Set lists



  • Does your band get a set list? Our community band gets sent a playlist a couple of days ahead of a gig.
    Great concept. We have heavy, thick folders with all the music we play, including 4 March Books, scales and warmups, etc. - you get the idea. It's like two New York City phone books. Ok, one.
    So the set list is a real great thing. Now I can use a small folder with 14 or 15 songs, all in order. Size of a diner menu. Ready to play. E-Z. P-Z.
    Perfect.
    Except, impulsively, our director almost every gig, guaranteed, will pull another song out of thin air, and whisper to us, "let’s do National Emblem" or some other random song.
    So much for the convenience of a small folder. We have to lug the fat folder. To be prepared for the slim chance. Of one change.
    I need to see about talking some sense into somebody. Right? I could go for having maybe 3 or four alternate songs stuck in there just in case the mood strikes. Still a thin folder, still workable.



  • Just do what members of Duke Ellington's orchestra did: memorize it all. Problem solved.



  • @BigDub I got an iPad a couple of weeks ago. I'm still working on getting everything into ForScore, but it helps a bunch. Now I don't have to carry 3 large books with me. Just an iPad. Okay, truth is I'm old and don't trust technology. I still keep the books in the car just in case something goes wrong with the iPad. But it is a lot easier anyway.



  • @Mike-Ansberry +1 for the iPad Mike. All charts for all bands in the one place. Set-lists can be put together quicker than sifting through a folder.
    Real Books are there if someone calls an unfamiliar tune at a jam - or if you need to pass a chart to someone who doesn't know a tune. Can take a screenshot and email a chat in an instant.
    But wait there's more... With an AirTurn Ped there's no problem with page turns.

    Funny story, a local pro player sat in on an outdoor gig with my community band a while back. He explained that he didn't trust the technology and had stories of it going awry. The wind blew up and everyone was frantically trying to keep their "reliable" charts on the stands while my iPad didn't budge.



  • @Mike-Ansberry said in Set lists:

    @BigDub I got an iPad a couple of weeks ago. I'm still working on getting everything into ForScore, but it helps a bunch. Now I don't have to carry 3 large books with me. Just an iPad. Okay, truth is I'm old and don't trust technology. I still keep the books in the car just in case something goes wrong with the iPad. But it is a lot easier anyway.

    I am definitely working on that as well. My iPad is not the large one, so it is a bit hard to see the notes. It still definitely is the way to go.



  • @J-Jericho said in Set lists:

    Just do what members of Duke Ellington's orchestra did: memorize it all. Problem solved.

    Were they volunteer amateur players as well? just wondering........



  • We get a set list at our regular practice night the week before a gig or gigs. Sometimes we have back to back gigs in different locations that play the same song list. But I always take the complete binder of music and index that changes every year because now and then our director will make a change. Some of our members use those large I-pads. I'm still a dinosaur and play out of the binder.



  • @tjcombo said in Set lists:

    @Mike-Ansberry +1 for the iPad Mike. All charts for all bands in the one place. Set-lists can be put together quicker than sifting through a folder.
    Real Books are there if someone calls an unfamiliar tune at a jam - or if you need to pass a chart to someone who doesn't know a tune. Can take a screenshot and email a chat in an instant.
    But wait there's more... With an AirTurn Ped there's no problem with page turns.

    Funny story, a local pro player sat in on an outdoor gig with my community band a while back. He explained that he didn't trust the technology and had stories of it going awry. The wind blew up and everyone was frantically trying to keep their "reliable" charts on the stands while my iPad didn't budge.

    I know a guy who every time I see him perform, the pedal thing loses connection with the iPad. Plus I have songs that are three or four pages with repeats back to page two or some other thing. I'll stick with the book of paper.



  • I forgot to also add, my band usually has a set list for the first set but after that we adjust because the audience may change. Or we get a very good response to one tune so we pull out ones that will appeal to that crowd.

    With regards to memorization, my piano player memorizes everything. Works until I want to call a section or change. Oops.

    And then there's the aging brain. Usually once in a gig I'll have one of those moments where I look at the music in the middle of a song and forget what I'm doing. ☹



  • @BigDub Whatsamatter? You can't simultaneously paint with one hand and play trumpet with the other?



  • @J-Jericho said in Set lists:

    @BigDub Whatsamatter? You can't simultaneously paint with one hand and play trumpet with the other?

    well, of course, but I'm not sure which would suffer the most. Probably a tie for last place!



  • And another thing. Every time I play for memory the notes I decide upon don't seem to match up with the notes everyone else in my section seem to be playing. What's wrong with those people? 😁



  • @BigDub Amateurs!



