Set list input...

Vandalay

Member
I the past few years since I've returned to music, if there's one thing I've noticed, is that drummers have little or no musical input. Most of the bands I've either jammed with or auditioned for, their set list is generally what the guitarist likes playing, and that list is usually peppered with obscure album cuts. this totally goes against what I learned during my 30+ years in broadcasting: "It isn't about what you like, its about the audience". Anyone out there have similar experiences?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
It varies with each band. I've always been an equal part of the song choice decisions in several bands, and in fact have introduced many songs into the setlists. Not because the songs are necessarily fun for me, but because I have a knack for knowing what sounds good to people. Maybe I shoulda been a PD? :)
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Set list was always my responsibility. I picked the songs, the order, and where the talking went. I wrote them all out and passed them out before the show. The others had input, but since I was the one most physically taxed, I got to decide on the set.

We had talking points already sorted for particular songs. Dead space is the enemy.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I have not had this experience and for the most part have been an equal musical partner in just about every band in which I've played. But I think I've also been smart/lucky enough to be in bands with a collegial mindset amongst all the members. I tend to stay away from the controlling boss types (which always seem to be guitarists and singers). The more you put into developing as a musician (not just a drummer) will give you more credibility. Beyond that, just be a good person to work with and genuinely interested in the band's success.
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
in my current band i have a fair bit of input as im the one with the most gigging experience and know what works for crowds in this area, but i dont hog it all or anything, i like everyone to have an input about what to play which keeps everyone sweet :)

in my last band, we all had an input about what to play, but most of the time everyones ideas got scrapped and they stuck to the same songs for several years.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Other than technical reasons, too hard to play or sing, what ends up on a setlist has always been a joint decision in the bands I've been in. I haven't agreed with every choice but then again nor have other members, it's about compromise and creating a list that will best work for audiences.
Interestingly there was an occasion in my current band where the guitarist was so compliant that he wouldn't suggest anything for fear of meeting resistance. Our singer scolded him and said he wasn't helping us by having that attitude, he was leaving the work to everyone else, he needed to have an opinion, and it was up to the group to take his input and discuss it not up to him to self censor Very refreshing to be honest.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
Dear God don't get me going on this. At an end of summer rockfest our 8 piece horn band were the feature group. Our lead singer had I love you more today than yesterday as the opener...i wanted 25-or-6 to four. I was F'ing livid...that lame +?&#!!.
 

BruceW

Senior Member
Dear God don't get me going on this. At an end of summer rockfest our 8 piece horn band were the feature group. Our lead singer had I love you more today than yesterday as the opener...i wanted 25-or-6 to four. I was F'ing livid...that lame +?&#!!.
If you can play 25 Or 6 To 4, ALWAYS play 25 Or 6 To 4 😉
I dont think that should even be a question.
 

BruceW

Senior Member
We're fortunate that we all kind of have to agree on material that we play. Guitar player usually makes the setlists from our catalog (which we can suggest changes to if need be) but we all usually have agreed on the songs we can/will play.

More over, we all make suggestions as to what to add. Sometimes, when we feel that we're getting stale and want to work up some new stuff, we'll be tasked with each of us coming up with a few suggestions. We come up with some interesting stuff. Keeps it fun. Bottom line is always "will they dance to it?", since that's the sort of venue we play at.

If your band doesn't welcome input from everyone, that's gotta be a challenge. It would be to me, at least. Good luck.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I have always been a part of the set list make up in original bands I play in. In that situation, I feel that order and flow of the songs is important to make the show "a show" ,and the whole band has to be part of that....sort of like putting a screen play or movie script together

In the cover bands I play in, I let the leader make the list b/c I already know that we are background noise for the audience anyways, so the order/flow is sort of irrelevant...as long as the crowd recognizes the first 20 seconds of every song, and there is not downtime in between, they are happy. I have never had anyone at a cover band show come up and say "you guys should have put _______________ song first, and xxxxxxxxxxxx song third. and the transition from yyyyyyyyyyy to zzzzzzzzzzz was way off"

but there have definitely been times at original band shows where the flow of the set list drastically effected the audience reaction

in the cover band shows, it seems like new songs are usually earlier in the set b/c we are more "awake" mentally. I feel we do put together a good mix of fast, slow, funky, train beat, and/or style variety too. He is good at that. I have seen many cover bands who spend so much time trying to guess what the audience wants, and it becomes tedious to listen to. The only time we vary the list is if all of the string jockeys get to drunk to execute something, or if we g et told "2 more songs" by the club owner...

now, as I have mentioned in the other thread about this...we don't arrive at the show with a written list...it comes out of his head as the show is going. He will either start the song on guitar, or just mention what is coming up in the banter between songs
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
In my last band situation, I couldn't stand that the band was playing the same 40 songs every other band plays around these parts. I attribute that to sucking at one's craft and not a narrow taste for music. I did a bunch of research around gigging songs and offered a list of 300. All were songs we could play with the members we had. The accidental reply to the group (forgot to exclude me) was just pick a song and shut him up. I shut up alright. Permanently! If you have no input, there's no point in wasting time.
 
Dear God don't get me going on this. At an end of summer rockfest our 8 piece horn band were the feature group. Our lead singer had I love you more today than yesterday as the opener...i wanted 25-or-6 to four. I was F'ing livid...that lame +?&#!!.
"25 or 6 to 4" is, obviously, a burner. But in my experience "More Today than Yesterday" goes over with just about any audience like gangbusters. So I guess it depends upon what you're going for. I mean, don't get me wrong, some audiences will absolutely prefer "25" to "More Today," but most will like both, and some will go insane for the opportunity to sing that big chorus.

Also, Spiral Staircase had one of the most slyly funky bassists ever. Dude looked like an accountant but had the funk.
 
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Bozozoid

Well-known member
OK..right after 25 or 6.2.4 which didn't happen I suggested right into Lido shuffle..that got set aside for Angel is a centerfold. The entire night I realized these guys are frikkin a bunch of panzy azz nerds.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
"25 or 6 to 4" is, obviously, a burner. But in my experience "More Today than Yesterday" goes over with just about any audience like gangbusters. So I guess it depends upon what you're going for. I mean, don't get me wrong, some audiences will absolutely prefer "25" to "More Today," but most will like both, and some will go insane for the opportunity to sing that big chorus.

Also, Spiral Staircase had one of the most sly funky bassists ever. Dude looked like an accountant but had the funk.
Good song...but NOT an opener for 1100 ready for the last outdoor concert of the year crazies that want to put the pedal to the metal.
 
"Lido" and "Centerfold" are solid selections,..why not do 'em both?
I like "Centerfold" just fine but absolutely love "Lido" and always have. But it's a much harder song to play, and didn't do nearly as well on the charts, not quite cracking the Top 10, whereas "Centerfold" hit #1. So if I had to pick one to listen to? "Lido" every single time. To play before a crowd? "Centerfold."
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
Both songs are cool...but when you've got 90 minutes to work people into a frenzy centerfold (my opinion) has to wait. Besides..going from 25/6/2/4 (without stopping) horns and drum riff RLRLR..know where I'm at?..i break into Lido on the R of the last horn note it's just far more intense than downshifting to centerfold. NOW..im really focusing on the last few bars or more of Lido which is the keyboard riff that hits the nitrous button. Centerfold is for another place and time. We've got 90 minutes of bust ass intense groove and no one agrees?
 
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