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Were not following the set list!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by wcnewby, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. It seems the only reason we have a set list is so that we can agree that we aren't following it. I understand why we do this, you have to gauge the crowd, or lack of it, and make choices... save songs for their time. Our front man chooses the songs, and does a damn fine job of it.

    I'm guessing this happens to everyone, and am wondering if anyone has come up with an evolved set list. I'm thinking like an eraser board with all our songs on it in permanent marker, then you make a line through the songs that have been done(with erasable marker). New gig, wipe all the lines off and start over.

    What have others tried (assuming we aren't weird)
  2. you are. i never think of these things :bag:
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    My regular band never uses a set list unless we're doing a short opening set. That way, we're not married to doing a song we know is going to flop. I say just go with it, and worry about it when there's a problem with audience reaction.
  4. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    Eventually, the audience makes your list.
  5. taliesin


    Nov 12, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    No I like the idea of one of the band marking off each song on a whiteboard on stage.

    It would be different.
  6. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    I call audibles, but by and large we follow the list. It is a show, that we rehearse.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I hope you are joking. What better way to say "We have no idea what we're doing up here"

    I the front man is doing a fine job up until now spend your time worrying about less silly things.
  8. kikstand454


    Sep 28, 2012
    We don't follow a set list in anyway..... and sometimes its awesome.....and sometimes it pisses me off to no end.

    I can not STAND staring at each other and saying...."what's next? ".
    Dead air sucks. We have too much.

    This past Friday night though it was good because half way through our second set, we played "time" by pink Floyd......really rocked it.... and it was as if we shot someone. Took three songs to get the crowd back on our side!
    Note to self: only dance rock and country at that bar from now on! Lol.
  9. I've played with some people who are really good at calling songs out on fly (the right songs with no down time between songs), and other times making a set list from the master song list in advance worked best. Just do whatever works best for you and your band mates.
  10. We have dead air too, and drummer comes up with stuff. What happens is that we don't follow the list, for good reasons, but then he looses track of which songs we have and haven't done, or miss songs we wanted to do.... He sings and plays rhythm guitar, and has his hands full. This would help him keep track.
  11. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Same here.
    Of course this:
    1) Keeps you on your toes
    2) Makes sub drummers eyes get big when they are told....
  12. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Fugazi never used a set list. Rocket From The Crypt used to have a big wheel on stage with their songs listed and they would let the audience give it a spin to determine the next song to be played.

    I'm in an originals band and we make a 12-15 song set list ahead of time. We have minimal down time between songs and sometimes piggyback 2 or 3 songs at a time. Like Floyd Eye said, it's a show that we rehearse.
  13. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    My band has found the secret to following the set list...segues. Most of our segues are three to four songs, some longer. Our last set is generally the loosest and based on crowd reaction; we often work it out between sets. Seems to work, last night was the forth gig in a row in which the owner/manager gave us more than we agreed upon, and we've got gigs lined up through next November. IMO, we're good, not great, but we are good at planning and sticking to it. We keep people dancing and the bar busy. My previous band consisted of great musicians, but there was too much empty space between songs (a lot of tuning and song discussion) and the result was a decrease in energy level. There's a lot of truth in the saying that failure to plan is planning to fail.
  14. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    Our drummer calls out the songs that that's what we do.....when we're not being very proactive. But we really don't have a set list anymore......it's more of "this is how we always do it". That can bite you in the rear though, so you have to know when to change things.
  15. Some people aren't as smart as TwoFingers and can't remember what they played in the first set by the middle of the 2nd set. I say do what ya gotta do to cut the dead air.

    Variant on the whiteboard idea, number off your tunes alphabetically and make a list with numbers instead.

    You probably need more dance tunes. Once you have brackets of dancing tunes that run well together it's easier to get a flow on.
  16. Shakin-Slim


    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    We always have setlists, but we don't stick to them religiously. The bandleader might call something else that's further down the list, or just leave the next one out, after judging the crowd. I think it's a good way to do it. We're in no way stuck to the list, it's just all the songs we plan on playing, in a good, solid working order, but is open to change. Plus, for some of the songs I need some notes about different parts written down, so a piece of paper of some kind is a must, for me at least.
  17. Bredian


    Apr 22, 2011
    Custom set lists for every gig.

    Minimal or zero down time between tunes.... its not a concert, it you're working a dance club or bar, you don't want to loose the dance floor mo-men-tum fumbliing around.... might be the last time you play the venue. The top bands in our area move right through their sets.... likely some even have set long click tracks IMHO. (I hate key tracks).
  18. I was in an originals band that did lots of segues. We sometimes took it a little too far though. I remember one particular gig where the whole show was three segues. We didn't stop except to take a break between sets. It turned out to be a really good show and the audience loved us. Unfortunately, the bar owner didn't like it at all because people weren't drinking enough - they spent all their time dancing. He asked us not to do that again.
  19. Aye, three dance numbers, one drinking tune, repeat.
  20. deathsdj


    Sep 18, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    I prefer custom set lists for each gig also. I'm big into planning when I know something is coming up but I don't particularly mind extreme short notice either.

    Rock N Roll.



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