Author Topic: 31 songs in 5 weeks  (Read 2286 times)

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Offline Borodog

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31 songs in 5 weeks
« on: April 04, 2016, 08:23:33 pm »
I thought I posted a thread on this but I can't find it. Apologies if this is a repost.

I have 5 weeks to learn 31 songs on bass. Any suggestions? I have put together a spotify list with all the songs available. I have chord sheets for maybe 2/3 and can get the rest I assume. I need to reformat them to show number of bars.

I figure if I learn 1 song per day and keep practicing them I'll be fine. I started last night with Big Railroad Blues, Can't You See, and Carl Perkins' Cadillac.
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Offline KasperFauerby

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Re: 31 songs in 5 weeks
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 08:51:57 pm »
I've tried this before, and be prepared for some hard work ;)

The problem (for me at least) is that even if you can sit down and learn to play each individual song pretty well during a nights practice, because there are sooo many new songs to take in, you'll have a hard time remembering what you just learned a few nights later.

I would split the set into two categories. Pick some, maybe 12 or so, that you really want to shine in - and some where you feel you can get by, just playing notes to follow the chords.

I would then focus on learning, and practice a lot, those that you want to shine in. The other "bucket" of songs that you plan to play something simple for; in the day time, if possible, listen a lot to those songs, so you know by heart how they are supposed to sound. Then find a way to write down chords and structure for the songs in an easy-to-read format (I hope you can bring papers/notes on the stage?). It doesn't have to be exact or correct musical notation, just some format that you yourself find logical. You should then be able to play through any song simply from reading such a page of notes. Make sure they are brief enough to fit one page, using as large a font as possible...

Here is an example of how I do that; I had to play "Don't look back in Anger" with short notice, and there were too many chords, parts and special cases and such for me to rely on remembering it all by heart (nor did I want to spend "brain space" on it ;)).
I tried to fit it all on a page like this:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eKW5scn52m9tWl-jw6wh38ssNcRKfyUhRl10k6YPLxs/edit?usp=sharing

That's a format that makes sense to me, and if I print such a page I really don't have to practice the song before going to the gig. I know how the original song goes, and this page will get me through it well enough for a wedding or such ;)

Good luck, it's going to be fun!

Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: 31 songs in 5 weeks
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 08:52:54 pm »
Can you use sheets? I played with a back-up band for singing students and all the musicians played from sheets.

If not: one every day, six days of the week, seventh day review everything, then move on.

Outside of that, like you prepared to do: a lot of listening so you know the song by heart and you can go by your musical sensing rather than memory, if that makes any sense. I have no idea how complex your list of songs is, but if everything is mostly 1s, 4s and 5s it makes more sense to just listen and memorize it and you'll find your way ont he bass simply by knowing where the song as a whole is going.

ETA after Kasper's reply: Best to learn even more a day and rack up the other days to make sure you can tell one from the other. I had a rough time telling the songs apart in the band I'm in right now until I knew them by heart, then I could just lock the right patterns in place and I was off to the races.

Best of luck!
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Offline Borodog

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Re: 31 songs in 5 weeks
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 10:12:13 pm »
Yes, I presume I will be able to use sheets or at least an ipad on stage. If not they can go **** themselves. :O)

Here's the list. In no particular oder.

red house   
kansas city   
house is a rockin'
road to bakersfield
glory days
mr jones
promised land
r.o.c.k. in the usa
cover me
cortez
run to you
carl perkins cadillac
wild horses
take it easy
green river
wagon wheel
runnin' on empty
hard to handle
travelin' band
learn to fly
big railroad blues
can't you see
I shot the sheriff
somebody's baby
cinnamon girl
third rate romance
dead flowers
old time rock & roll
long cool woman
midnight rider
redneck friend
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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: 31 songs in 5 weeks
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2016, 10:24:11 pm »
In that case, practice your sheet writing skills. I recommend writing out everything as simple and short as possible. Since you're the bass player, do take special care with slash chords. ;)

Something like lead sheet format comes to mind, but if you're happier with a shorter version of that (I've encountered a stripped-down lead sheet format), Roman numerals or Nashville number system, then by all means go for that.

Sheets are the only reliable way of getting this number of songs down in the alotted time. You'll sort it out, I'm sure. :D
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Online stitch101

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Re: 31 songs in 5 weeks
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2016, 10:44:08 pm »
How well do you know the songs (I don't mean playing them but hearing them)?

If Wild horses comes on the radio how long does it take to recognize it?

If you know most or all from hearing them set yourself up in jam mode.
Play with the recording with no help but your ears. You'd be surprised how many
songs you can play with out knowing the song.   

And memorize the key rather than the song it's self. Make notes like 1 4 5 in A
Make sure the band plays in the same key you practice in.

Wagon Wheel is in A but almost everyone I know play it in G.

If you can find out what the order of set list is that will help organize your notes and charts.

Now's a good time to learn to play by ear.

Learn a hard one and an easy  one the same day don't leave the hard ones to last.
By hard I don't mean the most complicated I mean the ones you're the most unfamiliar with.
A three chord song you've never heard or played came be harder than a 6 chord song you've
never played but can hum the tune in your head.

Good Luck





 

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