Building the Perfect Set List

Is there a perfect formula for building a set list? Should you always start out with high-enery songs to capture the attention of the crowd, and then move toward the slower less-danceable numbers? Should you end your set with a bang or a whimper?

Our friends over at WeAllMakeMusic.com posted an article about how the setlists of 7 famous bands were analyzed and plotted along a graph (the Energy/Danceability index) to see how successful acts pace their performances. See the article and some of the fun graphs HERE.

But we want to hear from you.

What is your decision-making process when you design a set list?

Do you give them all you’ve got or leave them wanting more?

Do you play cover songs or originals or a mixture?

Do you always play the same set or tailor it to the vibe of the room?

Do you do medleys? Ambient transitions between songs? Extended guitar solos?

Do you address the audience with pre-planned stage banter or take it totally off-the-cuff?

Do you consider the arc of your performance as far as volume, energy, and groove are concerned?

Do you space out songs in similar keys, modes, or tonalities?

We want to know what you’re doing and why. Feel free to comment in the section below.

-Chris R. at CD Baby

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(photo of Steve Lynch of the band Can’t Hang, used with Steve’s kind permission. Check out Can’t Hang HERE.)



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