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Set Changes

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rickbass, May 30, 2001.


  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Well, the college folks were back home for the holiday and packing the clubs this past weekend. Since their tastes are a bit different and change a lot, we had many impromptu set changes.

    If the song is already on the numbered list, just a hand signal from the lead singer makes it easy. But those off the list are kind of awkward, since each of us is about 15 feet from the other.

    Would like to hear how you all handle set changes? Do they bug you or not? Whatever thoughts you have on them.
     
  2. Cornbread

    Cornbread

    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    Well, I haven't played any REAL gigs yet, but I've played at a few parties. When we do have a "set list", we usually end up playing everything out of order depending on how well we are playing or the kind of reaction we are getting. For instance, if the crowd doesn't seem to be enjoying our stuff, we'll bust into "Sweet Home Alabama" or "Hard to Handle", which are the songs we're best at playing. Besides, we don't stand far away and usually spend inordinate amounts of time between songs tuning and arguing. :rolleyes:
    Man, you just made me realize what a sucky band I'm in...
     
  3. yawnsie

    yawnsie

    Apr 11, 2000
    London
    Personally, in most of the places I've played we haven't been too far away from each other, so it's just a case of shouting to each other. Generally, we don't even have a set list - we know which one to start with, and whenever the singer's had enough, he tells the crowd we're about to play our last song, which gives us the cue to start the predetermined closer. It's the stuff in between that's a problem - we'll get off stage and realise we forgot about half the set! :rolleyes:
     
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Man, you guys make me feel good all over!
     
  5. Our band has enough songs to play all night(usually four to five hours) without having to repeat a song. The only time we will repeat one is if someone requests it. We never play with a song list. The lead singer and I usually call the songs. We don't have a clue what the next song is going to be untill about half way through the song we are playing. We read the crowd and try to call one that fits the mood at the time. Also if you got them up dancing then try to keep them there. The best way to empty the dance floor is to take too much time in between songs. If you can go from one song to the next without any dead time between songs.
     
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    jb - That's exactly what we do. The guy who usually sings lead is really good at reading the crowd and he calls out the songs.

    The only trouble we have with keeping the flow from one song to the next sometimes is that one of us will have to grab another instrument or tweak our controls.

    I can't believe it when band's repeat songs within a night. You should always have more way material than you'll ever need to cover the night. Also bands who seem to need to retune after every song bug me bigtime, unless the air is really humid.
     
  7. CamMcIntyre

    CamMcIntyre

    Jun 6, 2000
    USA
    My theory is if you need to retune tons e.g. drop D-buy a D Tuner or another guitar/bass & string it so that its just drop D-know it'd be cheaper to just take the few sec. to detune but it just annoys me. I don't like retuning for songs cause it loses the mood. When i play we either have a set list that is set in stone for time reasons or we just call them out as we go. thats all
     
  8. First off let me say the only reason I play a 5 string is so I don't have to detune in the middle of a set...

    But back to the original point, I find that my band does much better when we follow the set list. We actually put a lot of time into figuring out the order of the songs we play, we don't like to stop in between songs, so we try to find likenesses in the songs and just switch before the crowd even realizes it.... The other night we had to ditch the set list, and our lead guitarist called out the songs. All I can say is that he refuses to ever do that again, too much responsibility for one member of the band.....
     
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    christos - That's pretty germane to my original post. Just out of curiousity, what made you abandon the list? Having a guitarist make the calls is pretty dangerous, IMO...doesn't every song have a big guitar break? :D

    We didn't know what to play next tonight. It seemed like 2/3rds of the crowd wanted to dance and the other 1/3 wanted to drink and pound on the stage apron. :rolleyes: Strange mix.
     
  10. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    There's much "wait wait, how does that start.... ok hmm hmm hmm alright I'm ready, no, hold on. Let me adjust my effects, are you singing too? Old way or new way? Are we doing the shorter brigde? Hey, skip the solo..WHO HAS THE COW BELL?"
     
  11. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    The band I'm in goes by a set list...but the main vocalist (who is in the center and is basically the leader of the group) will occasionally change it up a bit if the crowd response warrants it.

    We've got plenty of songs to play and have been playing for a very long time...so we may throw in a tune we haven't played for a long time (or maybe never played, together as a group). It would be really unprofessional to not be able to cover your ass if the situation calls for it.

    Personally I like following a set list...but I'm capable of just going with the flow. Either way I enjoy it. I play with a great bunch of guys who are very professional and we have a great time together...even when we aren't playing.
     
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Sun - Our working situations sound very similar. On the impromptu, haven't-rehearsed-in-years or requests, I often just make it up as it goes along and back off the attack on any notes I'm apprehensive about.

    Maybe you find, as I do, that as long as the vocals are reasonably good, most clubbers don't know the instrumental lines/chords much anyway, unless they involve some kind of signature hook that is identified with the song.