Playing Old Songs Versus New Songs With Your Live Band

Discusses whe the old songs fill the dance floor while the new songs sometimes clear the dance floor.

In Stereo Playing To A Packed Dance Floor
In Stereo Playing To A Packed Dance Floor

   In my many years of playing in a live band I’ve made a lot of observations about what types of songs fill the dance floor and what types leave people sitting in their seats. One aspect that has always fascinated me is how an old, well known song will pack the floor while a new song will sometimes clear the floor. It’s been something that I’ve struggled to define over the years. Having a new song clear the floor isn’t something that happens every time but it happens enough that I’ve thought about it quite a bit. So why does an old song such as Sweet Home Alabama fill the dance floor every time you play it while a hot newer song like U2 – Vertigo is hit and miss? They’re both excellent songs and have a great danceable beat to them.

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How To Learn A Cover Song To Play In A Live Band

Should I Stay Or Should I Go - The Clash

   One of the greatest challenges I’ve had as a live musician is learning new songs to play live with my band. I don’t know why I’ve struggled with it because I’ve been playing other people’s songs for as long as I’ve been playing music. Think about it, when you began learning your instrument you most likely learned how to play music that other people have written. If you took piano, I’m sure you learned out of basic piano books that had some classic folk songs or some great classical music. You probably learned how to play some pop music on the piano to keep things interesting as well. Well it’s a whole lot different when you’re learning music to play in a live band. To do it right, you need to learn to pick out and play parts by ear. That’s a real challenge for those of us that learned how to play instruments by reading music. It took me a long time to develop my ear to the point where I could play my parts exactly like the record. Here are some suggestions on how to learn a cover song to play in your live band. Continue reading “How To Learn A Cover Song To Play In A Live Band”

A Lot Of The Time Playing In A Band Is Work

   I’ve been playing in bands for 27 years but I still remember how great it was starting out playing in a band. I remember when it put me on top of the world just to make it from the start to the finish of a song together as a band. We’d be stoked and play the song over and over loving every minute of it. We learned the songs just for the joy of playing them together. After we had some songs down then naturally we wanted to play some gigs. So we played a few school assemblies and did a few songs and had some great success. Once you’ve played in front of an audience then everything else becomes a quest to get back onstage in front of a crowd. This is where the whole process of learning songs and preparing for the show starts to become work. Continue reading “A Lot Of The Time Playing In A Band Is Work”