Joining a cover band

My main goal for 2021 is to join a band, so after seeking some advice from others in this forum I made a post on local craigslist with the (borrowed) title “Newer Bass Player Looking for Drummer/Guitarist/Vocals for Jams, Band.” I’ve had a bunch of responses, mostly just from guitar players looking to jam, but I heard from a local cover band yesterday inviting me to try out with them after their bassist left due to having a baby. They are all around my age and seem laid-back/open-minded which is exactly what I was looking for. The goal is to get a set list down and start playing out (if possible) this summer.

They sent me a list of songs to learn for a Jan 30 tryout, which is 11 days from now and not a lot of time to learn 11 songs :grimacing:

songlist

Luckily I already know “You Wreck Me” (planned for my next cover post) and “Gold On The Ceiling.” After checking out most of the others, I’m feeling a little better about the prospects of learning them all in time. The speed of “Don’t You Forget About Me” and “Workin For A Living” might give me some problems but none of the songs seem overly complex. And I love that they play “New Age Girl” :sweat_smile:

Anyway just wanted to share as I am a little excited and a little nervous about all of this. I figure worst case I bomb, leave embarrassed but learn valuable lessons from the failure lol. And best case it’s a great fit and I get to join a band, woohoo!

I’ll update after the tryout to share how it goes.

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Best of luck to you, @bjams . . . :+1:

Yes, please keep us up to date on how it goes!

All best, Joe

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That’s exciting. Can’t wait to hear about it.

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That’s awesome. I love reading this as I am still too frightened pulling the trigger. Just to shy to do such kind of stuff. But I will use their set list to see How fast I could learn such stuff as well. Please keep us posted!

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Break a leg, man! Nothing like getting thrown into the deep end of the lake (I am probably mixing up all my metaphors here, but I hope you get my drift!?). Good luck!

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I have the same issues with shyness, just trying to force myself out of my comfort zone a little bit. I’m sure I’ll be super nervous when it comes time to start playing. No matter how it goes I’m going to try not be too hard on myself, because trying at least counts for something.

I like your idea, if anyone else wants to try and learn these 11 songs by Jan 30 we could make it sort of an informal “group challenge”

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@bjams, Are they expecting you to have all those songs committed to memory by that time, or will you be allowed to have the printed scores or chord charts with you so you can “cheat” a little?

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Unclear on that, but my goal is to have them committed to memory. After listening through them all I think most are simple/repetitive enough that it’s doable.

Overall sounds like it’ll be pretty casual, so I doubt they’ll be strict about anything as long as I can play the songs. I think this is the “first draft” set list for playing out in the summer, so that leaves plenty of time to get them 100% memorized.

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I’m glad to hear that

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Super excited for you @bjams… and nervous as well. From your posts it sounds like you are going in with a great attitude. Wishing you the best of luck!! Knock it out of the park!!

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Congratulations @bjams !
After watching your cover videos I’m sure you’ll smash it :+1:

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Good Luck @bjams. Don’t be affraid to take some cheat notes, I’m sure they’d understand that you have had limited time to learn all those songs. Also you don’t have to learn every little fancy fill and such of every song, it is better to know all the songs reasonably well than to just know 1 or 2 songs perfectly. I’ve found that generally a band will be looking for a good solid, reliable groove (lock in with the drummer) and a ‘good fit’ personality wise more than the most flashy player in town. Best of luck mate!

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Bassists are always in demand lmao! I got zero responses as a guitarist, but man say you play bass and your phone gets flooded! Have fun, though, and if you need help memorizing, use a pen to write down the chord progressions in short hand on your left arm, you’re gonna look down at it when playing anyways.

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Thanks everybody, you guys are always there for a helpful shot of encouragement :raised_hands:

@russki98 good advice. after attempting to learn a couple of the songs 100% yesterday, that’s the approach I’m taking now. Get the basic riffs/grooves nailed for all 11 songs first, and then with whatever time remains go back and learn all the fills (obviously some fills being more important than others). That way I can at least fall back on the vanilla riffs if my brain freezes during the tryout.

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I agree, that’s good advice from @russki98, which is exactly what I would do. I also would bring with me a folder with all the chord charts in it to brush up on right before playing (or just to have to fall back on). I can’t imagine any band member frowning upon you coming prepared.

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Right On @bjams!! Whipping Setlist!! Sending vibes your way and all the best at the end of the month. However, you got this by the Summer!! Sounds like this is a good group of folks that wouldn’t mind sheets of music while you all find your grooves as a band.

Be Well,
Cheers

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Great to see you stepping out and jamming with a group of guys @bjams, all the best with it and like you say who knows, one thing for sure is your gunna have fun :sunglasses:
Enjoy
Cheers Brian

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Good on you man. Playing with others is the best! I’ve never done a cover band (but we have a few covers). Best advice though is to just lock in with that drummer!

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I saw you went on Craigslist to look for bands in search of a bassist. Good idea! I did this yesterday and I just got back from an initial practice with Blew Reed and the Flatheads, a blues band. It went ok but not perfect. We’ll see how things work out. It was fun though playing in a band after 50 years since my last gig.

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Good luck on the tryout!

As others mentioned - bring notes and have a way to keep them organized and readable.
And jamming with a guitar player (that is preferably better that you and plays music you like and know) is always a good idea.

When I started out (taking lessons) my instructor pushed me to jam with others. I started with a friend who had a lot of experience in local blues/rock cover bands - and we meet every Wednesday. Then I found an acoustic guitar jam/circle that had a slot for a bass player with a practice amp (everything else was acoustic) (that was a jump in the deep end) Then we found a open mic that welcome newbies - so I went from first time holding a bass to on stage in six months…
Back to Jamming with a Guitar player, - after a couple of years my Jam parnter sent me a text back in February with “hey, our original singer has moved back in to town, reached out to me and the drummer and we want to put the band back together, and I told them you should be our first choice for Bass”
They sent fours songs to learn, Covid hit, they keep adding and dropping songs but settle on four. We are up to 14+ after a few practice sessions.

Bass players are always in demand…If you are prepared, reliable, drama free and know how to “serve the song” - you will soon be saying “no, I’m sorry, thanks for asking…”
Learning how to play the bass changed for me after that first jam session.
And the first time they call out “blues, G, quick change…1 2 3 4…” and you know what that means, and you can hang on…you will be hooked…
Get out and play…I can’t tell you how many times I would…suck…and the rest of the group said, “don’t worry, you are getting better, and we all started out this way”

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