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Does your band constantly change the setlist?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by BallisticSquid, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-Talker

    Mar 30, 2018
    Hamburg, Germany
    Almost totally agree - just I never get bored with it! Some of my material has been in my set list for 25 years, but so has my in-between patter. I'm there to entertain, and if somebody asks for something I don't have, if I think it's good I'll add it for next time. If a piece doesn't get good applause I drop it. One big advantage is that if I don't gig for several months (it does happen), I just need a few days' practice to bring it all back. I go into a deep state of relaxation while playing, and my fingers just find the right notes.

    If you're in a band that is developing a following, then I'd have thought it was good sense to stick to a basic set list, and add topical stuff (like Christmas) when the time comes. EVERYBODY likes things that are familiar, that's why big bands start with the new stuff before going into the ones everyone knows.
    carolinaeasy and BallisticSquid like this.
  2. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Lost Planet Airman Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 26, 2010
    Scott La.
    We have had long periods of no rehearsals at all. Then we had periods of 4 or 5 rehearsals a year. We just didn’t like any new songs one year and didn’t learn anything... for a whole year!!!

    Now we have rehearsals every Monday. We are mixing new tunes and learning old ones. I’ve got more active with picking songs lately. Last night we did Shannon’s Let The Music Play” and Sir Mixolot Baby Got Back... both of those tunes I’m playing guitar synth on...we well do them again next Monday plus the Isley Brother’s version of Summer Breeze... so I’ll get to play real guitar.

    Most of the time if somebody can’t make it or something comes up we just cancel until next week. But every once in a while the band will work on a tune with out the singers if we feel it’s complicated enough and will take a lot of time to learn.

    Our keyboard player is a High School Band Director so he’s very busy this time of year plus he’s Music Director at 2 churches. So Monday is his only free night to rehearse with us. Our second guitarist lives about a hour away and works odd hours so if he misses rehearsal nobody gets bend out of shape over it. Besides there is a reason he’s the second guitar.

    I try to be prepared as possible. I’ll print out the lyrics and make notes on them what part goes where so I can direct the song. I learn guitar and keyboard parts as best I can. Then I play whatever the keyboard player wants me too.

    The band is weird. I don’t think anyone would do it if it didn’t pay good. To get paid good you have to be the best or near the best in your area. That takes work and we can’t rest on our reputation alone. We have to show the people that hire us why they spend the big bucks instead of hiring a cheaper band. Its like we have to prove it every gig over and over.
  3. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy BushBaby Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 28, 2013

    All the bands I have been in were four piece...with one exception that had an electric piano, I only lasted one gig with that one. The best bands I've been in only played out once a month or so, I never wanted playing to become work or interfere with other things. So once a month, unless a special gig came up. I can only imagine the logistic issues with a big band.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
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  4. mw13068

    mw13068 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 29, 2009
    Ithaca, NY
    Interesting comment. I'm in a few bands that are in various levels of the pecking-order below the level you're talking about. I have friends in local bands that are at the level you're at. When a band becomes a "local headliner" it becomes a different sort of project. Furthermore, the venues have to differentiate themselves by booking bands at different levels. The premium venues have to have the premium bands at least most of the time.

    It's all illustrative of how there is a definite pecking-order in the local music scene, no matter where "local" is.
    Electgumbo and BallisticSquid like this.
  5. mjark

    mjark Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 15, 2015
    We drop too many for no apparent reason.
    BallisticSquid likes this.
  6. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Lost Planet Airman Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 26, 2010
    Scott La.
    It’s like this to me... back 30 years ago I was just a guy in a band hustling to play anywhere. So we played a lot of the bars and clubs. After the gig I’d go have breakfast and see these old dudes in coats and ties eating too. I know those guys were in the Boogie Kings or the Skyliners both big horn bands. They probably just played nice gig for nice money... well flash forward I’m the guy in the coat and tie at the Waffle House that just played the nice gig. It’s like instead of quitting or whatever I’ve moved up a level or 2. Now our band is one of the elite bands in the area. Now I see the kids after the gig acting crazy like I used too.
    Tone Guru and BallisticSquid like this.
  7. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    I don't know what approach works best, but it drives me insane to play the same songs for weeks and months on end. Tight or not, It's hard for me personally to take. That's one of the reasons I don't play in bands.
    s5tuart, DickBanks and BallisticSquid like this.
  8. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    You can have my spot in my band...boredom is far from a problem :D.

