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Learning a set list under time constraint (two weeks)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by casper_morgan, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. So I have my first ever gig coming up with an already established band in the DFW (Texas) area... The gig coming up on the 15th is SXSW.. which apparently is a big deal.
    So naturally I am nervous about this.
    I joined this band about a week ago and the pressure is on to finish learning this 11 track set. I feel that I am about 30% through it and it is not easy at all...

    Any advice on this subject would be good.. also... have any of you ever been in a similar situation to this?
  2. fmoore200


    Mar 22, 2011
    There is a really great thread about this somewhere around here, not sure if it's a sticky (it should be!), but you should search for it... It's a wealth of info
  3. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Inactive

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes - First, get off TB.

    Second, put all tracks on a CD, put it on repeat and play along to them until you've got it.

    Works for me.
  4. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    duh....this ^
    and you might construct some lead sheets to speed the learning process along.
  5. LOL I know right.. trust me I use every spare second I have to practice. I'm just at work which is why I'm on TB at all.

    Yeah that's pretty much what I've been doing. Also I was just seeing if anyone else had a similar time constraint and what they did to help speed the process.

    I'm not sure what a lead sheet is, I don't read music if that is what you mean. You mean like writing the music out, maybe in tabs?
  6. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I have done this many times. Just last summer, I had to learn 30 songs I never played before in 1-1/2 days and many of them were original songs the band wrote and I never heard before.

    After working on the songs, continue to listen to them over and over and over. Write out every song on cheat sheets with charts, tabs, notes, whatever you want to use and try to memorize as much as possible. Make sure to get with the other band members before rehearsal to make sure you have the right arrangements, keys, etc. and make notes on your cheat sheets. Even if you are playing cover songs, not every band does them just like the record.
  7. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Also, every minute of the day that you cannot be practicing your bass playing (while in the car, at the day job, etc.) listen to that CD, over and over. It'll help commit the songs, structure, lyrics, everyone elses parts... to memory.

    See above.

    Youve got a week to get down 11 songs. You can do this.
  8. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Inactive

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yeah, good point. I should have mentioned that too.
  9. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    11 songs are fine in a week so long as they are not Dream Theater type songs or something...
  10. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I use a small spiral notebook for this, and I create a "lead sheet"-ish page for each song that has just enough information to jog my mind when the song comes along in the set. Shorthand reminders about format, changes, and cues. Looks like this, and I've heard of people doing this well with iPads too:

  11. gard0300


    Jan 10, 2011
    Vandalia, Ohio
    Chord chart maybe more of a common term.
  12. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    Definitely better than "lead-sheet-ish."
  13. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    And listen to it driving around in your car. You can practice without a bass in your hands, too.
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I'll say it...11 songs? 2 weeks? You've got plenty if time! Try 50 or more...

    Just listen to them as much as you can while not playing. Learn the easy stuff first to get it out of the way. Then start learning the other stuff. Start with chords and roots, then ad fills later. If the song has a distinct bassline, learn it correctly.

    Good luck!
  15. Thanks guys, I've been listening to all the songs non-stop like you've suggested.. had band practice last night, it went very well. I nailed about half of the songs and other half I got REAL close. Also I will be doing a lead sheet as you suggested, that seems like a good idea too.

    Thanks for all of your input guys, it has really helped me a lot.
  16. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Inactive

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Are you making progress?
  17. Indeed I am... I'm about 2 songs short of knowing the whole set for Friday... Everything you guys have said has helped me a lot.
  18. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    I've been in situations more than a couple of times when I joined establshed bands and had to learn enough songs for 3-4 hr gigs. Something like 30-40 songs in two weeks. Just like everyone else is suggesting. Total immersion (spelling?) Live, eat, drink, sleep with those tunes. Kick people out of the house, turn the phone off, and just be unpleasant to be around so folks avoid you while you are getting things on lock. When the moment of truth comes. don't be afraid to make a mistake. Most times they'll be shocked that you pulled it off anyway. After that, go back and really learn the songs. You have spent a lot of time concentrating on getting the parts down. Go back and learn, re-learn the SONG.
  19. Everything went smoothly guys, just thought I would let you all know. All of your advice helped a great deal. Both shows were awesome! Can't wait to do it again!
  20. droskobass


    Oct 8, 2007
    Montreal, Canada
    Former Part-Time, Non-Commission Employee MOOG Audio
    I think the best way to prepare for the next time is to constantly be checking out songs that that you don't know, (and hopefully songs you've always wanted to learn) and practice learning and making chord charts. Make learning songs and song structures a part of your practice routine.

    keep a record of what you've worked on so that you can tell people what your personal repertoire is. This will pay huge dividends down the line and it will greatly increase your confidence when put in the same situation down the line.

    Congrats on nailing the gig and I hope you have fun in the new band!

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