Last week we had a student performance with a live band. We had only one rehearsal prior to the gig, so we had to pick songs with low “train wreck” risk!
If you find yourself in a similar situation – where you have the chance to sing with a live band with little to no rehearsal, such as at an open mic night – do you know how to pick good songs that won’t crash and burn on stage?
Here are 5 tips.
1) Does the song have any time signature changes, measures with unusual counts (like a bar of 2:4 in a 4:4 song), or extra measures (such as a 9th bar in what is normally an 8-bar chord progression)? If any of these are true, the song is not a good choice!
2) Are there any important hits or breaks that not everyone in the world would know as a matter of course? Depending on how much rehearsal time you have, hits and breaks can be trip-up spots.
3) Can you count off the song at the right tempo and feel? Especially important if you go to an open mic night.
4) Do you know how the song begins? Which instrument starts? Everyone in together? Guitar lead? Drums & bass start? Does it matter?
5) Are there any key modulations such as a half step up? If so, you’ll need to communicate and plan clearly beforehand, and remember to cue when the time comes.
(c) 2010 Adrienne Osborn