Adding to the Setlist....

MaryO

Platinum Member
So tonight the teacher told me to work on adding a few new songs for my set list. So here's my question: When learning new songs on your own, is it better to just find something on your skill level or to find songs that you really like and do what you can with them? So far, for the most part, I've been trying to work on songs I really like because I know I'll be playing them over and over again and am less likely to get bored while trying to learn them even if some of them are over my skill level (of course, since I'm new at this, most songs are over my head anyways).

Just curious to hear your opinions on this. Thanks!
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
It is best to play what you like and what you think that you can play at the entry level that you are at.
Like you said, Most tunes are challenging to you so you should just pick tunes that you like and can follow for now.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Pick songs that you like ... unless your getting paid, no sense playing a song you "hate" 30 times a week.​
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I agree. This is probably where you find out if you really like alot of music. I think my parents got me going right - there isn't alot of music that I don't like and I owe that to them for having such a huge and varied record collection to go through as a kid. And then when they gave me a weekly allowance, they didn't mind it that I spent alot of time in the record stores buying records (my entire childhood from the mid-70s to the the 90s seems to have Tower Records as the backdrop).

But do pick what you like at this point. Harry is right - no point in playing something you hate over and over just to learn how to play. Life is short - be selfish about what you play and what you want to play. When I look back on my formative musical years, it's amazing how single-minded I was on what I wanted to do. Geddy Lee said it right: being a musician is not a noble endeavor. You do it for yourself first!
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Agree with everyone. You'll need to simplify some things (maybe a lot of them). Some things will almost be within reach, and they're the things you'll find yourself practising.
 
M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
I agree. This is probably where you find out if you really like alot of music. I think my parents got me going right - there isn't alot of music that I don't like and I owe that to them for having such a huge and varied record collection to go through as a kid. And then when they gave me a weekly allowance, they didn't mind it that I spent alot of time in the record stores buying records (my entire childhood from the mid-70s to the the 90s seems to have Tower Records as the backdrop).

But do pick what you like at this point. Harry is right - no point in playing something you hate over and over just to learn how to play. Life is short - be selfish about what you play and what you want to play. When I look back on my formative musical years, it's amazing how single-minded I was on what I wanted to do. Geddy Lee said it right: being a musician is not a noble endeavor. You do it for yourself first!
That's where my parents were wrong! I hate most kinds of music. There must be a Yin-Yang thing going on there. I never bought records as a kid and I remember being in the car with my Mum listening to Classic FM the whole time (it still brings me out in shudders). The first record I bought was when I was fourteen and since then I've been trying the 'open-minded' approach. I like a lot but there are whole styles and aesthetics I can't stand - I can't listen to any mainstream radio station in the UK that plays music without being driven slowly mad.

Back to the point. MaryO - learn some songs that you like but also bear in mind that it's just as important to learn why the original drummers played the parts they did. In many ways you're better off learning the 'fundamentals' of the songs you're learning and be able to piece together trends in different styles of music.

A few years ago I was playing with a couple of guys in a 'function'-type band. Now, we never played any functions in the end but we had an extensive setlist. I didn't always listen to the pieces we were going to play before rehearsal because I didn't need to. When they called a song, more often than not I was able to play it based on previous experience from a similar song and effectively write my own part. It culminated in the bass player turning around and asking me 'how do you know all these songs? You said you hated this band's songs!' The truth was that I didn't. The truth was that I'd sat down and learned a few songs and worked out the basic structure and then worked on where and what to play. That involves listening to the phrasing and the way pieces are constructed.

I grant you that this approach doesn't always work. There are plenty of songs out there with 'signature' parts and phrases you can't work around - but sometimes if you know enough about songwriting you can give yourself an easier life working out how these are constructed too!
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
i think the best thing would be to find songs that you like *and* are reasonably within your reach. A common rookie mistake is to insist on playing songs that are way out of reach, but playing songs that are just a little above your ability level could help you develop and grow.
 

MaryO

Platinum Member
Thanks for the advice everyone. Songs I like it is. Now what to play?

I have a few ideas but I'll let you know as soon the brilliant ideas hit (this may take a while)...
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
That's where my parents were wrong! I hate most kinds of music. There must be a Yin-Yang thing going on there. I never bought records as a kid and I remember being in the car with my Mum listening to Classic FM the whole time (it still brings me out in shudders). The first record I bought was when I was fourteen and since then I've been trying the 'open-minded' approach. I like a lot but there are whole styles and aesthetics I can't stand - I can't listen to any mainstream radio station in the UK that plays music without being driven slowly mad.
Are you sure your involvement in fine arts is your thing? Just wonderin' ;)
 
M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
I think my involvement in any kind of art is usually a mistake waiting to happen!

Actually, my parents are good amateur artists. I can't draw or paint at all (I try, but have very poor visual/spatial skills) so music it is!
 
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