Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good tribute band, with the emphasis on the word “good”?
Seriously, tribute bands are on the rise! Firstly because, baby-boomers and Gen X-ers dig going out to hear and dance to the music of their youth. Secondly, people can’t always afford tickets to see their favorite super-groups so tribute bands can offer an affordable alternative.
Here’s why you might think about jumping on this bandwagon (*FYI: Tribute bands are not to be confused with ‘cover’ bands—tribute bands usually pick a specific group and go all out to sound–and often look very much like the original group:
It Expands Your Musicality
Learning other bands’ songs can challenge you in ways you might not challenge yourself. If left to your own devices, you may not try to expand your vocal range. However, hearing other artists’ vocal constraints/freedoms can teach you a lot about where you’re at and where you’d like to be. (Please work with a teacher when trying to increase your range so you do it SAFELY.)
While you may be a belter, you may also have a soft, jazzy side… so why not explore it?
You may not attempt certain styles of music because you think they’re too difficult. While you may be a belter, you may also have a soft, jazzy side… so why not explore it? Also, looking closely at how songwriters create their songs can inspire YOU to do some writing, or to expand your horizons if you’re already a songwriter.
The more you memorize things, the better you get at memorizing things.
Learning music and lyrics of all kinds is helping you learn. This is actually a huge reason to always learn as much of everything as you can. The more you memorize things, the better you get at memorizing things. People underestimate the idea of learning for the sake of learning; you may not ever use algebra in your daily life, but I bet you will use algebraic thought processes to figure out other things in your daily life!
It Pays the Bills
If they’ve got great presence, a great repertoire and great booking agents, tribute bands can work and travel quite a bit and make quite a nice payday. Super high-end tribute bands can actually make in the low six figures when they play… whaaat?!
Even if you’re not quite that hoity-toity yet, a well-paying tribute band gig can free you up to do more of your own work. Also, tribute bands can get hired for corporate events, cruises, office parties and other higher-end situations, which means you don’t have to be making meh money when you gig.
This kind of work is not easy, so be warned; there’s lots to learn, and you have to be particular enough to learn the parts as precisely as you can. This will get your ears in REALLY great shape.
Note to singers: if you’re imitating a certain artist and anything doesn’t feel good, do NOT muscle through. STOP and get with a teacher/coach to help you pay healthy homage to your tribute artist.
It Brings a Smile
I’ve known people who look down on tribute bands; “Oh, they’re not serious about their careers, they’re just copycats, blah blah.” Hey, I say, if you’re having a good time and making some cash and the people that you’re entertaining are having a good time and making some memories, then I say—how great is that?
If our goal in life is to do good things for others and make a joyful noise, then singing in a tribute band fits that profile perfectly!
Jaime was a Musical Director, coaching voice and performance for Disney and wrote “Working With Your Voice: The Career Guide to Becoming a Professional Singer” (Alfred Publishing). As a session singer, she ‘jingled’ for Coke, Pillsbury, Folgers, Chevrolet, and hundreds more. She’s sung on thousands of live gigs (covers and original music) and toured for years with Leon Russell and Sam Moore. Jaime sang BGVs live and digitally with George Strait, Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Webb, Miley & Billy Ray Cyrus, Johnny Mathis, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Willie Nelson and others. She performed off-Broadway in “Search: Paul Clayton”, toured nationally with “Old Jews Telling Jokes” and presently coaches students in voice, performance, beginner guitar/piano, studio singing, songwriting and auditioning in NY, CT, LA, Nashville and virtually. For bookings: www.workingwithyourvoice.com