Bar Cover Tunes

Registered User
Joined: 07/09/05
Posts: 1,929
Heya. My band is hopefully soon gonna be playing some bars around here. Originals and a ton of covers. Just wondering what kinda tunes all you who frequent these places usually or would like to hear.

Just asking, as I am obviously a little young to be hanging around the places. ;)
For life is quite absurd and death's the final word, You must always face the curtain with a bow
Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

# 1
Guitar Tricks Moderator
Joined: 03/13/02
Posts: 3,826
Well what you would want to play would totally depend on the clientel. I mean you don't wanna walk into a country bar and jam out metal. Usually some dancing tunes work great like ACDC's "You Shook Me". People wanna dance.
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"If it feels right, play it. If it feels wrong, play it faster” - Magicninja - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 2
earthman buck
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Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
Play your standard 'social' songs, like "You Shook Me All Night Long" and "Brown Eyed Girl". If your band's got the talent to play some Doors' songs, they'd go over pretty well too, I think.

Oh, and anything by CCR. Bar-goers love CCR. Assuming, of course, that we're talking about a dingy little pub, and not some high-society, name-on-the-guest-list bar.
# 3
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Joined: 02/12/06
Posts: 7
Anything by the Black Crowes Hard to Handle, Aerosmith Sweet Emotion, Nazareth Hair of the Dog. ZZTop everyone likes ZZtop and it is easy to.
# 4
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Joined: 04/26/05
Posts: 2,051
Well, not sure if my list will work for you or not... since I've mostly played college campus bars (Purdue, Indiana, Ball State, Indiana State, Rose Hulman, St. Josephs... on and on).... But here are some that the college age crowd really get into:

Anything by Dave Matthews... particularly Trippin Billies, Ants Marching, and Jimi Thing... but my personal favorites are either Grace is Gone or Grey Street
Bon Jovi - Livin On a Prayer
Garth Brooks - Friends in Low Places
I play a guitar version of Piano Man that goes over really well.. It's a good sing along...
Metallica - Enter Sandman
Hank Williams - You don't have to call me darlin'
Live - Lightning crashes
Guns and Roses - Sweet Child O Mine, Welcome to the Jungle, Patience, Civil War... on and on...
Mostly 80's rock songs that you can sing to...
On of my favorites to bust out if you've got a vocalist that can even part way nail the vocals is Stranglehold by Ted Nugent... It takes up a lot of time on your set list and it's a killer tune and most people have heard it before whether they know it or not.
Led Zeppelin - Black Dog, Whole Lotta Love
Soundgarden - Spoonman (vocals are challenging... )

There's a good chunk of songs to look at... the big thing about playing bars is that your music is generally either the center of the entertainment... or it's in the complete background of everything that is going on... Play the sing a long type songs if you're the center of attention because that will get people (especially the drunk ones) into your performance... If it's the background music try to play some more mellow songs but keep it as far away from depressing as you can. 80's rock is pretty universal in bars these days... Since every college bar I've been in has a tradition where if Livin' on a Prayer comes on the system everyone is obligated to belt ou the vocals... Campus bars are the youngest crowds you're going to get at a bar... Your townie taverns are probably going to be a little more laid back so what I normally do is prepare two setlists... one with a few songs that are more geared toward crowd participation... and one that is more or less just to show off what the band has... Don't be afraid to throw your own songs out there... But don't play more than 2 of your own songs back to back... Unless you're playing in front of a ton of people that you already know. There's the long and short of it what I try to do at bar shows... It helps too to start doing the shows frequently... ask the bars if you can play every couple weeks or so. I have a friend that plays three bar shows a week... he does 6 different bars all together but he rotates them every other week and he's gotten a pretty good following in doing so...
# 5