    Personally I'd like a happy medium. From my duo I know playing the same crusty tunes for 3 years straight can get old.

    Not my band so I don't run the show. So I suck it up and do the best I can and they get a less than optimum version of my playing since I'm always playing catch-up.
    Mansonienne and rocknrollrich like this.
  9. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX
    Yet another example of why being in a band is a nightmare.
  10. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    As I was getting my stuff in order, I noticed yet another song was dropped. It was one of our better ones also...White Rabbit.

    What bugs me is there is no's just done. Kind of kills your motivation to really contribute when your input isn't even requested.

    This isn't how I thought it was going to work.
  11. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    My wife thinks I'm crazy. The thing is when we hit the stage all the BS is forgotten and it's awesome. Once that stops, I suspect I'll be done playing in bands.
    Mansonienne and Paperback Rocker like this.
  12. Sarnodude

    Sarnodude Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 26, 2015
    You need to lead your own band. Someone has to be in charge, might as well be you.
    BallisticSquid likes this.
  13. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 3, 2016
    Houston, TX
    Ours changes constantly and has for a long time. We don’t really gig either, largely because we’ve never really gotten tight on any songs.

    As soon as we get “close enough” to being decent, the other guys get bored and move on to something new.

    As far as I’m concerned we are really just buddies jamming, and can hardly be called a band.

    Maybe we should call ourselves “Almost Decent” or “You get what you pay for!” and give free concerts! :sneaky:
  14. Dalendl

    Dalendl Strat-Talker

    Jan 2, 2016
    NW Mn
    White Rabbit is one of our "signiture" tunes. Not a dance tune but we always get great response from the crowd.
    BallisticSquid likes this.
  15. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 8, 2016
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  16. carolinaeasy

    carolinaeasy Senior Stratmaster

    I am in the process of putting together a local band, as the band I am in is headquartered an hour and fifteen minutes away. I love playing with those guys, but they are all 15-25 years older than me and I know the reality of the situation is that I am going to be looking for another group one day.

    In my mind, I see a five or six piece band. 2 guitars, drummer, bassist, keys, and hopefully a sax.
    BallisticSquid and Electgumbo like this.
  17. DickBanks

    DickBanks Strat-Talker

    May 2, 2017
    Olathe, KS
    You might be surprised to know that A LOT of us started out playing in just these types of "failing bands."
    Part of the learning process, to teach you how to distinguish when other musicians are "all-in," vs. "just here for the girls and beer."
  18. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    @rocknrollrich I wish it were a monthly gig...that was what I signed up for :). On average, it's every other month. When I joined it was supposed to be once a month and they made it seem like the gigs were there, they just needed to complete the band with a guitar player. I have found that much of their confidence and optimism isn't well placed :). I've lost count of things that were "in the works" just quietly never happened.

    I see no purpose to adding these songs other than the bandleaders decided they want to do it. We have a group of people that come see us each time...the bandleader's friends. I think the setlist is catered toward them...and these friends don't seem to share my taste in music because none of my song choices have ever been taken.

    I haven't had time to work on my "actual guitar playing" for years now. Learning all of these songs was starting to cut into time with my family and I put an end to that. That translates to me floundering at practice. They still insist on pushing through with the new songs. I'm also starting to make time for my "actual guitar playing".

    Most of the time they are songs I have never heard before. I never listened to pop music much. So though they aren't overly challenging, I need to get familiar with them and internalize the structure of it. When there are parts I can't do, I need to find my own way and develop my own part. It's not just an hour and boom, I know the song :).

    I'm going to stop there because I've whined enough. I should be happy to have these types of problems I suppose. They are all really nice and talented people, but they are also control freaks and inconsiderate in many ways. It's all
    so contradictory and I can't figure them out.

    On the upside, all the BS melts away when the adrenalin is kicking on while we are on stage. It would be a lot different if we had a regular gig.
    davidKOS and rocknrollrich like this.
  19. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    Good luck :). That would be an awesome band configuration! It will probably be a challenge to get all of the right people together.
  20. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 8, 2016
    Yeah, i usually try and offer some words of encouragement, but in this case, i totally agree with your point.
    If the gigs are that infrequent, why push for new songs every time?
    I agree, get really tight on the stuff you already do.
    Bands are full of people, and people aren't always logical and agreeable. Lol.
    JustABluesGuy and BallisticSquid like this.