  • @Richard-III - you have nailed the potential downside of using an iPad... the user needs to know how to drive it correctly.
    The pedals have settings to delay repeated page turns that I found after skipping extra pages at awkward moments. You can skip forward and back far easier than with manual page turns.
    Marking up parts is a little clumsier than using a pencil, but is adequate.
    The AirTurn devices use a direct connection mode for iPads which, when set up correctly is rock solid.
    The benefits (for me) outweigh the downsides.I keep every chart and book that I have in soft-copy in an online Dropbox service and it's available (and searchable) anywhere, anytime on any device.
    The forScore app that Mike mentioned also has a built-in tuner and metronome. I'd hate go back to killing trees 🙂



  • Hi BigDub,
    Yes, I would talk to the director. Lugging a NYC phone book sized set list is just crazy. If he/she wants that level of freedom, the set list needs to be digitized so you guys can carry all the songs on an IPad. If it's on an iPad, there's ease of portability, ease for the director because the songs can be pulled up alphabetically, and once its digitized, everyone can have access in case some of the songs get lost or destroyed which frees up the person responsible for getting the sheet music to the people.



  • @Dr-Mark said in Set lists:

    Hi BigDub,
    Yes, I would talk to the director. Lugging a NYC phone book sized set list is just crazy. If he/she wants that level of freedom, the set list needs to be digitized so you guys can carry all the songs on an IPad. If it's on an iPad, there's ease of portability, ease for the director because the songs can be pulled up alphabetically, and once its digitized, everyone can have access in case some of the songs get lost or destroyed which frees up the person responsible for getting the sheet music to the people.

    To be clear, it’s not the set list that is the problem. It’s the impulsive nature of the director. He gets a stray thought in the middle of the concert and decides we should do a number not part of the set list.
    We have probably over a hundred possible tunes we could do, including many marches I have never played yet. That comes up during a concert at times as well.....let’s play so and so march.....I look over to my section mate, "never heard of it", he says, oh, I think we played that about ten years ago, once.



  • @BigDub
    Oh Snap! Possibly ask yourself, "how do unrehearsed songs sound when played as part of a show?" If it sucks, well......that sucks.
    If and when it happens again, notice the quality. If it sucked, let the director know.
    There's nothing wrong with sticking to a script. Yes, there's nothing wrong with having back-up tunes ready to go but these need to be rehearsed unless you guys are the Tonight Show Band with Doc Severensen.



  • @Dr-Mark said in Set lists:

    @BigDub
    Oh Snap! Possibly ask yourself, "how do unrehearsed songs sound when played as part of a show?" If it sucks, well......that sucks.
    If and when it happens again, notice the quality. If it sucked, let the director know.
    There's nothing wrong with sticking to a script. Yes, there's nothing wrong with having back-up tunes ready to go but these need to be rehearsed unless you guys are the Tonight Show Band with Doc Severensen.
    Actually they can go either way, depending on the makeup of the group that happened to turn out that night. We CAN do a great job sight reading, when we are on our A game.
    It is also hit or miss whether the band director ( who we all like a lot ) can be rather stubborn and likes to get his way.
    I wouldn’t want to lose him, though.



  • We have a set list. We practice the eventual list plus a few extras. Sometimes good tunes get cut, but the week of a performance, the list is set and there are no audibles for extraneous tunes. We've played one encore since I've been there. There are two folders, practice and performance. Only the performance folder attends the concert. I feel sorry for you having to lug all that music around. I used to play in a church band that did that. 500 charts and any song could be called up at any time. We played 8 different tunes on any given Sunday. I took my file "bucket" home to practice the tough songs (the ones George Rawlins recorded!!) and lo and behold an audible was called. The other trumpet player wouldn't let me look on his music, he turned it away! 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂
    Anyway, The conductor isn't going to change, none of them do, so maybe a little cart for your horns and file "folder". This is what I used for years and it is still in good shape!

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  • @BigDub said in Set lists:

    @Dr-Mark said in Set lists:

    Hi BigDub,
    Yes, I would talk to the director. Lugging a NYC phone book sized set list is just crazy. If he/she wants that level of freedom, the set list needs to be digitized so you guys can carry all the songs on an IPad. If it's on an iPad, there's ease of portability, ease for the director because the songs can be pulled up alphabetically, and once its digitized, everyone can have access in case some of the songs get lost or destroyed which frees up the person responsible for getting the sheet music to the people.

    To be clear, it’s not the set list that is the problem. It’s the impulsive nature of the director. He gets a stray thought in the middle of the concert and decides we should do a number not part of the set list.
    We have probably over a hundred possible tunes we could do, including many marches I have never played yet. That comes up during a concert at times as well.....let’s play so and so march.....I look over to my section mate, "never heard of it", he says, oh, I think we played that about ten years ago, once.

    My director and your director must be related, Wayne. What you stated happens now and then to me. But once is enough. I have only been with this band since April and there are many marches and a medley or two in our current play book I have not even had a chance to look at let alone play. But I like the guy so I don't complain.


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