We wanna Rock! ROCK! (help us pick a song!)
September 8, 2008 8:07 AM   Subscribe

My newly formed band needs help--please help us find a good song to cover. We are three: one bass, one guitar, and one singer/guitar (female). We are all intermediate in skill (more or less).

We have a few somewhat complicated songs that we play, but we need a rockin' song to get us going and get the nervousness out before our other songs. So what we are looking for has the following qualities:

* Relatively easy
* High energy
* Catchy, fun, well-known band or song
* Works with guitar+bass+guitar/voice
* Must be positive in nature--no hateful/mean lyrics or message
* Fun to play

We're having a hard time getting the perfect song: MeFites, please help us ROCK.
posted by verevi to Media & Arts (23 answers total)
Tom Petty songs tend to be very easy to play (generally three chords) and as a mid-range alto female, I've not had any problems singing them. That might be a start?

"Saw Her Standing There" by the Beatles can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:16 AM on September 8, 2008

I'm sure people will have suggestions for you, but man, this is not the way. Cover a song that you love, a song that you feel an affinity with, a song that you can bring something original to with your band's particular arrangement and abilities. Nobody here can tell you what song that is. It's also going to be hard to do much rocking out if you don't have a drummer.

But anyway you should do Time of the Season by The Zombies.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:18 AM on September 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

Weezer. Anything from the Blue Album.
posted by metamush at 8:37 AM on September 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ziggy Stardust? The original song has drums, but there is an acoustic version out there. Everybody likes that song, or at least should.
posted by milarepa at 8:40 AM on September 8, 2008

Wonderwall by Oasis.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:50 AM on September 8, 2008

Breeders - Cannonball
posted by AvailableName at 8:50 AM on September 8, 2008

Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend
Timebomb - Old 97s
American Music - Violent Femmes
posted by mikepop at 8:53 AM on September 8, 2008

Yeah, i agree with metamush. I would look into seriously getting a drummer however.
posted by TeachTheDead at 8:58 AM on September 8, 2008

Speaking as a drummer, you guys need a drummer. I'd advertise for one in your age bracket and/or skill level on craigslist and then go from there. How do you expect to play rock 'n' roll without someone to keep the beat going?

As mentioned above, lots of good tunes available in the Beatles' catalog, and the early ones tend to be fairly easy.

Oh, you should try to get a drummer with vox, too, so you can do harmonies and such. One voice... well, unless you really have some pipes, can you carry a whole gig (say 40 songs over three hours)?
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:24 AM on September 8, 2008

You might want to consider rocking out to a children's song or two, which would be fun for your audience (who wouldn't want to hear a band warm up to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or The Itsy Bitsy Spider?) and you guys, too. It would be easy to arrange for guitar/guitar/bass, and as you get comfortable, the super-simple song structure would make it easy for you to vamp, experiment, and have some fun.

It could even be part of your shtick, if you play often and develop a repertoire of kick-ass rock-out playground songs. It's all about the marketing, hey?

There are also more contemporary and fun children's songs, too -- TMBG have two albums of kids' music out, each which kicks ass more than the others. If you can memorize The Alphabet of Nations (which hangs on piano a bit in the linked version, but again, it's an easy switch to straight g/g/b), you will be my personal heroes.
posted by Shepherd at 9:31 AM on September 8, 2008

Anything by DEVO
Anything by The Cars
posted by ian1977 at 9:43 AM on September 8, 2008

Seconding Devo. Great songs, basically easy, and they get more and more rocking the tighter you get. Everyone knows and loves Devo.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:55 AM on September 8, 2008

Oops, I just realized you don't have a drummer. Yeah, you'd need one for Devo.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:57 AM on September 8, 2008

Rhythm, lead, and bass? No serious drumline? 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go'! alternately, you can probably pull off 'I Fought The Law', pr quite a few other Clash hits pretty well.
posted by pupdog at 10:07 AM on September 8, 2008

Two rules of successful cover tunes:

1. it's a song everybody's heard given a fresh spin
2. it's a great song nobody's heard (or we've all just forgotten) more or less faithfully reproduced

Which would you prefer?
posted by philip-random at 10:25 AM on September 8, 2008

"Big Bird" by Eddie Floyd. It can be adapted to just about any genre, it rocks, and it's not covered nearly enough.
posted by jonmc at 12:23 PM on September 8, 2008

"Stockholm Syndrome" (by Yo La Tengo)
Bleeding Hearts Show (by The New Pornographers)
posted by tmcw at 12:58 PM on September 8, 2008

We covered the theme from Peter Gunn. tons of fun to play and play with. we used to sing the lyrics to long haired country boy to it too. good times, good times.....
posted by Redhush at 5:04 PM on September 8, 2008

"Shiny Happy People" by REM
posted by judith at 6:34 PM on September 8, 2008

Easy, high energy, catchy, fun, well-known, positive fun songs that work well with g/bg/g+v:

REM - Shiny Happy People
Fun Boy Three (or the Go-Go's) - Our Lips Are Sealed
Marshall Crenshaw - Someday, Someway
Crowded House - Something So Strong
posted by ostranenie at 9:31 PM on September 8, 2008

On preview, duh. Shiny Happy People. Of course..
posted by ostranenie at 9:31 PM on September 8, 2008

You need percussion.

After that, anything by the violent femmes.

They rock, and by singing their songs you will gains rockiness too....
posted by Mephisto at 11:44 PM on September 8, 2008

Also, you should look at the song list for the Amazing Embarrasonic Human Karaoke Machine, which is a wonderfully silly band that plays very easy songs for drunk people to sing along with.
posted by judith at 12:23 AM on September 9, 2008

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