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How to create a successful setlist for a live performance? (part 1)

Creating a setlist is an important step for any artist preparing for a live performance.

Let's discuss this in two parts. First part, we will consider the perspective of your audience, and then, on another post we'll soon publish, we will consider the perspective of the singer/musician!

Setlist - Part 1

How to create a setlist that will keep your audience engaged throughout your live?

1. Think about your audience

It's important to consider the audience who will be attending your performance. If you're playing in a bar for rock music fans, avoid playing country songs or classical music (it's logical, isn't it? Yet, it happens regularly that bands don't particularly think about the type of audience that goes to concert venues or bars that host them).

2. Balance the tempos

To keep your audience engaged, it's important to vary the tempos of your songs. If you play slow songs all night, your audience may fall asleep and miss out on all the fun. So, make sure to alternate fast songs and slower songs to create an interesting dynamic.

3. Maintain energy

It's also important to maintain energy throughout your performance. If you start with your most popular song, you risk burning all your fuel at the beginning. Instead, start with a song that puts you in the mood and allows your audience to discover you. Keep your most popular song for later in the setlist, so that your audience stays energized until the end.

4. Consider covers

Including covers of popular songs can be an excellent way to generate excitement from the audience. But be careful not to fall into the trap of a 100% cover setlist if you want your audience to listen to your original songs and discover your own musical style.

5. Practice your setlist

Once you've established your setlist, it's time to practice it. Rehearse your performance again and again to ensure that everything is perfectly in place. This will also give you a chance to see if some songs don't work as well as you thought and adjust them before the performance.

By following these tips, you can establish a setlist that will thrill your audience and leave a lasting impression. But don't forget to have fun and enjoy your live performance, as that's ultimately the most important thing!



Greg McClement
Greg McClement
Aug 08, 2023

those are great tips. also watch the audiences response to songs and maybe change the order based on that or add and remove songs based on response. some people also like a word based intro about some of the songs. like I wrote this one because blah blah blah. if you are a dance band dont start with a great dance song since it takes a while for people to get going. Make the second song a great dance song. Also if people are really dancing to a song and its about to finish just do the whole song again from the second verse without stopping.

Aug 08, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Greg for your awesome additional tips! We can feel the true rockstar hehe!

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