Depping for a cover band

What's Hot
menamestommenamestom Frets: 1801

I've been asked to dep in a cover band, about 12 gigs so far with 2 sets of about 25 songs.  They are all soul/disco based.

I'm in my own cover band already, but we've developed the songs over a few months and we've put a different slant on them, so getting up to speed has been a steady progression.  We're gigging and it's going well.

I've got a playlist together of the songs, I know a couple but need to get the others in my head.  First gig depping is early July.   We have our first rehearsal next week.
Question is, how many rehearsals would be reasonable to ask for to get up-to-speed?
Usually I suppose the answer is as many as it takes but I've always been in bands where we have worked on things together, some songs take one run through, some a few weeks.
I this case they have been playing them together for years so I need to slot in quick.

I'm thinking 2 or 3 rehearsals at least, is that reasonable?

I've been in bands for over 20 years but mainly original, so this depping for cover bands is new to me.
0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 16243
    Number of rehearsals- that depends on you and on how together they are.
    I've depped with zero rehearsals and it has gone fine.
    I've depped with 10 rehearsals and it has been a car crash.

    If you are organised, can play and the band know what they are doing then 2-3 rehearsals sounds about right.
    You'll probably know after the first one how much work you have to do.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 5959
    We've used dep bassists and I've made a point of sending them clear information in advance ( which version of a song, any changes to the arrangements) so they can be as equipped as possible. That's been fine on one rehearsal ( as much about how we've drifted away from the originals ), although it hasn't been rocket science stuff. 
    I guess one rehearsal at least with enough time to fit in another if need be. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1390
    If they are good players and give helpful cues with the songs very close to the originals then it shouldn't take much.    I regularly do them with next to no rehearsal.     I'm playing farmyard bike rally next week as a dep and we had a quick run through this week to sort the changes.     37 songs though so I'm going to use plenty of crib notes.  

    I quite enjoy the difference between those type of gigs and the sometimes over rehearsed band when it's a bit routine.     

    Unlike some of the last minute dep gigs, it sounds like you ha e plenty of notice so I'd sort your notes with a list of things you need to confirm - keys, version etc and then after a rehearsal you'll know if you just need more time doing your homework or more full band rehearsals.   
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 1801

    Thanks for the helpful replies.   I've basically got this weekend to learn the parts, but going through them now it's easy to see which songs will take nothing more than knowing the chords and which need more complex parts learning.
    I think as pointed out I'll know a lot more after the first rehearsal, versions and expectations etc.   I'll record it as well and perhaps any I don't know well enough, get them to run through it without the guitar parts so I can have that as homework.






    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • LestratcasterLestratcaster Frets: 123
    Might want to do a few rehearsals in case there's any different arrangements to some of the numbers (drum break in the middle, longer outros, etc) so you know exactly how it'll be at the show. I've done dep shows for originals bands and usually want at least 2 rehearsals before a gig, esp if its new stuff.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • VaiaiVaiai Frets: 339
    We are using a dep guitarist and had a few dep drummers recently so from the band point of view we gave them a list of the songs, the keys, which ones were exactly the same as the original, which ones had anything added (solo, intro, big ending) and then also a YouTube Playlist of the actual version we did as it can get messy with covers, live versions, album versions etc!)
    I also learned the other guitarists solos so the dep just had to play the songs and not do any of the parts unless he wanted to. I'd say 3 rehearsals is enough and if you have a recording of one of their rehearsals that will help too.
    I record all ours so had a few to send the deps.

    On stage comms is the big thing tho - that makes all the difference!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1390
    Vaiai said:
    We are using a dep guitarist and had a few dep drummers recently so from the band point of view we gave them a list of the songs, the keys, which ones were exactly the same as the original, which ones had anything added (solo, intro, big ending) and then also a YouTube Playlist of the actual version we did as it can get messy with covers, live versions, album versions etc!)
    I also learned the other guitarists solos so the dep just had to play the songs and not do any of the parts unless he wanted to. I'd say 3 rehearsals is enough and if you have a recording of one of their rehearsals that will help too.
    I record all ours so had a few to send the deps.

