Saturday, December 5, 2015
Band 101 - Number 5
Band 101 is a blog series that deals with the in's and out's of being a member of a working cover band.
Episode 5 deals with the fine art of improvisation within the fairly strict confines of any cover song. Unless you're going into the studio to record a unique version of a cover song it's best to learn any cover song the proper way before trying to improvise with the chords or the arrangement. Especially if your band plans on performing the song live in front of an audience. Playing any song the proper way gives the audience a chance to recognize the song. If you change the arrangement or decide to get fancy straight away the audience may become disinterested in your band's special version. Once you have the crowd hooked in by playing a song the proper way you can then start improvising or jamming, if that's what your band wishes to do. Playing a song in the proper way will probably be enough to impress of bar full of people. But once you begin improvising or jamming you can then show off your unique talents in an attempt to further impress the crowd. A high energy guitar, bass or drum solo can boost the energy level of any crowded bar room. Once you notice the crowd beginning to lose interest in your jamming, it's best to go back to the original groove and close the song out. Some cover bands choose not to improvise, but once you start learning how to read crowds you can jam out as much as you like. Jamming on a good groove, especially if the girls are dancing out front, can raise up the energy level of any room. The art is knowing when to jam at just the right moments in order to continue holding the crowds undivided attention. All of these jamming judgement calls come with years of experience and a proven set list full of crowd pleasing songs. Jamming gives your bands soloist something to look forward to as well as your loyal following. Once your band earns the reputation of a being a good jamming band chances are your following will be chomping at the bit wondering when your band will cut loose and let some solos fly.