How many of you really love the music your band plays?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by naveed211, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Meister

    May 16, 2009
    Or, how much do you compromise in favor of being able to play in a band at all?

    The last time I wrote the majority of the songs for bands was probably 15 years ago. Since then I played in a couple bands where I was more the co-writer for bit parts or wrote a few songs that were embellished upon, or I’ve played in church bands which is a glorified cover band gig.

    In any case, either I or other band members clearly weren’t always super excited about the music being played at times. Sometimes you just suck it up for the overall experience.
    Rob77 likes this.
  2. basher

    basher Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jun 7, 2007
    Washington, DC
    IMHO it's not really an either/or. I've always tried to find something to like in everything I've played. And being in a band with people who don't share my exact tastes has turned me on to a lot of great music; a lot of times I've ended up loving songs (or whole genres) that I wasn't excited about at first.
    Hammerdog, tfarny and gregulator450 like this.
  3. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Holic

    Oct 10, 2018
    Memphis, TN
    I love to play and I love music. I don't have to love all the songs my band(s) loves to play them properly.
    I'm more worried about the people we play for. I want them to love them.
    Frodebro, basher, richiek65 and 3 others like this.
  4. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

    Jan 11, 2013
    Tampa Bay
    I've been in a highly professional wedding/corporate event band for the past 4 years now. Playing top 40 is something I always turned my nose at. Not to mention the arrangements are super cheesy, we play with backing tracks and the musicianship uninspiring. At times, I struggle with the choice I've made to go down this path.

    But I make great money, and the crowd has a great time. I play 4 hours a night, which is more than I'd ever ever do at home. It has pushed me to improve in executing a show cleanly, learning new styles and repertoire. I have steady gigs and it more than pays for my gear and other hobbies.

    I always have the option of leaving and starting my own band, playing the music that I love and having control of everything. Of course, that is a lot of work and requires a lot of motivation. So instead, I am a sideman in somebody else's project, playing cheesy music at a great pay rate.

    Everybody has their price. In my heart, I feel I'm a sell out, staying in this suboptimal situation out of money and laziness. We all create our own lives with our choices. It could certainly be worse, and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to play for great money and appreciative crowds.

    One of the things that often happens is we learn new tunes that I loathe at first, and then I end up appreciating them. It's good to be open minded and to find ways to bring tasteful playing and groove to any song.
  5. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

    Jul 25, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Yeah, it's not a binary choice, limited to either like it all or not like it all. For current weekly band, I like almost 70-80% of what we play, depending on the evening. We play a mix of covers and originals. It's taken almost ten years to get to this though. Had you asked me six, seven years ago, different lineup, the answer would have been much different. Even then, I loved a lot of the material, but there were a few people who came and went that had a different approach to playing in a band.

    I'm trying to develop a separate band (using most of the weekly members), and then the percentage will go up to nearly 100%, with the exceptions being a few of my originals that are "in development", but that's on me.

    I do feel fortunate to have been around long enough for this group to develop...

    ....btw, do we make any money? Let me just say that my taxes have not increased at all...
    Marc Morfei likes this.
  6. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Meister

    Aug 12, 2014
    Washington State
    +1 to this ^^^

    My current band has mostly good songs, but nothing to write to a record label about. But, the guys are really cool and fun to hang with, and we have fun playing our songs. Almost every other rehearsal we have a cool 'musical' moment where something special happens, and we enjoy chasing those moments and creating something original. The chemistry is good, and these guys have become close friends. I would rather play with them than a bunch of virtuoso's who I didn't get along with, even though the songs aren't always exciting and we all play our share of off notes.

    One thing that has helped me stay engaged when we play songs I don't particularly like is to use that time to improve on something or to develop a new skill. I play drums in this band, and when we do our (IMHO) excessively drawn-out GnR version of Knockin on Heaven's Door, it is an opportunity for me to really work at staying right on the click track, and practice not rushing my fills. I have gotten to the point that I have some palpable distaste for the song, but I enjoy the learning and practice I get when the guitar player insists that we play it.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    nojazzhere and basher like this.
  7. Rasmuth

    Rasmuth Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 10, 2006
    Churchville, NY
    I've been playing in a band I put together for over 3 years now. We started as an acoustic duo and now have morphed into a 4 piece electric band. We mostly play covers but we are performing currently 4 originals that I wrote.

    A few things. I don't love all the songs we do, but I love what we do with them. We are not slaves to the original songs. We interpret and songs end up being our versions. We do a bombastic rock version of Imagine Dragons "Radioactive" that turns serious heads whenever we have a show. I've had people come to me at breaks or after shows and tell me they'll never be able to listen to the original again the same way because our version is so much better.

    Gotta love that.

    And I appreciate songs now that I never even thought twice about before because we play them now. I see the songs differently and that has been an unexpected gift of playing live with this band. I don't see Del Shannon's "Runaway" the same anymore, or Neil Diamonds "Solitary Man" or Red Hot Chili Peppers "Otherside" or The Yardbirds "Heart Full of Soul"......I could go on and on.

