Learning the set list

Angelo Zollo

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I have been to the second audition for a band. I was assigned 5 songs for the 1st audition and we ended up doing 22. The 2nd audition we did 20 original songs. How do you guys learn all the hits and stops and a myriad of other stuff so fast. I can’t even remember the names of all the songs!
 

dyland

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I always start with writing form charts and annotating them with relevant hits, dynamic markings, or other relevant figures. I rarely read from the charts after the first few rehearsals, as writing them out is usually enough to help me memorize them.

I also record rehearsals on my phone and listen back throughout the week. This not only helps with absorption of the material but it will also illuminate weak spots on certain tunes and give you an idea of what to work on for the next rehearsal.
 

Angelo Zollo

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I always start with writing form charts and annotating them with relevant hits, dynamic markings, or other relevant figures. I rarely read from the charts after the first few rehearsals, as writing them out is usually enough to help me memorize them.

I also record rehearsals on my phone and listen back throughout the week. This not only helps with absorption of the material but it will also illuminate weak spots on certain tunes and give you an idea of what to work on for the next rehearsal.
I am not much for writing charts . I do take notes. I did start recording. Big help. It is hard to know all the hits on a 3 hour set list with a few tries. I hope they are patient
 

bassanddrum84

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I listen to them non stop and play through them a ton like a lot I don’t chart nothing out or anything else just practice as much as possible
 

TPC

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Unless the gig pays A LOT, no reasonable person would expect someone to learn all the intricacies of a long set list in one or two rehearsals.

I’d focus on two or three of the “best” songs and get those nailed down tight, just so they have a sense of what things will eventually sound like at the gig.

That said, if the gig did pay A LOT, I’d do everything mentioned in this thread so far and then some.
 

dyland

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I am not much for writing charts . I do take notes. I did start recording. Big help. It is hard to know all the hits on a 3 hour set list with a few tries. I hope they are patient
The bulk of my charts are just the name of the section and the bar length. Something like:

I - 8
V1 - 8
C1 - 16
Etc.

I try to include as little information as possible so that a quick glance at the section can provide a tether to my memory of the sound.

If it's specifically hits that you're worried about missing then I would center your practice around them rather than grooves or time feels or whatever else. I've had the most luck learning large amounts of material by deciding up front what needs actual work and what just needs to be committed to memory.

Also for what it's worth I've never been required to play down a 3 hour set just to pass an audition. Unless there's a gig like, a week away, or the band has specifically requested that you have the stuff down at that level, I wouldn't worry about it. I wouldn't prepare with that degree of urgency either. It can be a huge energy suck. Work at your pace, put in the time, and you'll kick ass.
 

Angelo Zollo

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The bulk of my charts are just the name of the section and the bar length. Something like:

I - 8
V1 - 8
C1 - 16
Etc.

I try to include as little information as possible so that a quick glance at the section can provide a tether to my memory of the sound.

If it's specifically hits that you're worried about missing then I would center your practice around them rather than grooves or time feels or whatever else. I've had the most luck learning large amounts of material by deciding up front what needs actual work and what just needs to be committed to memory.

Also for what it's worth I've never been required to play down a 3 hour set just to pass an audition. Unless there's a gig like, a week away, or the band has specifically requested that you have the stuff down at that level, I wouldn't worry about it. I wouldn't prepare with that degree of urgency either. It can be a huge energy suck. Work at your pace, put in the time, and you'll kick ass.
Dyland

I was assigned 5 songs for the audition but we just kept rolling.
 

Angelo Zollo

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Unless the gig pays A LOT, no reasonable person would expect someone to learn all the intricacies of a long set list in one or two rehearsals.

I’d focus on two or three of the “best” songs and get those nailed down tight, just so they have a sense of what things will eventually sound like at the gig.

That said, if the gig did pay A LOT, I’d do everything mentioned in this thread so far and then some.
Good advice TPC
Nothing pays a lot here
 

Pat A Flafla

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Unless the gig pays A LOT, no reasonable person would expect someone to learn all the intricacies of a long set list in one or two rehearsals.

I’d focus on two or three of the “best” songs and get those nailed down tight, just so they have a sense of what things will eventually sound like at the gig.

That said, if the gig did pay A LOT, I’d do everything mentioned in this thread so far and then some.
I found that if I prepared a band's entire setlist for every audition, eventually the tunes started to run together and then I'd already know hald a band's tunes, then 95%. Now I have hundreds of tunes ready to go.
 

Rockin' Billy

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I listen to the songs repetitively! (driving, at work, etc.) I have Spotify and list all the songs to be learned.(started as the only reason I got Spotify. Was in 4 different bands w/all different genres of music) I make notes in my own understandable language. : ) Then review my notes for each song without music to see if I understand them. Play along and review. That’s the simplest for me and has worked. I do not retain easily due to an injury so over and over works best for me. Kinda’ like Pavlovs dog theory! Good luck. Just do your best and there’s nothing else you can do.
 

moonbabie

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For the project I’m with now I received a set list of 15 songs to learn from two separate albums.the good thing is they were MP3’s and also a separate file with just drums on it in the order to be performed which helped.as far as a method I just played the crap out of them.
 

RIDDIM

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Total immersion. If you can chart, do. Overprepare. Or, in the words of my then 5-year-old granddaughter, "just practice until you can't get it wrong."

She's 10 now, so she's twice as smart.

You want to go in there and leave the impression that you are absolutely the best person for the gig.

If you don't think it's worth doing the work, don't do the audition.
 
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NDdrummer13

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I always start with writing form charts and annotating them with relevant hits, dynamic markings, or other relevant figures. I rarely read from the charts after the first few rehearsals, as writing them out is usually enough to help me memorize them.

I also record rehearsals on my phone and listen back throughout the week. This not only helps with absorption of the material but it will also illuminate weak spots on certain tunes and give you an idea of what to work on for the next rehearsal.
Great advice. Charting is your friend especially if there is a lot of new material for you to learn. Good luck and have fun.
 

Whitten

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I find if something is charted it's hard to get away from the charts. I don't particularly like watching a band reading charts.
If it's for a studio recording, or a couple of concerts only, yes charts are your saviour. If it's for a long term gigging band I. think it's better not to start with charts.
It is unrealistic to expect anyone to learn 20 songs in two rehearsals. The band probably needs to focus in on ten songs to begin with, get those down over a few rehearsals, then move on to the next ten.
 


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