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Old 01-23-2019, 09:17 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 8,325
Default Art of the Setlist (how to embellish a solo act 2)

There's another thread running currently that got me thinking...

I think crafting a great setlist for a solo performer is an artform. Anybody have methods/tricks they use? (it's equally an artform for a band, but different--this thread is specifically about solo performing)

Mine are as follows...

First the don'ts:

1. Don't play more than 2 songs of the same key in a row
2. Don't play more than 2 slow songs in a row
3. No brand new material in the first part of a set--Start a set with something you can play in your sleep, to "get the juices flowing/shake the cobwebs off"

The do's

1. Start with something a bit more upbeat.
2. You can end slow, but put something more upbeat as the penultimate tune
3. Split your strongest tunes between sets, if you're playing more than 1 set
4. Keep some commonly requested tunes "in pocket," they can be good to save "just in case." (know your audience, if you don't, just make it a Beatles tune, because everybody likes the Beatles and you can play them in pretty much any style)
5. Plan an extra song or two from what you think you'll need. We all tend to speed up a bit when we're nervous/excited
6. Medleys are cool, you don't have to stop and talk between every **** song.
7. Unless it's really a "musical wallpaper" gig, you should talk a little...even if just to say thank you. Make a note of a good place to do so in the set list.
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
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Old 01-26-2019, 12:58 PM
David Rock David Rock is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 194
Default There is always good news!

I read the OP with great interest. Then I started looking at my sets.

Bad news is...I think I break every 'rule'.

Good news is...nobody hears my sets but me!

About the only other thing that could have been worse to be on the 'do not do list' is -- never under any circumstances use obscure original fingerstyle originals.

Oh well, back to the 'ole wallpaper grind of it all.

I am back from crossing the Gulf of Mexico on a sailboat. I would like to say that led to tremendous inspiration...not so much. Fatigue yes, inspiration nope. I guess the muse was on the cruise ship passing us.

Be well,
Slowing down the human race.
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