Cover vs Original Bands observed

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by noname_dragon, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I disagree- without artists creating music, what do cover bands have to copy? Creating IS a higher level of creativity than rote copying, no matter how skilled. Is a forgery of a Rembrandt art?

    Yep, just like children learning to talk by mimicking the speech of others. Eventually they learn to take those words and use them to communicate ideas of their own.
     
  2. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

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    No, I understand the difference between writing and arranging. I just think the idea of cover band vs. original band is a false dichotomy. What makes a band original? Playing songs one of their members wrote? Playing songs they arranged, but didn't write? Even if they play that same song or arrangement the same way every time they play it? It just seems artificial.

    My band does a mix of songs we wrote and songs other bands wrote. We play many of the songs we did not write with "original" arrangements. Does that make us a cover band? If we get a new drummer and he plays our set the same way the old drummer played it, is he playing covers? I'm just not sure it really matters in any way that matters.
     
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  3. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    An a Performer a Musician and a Songwriter do not require the same skill sets.
    And any one is not necessarily better or more desirable than any of the others.
     
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  4. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

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    I think you might be conflating originality with quality. I'd rather have/hear a copy of something good than a crappy original. But I do agree that creating is a higher level of creativity than rote copying, assuming both of are of the same quality.

    Edited to add:
    Writing original music is a different skill set than playing it well. Pitting the skills of writing, arranging, and playing against each other is a false equivalency.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
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  5. LunarSlingShot

    LunarSlingShot Tele-Holic

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    I played in purely original bands pretty much since I started playing (about 13 years now) and I just recently this last year left that project and joined a cover group.

    I must say that I’m enjoying playing to mostly built in crowds. I’m also enjoying not worrying about whether people are going to like our songs any more or not or whether we are building a following.

    I feel a lot less pressure in our cover band than I did playing originals.
     
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  6. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Meister

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    Well, he *is* a rolling stone, and Mick and the boys are up there with him. It's a bit different.
     
  7. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have heard the same cover tunes done umpteen ways/times. Sick to death of them. I prefer to see good original bands. We are blessed with many in this area. Kwinton Gray, Funky Knuckles, Mark Lettieri, Jim Schuler, etc. That said, I would rather see a good cover band than a bad original band, I'd rather stay home than see a bad cover band.
    I once quit playing music entirely for years (after 15 years) because the cover band thing just drained my musical life force. Some great cover bands in our area are Buddy Whittington (mostly covers), Jerry Don Branch, Hard Nights Day, Fender Benders (crazy fun band to watch), Velvet Love Box.
     
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  8. P-Nutz

    P-Nutz Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Intros and outros for me ... the rest is just stumblin’ ...
     
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  9. zeedoctour

    zeedoctour Tele-Meister

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    Tonemasters too are pretty decent, in your area. Buddy plays with them a bit. Your area is my area.
     
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  10. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Oh yeah havent seen them yet but jammed with their guitar player Toan (or Tone?) a couple of weeks ago, good player.
     
  11. CigBurn

    CigBurn TDPRI Member

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    I like doing covers a lot. I like original stuff too and to me there is little difference once an original has been cooked a few times.

    How many times does one perform their own song before its using the same creative energy as a cover? How many artists have you seen complain they are completely sick of playing a particular song?
     
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  12. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Reading YOUR posts it doesn't sound like you've been in an original band.

    There's a whole lot of space in most lyrics, melody and chord progression. And a whole lot of creativity and creation that goes into taking what is typically a solo acoustic progression and vocal melody, and writing the band song. Each member contributes their own creativity and part. Where you end up can be right where the lyrics and progression writer started and intended, or radically different.

    It's very different from a cover band. I'm in both. The cover bands are fun and musically challenging. The original band satisfies a different itch. It's been the goal all along. But I wouldn't have been ready without a lot of covers rehearsals and shows under my belt.

    I do both. I'm pretty much with @noname_dragon's characterization in the OP.
     
