Mudcat Café message #105081 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #12964   Message #105081
Posted By: Les B
14-Aug-99 - 06:04 PM
Thread Name: Help: Personal Songbook question
Subject: RE: Help: Personal Song Book question
On singing from print I have mixed feelings. I don't do it when singing in public, and generally don't like to see it done. Recently, however, we presented Debbie Harry (vocalist of the rock group Blondie), but this time singing jazz with a group called the Jazz Passengers. Just before our concert she had been on a reunion tour with Blondie and had not rehearsed with the Jazz group for some time. When she came on stage she placed her songs on a music stand, and I thought it would be like a stiff school recital. But she put on one helluva show, only checking the printed material with brief glances ! I realized if you can "sell" a song to the audience, it's OK to have a crutch.

On the paper side of song archiving, I keep a master list in huge 3-ring binders (4 inch rings) full of all the songs I'm working on, know, or knew -- in alphabetical order. I'm trying to get them all entered into a computer data base, but the binders will be a hard-copy back up if Y2K rears its ugly head. The rings do indeed tend to "bind" and tear, but so far it's the quickest way to organize bits of 8 X 11 paper.

For set lists, I'm currently experimenting with rolodex cards which have, in large computer type, the song title, key, info about who's taking the break, and sometimes the first word of each line. At a Staples office supply I found a plastic book about 5 X 8 inches which will take rolodex cards and will open up flat with eight cards up at a time. This can be thrown down on the floor by the mics. In a 15 song set, you only have to flip the page once to see your whole set list. It's always reasuring to be able to look a few songs ahead to see when it's capo time, or even to substitute a song. When not in the set book, you can keep the rolodex cards in alphabetical order on a normal rolodex ring, ready to slide into the book in whatever order you want. But nothing beats having a good memory ! Those were the good old days!