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Old 07-30-2015, 11:11 PM
d2dadub d2dadub is offline
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Default WHAT COVER SONGS SHOULD I LEARN?

I'm coming to a point where I want to begin playing covers again. I have mostly been in original bands for the past 15 years, but I think I want to make a change. Where I live in North Carolina it is real hard to get a following for original music. The cover bands get all the crowds, gigs, and ultimately the money. I want to spend the next few months learning about 100 songs. What is your top 40 list?
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:15 AM
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SlitYourDrums SlitYourDrums is offline
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Default Re: WHAT COVER SONGS SHOULD I LEARN?

Just curious, where in NC do you live?
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:53 AM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: WHAT COVER SONGS SHOULD I LEARN?

It depends on what years you are covering songs from.

Cover songs from the 60's and 70's would be different from cover songs from the 80's and 90's.

Here is an easy thing to do.
Check the Billboard top 10 songs for each year you want to cover and learn those songs.


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Old 07-31-2015, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: WHAT COVER SONGS SHOULD I LEARN?

Take note what's playing on the radio - that's a good way in to the bands currently doing that kind of work. If you want to do primarily rock 'n' roll, listen to your local classic rock station. Ed Shaugnessy called it "defensive listening", where he was prepared with the new stuff because he took the time to listen to what was popular.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:15 PM
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Pachikara-Tharakan Pachikara-Tharakan is offline
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Default Re: WHAT COVER SONGS SHOULD I LEARN?

Instead of playing just like it is played in the studio recorded version, i would try to come up with a different drumming pattern through out the song or wherever i feel appropriate , just for my own enjoyment...cause there are numerous ways to back up a song instead of steady time keeping.....just my thought.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:20 PM
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Frank Frank is offline
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Default Re: WHAT COVER SONGS SHOULD I LEARN?

Get out to the venues with local live cover bands and listen to what they are covering. One of those bands might be your next band.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:27 PM
Chollyred Chollyred is offline
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Default Re: WHAT COVER SONGS SHOULD I LEARN?

We (were) playing covers of some of the lesser played hits. Mainly southern rock, but some GNR, Dylan, Tom Petty, Mellencamp, etc.

We tried to shy away from the ones that are so over played.

Whatever you choose, make sure a good portion is danceable. Crowds don't want to sit and listen, they want to move!
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:12 PM
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PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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Default Re: WHAT COVER SONGS SHOULD I LEARN?

It really depends on what audience you are going for in addition to venue. For example, playing to a buncha hipsters is going to be different than playing in a country bar.

Who would you like to play in front of? What's the scene like in your area?
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:14 PM
sumdrumguy sumdrumguy is offline
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Default Re: WHAT COVER SONGS SHOULD I LEARN?

Radio has already been mentioned. Most of my local stations have a "Now Playing" type page, that lists songs played in the last 24hrs. The "classic rock", or "hits" stations usually play a good mix of old, and new.

Same thing with working local bands. Find out who is playing the good venues, and see if they have a website. Chances are they have a play list somewhere on their site.

There are a couple of threads on this forum where people shared set lists. I have also searched other musician forums in the past for set list examples.

As others have said, song choice is determined by the venue. If you want to get regular gigs, be open to playing anything - and play it well. I am not a country fan, but I love watching people dance and have a good time when I play it :)
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:22 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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Default Re: WHAT COVER SONGS SHOULD I LEARN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
It depends on what years you are covering songs from.

Cover songs from the 60's and 70's would be different from cover songs from the 80's and 90's.

Here is an easy thing to do.
Check the Billboard top 10 songs for each year you want to cover and learn those songs.


.
This is where I'd start too; find your niche, desired time period and then start digging into what songs were popular.

Another piece of advice is that you could always find a niche or a style that you like and arrange songs to fit that style. I play with a rockabilly group sometimes and they've taken some more modern songs and arranged them to sound like they fit inot a 1950s repetoire. One of the problems with straight cover bands (that I've seen) is that you plateau quickly because you're doing a little bit of everything. If you focus your energy on being a 1960s power trio, and then find and modify material to support that, you'll have a better chance of standing out.
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Old 08-10-2015, 05:08 PM
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Morrisman Morrisman is offline
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Default Re: WHAT COVER SONGS SHOULD I LEARN?

I find that looking at old Billboard lists isn't that useful. Some dreadful songs have made it to number one over the years, while a lot of 'classics' didn't chart very well.

As someone else said, other bands' websits are useful, because they usually have songlists.

Here's a link to a booking agent in Adelaide. Most of these bands have lists of songs, although this is an Australian perspective, so there will be some songs that won't suit your area. You can probably find similar websites in your location.

http://www.vegaspromotions.com.au/bands.html
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