Ever get insulted for playing covers?

Do you guys ever hear from people who only play originals that playing covers is terrible?
I work in a local full-line music store where I'm the only "working" musician, and I get this attitude from my co-workers constantly. I'm in a gigging local original band, and I also hold down house and weekend cover gigs...
I'm wondering if it's a "guitarist" thing, I can understand that angle a bit more. It seems strange, but I get a feeling that it'd be different playing a cover set on a different instrument.
I'm just tired of the attitude that since I'm wanting to WORK playing music that my playing is less "artistic" or meaningful. I'm just of the belief that I should play as much as possible, and gig as much as possible. The more I play out, the more gigs/sessions I get. Versatility is key for me...
Is this weird? Anyone else ever hear or get this from anyone?
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I have met people like that before. Not to many, just a few who like the all original scene.

Play what you want to play.
Don't let the thoughts of others influence you.

Most club gigs require the playing of covers.
 

Fuzrock

Silver Member
I used to be one of those people. Now I'm in a cover band and I love it. Once I got to a certain age and realized I wasn't going to be a rock star, being in a cover band seemed logical. I still get to play AND I can make some money at it for once. There's quite a few tunes that challenge me to play outside of my comfort zone and after playing those songs for a while, I'm completely comfortable with them. I think playing in a cover band has made me a better player. Next time I'm in an original band I think I'll have more to offer.
 

Kenny Allyn

Senior Member
It's a youth culture thing trust me ...

Most of these guys think they are the next Alex Chilton with their composing abilities, when really they usually resemble the recipient of this remark from the movie Leatherheads.

"Being the slickest operator in Duluth is sort of like being the world's tallest midget, if you ask me!


With all due respect to both Duluth and folks of smaller stature
 
Yeah, often tell myself that they don't "get it"> Not that there is anything wrong with only playing originals;just they don't get the concepts. They also can't compose....really. I wonder if it's that they just aren't accepted into the scene of working musicians around town?
 

azrae1l

Silver Member
around here the cover bands are into 3 categories....

you have those that play covers but are less of a cover band and more more of a "version" or "rendition" band as i like to call them. they play songs people know but they put their own spin on it and give them their own sound, which are cool and not too many people give them a hard time, their usually pretty respected for their ability and creativity.

then you have the true cover bands, the ones that play every song note for note and a again do a pretty good job remaking a classic. these are usually composed of the older crowd that are playing songs from their youth, the classic rockers. generally appreciated for keeping the feel of the song and paying a tribute to great bands.

then you have the 95% of so called "cover bands" that are comprised of mostly high school kids and 20 somethings who play very sloppy music, usually the same 20 songs you hear every day on the radio and very poorly i might add, the guys that play the dirt hole bar for a warm pitcher of beer while the entire crowd sits outside in the smoking area because they play so terrible. also the same bands that populate craigslist and rag on any musician who has the slightest bit of talent. the ones who come sit next to you at the bar and tell you how great it is being a musician and how he has this huge contract in the works thats worth billions and says it so damn loud to make sure every other person in the bar can hear hoping it will impress people cuz their music sure didn't. you know the ones, guys who think any song known to man can be played on 3 bar chords alone and thats if they are good enough to play on more then 1 string, the ones who think if you sound bad just turn it up louder and it will solve it, tuning? who needs tuning when you can wear your sisters pants and eye liner, kinda people....

i made that sound like i hate cover bands huh? i actually don't mind cover bands but we have an over abundance over wanna be hacks that call themselves cover bands, those are the guys i hate.....
 
around here the cover bands are into 3 categories....

you have those that play covers but are less of a cover band and more more of a "version" or "rendition" band as i like to call them. they play songs people know but they put their own spin on it and give them their own sound, which are cool and not too many people give them a hard time, their usually pretty respected for their ability and creativity.

then you have the true cover bands, the ones that play every song note for note and a again do a pretty good job remaking a classic. these are usually composed of the older crowd that are playing songs from their youth, the classic rockers. generally appreciated for keeping the feel of the song and paying a tribute to great bands.

then you have the 95% of so called "cover bands" that are comprised of mostly high school kids and 20 somethings who play very sloppy music, usually the same 20 songs you hear every day on the radio and very poorly i might add, the guys that play the dirt hole bar for a warm pitcher of beer while the entire crowd sits outside in the smoking area because they play so terrible. also the same bands that populate craigslist and rag on any musician who has the slightest bit of talent. the ones who come sit next to you at the bar and tell you how great it is being a musician and how he has this huge contract in the works thats worth billions and says it so damn loud to make sure every other person in the bar can hear hoping it will impress people cuz their music sure didn't. you know the ones, guys who think any song known to man can be played on 3 bar chords alone and thats if they are good enough to play on more then 1 string, the ones who think if you sound bad just turn it up louder and it will solve it, tuning? who needs tuning when you can wear your sisters pants and eye liner, kinda people....

i made that sound like i hate cover bands huh? i actually don't mind cover bands but we have an over abundance over wanna be hacks that call themselves cover bands, those are the guys i hate.....

