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Wedding Band Tips


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trickg
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaw04 wrote:
Wedding reception classics that you should know the trumpet part to regardless of if there are charts, 2021:

Signed, Sealed Delivered
Uptown Funk
Sir Duke
Get Down On It
Jungle Boogie
Sweet Caroline
September
Let's Groove Tonight
Hold On Im Coming
I Feel Good
RESPECT
Happy
Cupid Shuffle
Play that Funky Music
We Are Family
Wobble Dance
You Are the Best Thing
Get Lucky
Wake Me Up
Timber
24k Magic

Similar to trickg's post but smaller. I think you should work on learning these tunes from memory. I play a lot of weddings without charts and need to know these. I also play some wedding cocktail hours that is more jazz, swing, crooner standards. But these are the reception classics you should know. I get a lot of gigs actually playing with a DJ and drums and a sax and the horns just play the horn parts while the song plays. There are no charts and you need to know the parts and also be able to improvise parts or take a solo when the moment is right.

Nice post - agree 100% with everything on your list!

There's only a couple of tunes on that list that weren't in our book. We played "Sir Duke," but never seemed to get a lot of mileage out of it. That's a tough chart and always required me to woodshed it before a gig where I knew it was going to be called, and it never did well on the dance floor, so we didn't call it a lot. That tune was put in the book at the request of our drummer who really liked it.

I never liked playing "Wake Me Up." The song always hit on the dance floor, but the way the chart was set up, horns were doubling the synth lines - long long lines, lots of playing, and no good place to breathe. That was one of those tunes where I'd cringe when it got called because I knew it was going to burn my chops, but I knew it was a good song call.

You've got a couple of tunes on that list that we never did, and looking at them, I wonder why because everything on that list is an guaranteed dance floor hit.

"Jungle Boogie" is in the book and would have been a fantastic tune, but I can't even remember a single time when it was called. It must have been at least once, but I don't remember it.

I bet "24K Magic" also slays on the dance floor - that's a fantastic tune, and I don't know why it never made it into our book, although it may have been one where he weighed out other Bruno Mars tunes we do, and figured that if we needed to do Bruno, we always had "Uptown Funk."

"Timber" would have been fantastic too - I think the reason why that never made it into the book was because of when it hit. The one guy we had in the band who could authentically rap ended up getting let go right around that time. (I had a couple of tunes where I had to rap - I got it done, but it wasn't pretty! )

"Hold On I'm Coming" would have also been an every-time hit - I have no idea why it's not in the book because it's classic. I mean, how may movies has that song been in? I know I've heard it a bunch.

Good list!
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mafields627
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't play wedding bands, but I'm in the part of life where I've been to a whole heck of a lot of weddings lately, so I would add this suggestion:

Learn your local university fight songs and whatever popular tunes get played during football or basketball games. Every wedding I have been to in the last three to four years has had some combination of Yea Alabama, Sweet Home Alabama, and Dixieland Delight because we've all been Bama grads or huge fans.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mafields627 wrote:
I don't play wedding bands, but I'm in the part of life where I've been to a whole heck of a lot of weddings lately, so I would add this suggestion:

Learn your local university fight songs and whatever popular tunes get played during football or basketball games. Every wedding I have been to in the last three to four years has had some combination of Yea Alabama, Sweet Home Alabama, and Dixieland Delight because we've all been Bama grads or huge fans.

That's likely because you live IN Alabama. We've done the Notre Dame fight song a time or two, but past that I don't think it was ever a thing for our band.

That doesn't make it an invalid thing though - there are different customs and traditions based on where you live, and what might be perfectly normal in one state or area of the country may not be a thing at all in another. Whatever those things, are, I agree with mafields627 that it's a good thing to figure them out and learn what you need to.
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mafields627
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trickg wrote:

That doesn't make it an invalid thing though - there are different customs and traditions based on where you live, and what might be perfectly normal in one state or area of the country may not be a thing at all in another. Whatever those things, are, I agree with mafields627 that it's a good thing to figure them out and learn what you need to.


Great point with a much more wholistic outlook!
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trickg
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mafields627 wrote:
trickg wrote:

That doesn't make it an invalid thing though - there are different customs and traditions based on where you live, and what might be perfectly normal in one state or area of the country may not be a thing at all in another. Whatever those things, are, I agree with mafields627 that it's a good thing to figure them out and learn what you need to.


