Heathcote Studio/Gigging /Blog: Live Recording – How To Construct A Set List

Blog: Live Recording – How To Construct A Set List

Blog: Live Recording – How To Construct A Set List

How do you construct your set list?

What songs do you want on your album?

First of all, think about your very last song – the album you want to end on.

This is the one gig where you will be 100% certain to get an encore.

Do you want your audience to sing along? A lot depends on your style – do you want a big finish?

Now chose the song before your encore – your last song of the set. The song you sing before your encore. 

Chose one of your best songs to finish.

Then, choose your first song of the gig. It is important to start off with a strong song – it will be your first song on your album.

Think about the rest of the songs you want on the album… check out the speed of the songs – try and not put 2 songs together that sound very similar … also check what keys the songs are in –  alternate a fast song with a slow one maybe –  … and fit them into your set.

Also, consider how many songs you want on your album. I think 12 songs is the ideal amount – but one or two more, or less, is fine too.

Once you have chosen your songs – consider the arrangements of each song.

For example, check out the intro to each song.  Do any of the songs have a strumming intro with no vocals? Can you shorten the intro? Does the song need an intro at all? Can you do anything to make each song more interesting to the listener? Maybe a key change? Try to avoid a 1st verse, chorus, 2nd verse, chorus, 3rd verse chorus arrangement … make sure the songs are interesting and keep your listener thinking. Can add any light and shade to the songs? Do you need to slow the song down for a verse – or maybe play quietly and then build the song up again? Or how about using chord inversions to add another dimension?

You will probably know all this – but it is worth thinking about again before you record your album. The more planning you put into your set, the better your album will sound.

Once you are ready – give me a call to discuss your live album!