Covers or Originals

Covers or Originals

  • Total voters


Platinum Member
Covers for me. It's nice to get paid fairly decent for a gig.

The original scene is long dead, it was on its knees 20 years ago when I started on it.

I do miss having my own lockup to get creative in with mates. If I did it again I'd do it just for me and I'm still proud of what I've written.


Diamond Member
I've always played cover songs ,except when I was a kid in garage band era and we were writing songs, but it's been more the band's limited ability take on the song, except for a few of the bands that could really do them justice.


Active Member
The dream is to be in a kick ass original band, but that's never worked out for me in 35 years of playing.
I like cover bands because it gets straight to the point of what I wanna do in the first place. PLAY SHOWS TONIGHT!
Plus I love getting cash at the end of the night.
Every original band I've ever been in was a huge drama fest where nothing ever got done and members came and went like fast food restaurant employees.
Also, the cover bands I've been in always had better musicians anyways so...yeah.
But if I had a magic wand, I would wish for an original band with my 3 or 4 good friends.

I've written over 200 songs with a few different co-writers though that have basically never been performed live, aside from a few random shows. 😞


Senior Member
I've always played recreationally, in original bands. If my current band folds up, or I move, I'll be playing covers. I can't explain why without starting to rant.


Platinum Member
I used to play nothing but originals. People used to like our bands and music and would follow us regularly. At least around here, original bands seem to be dead. I haven't seen an original band playing out in over a decade. For that matter, I haven't seen a band that should be allowed out for about the same time. Not in my neighborhood. I see great bands when I travel, but Phoenix....I think the sun killed both style and creativity. There have been some decent tribute bands though, though most are traveling.


Diamond Member
Covers for the wallet, originals for the soul. Very few of my gigs are originals-only, but we usually get away with most of the first set playing originals, followed by covers the second and third sets. Covers-only gigs make up about 30% of my overall schedule.

I like this!!

I prefer originals; and used to be staunchly against covers other than "for fun" or a nod of respect in the middle of an all original set. I always thought cover band were for people who "gave up".

but now, I am in a country cover band - something that the 18 year old metal head in my past would have considered a punishment - but Ii joined that band b/c I like the dudes, and wanted to expand my style knowledge.

I am still in 2 other original bands though


Senior Member
Covers only though I've been in a number of original bands in the last 5-6 years.

In my area, original bands don't get paid to play. They do open mics and opening slots for other bands but they don't seem to get paid.

I'm not in it for the money but I divide my time between 3 bands and my time is valuable. Playing for free just isn't worth it. Not right now, anyway.


Silver Member
Covers. Not because of the money, we weren't good enough to be paid in any case 😁
Originals only work when one band member is a genius. I can't imagine writing songs as a democratic process where eveyone contributes a piece to the puzzle. I mean, you can, but I think you usually won't get a strong composition out of it. Or maybe that's just my lack of imagination and experience.
I used to play originals with the samba band. The band leader is a genius. And we were paid too 😉


Active Member
What you start to realize is just how rare it is to write and perform original material that people enjoy to the point of being willing to pay for it. So many pieces have to fall together for that to happen on any kind of scale. It's no wonder successful original artists and bands are so fraught with drama and eccentricity. The level of talent, work, and luck involved is off the charts.


Active Member
Girl Why Dont We Have Both GIF


Senior Member
Rant away.
If a person isn't motivated and disciplined enough to learn covers, usually they aren't motivated and disciplined enough to learn original songs. They just use "creative process" as an excuse for never getting their act together. There's a big difference between someone who doesn't want to play covers for creative reasons, and someone who's just too damned lazy to learn the songs.

And... as I get older, I'm thinking more about what the audience wants to hear and less about what I want to hear.
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Platinum Member
At church we play mostly covers, but we do have about six original songs, three written by me and three written play our pastor's mom, who has gone to be with the Lord. Peace and goodwill.


Senior Member
All covers all the time. I’ve never been in a band talented enough to come up with their own stuff.


Senior Member
I’ve never been in a band talented enough to come up with their own stuff.
That's what I find so aggravating. I've been in a few bands with guys who I thought wrote great songs. But there was always some sort of self-defeating behaviour that made the whole project pretty much a waste of time.


Senior Member
That's what I find so aggravating. I've been in a few bands with guys who I thought wrote great songs. But there was always some sort of self-defeating behaviour that made the whole project pretty much a waste of time.
I wouldn't say talented enough, more so creative enough.

I have an extremely hard time doing original projects. This is my fault. When I start an originals band, I write about 90% of the music. I come up with my drum riffs, what I anticipate the guitar to do, the structure of the song, etc. I also have a specific sound I want to emulate when I play. Yes, I do offer the other members to put in the ideas and come up with their riffs/songs, but lately its been a bunch of crap.

I get more excited to play with my cover band people because at least they have this stuff together, we practice, and we play shows.

My area is horrible for original music over the last decade. A lot of venues got shut down and the scene is more or less gone.

I'm still interested in making original music, but it would be a more studio situation where I write and record and not play any shows.

1 hit wonder

Well-known Member
I've played in some originals bands. Maybe if there's an understanding of what everyone expects to achieve, then you can have less drama?
My experiences have ended in drama or disgust. The first few were always over girlfriend things.

One guy is very creative but he's a manipulator too and causes drama. We had to create a rule that band related topics can't be discussed unless everybody is present.