How often do original band's change set lists?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Da LadY In Red, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. Hey, my band's collecting original material for some gigging, and I'm just wondering a little question.

    How often do you guys change up the material? Do you guys gig on the same songs for a few months, then change up into an entirely new set list, or do you constantly change your set list song by song until it becomes something entirely new?

    Also, when you make a cd, how many songs do you guys write and just throw away instead of using?

    Thanks guys.
  2. We're not an established band yet but either way... basically we have a few originals that seem to stick with us. We'll usually try playing some recently completed songs that we're stoked about, but might later feel that it's a bit weak live and switch it out for another. However some just feel right and are recognisable by the few fans we have. It's always good to play a crowd pleaser or two... I don't think changing the entire set list in a short period of time is a good idea, for our band anyways.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You don't want to change out your set list all the time. You can learn new songs and stuff, but if you make changes, make them gradual. Nobody drops their whole set list for all new songs. And people might actually expect you to play your best songs at every gig.

    As for throwing out songs, when I first started, I threw out a good 3 out of 4. As I got better at writing, I threw out less and less. Nowadays, I think every idea I have is brilliant. Too bad I'm too old to get taken seriously anymore!

  4. What we started off with was having a couple of originals and filling the rest of the set space with covers. Then, as we accumulate more originals, we start to filter out the covers (provisionally at least, if we have time to kill we always tend to chuck a couple back in. That is, if the singer hasn't forgotten them :p). Now that we have a decent amount of originals, we seem to keep the older ones as that's what people remember. Also, the order in which we play them seem to vary very little.
  5. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    We just rotate about 12 originals with about 50 covers. We have some go to songs for opening and closing sets, but other than that it depends on the venue, the crowd, and our mood. The order and song selection varies every gig. This keeps us and the regulars from getting bored.
  6. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    The band i'm in only does originals...We have 8 songs right now. We write pretty slowly, so our set is pretty short. About 40 mins. Our set list changes after about 4 shows. Sometimes more, like if were playing 2 nights in a row, not far from each other. We just rearrange it. We usually drop older songs if we cant play our full set. Plus, we have a few intros we play to add a little variation.
  7. DrewBud


    Jun 8, 2005
    I've always liked changing up st lists every keeps it interesting for the band and for the Audience. Even if we play the same songs each time the order of them is going to be different depending on the flow of the show, the venue, the time we go on, and who we're playing with.

    We did one gig in Key west that was six nights straight...since we were using some subs we kept the same set each got REALLY boring towards the end of the run 'cause we weren't switching it up.

    I would do what feels right for you...if you play a gig and the set didn't really flow change it up...if it did flow hold onto that set list and use it later. But keeping things fresh is the best way to always have fun.
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    A lot depends on how much material you've got. Most of the stuff we do in the 'Teeth is original. Over the year or so I've been playing with them, we've probably worked on 30+ original tunes. During that time we've played 25 gigs and peformed 20 different songs (including 3 covers) - since these have been open mic events (normally 3-4 songs at most) there's been a fair amount of turnover.

    However, recently, since adding flute and drums, we've been getting the new people familiar with the repetoire and so we've been drawing on a much smaller pool. There are a couple that we've done at every gig this year. In some ways, that doesn't matter too much - it's original material, there's not even an official CD available, and different lineups (we're fairly flexible when one or two of us aren't available) and settings give them different nuances.

    However, I am pleased that we're getting some more of the repetoire arranged for our five piece lineup and also that we're starting to work on some more brand new stuff. Ideally, I'd like to air something new or radically updated at least once a month as well as making sure we don't wear out our top tunes! For us, it's not the quantity of the material available but making effective use of our practise time to ensure that new stuff is suitably polished.

    It's all good fun though!

  9. 39Reasons


    Sep 16, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    One of the cool things about being in Hollyweird (and believe me there's not that many cool things about it) we are able to just play our own music without worrying about covers at all. However, we might throw a cover in here and there if we feel like it, but usually only one. I have been in this band for almost two years now and we have a lot original material. We normally have to do an 8 song 40 minute set so we try to swap out songs as much as possible with the exception of a few that are on our CD for each show. Normally we'll do two gigs a month, a local club show and a Hollywood show. The local club is usually pretty cool where we can play longer and there's no minimum draw or cover etc. Then we do more of a "Hollywood" type show that we have to either sell tickets or get flyers out to people. We are playing at Molly Malone's this Saturday and we managed to work in 3 new songs and aren't playing a few that we "always" do just to change things up a bit. This show is also being reviewed by Music Connection Magazine so I hope we don’t’ suck. :p
    Hope this helps!