Keeping you repertoire fresh?

Discussion in 'Band Wagon' started by Flat6Driver, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    My little blues band is all grown up. What started as a jam session is getting its butt out the door and playing another gig soon. We had no trouble picking out 36 songs for an evening. Problem is, we can find 4o new songs that we'd like to add which will distract us from rehearsing what we've got. Not to mention stuff we've jammed through and we like, but maybe even forgot we've attempted it. I would say some have seen the stage but some additional tightening up is in order.

    We don't gig enough to really just rehearse on the stage, so we'll take full passes through some tunes in rehearsal. Inefficient, but it fun.

    I know real (pro/famous) bands before a tour will rehearse together remembering their own tunes before heading out.

    So the challenge is how do you keep your chops up on your sets? Either individually or in rehearsal?
     
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  2. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    Band practice for a gig if a song is going will we stop after the guitar lead part which is usually half the song. We have over 200 songs in our list. We have to get up on only the ones in the next gig. We try to do only 2 gigs per month, but have done 3 gigs on one weekend. Hit those new songs at the end of practice if we have time. Now and then we have practice and play everything that hasn’t come up lately.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
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  3. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I’m in a 9-piece band that’s really great, but we have a niche style (sort of exotica lounge retro), and rarely get together.

    As a result, we often find ourselves having to relearn stuff we used to know, or at least refreshing.

    There’s no way around it. Everyone has to do their homework.

    It’s really helpful to have a video of
    The band doing the song, or at least a recording.

    In our case, when people come in prepared, we sound pretty great a
    even after a long layoff.
     
  4. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have a gig tomorrow and I ran the set list yesterday just to make sure I had everything under my fingers. I just play a lot on my own and if there's something I need to bring back, I go over it. Last night the band was rehearsing and we went over a few things we hadn't done in a while. It came back quickly.
     
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  5. Kingpin

    Kingpin Friend of Leo's

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    Generally, our (rare) band practices are devoted to working out arrangements and vocal harmonies to new tunes. When we go over old material for a brush-up we usually focus on intros, endings and vocal harmonies. We don't run through songs over and over--just enough to jog memories, and cue us as to what we may need to work on individually before the gig.
     
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  6. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    all it takes is time, don't try to add 40 songs, add 4 or 5, then another 4 or 5. There are so many great songs out there. The problem with keeping them fresh , pretty much any style is going to be the solo's or breaks. In the country wold instead of trying to impress ourselves with hot licks , which are pretty much teh same in every song, we lean towards simple melody lines, a nice change up. This can work in the Blues world as well, play solos around the melody lies, every song doesn't need an extended solo, every song needs singing !
     
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  7. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

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    Keeping my repertoire fresh? Hmmm . . . Well, I do print a fresh copy of my setlist now and again.
     
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  8. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Rehearsal really is the dregs. No fame, no glory.
    If you do it Right, anyway.

    All a matter of agreeing on a common goal and sticking to it.

    Make it a point of treating what you know as Old Business.
    Once you get thought that, on to the new stuff.
    Make sure that everybody knows and, agrees on the new stuff ahead of practice.
    Once you get through that, then the Really New stuff.

    Easier said than done.
     
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  9. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Oh we won't add 40 at once....just seems like all week we email back and forth stuff that we heard and would like to try. So then that distracts us from what we are supposed to be doing. Since we don't gig that much, we use rehearsal for the fun of it and will roll through whole songs. And sometimes they aren't really up to snuff before we move to the next thing.

    I'm working in booking more gigs so we have a goal. We record everything so juts having a nice execution is often enough.

    What I don't want to do is how we do it at church....."ok now turn to XXXX, measure 34 to the coda and Go!" . I can barely turn the pages that fast.
     
  10. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    on gigging spurts..its all about the set..pretty much what we do during gigging phase.last practice night before gig is always about the specific set list & venue setting amps close to level..getting merch ready and loading up trailer.then go write again and new batch..have 2 cd's done since last time out and going in again..next band will have 24+ songs to learn..If we can play ever again..
     
  11. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    We rehearse for the pure joy of hanging out and playing together. We always add a song or 2 so we keep learning new material. We usually rehearse weekly. We cannot get through all of our songs in a rehearsal. All the songs we do play, we play from start to finish. I think we are getting close to 55 or songs learned in about a year. We take July & August off. Then Sept we have to refresh ourselves due to the 2 month break. We gig about 2 times per month. It's a hobby. We all enjoy it and it keeps us out of trouble.
     
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  12. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Afflicted

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    Awesome! Hope ya'll are having fun out there!!!

    This is just my experience, but when a band is just getting going, there are other aspects of gigging/performing that can use attention/polish before adding songs. The biggest struggle seems to be putting a complete performance (or even a set) together...i.e. not taking 2 minutes to get from the end of one song to the start of the next one, band members learning to refrain some saying random things over the microphone like inside jokes that nobody but the band gets, etc.

