The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
597 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Scenario: you're in a cover band, you booked a wedding. Client wants you to learn and perform a specific song that's NOT on your list as the 'first song' for the dance. The song, a popular hit that everyone remembers from radio, is not really your bands style and the instrumentation varies. This means that, even if your band puts in the time to learn and does their best, it 1). will NOT sound like the familiar original, 2). might not even sound good at all, and 3). Will likely never be performed again by the band after that one time.

What do you do?
1). Learn the song and do your best
2). Play the CD original
3). Just say no
4). Stop playing weddings?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,833 Posts
If you took the gig as a wedding band, then it seems to me that you're on the hook to learn their favourite song. That seems to be par for the course for a wedding band. Just be glad they didnt give you a whole setlist of stuff to learn and play.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,991 Posts
They're hiring you as a wedding band. I'm sure you are getting paid well, so learn the song they want, even if it is the only time you'll play it. Make sure they know it will not be exactly like the original.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,009 Posts
Learn the song. How hard can it be? So what if it's a throw away single use song, it's a wedding song and you're in a wedding band...at least for that gig. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the fire.

However, this sort of scenerio is exactly why I quit wedding bands back in the early 80s (along with karioke, djs and disco). I hated being dictated to by unmusical morons when all I wanted to do is rock and strut my stuff. Bars didn't often pay as well, but they were much more fun.

Nowadays, I play a few weddings, but not with a full band. My duo (guitar and violin) reads everything so song requests are no problem and very little practice is actually required. Nobody is trying to prove themselves red blooded rockers anymore so we take it all in stride. My quite seperate rock band doesn't do weddings.

Learn the song and do your best. Forget it after you're done. It's merely one song in one gig in one band in one wedding in one season in one career in one lifetime...it's not gonna kill you.

Peace, Mooh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
822 Posts
Play the song and take the money. I've done this countless times. So what if its your own arrangement, they didn't hire the original artist, and its not like they are asking you to learn a new complete repertoire. Play the song the way you like and make no apologies if it doesn't sound like the original.
 
I

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Can you have the come by a rehearsal before hand to hear your arrangement? They might appreciate it. You can frame it as, "wanting to get it exactly right for their special day". When I record first dance songs for weddings I usually do a pre-consultation with the client, a pre-mix consultation to make sure I've got an arrangement and instrumentation approach they like, and a post-master "listening party" where they can ask for a few minor tweaks. Brides in particular really eat up all the personal attention to detail and being asked their opinion on things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,252 Posts
#1

What's the song?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,740 Posts
...i agree - play the song.

but play it your way - adapt it to suit your band, style and instrumentation.

it doesn't have to be perfect, or sound like the original.

they will more than likely appreciate the effort.

-dh
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,658 Posts
#1.


That's a part of playing weddings. It's a very lucrative market and a part of why you get paid so much is because you're expected to be human jukeboxes. I mean no disrespect with that statement, but yes, if the people paying you want you to do the Bird Dance followed up by Hells Bells and give you advance warning about it, you should do your best to comply.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,298 Posts
#1 too. We also offer to do a song or 2 if we are asked to do a wedding gig. As already mentioned, just play it the way you can. Also, let them know in advance that it won't be like the original if you don't want or can't play it like the original.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,381 Posts
How bad could this song be? Considering that they hired a band instead of or in addition to the standard DJ they might not be too bad in the musical taste department - or at least they know how to have a good time.

They're not asking you to play 'My Humps' are they?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,740 Posts
How bad could this song be? Considering that they hired a band instead of or in addition to the standard DJ they might not be too bad in the musical taste department - or at least they know how to have a good time.

They're not asking you to play 'My Humps' are they?

...allanis morisette proved that even a song as vapid as my humps can be "interpreted".

and i don't agree that you need to inform them that you won't be playing the song "just like the record".

surely they're not THAT stupid.........:D

-dh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
I'm playing a wedding in a couple of weeks by myself (solo acoustic) and I have to learn two songs which I had never heard/played before - and aren't even in my vocal range. I asked the couple if they minded if I slightly changed the songs to suit my style and they agreed. I also asked for half the money up front before I even started learning any new material.

I agree with those who say that, when you're in the wedding racket, you have to be a bit of a human jukebox. Having said that, in the joyous spirit of a wedding, people will forgive any discrepancies in your version if they're having a good time anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
597 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
The overwhelming consensus says "learn the song", so that's what we'll do. Thanks for the feedback.

Song is Oasis Wonderwall. Kind of an oddball first-dance choice if you ask me, but hey, if that's the tune they fell in love to then so be it. Real easy to sing and play, but the orig has two guitars (acoustic/electric), cello and even a bit of piano. Not sure how it will sound with only one guitar, bass and drums. Maybe we'll do Jeff's idea and play it acoustically.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,658 Posts
The overwhelming consensus says "learn the song", so that's what we'll do. Thanks for the feedback.

Song is Oasis Wonderwall. Kind of an oddball first-dance choice if you ask me, but hey, if that's the tune they fell in love to then so be it. Real easy to sing and play, but the orig has two guitars (acoustic/electric), cello and even a bit of piano. Not sure how it will sound with only one guitar, bass and drums. Maybe we'll do Jeff's idea and play it acoustically.
Crap man, Wonderwall is the song?

Be glad they didn't ask for the Slim Whitman version of Ola Paloma Blanca.

it would be simple to arrange the song for almost any instrumentation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Song is Oasis Wonderwall. Kind of an oddball first-dance choice if you ask me, but hey, if that's the tune they fell in love to then so be it. Real easy to sing and play, but the orig has two guitars (acoustic/electric), cello and even a bit of piano. Not sure how it will sound with only one guitar, bass and drums.
If your band has a decent rhythm section, it will sound just fine with acoustic, bass and drums.

For some reason, I thought that this couple had requested a much trickier song.
 
C

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
"Client wants you to learn and perform a specific song that's NOT on your list as the 'first song' for the dance."
How much you getting paid? If you're getting paid enough to put your "artistic integrity" on hold, then welcome to the big leagues... (The phrase "artistic integrity" was invented by people who couldn't get gigs so they could try to lord it over people who did... It doesn't work if you don't let it)

If you're not getting paid enough, then you've undersold yourself... Chalk it up to a learning experience, and charge more the next time.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,658 Posts
"Client wants you to learn and perform a specific song that's NOT on your list as the 'first song' for the dance."
How much you getting paid? If you're getting paid enough to put your "artistic integrity" on hold, then welcome to the big leagues... (The phrase "artistic integrity" was invented by people who couldn't get gigs so they could try to lord it over people who did... It doesn't work if you don't let it)

If you're not getting paid enough, then you've undersold yourself... Chalk it up to a learning experience, and charge more the next time.

The notion that you can't have artistic integrity (your word, not mine) if you want to gig seems like a cop out for those who are embarrassed about their repertoire.

As with most situations, there's middle ground.
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top