I can TOTALLY see your point. I guess what I was more upset with was the hate for actually being out playing. I'm more in a "rendition band" that still hold pretty true. We play to crowds and people and things like that.....
I do know what you mean about the "95% cover bands" though.
I'm still not bashing anyone for playing out anywhere though. I understand your scene may get a little cluttered though...

About the age thing...we're all mid-20s and late-20s....
 
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azrae1l

Silver Member
i actually ment "the other 95%" as in only 5% of our cover bands actually now how to play...

the 95% is around here, we have a completely different music scene then anywhere else in the world, i've really noticed this in the past 5 years or so. our music scene is very unfriendly to musicians, especially the more talented you get. it's almost a ritual here, once you can play decently you either move out of state or quite playing and get a day job.

what you play is really unimportant, rather it be covers, original, metal, jazz, country. doesn't really matter. if you enjoy it and you have fun then cool. almost any kind of musician is cool with me and i enjoy watching them.

but around here when somebody says "cover band" it means the hacks, everybody else is just a band. and the hacks out number the rest of us 1000 to 1.....

the age thing, not saying anybody in thier teens and twenties can't play, we have tons of very talented musicians who are younger then 20. the hacks on the other hand almost always are younger then 25 and usually give up before them. real musicans are very welcomed here and well respected but we have mostly hacks. i live in a very messed up state......
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
then you have the 95% of so called "cover bands" that are comprised of mostly high school kids and 20 somethings who play very sloppy music, usually the same 20 songs you hear every day on the radio and very poorly i might add, the guys that play the dirt hole bar for a warm pitcher of beer while the entire crowd sits outside in the smoking area because they play so terrible. also the same bands that populate craigslist and rag on any musician who has the slightest bit of talent. the ones who come sit next to you at the bar and tell you how great it is being a musician and how he has this huge contract in the works thats worth billions and says it so damn loud to make sure every other person in the bar can hear hoping it will impress people cuz their music sure didn't. you know the ones, guys who think any song known to man can be played on 3 bar chords alone and thats if they are good enough to play on more then 1 string, the ones who think if you sound bad just turn it up louder and it will solve it, tuning? who needs tuning when you can wear your sisters pants and eye liner, kinda people....
I had to laugh because your rant rings so true. These are also the ones responsible for 95% of the youtube trolling. But it's not just limited to the super young. Add a demographic range of 15 to 30 more years and you will find the ones responsible for 95% of the trolling found on all music forums thinly disguised as innocent constructive criticism. For some reason that particular crowd really does draw a vocal segment of bad element guys who are just angry and vindictive in general.

Still you can't attack the genre. Covers perform the same role in popular culture as repertory orchestras in classical music. They archive a shard of the social consciousness for future generations. Personally I think doing covers is cool and a good learning experience. I can't see how learning more music hurts anything, even for those not wanting to pigeonhole themselves into that one thing.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I'm laughing at azrae1 posts. Pretty spot on.

But to the OP. No. Even when I was deep into the original band scene and doing record company showcases and getting the "we'll sign you next Tuesday" speech (and yes, one A&R person said that), I always still knew other people who did the cover band thing, and many of us (including myself) had been in cover bands at some point.

I could see how it might be more of a stigma with guitar players over drummers, because for some people part of being a so-called "good" guitar player is writing your own riffs, which you're not doing in a cover band. No one expects the drummer to write their own riffs, so maybe the stigma doesn't carry over. But this is just a guess, I could be wrong.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
How come the insults come from the so-called-composer-guys who make absolutely no money playing music?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
People can be so transparent sometimes. I wonder if they know just how easy they are to see through?
True. And I'm not saying you have to be making money as a musician to say anything I'd listen to, but I thought the whole idea was to earn some kind of living off of your chosen artform. That is the ultimate goal for me. As a drummer, I don't think I've played anything that hasn't been played before, but people generally think playing drums in any kind of band is cool.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I have never gotten paid to play originals.
We do sneak some originals into our sets.
Some people do like them, but they would never sit there and drink all night if we didn't play
familiar tunes.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
One of the main bands I'm in now is a cover band and it plays cool venues. The guitar player who leads it is 40+ years old, a good businessman and very strong player. It's just another experience. For a lot of us gigs like that pay the rent, while the originals bands pay the utilities, followed by the jazz gigs that pay for dinner.