    I'm NOT saying your band needs improvement here, just has been my experience with several bands I have been in. Heck, I'm in a band now that has been gigging for years and we STILL have problems with this! :cry::cry::cry:

    Of course depending on the gig (e.g. late night at the Loose Tooth Saloon, only two people at the bar, passed out, etc.) you can always use the end to try out a new song or two.
     
  13. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah it's kind of the same thing. We set this up to work on skills and take them to the various jams around the city. But we've added a bunch of non-standard non-12 bar stuff or in keys that people can't pick up quick at jams (trust me). So what do we do with that? We play through and then have decided we want to take it out of the basement.
     
  14. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    The rub is adding new stuff at rehearsal that someone have been working on instead of tightening up the stuff we already have. With the gigs on the books, tightening is the order of the day.

    My last band, I told people to get their songs/ipad organized, learn their rigs, practice standing up, etc. finish one then get going, none of this "ready" stuff. Be ready, look at the next song before the end of the one you're on. Ug, it was a struggle.

    This group is much better behaved in that aspect. The only issue I have now is a little noodling. Did the drums work 2 minutes ago? They still work now. I'm gonna print "no noodling" on the setlists next time.
     
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  15. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Though I know lots of songs, “fresh” is not a word I would use to describe my repertoire.
    I am guilty of playing old stuff.
    My “bag” is deep, but not at all current.
    The freshest stuff I play is my, and my friend’s originals.
    I’d like to improve the freshness of my stuff.
    I’ll keep y’all posted!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
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  16. Bergy

    Bergy Tele-Holic

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    I tend to notice people having “road map” issues a lot when a band is rehearsing up material to start gigging. Sometimes just having he order of verses and choruses written out is enough to jog peoples’ memories. I like having an alphabetized book with at least the forms sketched out.

    I usually bring a dry erase board to those kind of rehearsals so we can at least make some temporary road map charts.

    If you are only gonna practice fragments of the tunes you’ve already learned, make sure to go over the outros as well as the intros. Sometimes people overlook those endings and end up resorting to ending all songs with sounds of chaos, lol.
     
  17. Radspin

    Radspin Friend of Leo's

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    We try to add at least a few songs a year, so that when we play the same places again we have something different to play.

    Also, we know about 80 songs so there's no way we can do them all in one night, and we try to mix it up a little every time we play a venue.

    Some songs get played every gig and some hardly at all, so we need to play them at rehearsal so we don't forget how to play them!

    Also, age is a factor. When I was in my teens and twenties I could play a song a few times and then know it cold. Forty years later the hardest part isn't playing the songs but remembering them, especially the lyrics.
     
  18. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    @brookdalebill "fresh" to me, meant gig ready and rehearsed. Most of my material is older than I am!

    We dusted off some we haven't done in a while the other night. Once guy in particular can (and does) fake his way through where I don't notice, but the others not so much. Some were a little busy, so we'd run the whole thing and go bakc and touch up the intro and first verse. Sometime we overplay, so I try and call that out and do it not a busy. It's a struggle, but pays off.
     
  19. OzShadow

    OzShadow Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I don't know how yall do it. I have a pretty good memory but would need a cheat sheet for that many songs. Do you just play over and over and learn or think of them as - do A 6 times, chorus 1 time, back to A 3 times ... ?

    Its impressive the commitment it takes.
     
  20. markal

    markal Tele-Holic

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    My band is similar to some of the approaches above. We try to have fun at each rehearsal, because this a purely hobby for all of us. I mean, we want to get better, but we have no illusions that music will replace our day jobs. So we want to have a good time when we rehearse and not make it too much like work.

    So we play whole songs during rehearsal, and usually include solos (to keep it fun). We do repeat parts that need work, including some endings or transitions that are stumping us.

    Usually the main singer sets the agenda as to which set or songs we will rehearse and sends it out in advance. We rotate through our 3 sets for upcoming gigs. As we get closer to a gig, we’ll start skipping easier songs and focus on rehearsing harder songs.

    One thing we goof up often is the solo order. We have three guitarists (including me) and keys. In songs that have solos, usually at least two of us will take one and sometimes we just don’t remember what ordered we agreed and there ends up being a moment of no one soloing until someone jumps in. Not the end of the world, but it would be good if we tightened that up.

    We add new songs slowly. Not more than one or two at any given rehearsal.

    And we do have problems with people not remembering stuff. One guy often doesn’t remember the chord progression and rhythm. Annoying, but, hey, his licks are pretty damn good.

    Personally I tend to have a pretty good memory for this stuff, but it’s getting harder the longer our song list becomes.
     
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