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  #1  
Old 08-29-2013, 09:45 AM
arsalanxaidi arsalanxaidi is offline
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Default Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

Hello trusted members, hope all's well.

Some imp info regarding my band members:
Me - drummer. Playing for almost 18 months. Interested in making original songs
Lead guitarist - same as mine
Rhythm guitarist: new to the band; playing for almost the same time. Good player. Wanting covers as he thinks it will help us gel together as a band (i dont particularly disagree)
Vocalist: new to the band, still learning. Would do either but a bit inclined towards originals

The problem is we need the rhythm guitarist, i like his playing. Only that he wants to do more covers and we as a band (me, the lead guitarist and the old vocalist/rhythm guitarist) have done some covers before and want to focus more upon originals.
How to tackle this problem as i myself am itching to keep working on a couple of originals butthe rhythm guitarist wont put in the heart as he doesnt believe we can do something good in originals.

We have decided now that we'll focus upon one cover and one original at a time but still i can tell that the rhythm guitarist is not fully convinced and hence would put in less heart which would not be of any help. What to do...? Any suggestions would be welcome

Also do you guys agree that covers are THE only way a band can really gel together or trying different new stuff can help just as much ( im more inclined towards the latter btw) ..
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:56 AM
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Liebe zeit Liebe zeit is offline
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

One of the bands I'm in does about 50/50 covers and originals. I find that some of the problems are common to doing both. If it's an original that one member of the band comes up with then the others have to be convinced by it. And when we do covers we all need to like it too, and we don't do faithful reproductions of the original so there are often big decisions about structure and feel etc to take anyway. Part of the decision comes down to whether you want to be seen as a covers band or not.

I'd also say someone who is dead set against covers needs to be coming up with some original tune ideas too.

Oh, and of course there's your audience. What does it want?

HTH
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:57 AM
Stomper4x4 Stomper4x4 is offline
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

Sure doing covers are helpful, because everyone already knows what everything should sound like. Makes it easy to find any weak areas that need improving. But no, they are not necessary.

Your rhythm guitarist sounds like he doesn't have the same goals as the rest of you. If it were me I'd be skeptical of it working out and move on, finding another player. It's not to say that he won't come around and if he's a long time buddy, you might want to find out. But barring any special reason for keeping him, I'd be inclined to find players that have similar goals so we can all mesh easily.

Good luck whatever you decide and always have fun!
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:46 AM
arsalanxaidi arsalanxaidi is offline
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

Thanks for quick response guyys. Helpful as always. =)

Certainly dont wantto be known as a cover band. And yes te audience question is quite important. I just think people like if theres anything new in and around the music scene. Thats just the way it is in and around where i live.

Regarding the rhythm guitarist, i cant seem to find a good one around i wonder why. And no this one's not a long time friend but i sure can ask him what his motives are and if they're flexible. Because right, im sure he wants covers.
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:18 PM
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Bad Tempered Clavier Bad Tempered Clavier is offline
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arsalanxaidi View Post
do you guys agree that covers are THE only way a band can really gel together or trying different new stuff can help just as much
Depends what you mean by "trying new stuff". There's a difference between writing music and playing music. If whoever writes the music in your band has got enough songs for the band to be busy all the time then great: if, however, there are times when the band is standing around waiting for inspiration to strike, then at that point simply playing - i.e. playing someone else's music - can help to get the ball rolling. Typically, in popular music, playing something with a little structure will lead to a more cohesive atmosphere than just jamming/improvising. If anyone wants to have a little wander off the script then perhaps play a song you all know and then jam out the ending, rather than trying to conjure a jam out of thin air.

I guess one really needs to decide what one wants from a band. If you are interested in playing functions/weddings/birthday parties etc then I doubt anyone hiring a band for that purpose will be interested in your original music. If you want to sell original songs via record sales/live performance etc then whilst that should be your main focus, it doesn't mean that playing other people's music has to get in the way. Of the 24 songs on The Rolling Stones' first two albums, only 4 were written by anyone in the band. As far as I know, the first significant hits for The Black Crowes and Muse were songs that had already been hits for other people.

I guess my main recommendation is just to play. Especially considering none of you have been playing for very long. Quite apart from anything else, learning other people's songs and studying different styles of music can only help make you better songwriters and better musicians.

Good luck and have fun.

Last edited by Bad Tempered Clavier; 08-29-2013 at 12:20 PM. Reason: typo(s)
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2013, 01:39 PM
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eclipseownzu eclipseownzu is offline
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

I will put my $.02 worth here because I see several issues which you should address.

The first, and most important, issue is, can anybody in your band write a decent song? Do you guys, with very little combined experience, have the abilities to write coherent melodies, harmonies, rhythms, etc and put them together into a format that could be considered a song? If you do, and you guys like the way the songs are coming out, and your rhythm guitarist is still not onboard, then it is time to move on.

The other problem I see is that you guys need a defined band leader. The guy who dictates the direction of the band. Usually this guy is your primary songwriter as well, but not always. Sometimes bands can get away with having a couple of leaders, but very rarely does it work out. Bands that try to run on a democracy will usually end up spinning their wheels because its really hard to get four or five people to all think the same way. Think of a band you like, I will almost guarantee one guy is the frontman for that band.

Lastly, play covers during practice and write songs between practices. With only 18 months of experience you just need to play as much as you can. Writing songs during practice is the most surefire way NOT to actually practice. Trust me, after 3 hours of watching the guitarist try and work out the chord progression to link the only two riffs he has ever written, you would kill to play a cover song.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:58 PM
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Scopata Scopata is offline
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

Why not try a bit of both and make your own version of a cover song.
It can combine what both you and your guitarist want and can also help with your creativity.
Just an idea :)
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

Every originals band I ever played in included a few covers. Being familiar to people, they're good to get the party atmosphere going and the audience onside.