When I joined this group a few weeks ago I got some grief from my jazz friends. Of course some of those slams came on Saturday nights at 9:00 when I was playing a gig and they were drinking a beer in the back because they didn't. In fact just check out when the toughest US critics and roughest forum guys make their appearances, and you will find it is always on weekends between 8:00-11:00 pm Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific time, when the ones they're slamming are playing gigs and they're not. Cover bands are an easy target because of the demographic Azrae described so well.

I just think that if you want to play all the time, you have to find enough bands to make that possible. Now I'm never going to wear costumes or dance around like an idiot, but I just think you can find good music in anything as long as you're in the company of good players, which I think has to be a prerequisite for playing in a cover band...good players only.

The guys who do all this forum talk about how I'll never whore myself just to play by doing covers are usually the kind of guys who wouldn't be working anyway, which means they are going to be doing another line of work sooner than later. My opinion only.
 
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KBadd

Silver Member
I JUST NOW got home (1 hour drive) from a gig in Key Largo FL. The bands started at 3:00 PM......2 stages........each band got 30+ minutes to play.....one band stops then the next one starts on the other stage....about 20 bands total......Rock, Metal, Reggae, Pop, and Blues/Rock......the agent that booked us is GREAT!

Most bands here played originals and a few bands (including mine) played only covers, but we also do originals. We were/are tight! The crowd dug it. Nobody insulted us.

According to azrae1l we are a "Rendition Band". Yes, we do covers AND put our own flavor and spin on them. Question: Janis Joplin.....an original or a "cover singer"?? She made lackluster pop/blues songs by others, HUGELY Popular!! Bobby McGee and Ball & Chain. Was she NOT original? How about Joe Cocker? Or ....uhhh Elvis....the Stones....the Beatles? Not originals.....? You decide. Metallica friggin covered Bob Segar!!
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
you have those that play covers but are less of a cover band and more more of a "version" or "rendition" band as i like to call them. they play songs people know but they put their own spin on it and give them their own sound, which are cool and not too many people give them a hard time, their usually pretty respected for their ability and creativity.

then you have the true cover bands, the ones that play every song note for note and a again do a pretty good job remaking a classic. these are usually composed of the older crowd that are playing songs from their youth, the classic rockers. generally appreciated for keeping the feel of the song and paying a tribute to great bands.

then you have the 95% of so called "cover bands" that are comprised of mostly high school kids and 20 somethings who play very sloppy music, usually the same 20 songs you hear every day on the radio and very poorly i might add, the guys that play the dirt hole bar for a warm pitcher of beer while the entire crowd sits outside in the smoking area because they play so terrible.
Agree with others - great observations, Azrael.

Like Fuzrock, I used to play in originals bands and didn't care for cover bands. Current group would count as a rendition band and enjoying it heaps ... I get the almost the same amount of creative kicks as from playing originals, except the covers have a much higher standard of songwriting.

Since playing covers, I've never had an issue, but a lot of people don't always say what they think ...
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I don't think it's necessarily an age issue at all (maybe for some), and I really don't care about making money or making a career out of it (I have a career working for the man; I want to keep the drumming mine). Making money off drumming is not how I measure "success."

I'm 43 and I will only play in original bands because I don't want to be an imitator like that. Sure, I have my influences and on my own time, I'll don the headphones and surf the radio stations or my mp3 player for something interesting to play along to, but I'm not even a little bit interested in recreating someone else's parts in a band situation. Coming up with drum parts is where all the fun is.
 

azrae1l

Silver Member
ok i had a whole new rant typed out but i'm going to refrain.

cover bands can be great, it really comes down to the musician. if you play with skill and talent and work hard at it i think most any other musician will recognize this and respect you for it rather your playing covers or originals. there are many fine cover bands out there and i respect them for doing it. i have nothing against cover bands for being cover bands no matter how they choose to play them and the better they play them the more the audience is going to enjoy them.

play like a hack and well....... yeah.....
 
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