Too many songs

schmee

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I hate making setlists.
We have too many songs.
I hate to leave some songs out.
But the list is driven by the venue somewhat.
Dancers? Listeners?
Party place? Concert place?
One slow one a set.
I like to sing but my singer can REALLY sing so at most I sing one a set....... on and on..
 

brookdalebill

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I like set lists.
They need to be kinda loose, though.
You might get requests.
Do em’ if you can.
If you have dancers, keep em’ dancing.
If you have listeners, cater to them.
If you have neither, play what the venue expects from you.
If the venue has no expectations, play what you do best.
 

Chiogtr4x

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No set list for us!
I'm the singer/guitar player, and just kind of adjust to the room/crowd on the fly as far as which song. ( I'm kind of always prepping for the next song/s while singing)

- Lucky for me ( and I really mean this) I have wonderful bandmates ( a few different/but similar bands) that put up with me on this process. But we all know the music and each other really well,
and we do a good gig!
 

schmee

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So don't use one.

No set list for us!
I'm the singer/guitar player, and just kind of adjust to the room/crowd on the fly as far as which song. ( I'm kind of always prepping for the next song/s while singing)

- Lucky for me ( and I really mean this) I have wonderful bandmates ( a few different/but similar bands) that put up with me on this process. But we all know the music and each other really well,
and we do a good gig!
Yeah, We like to start with one, it gets abandoned about 1/2 through often. Or at least we start "calling audibles". Ya gotta feel the crowd for sure. But otherwise, people stand around negotiating what song THEY want to play. By the time the negotiation ends, the bassist 12 feet away thinks were playing one song and the drummer thinks were playing a different song! Amateurish. It's hard getting all the musicians to understand it's not what THEY want to play, it's what the venue needs or the crowd is reacting to.
 

Chiogtr4x

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Yeah, We like to start with one, it gets abandoned about 1/2 through often. Or at least we start "calling audibles". Ya gotta feel the crowd for sure. But otherwise, people stand around negotiating what song THEY want to play. By the time the negotiation ends, the bassist 12 feet away thinks were playing one song and the drummer thinks were playing a different song! Amateurish. It's hard getting all the musicians to understand it's not what THEY want to play, it's what the venue needs or the crowd is reacting to.

This all comes now, ( well the last 20 years now), from my own reaction ( as a bandleader) to the way things used to be for me in a Classic Rock/blues band, with some buddies from say 1989-92.

We had fun, but not many gigs...

Anyway, the other guitar player ( rhythm mainly) and the lead singer...
(Note: good friend still, we just aren't into the same music anymore)
...for some reason, would give me the wonderful fun of making Set Lists.
It would take me an hour to come up with these Sets, but then following what I made up at gigs, was always just wrong or clunky- no flow...

( I would later play in Blues or Country only bands- which was easier to follow sets, which someone else made up)

But from 2000> with my own groups ( music is all old, but all over the place), I kind of just 'surf' with the Sets- unless it is a real special gig, or we have say a sub bass player who doesn't know music like the regulars. They will ask me to make & stick to sets
 

arlum

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There can never be too many songs. For now they're still postcards of human thought and creativity. When AI takes over I'll switch to your side.
 

nojazzhere

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I like set lists.
They need to be kinda loose, though.
You might get requests.
Do em’ if you can.
If you have dancers, keep em’ dancing.
If you have listeners, cater to them.
If you have neither, play what the venue expects from you.
If the venue has no expectations, play what you do best.
My boring "set list" story......
I was the "new" guy in a band. They brought me in to play second lead guitar and keyboards.....plus my vocals ability. The bass player (surprise, surprise) was some kind of obsessive/compulsive nut. He didn't want ANY variation from set list....NONE!!!!!
We were playing a club, and it was a slow night, plus many of the folks in attendance were more interested in hooking up than in music or dancing. There were two VERY pretty young ladies there, very "into" each other.....one of the best shows I've ever had watching from the stage. At one point, they requested House of the Rising Sun.....we had never played it in this band, and in fact I had never played it on keys, but hey!.....it's in everyone's DNA, right? The bass player immediately protested, but was over ruled. We did it (and quite well, I must say.....I luckily nailed the simple but essential organ solo) but the bassist did the whole song with a glum look on his face.....and sat in a chair the rest of the night...pouting. The girls got a rousing round of applause after the song and their sensual dancing. After the gig, as we were loading out, the rhythm guitarist/singer informed me the band was done. Apparently this wasn't the first time the bassist had thrown a selfish tantrum, and they were all fed up with him. This was all over throwing an easy request in the middle of a set that everyone wanted.
Why is it always the bass player?????? ;););)
I should add.....it wasn't like the set lists were some "magical" combination of songs that lost their "super powers" if not done in order.....
 

