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Variety Bands


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It seems that tribute bands and specialty type bands are very popular. From the last thread on tribute bands, I see there are several of us that play in very specialized bands. Im starting to wonder if the variety band has become a thing of the past. To me a variety band plays standards and popular rock/pop/R&B./country tunes from various eras and maybe even some ballroom dancing styles such as Latin for the folks that know how to dance.


Lets pretend that you have two gig opportunities come your way and you had to choose between a variety band and a tribute band (the tribute band covers a band that you like). Both have great musicians, good paying/ in town gigs. Which would choose? Why?


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all things being equal, I'd pick the variety band. There's more, um, variety that way. :)

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I'm with DanL on this one. I think I'd take the variety band.


Variety bands used to be like variety TV shows, in that they had something for everyone.


There are couple of good variety bands around my area and they tend to do almost exclusively corporate type events.


It's also difficult of you're in a "tribute" band to bring your own voice or style into the music. I think that separates cover bands from tribute bands. A good cover band can do a song "their" way and still be pleasing, meaningful and the audience can dig it. A "tribute" band generally has to try and look, sound and emulate the original with much greater detail and accuracy. At least that has been my experience with seeing and knowing guys who are in "tribute" bands.

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I would do them both. Have enough material do the tribute band and variety band. While this is not exactly the same we have two versions of our band a variety version and a smooth jazz version. Same players but a completly book and sound.
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Im starting to wonder if the variety band has become a thing of the past


Not in my area. Lots of country club gigs and big-time charity fund raisers in the winter season all use the variety bands....today's VB is usually pretty contemporary playing mainly pop/rock/oldies...but they also do some country or even a tango or cha-cha if someone requests it.

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Probably a thing of the past in most areas.


The reason I've never formed my own band is that it would have to be a variety band, since I cover so many genres.


That's why I am focusing on trying to slowly work myself into films and stage work, where each project (and sometimes each composition within a given project) allows me to shine in different genres.


But that's about originals.


As for a variety act that is strictly covers, it does give more room for expression, but could easily be the worst gig possible. Such as a wedding band that has to do all the Lowest Common Denominator songs in every genre!

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