at the Tunnels if I fancied some live music on a Tuesday night than going to see a covers band.

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No, hate the process. Can't be bothered. Would much rather spend my time writing my own riffs.

Fair enough like, not being a dick here but how do you go about improving your playing? im just curious as my playing has stagnated a bit, ive always gone with "play someones riffs who's better" doesnt always work.....

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Fair enough like, not being a dick here but how do you go about improving your playing? im just curious as my playing has stagnated a bit, ive always gone with "play someones riffs who's better" doesnt always work.....

Listening to new music, getting ideas from different styles, being in a band with great musicians that push me to write better parts, learning new instruments. Lots of ways to improve playing and occasionally I may even try learning a cover, but I find it really boring.

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I dont think the thrill of playing covers live is any different to playing original music live,if you perform a song well, you get a kick out of it, no matter who has written it. I get to play 3 hour long sets with my cover band, there is no way in a million years i could do that with an original band. There is no way id have had the chance to play in front of a lot of friends and family if it wasnt for the covers band.

Original music is more rewarding in terms of getting a song together, but its also 100% more frustrating to practise.

At the end of the day there is no right or wrong, there is plenty of room and demand for both cover bands and original music.

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No, hate the process. Can't be bothered. Would much rather spend my time writing my own riffs.

This. The amount of riffs I know how to play by other bands is minimal. Not interested in that. I learned a few when I was first getting into guitar, but now when I sit down with a guitar, I just sit and mess about until something reasonable comes out. I can't remember the last time I tried to play someone elses riff. Sometimes I stumble upon them by accident, but if I'm investing time and effort into a band, I want to feel the accomplishment of writing original material. I like doing the odd cover or few in an original band, especially if you're giving it your own sound and spin on it, but to learn a whole set of covers just doesn't appeal to me. I don't grudge anyone who does want to do it, but I do find it discouraging how many venues would prefer to put on cover/tribute bands over original bands, and how much more money is involved in a band which involves less creativity and initiative. Again, I'm not slagging it off, but there's a gulf of difference between crafting your own song based on your influences, and getting a tab off the internet to play 'Back In Black' or whatever. It's basically just following instructions, instead of doing it all yourself. It's not for me.

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