2HBStrat

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I hate making setlists.
We have too many songs.
I hate to leave some songs out.
But the list is driven by the venue somewhat.
Dancers? Listeners?
Party place? Concert place?
One slow one a set.
I like to sing but my singer can REALLY sing so at most I sing one a set....... on and on..
In my experience one slow song a set is not enough, but it depends on the band and the venue.
 

Killing Floor

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3 times in a row. 3 sets per night. Done and won.
I wouldn’t need to play or hear anything else.

 

Old Verle Miller

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I worked so long in broadcasting that the old rule of know your audience just won't stop banging around in my head.

Give them what they expect and you'll get applause (and maybe another booking).

That little tag line under the name of your band on the promo pieces is crucial. Unless the prospective audience knows your band by name everyone who sees the name stands a chance of being disappointed if they don't get to see and hear what THEY imagined they were going to and paying to see and hear.

It's risky. You can turn people off with the wrong promo message and kill the traffic. But that's what good promoters are supposed to do - match a band with a venue and a prospective audience.

Then it's up to you and the band to live up to those expectations and the choice of numbers has to focus on the paying customers.
 

Nightclub Dwight

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Yeah, We like to start with one, it gets abandoned about 1/2 through often. Or at least we start "calling audibles". Ya gotta feel the crowd for sure. But otherwise, people stand around negotiating what song THEY want to play. By the time the negotiation ends, the bassist 12 feet away thinks were playing one song and the drummer thinks were playing a different song! Amateurish. It's hard getting all the musicians to understand it's not what THEY want to play, it's what the venue needs or the crowd is reacting to.
One of the BEST things about Grateful Dead shows was the spontaneity of the songs they were playing. Many of the songs segued into one another. You'd often hear hints of a certain song coming from one member that was either picked up by other members, or another suggestion made by a different band member. Sometimes it went back and forth a few times. This was all done musically without any verbal exchange. In later years they did have in-ear monitors that allowed them to speak to one another, but still, it was mostly an energy thing with their instruments speaking the language.

When I was following them on tour, seeing multiple shows in a row, you'd get in synch with the language. Just knowing what they played in the past several shows, and being in tune to the little noodles they did between songs allowed us to KNOW what they were going to play next. After hearing Jerry play a few notes segueing from one song to the next, I'd be able to say with certainty what song was coming next. Invariably there would be a regular civilian couple nearby, and they'd always marvel at the "inside knowledge" of being able to predict the next song.

Its not like this with all bands. But it sure was great while it lasted with the good ol' Grateful Dead. Damn, I should be getting ready to leave on summer tour about now. I stopped going when Jerry died.
 

StoneH

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I really get a kick out of these threads triggering old memories.

After a few months in any band, we always had more than enough songs, but one time I found myself with the thinnest and most eclectic set list ever. A guy named Earl Lett approached me one night while I was playing with a house band and offered me a job. The house gig was ending and so was the band, so I told him I would be available in a couple of weeks. What I didn't know was Earl had gigs already booked, but no band. I showed up for practice with 4 other musicians who had never played together, and learned we had a week to put together 4 hours of music. Earl was a vocalist and sax player with originals we had to learn, but then we had to pull together anything we all knew, and songs easy enough to learn on the spot, and songs we could play with only a few days of practice. All I can remember now is playing Earl's songs, and a mishmash of songs like "Proud Mary", "Ohio", "Lucille", and "Satin Sheets". I think we came up with 2 hours of music, and played everything twice. Over the next few months, I got Earl to bring in musicians I had played with in the past, and we ended up playing together for over a year.

1653624546547.png
 

schmee

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I really get a kick out of these threads triggering old memories.

After a few months in any band, we always had more than enough songs, but one time I found myself with the thinnest and most eclectic set list ever. A guy named Earl Lett approached me one night while I was playing with a house band and offered me a job. The house gig was ending and so was the band, so I told him I would be available in a couple of weeks. What I didn't know was Earl had gigs already booked, but no band. I showed up for practice with 4 other musicians who had never played together, and learned we had a week to put together 4 hours of music. Earl was a vocalist and sax player with originals we had to learn, but then we had to pull together anything we all knew, and songs easy enough to learn on the spot, and songs we could play with only a few days of practice. All I can remember now is playing Earl's songs, and a mishmash of songs like "Proud Mary", "Ohio", "Lucille", and "Satin Sheets". I think we came up with 2 hours of music, and played everything twice. Over the next few months, I got Earl to bring in musicians I had played with in the past, and we ended up playing together for over a year.