    I waited til I was 53 to ever play live. Never thought it could be meaningful.

    I was so wrong. I love music and I truly love the music we play, the way we play it.

    So damn fun.
  8. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA it
  9. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    I play with a few groups... the band that is the most fun to play an evening with is the one that does my least favorite songs.
    Let me put it this way... Those songs we all love to hate can be fabulous when they are performed extremely well!
    teletail and nojazzhere like this.
  10. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    I do. Tom Petty, REM, originals. I feel really good about the music and the band members.
    8trackmind and Marc Morfei like this.
  11. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    A teacher of mine once said that you can't allow yourself to hate the music you play because it will eat away at you and destroy your love for the whole project - sounds extreme but I think it's true. You have to find things to like - maybe you don't like the song itself, so you find something fun and challenging about it musically and make yourself appreciate it in a different way.

    I am often glad that I'm not making music for money or with a goal to support myself, etc. - if something is not going to be enjoyable for me (not every minute, but overall), I will walk away with no regrets or worries about pay. It's very freeing. OF course, finding time to practice and, someday, write songs is a different challenge....
    jman72 likes this.
  12. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

    Aug 14, 2009
    innsmouth, MA
    why would you write and perform music you don't want to play?
  13. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Missoula, Montana
    I don't play except for love -- sometimes it's because I love the music, sometimes because I love the challenge. Ideally it's both. Lately in an acoustic ensemble for the first time in a 50-year playing career (careen?) playing a Martin & a National and it's kicking my ass and it's totally fun & good music.
  14. Unison Bend

    Unison Bend TDPRI Member

    Nov 26, 2019
  15. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jun 2, 2003
    It's a fine line that we all walk I suppose. Some players are ok with playing all the stuff that's overplayed way too much. Some aren't. We are mostly the latter. We seem to pride ourselves in coming up with songs that others don't play much, or unique arrangements of familiar songs too. Some originals, but we don't really push them that hard. It's a compromise for sure. For the last few years we have accepted fewer gigs in order to play more of what we like. It's OK with us. With the diminishing pay for gigs, I guess we are less compromising.

    We do compromise though, it depends a lot on the venue for sure, because we do want to make listeners happy. But no, no Free Bird, no Sweet Home, no Mustang Sally.... well we have played Mustang Sally for a $50 tip I guess... :lol:

    Just a few of our oddball songs;
    Blues So Bad- maria muldaur
    I Don’t Need No Doctor- scofield
    Like an Angel- tommy castro
    Turn the Heat Up- Shemekia Copeland
    Yellow Moon- Neville's
    Heart of Memphis- robin mckelle
    It's 2 am - Shemekia Copeland
    Good Day For The Blues- storyville
    Damn Your Eyes- etta james
    It's over this time - robin mckelle
    Married to the Blues- Shemekia Copeland
    When A Woman's Had Enough- Shemekia Copeland
    Cant Let Go- Lucinda Williams
    Bad Bad Feeling- trampled under foot
    Don't Turn your Heater Down -tommy castro
    Put the Shoe on the Other Foot- albert collins
    Singing the Blues-ruthie foster
    I Cant Stand The Rain- ann peebles
    Ti Ni Nee Ni Nu- lou ann barton
    About to be Your Baby- robin mckelle
    Hot Blood- lucinda williams
    First We Take Manhatten- leonard cohen
    Cool Blues Walk- eddie clearwater
    Moovin and Groovin' -
    Up the Line - Robben Ford
    stevemc likes this.
  16. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Holic

    Jul 31, 2012
    Spring TX
    All the music I/we perform is comprised of songs we like, otherwise we don't learn them. I've tried to learn and perform songs I didn't care for, and it just doesn't work. Fortunately, my tastes in music are fairly broad, so there are a lot of different styles in the repertoire.
  17. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Meister

    Dec 8, 2019
    I'm currently playing in an instrumental surf punk garage rock n' roll band (think Johnny Thunders Pipeline) I don't love everything we play but I love playing everything we play.

    I'd rather be playing 'songs' but I'd rather have no singer than a bad singer and I'd rather have no singer than no band.
    regularslinky and gregulator450 like this.
  18. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Meister

    May 16, 2009
    That’s one way to think about it. I suppose I wasn’t thinking that extreme, as in don’t want to play or hate the music being played. More as, not the style of music you’d typically prefer or not all the songs you play are awesome/you love playing them.

    I guess I’ve been lucky enough to not hate or find any songs I was playing soul-crushing, and if I had zero interest I quit while I was ahead.

    But that’s the original question, just an honest evaluation of how much people are actually enjoying the music or just the notion of being in a band or playing live.
  19. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    I write almost all of it, and I only write 'em the way I love 'em.
    Actually...occasionally I write a song that doesn't seem to gel for me, but when I suggest cutting it from the show, there are invariably 2 or 3 other guys who really like it and want to keep I do.
  20. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 22, 2004
    You are a Professional Musician, helping save the world from DJs and clods with iPod playlists. That is something to be proud of.
    Ian T and nojazzhere like this.
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