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Set Times

April 2, 2013

Set times are a huge factor in running a show and as a band or artist you should know exactly how long your set is and play exactly that amount. Going over ten minutes can cause major headaches if a show needs to run on a tight schedule or ending early can cause an awkwardly long change-over. There should always be a promoter or stage manager in charge making sure things run on time but as the person on stage playing there are things you should be doing to always ensure everything goes smoothly.

One of the best ways to make sure you don’t go too long or short on stage is to time your practices. You should also make sure that you leave a few minutes in there for fan interaction, if you are schedule to play 30 minutes then you should have roughly 3 to four minutes of this time to speak to the audience. While what you say to the audience shouldn’t feel too rehearsed you should leave time in your set for it or incase something has to be quickly fixed on stage.

A very easy way to stay on time and not go over is have someone with a watch/clock so you know what the time is and how much longer you have to play. Always double check before you start when the promoter wants you start and end and make sure to make eye contact with them throughout the set to ensure they are not going to cut you at some point if you are running late.

Always start and end on your must hear songs, if you are told that you have to cut 1 or more songs you should know which to keep and which not to play. Sometimes things are out of your control and you will have to change your set so always be prepared and have multiple sets prepared. If a show is going well and the crowd is into it you may get asked to play an encore and you should always be prepared for it.

Playing the right length and being prepared at a show is just another factor that can either make you look like a professional or an amateur band who nobody will want to work with again.

-Hassan

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