List of Songs To Play

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

List of Songs To Play

Postby Crooked Mat » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:59 pm

In Italy we call it "scaletta", it means ladder, it is the peace of paper with titles of songs to play, I don't know the term in english, anyway it is not the problem... I'd like to have advices about it, and I'd like to know what do you think about the list, we play from few weeks but we all get the blues from years, we were just too lazy to set up a band. (tnks)



Please Love Me (Otis Rush)

Dust My Broom

Sugar Sweet

I know (B.B. King)

Hide Away (Freddie King)

Kansas City

Blow Wind Blow

Corrina

You got me running

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Re: List of Songs To Play

Postby jawbone60 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:44 am

We call that a set list here and usually we have 3 or 4 set lists to cover what we plan to play on a given night.
A typical single set:
Crawlin' King Snake
Roll and Tumble
New Stranger Blues
I Wish You Would
Mercury Blues
Ice Cream Man
Shake 'Em On Down
Smokestack Lightnin'
My Babe

and another:
Little Red Rooster
Kansas City blues
Hard Times
Mississippi Heavy Water Blues
Dust My Broom
Nodody Knows You When You're down and Out
Move It On Over
Baby Please Don't Go
Sittin' on Top of the World

Usually at bars or clubs the rule is, play 45 minutes and take a 10-15 minute break, then go to the next set. Begin at 9:00 and play until 1:00 or sometimes 2:00 a.m. So 8 or 9 songs, all stretched out with solo parts, make about 45 minutes of playing. For most of the bands and duos I have played with a list is a starting point. Sometimes we will get a jam thing going and do one song for 15 minutes if the crowd seems to be enjoying it. Other times we don't feel like doing one song or another so we substitute something else. We also defer taking a break if the crowd is dancing and drinking, in other words if we have had a good effect on them! We want to keep the crowd animated and excited since this helps the bar sell more beverages and plates of food.

Another approach which works if the band has worked together for a while and the leader is strong but not overbearing: Have a list of all the songs the band does and randomly pick from the list a song at a time as the night progresses! This works well if the band is tight and experienced.

My wife and I rarely do a set list, in fact we play only 1 or 2 sets due to her having an injury which limits her to only an hour and a half or so of playing at a given time. So we take our songbook and choose songs as we go.

One other important element of a good set and song list: Keep adding new material as often as the band can learn it together, keep it fresh!
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