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How many songs can you learn in short period of time?

Discussion in 'Bands on the Run' started by sertshark, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. sertshark

    sertshark Strat-Talk Member

    May 11, 2014
    Oakdale, CA
    A local band may need a new guitarist soon. I was sent the set list (three sets) and asked to stop by to jam and to think about if I might like to join. I am not really getting my hopes up too much because we all know how that goes, but I'm curious how many songs you think you can learn in just a few weeks. I've been cramming like it is a midterm coming up, and you know how that goes, the more songs you cram into your brain the less you have them "down". Especially since there are about 10 song that I would be singing too, plus lead. What do you think is a reasonable expectation as far as number of songs you can learn in a short period of time (lead guitar and vocals).

  2. Grux

    Grux Strat-Talker

    May 17, 2018
    Clarksville, TN
    Reasonable 2 sets worth if your familiar with the songs.....(the rest you could do but sloppy) work your way down the lists. If your not even familiar with the're gonna have a rough go probably.

    I'd make a compromise, if you some songs they dont, they should also learn in the middle. Crush the gig!
    sertshark likes this.

  3. jeff h

    jeff h Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 13, 2017
    Really depends on your skill level. I can pick up songs now far faster than I could years ago, but still, 3 sets, vocals on 10 songs +leads isn't happening in a few weeks unless you have nothing else to do in your day. Focus on what you can accomplish and do it well. If they like you, there will be plenty of time for the rest of the material.

  4. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Victoria TX
    Learn three songs very well to play with them as the audition, then add as able. Chart them out and lay it on the floor or use a stand if you need crib sheets.

    If they are Metallica or Jethro Tull or something complex . . . that changes things!
    hornpiper likes this.

  5. hornpiper

    hornpiper Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 23, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I've joined a band before, or filled in and had a gig a few days later, and I did what Paperback Rocker above suggested. Make " crib sheets" or "cheat sheets" as I call them, of the songs you really don't know and/or sheets with quick tips or reminders of parts of songs you kind of know. I use large, visible letters with a sharpie, and then I've fanned them out on the stage or floor in front of me as needed, as discreetly as I could, and changed them set by set as needed. Taped or weighted by someting if it's an outdoor gig. I don't like using a music stand at gigs, it's a personal thing, I think it looks lame in a Rock or Blues Band setting, with the exception for a horn section or keyboards.

  6. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    As you get better at guitar, you get better at learning songs it seems.
    But as for me, it takes a while to learn a few...
    Paperback Rocker likes this.

  7. Rastus

    Rastus Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 1, 2014

    Don't be too hard on yourself here ! No cover-band ever has all the tunes down exactly, simply because each musician interprets the tunes & their parts differently, & so the tunes come out different...

    The "trick" would be to pick a handful of tunes that you know well enough from the list, to play through comfortably at the audition. If you feel settled & confident with the folks you're playing with, the rest will fall-into-place naturally, over a little time.

    Make a CD of all the tunes so that you can get familiar with them all, & note any key-changes from the originals, to the bands preferred keys...Ask the band to make a note on each song title as to what key it's in...(You don't want to have to relearn the same song twice, there's enough work already for you lol)...

    Remember to enjoy yourself, it's meant to be a good time for everyone,

    Grux and sertshark like this.