    On stage comms is the big thing tho - that makes all the difference!
    I'd enjoy working for your band!  More often than not I'm lucky to get a setlist mid week and cram through a bunch of songs thurs night before a gig.      That kind of detail makes life a lot easier and shows your probably the kind of band that helps with cues and nods on the night.    One band I dep for (guit, bass or keys) thinks it's fine to give a new setlist on the day and wing it - I hope no one is videoing those moments.   
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • VaiaiVaiai Frets: 339
    John_P said:
    Vaiai said:
    We are using a dep guitarist and had a few dep drummers recently so from the band point of view we gave them a list of the songs, the keys, which ones were exactly the same as the original, which ones had anything added (solo, intro, big ending) and then also a YouTube Playlist of the actual version we did as it can get messy with covers, live versions, album versions etc!)
    I also learned the other guitarists solos so the dep just had to play the songs and not do any of the parts unless he wanted to. I'd say 3 rehearsals is enough and if you have a recording of one of their rehearsals that will help too.
    I record all ours so had a few to send the deps.

    On stage comms is the big thing tho - that makes all the difference!
    I'd enjoy working for your band!  More often than not I'm lucky to get a setlist mid week and cram through a bunch of songs thurs night before a gig.      That kind of detail makes life a lot easier and shows your probably the kind of band that helps with cues and nods on the night.    One band I dep for (guit, bass or keys) thinks it's fine to give a new setlist on the day and wing it - I hope no one is videoing those moments.   
    Aye - our dep said we are very organised lol Our singer stresses if she can't trust the band behind her so we have to make sure the deps are up to speed :) Gotta make it easy for them too!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • StageStruckStageStruck Frets: 58
    I've only ever played a dep gig once. I had around a week to cram 30 songs in, mainly playing along to them via headphones every night for a few hours. Some were easier to work out than others so took less work. We done a 2 hour rehearsal the night before but other than that it was right in. I'm inclined to say there has to be a degree of trust on both sides, familiarity with the material etc. It also requires the stand-in to do their homework rather than just turn up and hope it all happens on the night.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • monquixotemonquixote Frets: 8009
    When I've done dep gigs I've usually had 1 rehearsal. 

    If you are less used to doing it or they are then you might go for 2 or 3.
    Handsome_Chris said: Like white Nile Rodgers. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Placidcasual79Placidcasual79 Frets: 600
    It'd be invaluable to hear the musician your stepping in for play with the band - either via recording or at a show. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 2951
    The trouble is rehearsals cost money (and time which can equate to money) I wouldn't want to spend £20 rehearsing for a one off £100 gig but if it's gonna be a run of gigs then it's not so bad. 

    If the band plays the songs very close to the originals then you can often get away with no rehearsals. If they have specific endings and sequences  \ medleys into other songs  then live recordings are invaluable.

    Keys wise I generally work  \ think in numbers rather than learn a song in a particular key. Some shifts in key can be a pain on the guitar due to open string notes but other than that if you think of a songs chorus chord sequence as something like  1, 5, 6, 4 for example then changing the key on the fly isn't an issue. This is a area where a little grounding in music theory is invaluable as well as a good ear.  

    I don't write anything down cos my eyes are too shit to read it onstage and often the lights are too hectic to see anything. But that's actually made my memory better, if you use crib sheets then your brain knows there's no need to remember that information and therefore won't. 

    I generally cram for whichever band I'm playing for on the day, so If I'm doing a Rockabilly BB gig in the evening I will listen to nothing but those songs all day. If the next day is a Kate Bush trib gig then it's Kate Bush all day. It's all about getting the songs in your head .... if your not familiar with the song then even jamming it is twice as hard.  
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1089
    edited June 11
    Done this many times with and without rehearsals.

    Ensure you've got the keys - many change them for the singers

    Any segways/which version?

    If you can get a live tape (showing my age)..err recording of the band, even better.

    If possible, talk to the existing guitarist or meet up and swap notes.

    You can rehearse a fair bit without having to pick up the guitar all the time and by that I mean, listen to the songs, make notes on the structure of them and digest them. If you need cheat sheets or are a reader, fine, but I think it can be a lot more enjoyable and liberating if you're not tied to this but as you're doing a job and need to deliver on it, use whatever aid you can and "Good luck" and enjoy it.
     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 1939
    It's all about the geography or arrangements. If you put in the homework so you can play the critical parts and then meet the band so you know how a song starts, what the format is (verse chorus, mid 8 etc). and how it ends you are golden.

    I've depped where theres been no rehearsal or pre set list, if they are traditional pop songs thats OK but special techniques might leave you floundering. More typical is a meetup to 'top and tail' the songs as above so you know where you are.

    Relax, you are doing them a favour and they should nod and wink thier way through the set with you. Just have the critical parts down so the links, fills, intros and hooks are recognisable.

    I warn you it can be addictive and you'll find yourself seeking out more dep gigs for the thrill.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.