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  13. DonM

    DonM Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have always loved cover bands. I’ve loved going to bars and listening to them and I loved playing in them. And the first cover band I played in was 1963, so I’m old too! Started with the Ventures and all of the surf music and then the British Invasion hit.
     
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  14. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    why would you ever want to be in a covers band?
     
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  15. Guran

    Guran Friend of Leo's

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    After playing in originals bands for 35 years, I also joined a cover band. Why? To learn something new. To get to play more, because when you play with the right people, when it clicks, it's just wonderful to play music.

    Another, somewhat to me, unexpected result was that while diving into that list of music, I found that a lot of songs that I don't like are actually very good. Maybe I don't like the artist, but the song is good. Songs that has made me turn the radio off for 25 years turns out to be great fun to play. Now, instead off turning the radio off, I listen intensly.

    Maybe I still don't like to hear the song as performed by original artist, but I still enjoy to actively listening, picking it apart and then reassemble it.
     
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  16. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Excellent point.

    What makes Jeff Beck an artist? Is he best known for his compositions? No, he's known for making music in his very special way.

    I prefer Jeff Beck's art over Harry Chapin's. I'll take "covers" Joe Cocker over "originals" Jimmy Buffet. Jimmy Buffet...out there doing covers of himself, the distilled product his audience demands, while Joe Cocker, singing a song written by somebody else, is tearing your heart out and handing it back to you. Maybe that's what real artists should do: tear your heart out and hand it back to you. I don't get that from Jimmy Buffet (but I allow that he's an artist).

    Ever played in a big stage band? Yep all the notes are written down. By the Brecker Brothers or whoever. It's the only way to make that art work, twenty artists following a plan to make it happen.

    Are film directors and actors not artists? They work from scripts. As a concept, a song is just a series of specified pitches of specified duration. That's pretty much it. An artist, e.g. a musician, takes that concept and gives it form. Again, I say it's not important whose concept it is; what matters is: does a performance refresh, exalt, intrigue, amuse, sadden, lift or excite the spirit?
     
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  17. suthol

    suthol Friend of Leo's

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    Over the many years played covers, our arrangements of others music and originals.

    At the moment I play all originals with two other guys and jam covers with two other groups of guys, just having heaps of fun.

    Give me a covers band that covers many styles & artists over a tribute band any day.

    As dlew said above earning the price of living is near impossible until you have a decent following, plenty of airplay, tour extensively and move heaps of merch.

    Something like a million streams on Spotify is worth less than a grand so there's not much to be made in recorded music unless it leads to the points I made above.

    Not here in Sydney Australia anyway.
     
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  18. Gigante_Miguel

    Gigante_Miguel Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I love playing covers, and have probably made more money playing in them, but I definitely have an easier time playing my own stuff. Not that I’m that great of a musician, quite the opposite, it’s just easier making up what I want.
     
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  19. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    In a gigging situation? To more than your mates?

    Original bands should offer something to audiences as decent art, entertainment or both. A good proportion, unfortunately, offer neither. So I never look down on covers bands. As long as they can play, the average audience enjoys them more that most original bands. They’re good entertainment and people want them. The idea audiences need to turn up (and pay) to nurture bad musicians and bands until they get good is weird.

    Part of the problem though is in many musical genres, the whole gig scene becoming so emphasised over less formal opportunities to play with and in front of other people. Even many “jamming” nights run themselves like mini gigs with starring bills these days. It’s really difficult for people to explore their music without that whole “gig” thing! IMHO it can stifle creativity if you cast yourself as a working band 5 minutes after you’ve tuned your first guitar. The people I knew who were most creative were at music college and hung around, jammed and wrote as a large and diverse group.
     
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  20. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    Why would a classical musician want to play Beethoven and Bach?

    As to why would a rock musician want to be in a covers band?......because most people can't write good songs.

    Another answer is to make money, every local musician I know who makes a living playing is in both covers and original bands.
     
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