God forbid we work on anything that detracts from guitar solos....

drumbler

Member
You know, the things in cover band songs that require planning and work: correct harmonies, dynamics, actual appropriate rhythm guitar, the use of singers who can actually SING. This has been a peeve of mine for several years. A band member, guitar player, last night told me, as long as you get the song's identifying "lick" correct, you can passably play most any song on a gig. A couple of years ago, I auditioned for a beginning-project Eric Clapton cover band, started by the lead guitar player. A song list was sent out. I learned all the song parts, structures, vocal harmonies, and instrumental sequences. During first band get-together, no plans had been made for a decent lead vocalist, the lead guitar player tried to sing leads, he sucked but didn't know it. By the end of the rehearsal, any plans had been abandoned, and they ended up just jamming the lead guitar parts, with the vocals / harmonies absent.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
You are so correct. Let's face it: lead guitar players and drummers could play an entire gig totally alone if they could find somebody who was entertained by watching them playing with themselves. (Seriously!)

GeeDeeEmm
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Couldn't disagree more. Most of the better drummers in my area, and the better drummers I've seen in any club in midwest, Chicago, and NYC are perfectly happy staying in the pocket, holding down the right groove, and just helping the group or ensemble better. They could really care less if anybody notices them. Seriously.


You are so correct. Let's face it: lead guitar players and drummers could play an entire gig totally alone if they could find somebody who was entertained by watching them playing with themselves. (Seriously!)

GeeDeeEmm
 

One Up One Down

Senior Member
You are so correct. Let's face it: lead guitar players and drummers could play an entire gig totally alone if they could find somebody who was entertained by watching them playing with themselves. (Seriously!)

GeeDeeEmm
This reminded me of the band Duotang from the 90s -- a drum + bass duo. I saw them play back then and they were very good. I googled them and lo they've reunited

 

One Up One Down

Senior Member
Couldn't disagree more. Most of the better drummers in my area, and the better drummers I've seen in any club in midwest, Chicago, and NYC are perfectly happy staying in the pocket, holding down the right groove, and just helping the group or ensemble better. They could really care less if anybody notices them. Seriously.
That attitude in general appeals to me. Just put your head down, do good work, and don't bother trying to be noticed. It's a quiet confidence.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
And....listen and pay attention to the other members of group. Try to make them and the entire ensemble sound better. Music at its best is a conversation. Don't talk too loud don't talk too much: don't play too loud don't play too much. Less is more. That's what good drummers do.

That attitude in general appeals to me. Just put your head down, do good work, and don't bother trying to be noticed. It's a quiet confidence.
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Guitarists are preoccupied with things that drummers aren't, and rightly so. I think that's why I have a hard time relating to guitarists. They have their own areas of focus that take up a lot of their attention, again, rightly so. That's what bass players and piano players are for, to bridge us together. Each respective instrument may think that theirs is the most important. That's common, and has to be worked around.

In the 2nd case they were just amateur musicians or flakes who didn't do any homework, where you did your part like a pro and were prepared, like a pro is supposed to be.

One thing that is for absolutely positively for sure certain...Nobody is 100% the way you want them lol.
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I don't know how it is in your area, but I know around here a good lead singer and front man is VERY difficult to find.
 

drumbler

Member
I'm not sure some of these responses addressed the subject of my original post. My complaint was: insufficient time was allotted, usually by a lead-guitar band-leader, for working on things such as song structure, vocal harmonies, dynamics, and appropriate and supportive rhythm guitar parts. In these cases, the songs devolved into flimsy support structures for flashy guitar solos or licks, which they deemed so important.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I'm not sure some of these responses addressed the subject of my original post. My complaint was: insufficient time was allotted, usually by a lead-guitar band-leader, for working on things such as song structure, vocal harmonies, dynamics, and appropriate and supportive rhythm guitar parts. In these cases, the songs devolved into flimsy support structures for flashy guitar solos or licks, which they deemed so important.
Indeed, though it's easier and far more entertaining to complain about guitarists.

Ultimately, you're saying that many musicians, while proficient with their instrument, lack the work-ethic, discipline, workflow knowledge, or attention span to fully break down and reproduce a full song. That is indeed a problem, and a fairly common one. I agree that it can be frustrating.

Most bands have at-least one member that knows what a healthy workflow looks like and teaches it to the other members. Some bands come from an academic workflow (even School Of Rock counts) and it's just second nature. Some bands are composed only of bedroom virtuoso's that can either figure it out, get a coach/producer, or continue being mediocre.

There are solutions, but they're all situational/contextual. I've seen cover bands that would sit together and collaboratively whiteboard/chart a song while they all listened to it. I've seen cover bands where the manager would simply name some songs and everyone was to show up the next week with their own charts and play the song note-for-note. I've seen bands that munge entire songs but really nail the four-chord-jam-session in the middle, make four songs last 45 minutes, and have the bar so packed that they literally run out of beer on tap and have to resort to bottles.
 
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danondrums

Well-known member
This is pretty normal. I’ve met very few great band leaders and groups who spend time focusing on the things that truly give the audience a great experience. When you’re a cover band, this attitude won’t get the band very far. The answer is improving our own groove and time until those great groups need us as their drummer. They’re out there, but they don’t lose bandmates often and they never need to put an ad out on craigslist or any other place to find their next guy. They already have subs lined up from previous gigs and know who they’re going to ask to fill the spot next.
 

drumbler

Member
I've seen cover bands that would sit together and collaboratively whiteboard/chart a song while they all listened to it.
In one of my bands, I'm the only below-working-class, non-college-educated, non-professional, unsuccessful, non-business owner in the band. If I proposed a white-board method, I would get ridiculed. Being in a band has set them free from their usual structured business roles, and now they want to be "artistic" and just do what they feel like, without doing the work.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
In one of my bands, I'm the only below-working-class, non-college-educated, non-professional, unsuccessful, non-business owner in the band. If I proposed a white-board method, I would get ridiculed. Being in a band has set them free from their usual structured business roles, and now they want to be "artistic" and just do what they feel like, without doing the work.
I know exactly what you describe, and host these types of gatherings weekly...

There is something to be said about the freedom and joy an avocation can provide.
 
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