Set List Sharing - Secrets, Etiquette, Etc.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MatticusMania, Jan 3, 2013.


  1. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Location:
    Pomona, SoCal
    Does your band have any songs in your set list that you choose not to share with others? Of course, the people who attend your gigs will know you play those songs, but are there any songs that your band does well that you wouldnt share with others, like say here on TB?

    Is it poor form to share with others what songs you play? Do you fear that maybe another band local to you might pick up some songs from your sets and begin performing them?

    Call me curious.
  2. moten33

    moten33

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Location:
    Albion, NY
    We have played a few multi-band benefits and we always share our set list with the other bands in the event they want to avoid duplicate songs. I've never had an issue with it and I've never had one of our songs "stolen" either.
  3. denhou1974

    denhou1974

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Yes. We list most of the bands that we cover but not the songlists themselves. Why give away the show?
  4. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Just south of Atlanta!
    I don't see any reason to withhold song lists. You can figure out another band's pretty quickly just by catching a gig of theirs. It's not like it's super secret information, anyways.
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  6. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

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    Sure, you can figure out their selection by catching their gigs, but youre not going to get out to every coverband out there. One of those bands that you never see could have a trick card in their pocket, the song that never fails, and they dont want everyone to know it. Just look at the post right before yours. You dont have any songs that your band does that you wouldnt share with others here? Like I said, Im just curious about this, as I think different people are likely to have different approaches.
  7. slobake

    slobake Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Location:
    San Franciscco, CA
    No problem with our band we play in a church anyway. A few of the songs are originals but I don't think anyone else cares what we play.
  8. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya

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    Just south of Atlanta!
    If they have a song that never fails then chances are that they play it every gig. Chances also are that other bands are already aware of that song and play it, too. That's why the most successful cover bands almost always have very similar set lists ;) But that's just my opinion that I'm basing off of my own experiences. As you know, I'm in college and go out a good bit, so I get to see what works and doesn't work as far as covers go almost every weekend during the semester. There's really no secret to it, IMHO. What it ultimately comes down to, IME, is whether or not the individual band members are willing to 'sell out' and play those songs.
  9. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

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    So would you say that, in your experience, you have not witnessed a band play a song that went over well that wasnt also being played by another band?
  10. pklima

    pklima

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Kraków, Polska
    Well, yeah, we do have songs which never fail and which other bands don't play, but there's no reason to keep them a secret. The only secret is that they're songs musicians hate and don't want to "steal" anyway. It's hard enough to get some of my bandmates to play them even though they know damn well that all their friends will be very happy if we play these songs.

    Exhibit A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGfT0zLNizA
  11. slobake

    slobake Supporting Member

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    Aug 6, 2011
    Location:
    San Franciscco, CA
    Got to break through here and listen to your song JMatt. Nice, I like your sound, had a hard time making out the lyrics but then years of music has taken it's toll on my hearing.
  12. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Location:
    Louisville KY
    How can another band steal a song you already stole?
  13. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya

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    Just south of Atlanta!
    Thanks, man! Yeah, we've actually gotten that critique from a number of people, so we've been working with our singer to get him to enunciate more :p Regardless, I really appreciate the compliment! :)
  14. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

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    Who said anything about stealing? We're talking about covering songs that other bands cover; ones that your band may not have thought of doing.
  15. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya

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    Just south of Atlanta!
    Nah, I definitely won't say that :) But I will say that there is definitely a list of standards out there that all the big, successful cover bands play. They're songs you really can't avoid if you're wanting to have a cover band that plays often and for decent money. Are you looking to find more unique songs that are different from those standards but are still killer in getting a response?
  16. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    Our lists are nothing secret though we don't explicitly publish them except in applications afair. For us it's in how we play them. We're an acoustic pop/rock cover band and we don't have any local competition, and even if our accordion solos will blow them away grrr!
  17. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

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    May 16, 2012
    Location:
    Louisville KY
    When you cover a song you have already stolen it from the original artist. If someone else is inspired to steal the same song for their band because they heard you play it then so what? Is this thread about some kind of honor among theives or what?
  18. electracoyote

    electracoyote

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    Purple Mountain Majesties
    We share our "playlist" (totality of the songs we know and can play) but we don't publish or share "set lists" (songs grouped into sets according to the timeline of the performance), because our "set lists" tend to change from gig to gig.

    Yeah, I don't exactly understand the question or concern either.
  19. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    NW England
    I've come away from cover band gigs and thought 'that was a GREAT song to cover...we should do that one'....but only if we are confident of doing a version that blows away what we've seen/heard.

    I think bands should be open about what songs are on each others set lists if they are playing the same show, but other than that, I think it's fair game in the cover world to play what you like.

    If you are anxious about a rival cover band playing a song 'better' than you, then either drop it or go balls-out to blow them away.

    Just be warned...if you play round our way, we will steal your songs, strip 'em down, tear 'em up and hurl 'em right back at ya :D
  20. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

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    No, not really. Im just asking if there are people out there who won't share certain songs that they include on their set lists and keep guarded like secrets.

    I dont consider covering a song to be "stealing". I think thats an odd perspective. Honor among thieves... :eyebrow: silly.

    Well, you answered it! :D
    (the answer was "no", as in "no, your band does not keep the songs you play secret")

    Again, Im just asking in regards to etiquette and such. From what Im gathering, there would be nothing wrong with asking someone from a coverband what songs they play, which ones go over really well, and such.

    Thats kind of what Im getting at... not that Im anxious of anything, just curious how others approach this kind of thing and build their set/playlists.

    Do any of you go check out other cover bands and see what works well for them, and then attempt those songs with your own bands? It sounds like Tituscorw does :smug:
  21. Kmonk

    Kmonk

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    I've never been ask to share a set list and never saw a reason to share it. My biggest problem with most cover bands is that they play the same songs. I know there are a lot of musicians who feel that they must play certain songs because they always go over well but in my opinion, there are some songs that are so over played that the audience gets tired of hearing them. I've seen bands who had setlsit where more than 90% of the songs were the same. I tried an experiment with a friend's cover band several years ago. Their setlist was pretty typical. I asked them to make some subsitutions:

    Aerosmith: substitute "Walking the Dog" for "Sweet Emotion", substitute "rats In The Cellar" for "Walk This Way"
    Queen: substitute "Need Your Lovin' Tonight" for "Tie Your Mother Down"
    J. Geils Band: substitute "Just Can't Wait" for "Love Stinks"

    I did this with a few other songs. The result was that they received a lot more positive feedback than they had in a long time. People told them it was nice to hear something different for a change and they ended up changing their set list.

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