Great point with a much more wholistic outlook!

Can you imagine what the set list or list of special songs would look like in a wedding band working in the middle of Texas!?
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marathoner
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah for sure ! Let's see - middle of Texas - why of course - "BOOMER SOONER" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trickg wrote:
mafields627 wrote:
trickg wrote:

That doesn't make it an invalid thing though - there are different customs and traditions based on where you live, and what might be perfectly normal in one state or area of the country may not be a thing at all in another. Whatever those things, are, I agree with mafields627 that it's a good thing to figure them out and learn what you need to.


Great point with a much more wholistic outlook!

Can you imagine what the set list or list of special songs would look like in a wedding band working in the middle of Texas!?


Funny you should mention Texas, I’m in Houston.
This is the set list from our last wedding a few weeks ago. We actually don’t do as much variety as I would like and think we should for a wedding, but we do probably 10-12 weddings per year, mixed in with corporate parties and clubs.

1ST SET

I’LL BE AROUND
AT LAST
MY GIRL
WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD
LOVE ON THE BRAIN
HAVANA
STAND BY ME
KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND MEDLEY (F)
(GET DOWN TONITE – THAT’S THE WAY I LIKE IT – SHAKE YOUR BOOTY)
BAD GIRL (DONNA SUMMERS) – BOOGIE, OOGIE
DISCO INFERNO
LONG TRAIN RUNNING

2ND SET

UPTOWN FUNK
THE BIRD
THIS IS HOW WE DO IT
LADY MARMALADE
THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL (MICHAEL JACKSON)
WE ARE FAMILY
SEPTEMBER (EWF)
LET’S GROOVE TONITE
MY PERROGATIVE (Bobby Brown) (A)
GIVE IT TO ME BABY (Rick James)
TENNESSE WHISKEY / I’D RATHER GO BLIND
KISS
RESPECT
BRICK HOUSE - RAPPERS DELIGHT
CONGA
SHAKE YOUR BODY DOWN
PROUD MARY
CAIN’T GET ENOUGH OF YOUR LOVE
ERNIE - BREAKDOWN THE BAND

3RD SET

CAN’T STOP THE FEELIN
I WISH
FUNKY MUSIC WHITE BOY
CELEBRATION
I WANT YOUR LOVE
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GeorgeB
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, what a difference time has made. Here is a small example of list my 5 piece combo played in the mid 50s to early 60s:

IN THE MOOD
WHO'S SORRY NOW
PERFIDIA
SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
I'M IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE
ST.LOUIS BLUES
STARS FELL ON ALABAMA
HARBOUR LIGHTS
STARDUST
YOUR CHEATING HEART ( Caution, don't play this at weddings )
TANGERINE
KISS TO BUILD A DREAM ON
DREAM
RAGS TO RICHES
I CAN'T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE
MOONLIGHT SERENADE
GIRL OF MY DREAMS
BEGIN THE BEGIN, etc, etc, etc, You get the idea.

George
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trickg
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless my band was playing a concert date, we never had set lists - the bandleader called tunes on the fly, partly based on what songs were on the suggested play list from the wedding party, and partly based on what songs were working and what songs weren't.

I never liked that - I always liked having a set list so that we could jump right from song to song, with no gaps, but the bandleader never liked doing that. I can't tell you the number of times I missed the song call - couldn't hear it, or didn't hear it correctly, and was still trying to pull the chart when the song started. His contention was that people didn't care if the trumpet player missed a few bars at the top of the tune - they just wanted to keep dancing.

I see it both ways. I think having a set list is good, but if the set is comprised of tunes that aren't working to keep folks dancing, is that the hill you want to die on when the goal is to keep people dancing?

He'd also use the on-the-fly call to the opposite effect. When we were doing a fundraiser or other corporate event, there were always a few die-hard stragglers that didn't want to leave the dance floor - we're talking 6-8 people who stuck around after everyone else had left. He'd purposely call tunes in the book that he knew would drive off the stragglers so that we could wrap up early. I didn't particularly agree with that either, but it wasn't my decision to make.
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area51recording
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least it sounds like you guys are PLAYING in wedding bands. Around these parts (if I'm lucky) we get to do a wallpaper jazz set for the guests arriving and cocktail hour, and the party is handled by a DJ.....
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