There's an endless supply of great songs to play so the number of originals you have depends on how many good songs the band can write.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

I agree with Bad Tempered Clavier. Playing any song together will help gel the band, original or not. Pick a few songs you all like, learn them, shred them, and see what happens. If one of them happens to be an original then great, otherwise don't worry about it.
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2013, 10:06 AM
arsalanxaidi arsalanxaidi is offline
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

Great to hear fr experienced people.

What iv decided so far is that we'll be working on one cover and one original simultaneously. A specific amount of time in a jamm goes to cover and the rest goes to original. Original im assuming will take up more time so what i have in mind is if a cover is completed we'll start the next one after perfectig the first.

REally hope this works as this will keep all satisfied. But even then if a proper balance is not maintained, then im in the market for another rhythm guitarist.
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2013, 02:14 PM
arsalanxaidi arsalanxaidi is offline
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipseownzu View Post
I will put my $.02 worth here because I see several issues which you should address.

The first, and most important, issue is, can anybody in your band write a decent song? Do you guys, with very little combined experience, have the abilities to write coherent melodies, harmonies, rhythms, etc and put them together into a format that could be considered a song? If you do, and you guys like the way the songs are coming out, and your rhythm guitarist is still not onboard, then it is time to move on.

.
Eclipse,

the bold part is something i want to touch a bit in particular. I can write ALRITE lyrics (that i know can come out good as a song); the other things, such as rhythms, melodies etc is something that confused me. if you could elaborate it a bit more. Because normally the one who writes the lyrics has a composition, i would want my rhythm guitarist first to come up with good rhythms over it (through playing and coming up with ideas NOT writing as yet). then we can work upon drums, bass and leads. ... !!!

I'd like to know what you mean by those words up there in particular, thanks :)
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2013, 04:09 PM
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eclipseownzu eclipseownzu is offline
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

What I mean is those are the basic compositions of any song. Unless, obviously, the singer is doing acapela vocals, then really only a melody is required.

You basically made my point. If you are just writing lyrics and waiting for somebody to come up with the melody line, you have not actually written lyrics, you have written a poem. If you write lyrics with a melody and your guitarist comes up with a rhythm to compliment that melody, now you have a song. The question is, who in your band can write those complimentary parts. Now with two guitarists you will generally need one guitar playing a rhythm and another guitar playing a melody that also fits your vocal melody. (I think writing lyrics first is the wrong way to write songs, but I guess when I write a song that people have actually heard my opinion will mean someting.) I truely believe writing a good song is one of the hardest things to do in the world.

My point is that your band, as a collective group, may not have the ability to write melodies and rhythms that compliment each other in a way that is musically pleasing. In that case your rhythm guitarist may have a point, you should stick to covers until you learn how to write songs. On the other hand, you may be coming up with some great songs and your guitarist needs to either get on board or get out. That is really only a decision your band can make.

BTW, I speak in broad generalizations because I dont know you or your band. These are just my experiences from 25 years of playing in both cover and original bands.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:13 PM
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Garvin Garvin is offline
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipseownzu View Post
...Trust me, after 3 hours of watching the guitarist try and work out the chord progression to link the only two riffs he has ever written, you would kill to play a cover song.
Huge point here. Members should show up already knowing their part. It's a huge waste of time in rehearsal to spend it defining chord progressions or working out technical parts on individual instruments when everyone else is just sitting there. If it is a cover tune, then obviously there is a recording, and the guitar player, piano player or whoever should already have the part worked out on their instrument before they show up. Running covers at rehearsal should really just be a simple one and done process. This is of course the ideal, and hardly ever the case. But it is something that drives me nuts about adding material with limited rehearsal time.
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2013, 09:39 PM
moxman moxman is offline
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

Originals can be a hard sell - unless you have great songs and develop 'a following'... bar owners are hesitant to hire a band that plays all originals unless they can guarantee the band will bring people in.. so you need to have a full promo package/cd/mp3s etc. to grease the wheel. Starting out expect to be playing for ashtrays and little money.. but if you've got what it takes then go for it. Other wise being a great cover band is the fastest way to get up and running and playing live for people that 'recognize the tunes'..

One strategy to get there is to play mainly covers and throw in a handful of your best originals into the mix.. then try to sell your orginals on CD at the events.. and hopefully build a following..

The other one is to create a polished recording and a viral video to go with it - to draw attention to yourself..
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Old 08-31-2013, 04:25 AM
Razbo Razbo is offline
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Default Re: Covers vs Originals... Help required !!!

Hi, guys. This is my first post, and I'm sorry to make it giving other people advice! :)

As far as writing originals, do you play an instrument besides drums? If you can write the lyrics and the rhythm to the song, it will help things along if everyone knows the basic beat and chord progressions. If you don't play guitar or piano or something, then I would recommend getting with one of your other guitar players and work it out first. (Maybe it would give your rhythm player some "buy in" if he was contributing at such an early creative level like that.) Get something ready, record it, and give it to everyone.

Trying to do it with the whole band at once, well; I find collaboration can be a lengthy process. Some people want to add stuff, but maybe that's not going to be the way you hear it, egos can clash and tempers flash :) Although some people can make it work, it can take someone a long time at practice just to work out their own parts.

I think you have a good approach to do an original along with a (few) cover(s) and when one gets tight (whichever one) then move on to the next and keep working on the other. Another way might be to get a whole set of covers down first, which is what I usually do. I can find out first if everyone is sticking and gelling, then we are at least ready for open mic sets and go from there.

If you have your heart set on originals, then make sure everyone is clear that they will be at least "down the road" or you'll be replacing someone, then waiting for the new guy to learn all your stuff.
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