How to create a setlist?

November 10, 2023 - Written by Max

TL;DR: Start with a couple high energy songs, then some slow or ballad kind of songs and end again with well know songs.

Ok, so you got a gig lined up in a couple weeks. Rehearsed the .... out of the 30 songs you chose to play. Now we need a setlist. How do make a set list?

When you're in a cover band and you have to play for a whole evening you generally play 30 songs divided into 3 sets of 10 songs depending on the length of the songs.

So to give an example of one set:

  1. Start with a banger. Something that really sets the tone of the evening or represents your band and the music that you play. Oh and choose an easy song to play. It will call the nerves a bit!
  2. Then choose a couple songs with the same vibe or energy as the opening song to keep the momentum going for a little while longer.
  3. Now it's time to go a little easier on the listener (and maybe yourself haha). Put the slow or ballad kind of songs here in the middle of the set.
  4. Then as the set progresses start up the energy again with some more
  5. And then the grand finale or so to speak, should be again a couple of high energy songs. Well know rock songs for instance will do great!

Repeat this for all the sets you play and voila you have a setlist!

This is all from my own perspective playing guitar in rock / blues (c0ver) bands so it could be completely different for what you do but hopefully gives an idea of how to make a great set list.

Thanks for reading!

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