View attachment 987440
They are good memories and yes, been there done that! It's a bit like Chuck Berry hiring local musicians cheap with no set list for the show. Starting songs with no indication of the key they are in etc! He was famous for that.

My first gig I was 15 YO and my guitar teacher hired me to go play near the Canadian Border in a dance hall on Sunday night. No alcohol served in Canada back then on Sunday. So the place was packed. I hard knew how to play much less the songs. Wildwood Flower, In the Mood, etc etc...
Later a country piano guy, Buzzy Lee, hired me and I tried to keep up with songs I had never heard.
I had to stay on the band stand or go outside on break due to my age.
 

schmee

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My boring "set list" story......
I was the "new" guy in a band. They brought me in to play second lead guitar and keyboards.....plus my vocals ability. The bass player (surprise, surprise) was some kind of obsessive/compulsive nut. He didn't want ANY variation from set list....NONE!!!!!
We were playing a club, and it was a slow night, plus many of the folks in attendance were more interested in hooking up than in music or dancing. There were two VERY pretty young ladies there, very "into" each other.....one of the best shows I've ever had watching from the stage. At one point, they requested House of the Rising Sun.....we had never played it in this band, and in fact I had never played it on keys, but hey!.....it's in everyone's DNA, right? The bass player immediately protested, but was over ruled. We did it (and quite well, I must say.....I luckily nailed the simple but essential organ solo) but the bassist did the whole song with a glum look on his face.....and sat in a chair the rest of the night...pouting. The girls got a rousing round of applause after the song and their sensual dancing. After the gig, as we were loading out, the rhythm guitarist/singer informed me the band was done. Apparently this wasn't the first time the bassist had thrown a selfish tantrum, and they were all fed up with him. This was all over throwing an easy request in the middle of a set that everyone wanted.
Why is it always the bass player?????? ;););)
I should add.....it wasn't like the set lists were some "magical" combination of songs that lost their "super powers" if not done in order.....
Pouting bass player............. wait..... that's not normal? :lol:
 

Timbresmith1

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My boring "set list" story......
I was the "new" guy in a band. They brought me in to play second lead guitar and keyboards.....plus my vocals ability. The bass player (surprise, surprise) was some kind of obsessive/compulsive nut. He didn't want ANY variation from set list....NONE!!!!!
We were playing a club, and it was a slow night, plus many of the folks in attendance were more interested in hooking up than in music or dancing. There were two VERY pretty young ladies there, very "into" each other.....one of the best shows I've ever had watching from the stage. At one point, they requested House of the Rising Sun.....we had never played it in this band, and in fact I had never played it on keys, but hey!.....it's in everyone's DNA, right? The bass player immediately protested, but was over ruled. We did it (and quite well, I must say.....I luckily nailed the simple but essential organ solo) but the bassist did the whole song with a glum look on his face.....and sat in a chair the rest of the night...pouting. The girls got a rousing round of applause after the song and their sensual dancing. After the gig, as we were loading out, the rhythm guitarist/singer informed me the band was done. Apparently this wasn't the first time the bassist had thrown a selfish tantrum, and they were all fed up with him. This was all over throwing an easy request in the middle of a set that everyone wanted.
Why is it always the bass player?????? ;););)
I should add.....it wasn't like the set lists were some "magical" combination of songs that lost their "super powers" if not done in order.....
It isn’t THE bass player, it’s THAT bass player.
 

Timbresmith1

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Posts
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I really get a kick out of these threads triggering old memories.

After a few months in any band, we always had more than enough songs, but one time I found myself with the thinnest and most eclectic set list ever. A guy named Earl Lett approached me one night while I was playing with a house band and offered me a job. The house gig was ending and so was the band, so I told him I would be available in a couple of weeks. What I didn't know was Earl had gigs already booked, but no band. I showed up for practice with 4 other musicians who had never played together, and learned we had a week to put together 4 hours of music. Earl was a vocalist and sax player with originals we had to learn, but then we had to pull together anything we all knew, and songs easy enough to learn on the spot, and songs we could play with only a few days of practice. All I can remember now is playing Earl's songs, and a mishmash of songs like "Proud Mary", "Ohio", "Lucille", and "Satin Sheets". I think we came up with 2 hours of music, and played everything twice. Over the next few months, I got Earl to bring in musicians I had played with in the past, and we ended up playing together for over a year.

View attachment 987440
Please tell me you added background singers for the full “Earl Lett and the Earlettes” deal
 




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