Songs and Song List Management

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by ddewees, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. ddewees

    ddewees Supporting Member

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    I am looking for ideas on how to manage my list of songs I know and want to play, review and learn. For about 10 - 12 years I was in a various cover bands and our set list really determined what I played, practiced and worked on. Now that I have "retired" I am looking for an effective way to keep track of songs that I know and may want to play, either solo or for others.

    I want to include some songs from the band sets but I also want to add solo acoustic pieces, jazz tunes, and other songs I have dabbled with.

    I have used Excel, Outlook, paper and pencil and other ways to track all of this but in the end I almost spend too much time on the lists and less on playing.

    I do keep a practice journal but it seems like I allow my lists to spread out everywhere and grow arms, legs and multiple versons.
     
  2. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    I'd say, let them grow and be crazy. No need to be utterly in-control all the time. :D

    Embrace the idea that music is infinite and larger than you are. You'll find your path through it-- an element of chance is okay!
     
  3. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I keep a couple of set lists. One that is ready to go, and one that includes tunes that I know, but need some brushing up. I get to play a solo 2 hour gig weekly, and I cover about 20-24 tunes during that time.

    So for me, I will practice rep a couple of days per week, and cycle tunes in and out to keep them somewhat fresh. I might spend an hour on rep, and an hour on working up a new tune. These are jazz standards and newer pop stuff all done chord melody style. So, between the 2 lists I probably have around 50 or so tunes. Is that the kind of thing you meant?
     
  4. fiddler

    fiddler Guest

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    I use Excel for my bands song list..........bout 75 so far

    That way, I can sort by song or artist, and for a gig can add columns to tag them with set # and then another column to order them in the set and then do a sort to create the gig set list

    Gig set lists are thus easy to generate off of this master list
     
  5. ddewees

    ddewees Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the input everyone. Shihanderek that is what I am looking for. I don't have an outside gig but I do want to use a "set list" concept to keep sharp on tunes I know as well as work in new songs. I hope to use home recording as my "gig" or barometer on whether I really know a song.

    In my band days I worked from the basic set list songs. At different times I would use Excel or Access to create a rolling list of songs to review and refresh during my practice time at home. The harder the song the more often I would review it.

    I use MS Outlook and other list making tools to manage my work commitments and other personal projects. For some reason music related things seem to flow better if I keep it simple; paper and pencil or simple lists.
     
  6. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I think even if you aren't playing out at this point, you will find yourself in situations where there is a guitar, or someone hands you one and expects you to play something. By keeping a ready list, you can bust out a handful of tunes and look like you know what you are doing. :D

    The other thing for me was by collecting tunes, I was able to gauge at what point I was ready to start gigging and how much time I could fill as the list grew. Good luck.
     
  7. ddewees

    ddewees Supporting Member

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    That's exactly what I am looking for. For years I have struggled with the "play something for me" type situation. While I have lived in the rock, blues, country, pop cover band situations I do find myself moving towards jazz and chord melody type tunes in this solo setting

    Since I am not really a singer, my typical cover tunes that I might pull out to "play something" are riff based. The chord melody format seems like a more more complete version of a song. The learning curve can be steep so I am wanting to keep some of the old band songs in the repertoire for a while.

    I have studied a bit of chord-melody with a teacher in the past (West Coast Blues, Blue Bossa, Django, Cherokee) and need to dust those songs off. I also have the Brad Carlton, Truefire Chord Melody course. There are a lot of songs to learn there but the going has been slow.
     
  8. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    Just reply, "Sure, ok, I get $300 a night and expect payment up front".
     
  9. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

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