The Benefits of Playing in a Guitar Cover Band – Why you should think about doing it!
Think we can all agree that we would all love to be playing sold-out arena gigs, playing our own songs with the crowd singing our lyrics back, however, I would say a fair few of us are currently not doing that. I would hazard a guess that most of the people reading this are on a function or Guitar Cover Band! Well, I’m this article I’m going to go over why this is great and can be better than selling out arenas (kind of anyway)
I personally think everyone should play on some kind of function/Guitar Cover band! I have been for a while now and love it! so I thought I would put together a little article for any of you who are currently in one or thinking about joining one! Going through the positives and maybe a few downsides! However, let’s go through the kinds of Guitar Cover bands there are!
Different type of Guitar Cover Bands
A band that plays a variety of songs from all eras and mainly plays wedding and corporate gigs and is designed to get people dancing and moving on the dance floor! Their set list will be mainly big hits and popular songs throughout several decades!
Designed to replicate an original band as much as they can (sound and looks). Only play songs from that artist or band. Designed to sound identical to a certain band or artist and tend to play ticketed events or pay at the doors. Their set list will be songs from a certain artist or band.
Genre based Band
These bands play a variety of songs but all from a certain period or decade. These tend to get books for big parties and special events. A venue might put on a “70’s night” and book this band to play songs from the 70’s.
Pub Cover band
This covers everything else, from an acoustic duo to a full 5, 6 or 7+ piece band! They play a variety of songs and aim to put on a good show and bring people into the venue! Mainly found playing pubs and small clubs and are not ticketed events.
Why Join a Function/Guitar Cover Band
One huge thing about playing in a cover or function band is that the audience will always know the songs and sing along and interact! You play a wedding and play the opening riff to “Mr Brightside” and I will guarantee the dance floor will fill up with people dancing and singing! This means the gigs and bookings are always fun, and great to play with an incredible atmosphere! Add this to the fact that your set list will be ever-changing also keeps it super fun! Chop and change your setlist based on response, venue and what type of gig you are doing.
If you are gigging to make money and support yourself, then function and cover gigs are a great way to go! Being in one of these bands means you will have various gig opportunities and ways to play! Ranging from Weddings, Corporate gigs, Bars, parties and you might even find yourself at some local festivals! You will earn more with weddings and corporate gigs and the pay will go down with Bars and Festivals being the lowest pay!
Also, another great bonus is that once you play in one function band, you basically play in them all as these types of bands tend to play the same kind of songs! So it is very easy to pick up dept work and cover work! Get to know your local bands and you will be sure to be asked to cover. Which will be fairly simple as you will most likely play the same songs. Great way to play more gigs and also make a bit more money!
It isn’t all roses!
Now, it isn’t all roses playing in a Guitar Cover band. There are some down points! The biggest one is the stigma of playing in a guitar cover band! You will always be in a cover band! Due to being in a Cover band, you will always be limited to venue size. For no other reason than Cover bands won’t sell out stadiums. Saying this, a good tribute act can sell out fairly large venues! Also, if you get booked for a themed night you will do some big gigs. But on average you can expect to play in big halls, clubs and bars. As well as some very nice wedding venues!
Although we said the pay can be good, that is the key factor! CAN be good! Doing function and corporate gigs will pay well, however, the smaller low lower down the gig ladder you go the less you will get paid. Doing Small festivals and pub gigs will pay very little if anything! Pub gigs tend to pay you in Drink! However, this doesn’t mean you should do them, they are a great way to spread your name and maybe get bigger bookings! However, bear in mind they won’t pay well if at all!
How you join a Function/Guitar Cover Band
So, You have decided you want to join a function/Guitar Cover Band/genre band. Now you are wondering “How do I go about joining one?”. Well, luckily, it can be fairly easy! Here are a few tips on how to find and join a band. Some of these will also work for finding dept work.
The first step I would recommend is joining Facebook groups in your area. Find pages that are for local musicians and Musician finders. There will be loads on there and you should join as many as you can. People always post they are looking for guitarists or drummers. Or you can post yourself and ask if anyone is looking.
Go to the local band’s gigs and getting chatting with the band and introduce yourself. Make friends and contacts. This is true in the whole of music, make friends and contacts and opportunities will arise. For example, If you get hired to do a dept gig and you show up on time, put on a good show and are overall very professional, people will notice and recommend you.
The last way is to try Music shops. Fairly old-school way of joining bands but it’s still works. You can either speak to the staff/manager, they hear and speak to a lot of people so know who’s looking. You can also ask if you can put a poster or notice up to say you are looking to join. Someone might see it and call you.
Hopefully, this has helped you decide if you want to join a guitar cover band! For all the stigma and stick you might receive if you do join one, I honestly think everyone should join one! They are great! A great way to have fun, play some fun songs and make friends! As we said, the pay can be good and can be a great way to earn some extra cash, or if you work hard enough can make it a full-time job!
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