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Why is it so hard to build a repertoire?

Tom

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Thanks again, everyone, good responses to my original post. Since then of course I tried to address this with the "21 week challenge" which has worked quite well in methodically adding additional tunes slowly over time. Just a few more weeks to go. Then, consolidation by identifying and working out those tunes that can't be played well enough in public, and replacing those that didn't quite work out.

I'm pretty much convinced that at my age and late start I won't be able to memorize endless amounts (ie 3 - 4 hours) of music and will have to bring music to the gigs to maintain variety. So, to increase the length of repertoire it will either come down to learning to read at playing speed and/or slowly adding repertoire I can play on occasion from the sheet music.

As far as playing with emotion, you're spot on (as they say over there). I believe I do achieve this with tunes that I know very well, and definitely try to do. I like to make changes to the tunes, but keep my improve within bounds. The tricks to extend the tunes work well, thanks.

Thanks and good luck to everyone out there, keep on keeping on!
 

losthobos

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I dipped out of the 21 weeks thingy as realised its easier to increase the repetoire by learning intros, outros, vamps, and chordal step ups/downs till they are 2nd nature... Then extend any of tje material you already have by improvising a couple of times round in the middle just applying walks ups / downs between chord changes and vamps on a constant chord... I'm a way from mastery for sure but at least I've conceptualised direction....
 

Tom

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Good way to go, Terry, and good ideas for extending songs. Problem is playing the same place every month/week and not wanting to play always the same tunes....
 

jozz

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hah yeah

on average days the audience of any age group will come up with the same requests!

there is no need to learn hundreds of tunes
 

Valski

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hah yeah

on average days the audience of any age group will come up with the same requests!

there is no need to learn hundreds of tunes
Yes I agree. When my friends and I started playing weddings and other paid gigs our mentor gave us about 30 adult contemporary songs to learn because that was good for a little over two hours. We asked what we need to do for the rest of the gig and we were told to just start over because no one in the audience will remember what you played anyway. Slowly we built up a bigger repertoire, but people want to hear the songs that they know.

These days when playing for a crowd I get requests for the same songs over and over again. If everyone is singing, dancing and having a great time you've achieved your goal. Simple catchy songs that are happy are highly effective. No one has attended the event to hear me because I am the best musician ever, they're there to have fun with friends. Remember that reality and you will be less stressed and happier with yourself.
 

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