I want to play what they want to hear
November 24, 2010 6:01 AM Subscribe
Guitar/Music filter: what handy tools can you recommend to remind you of the songs you can play, for those occasions when you're asked to perform out of the blue and your mind goes blank.
I'm not one of those guitarists that picks up every guitar he sees and starts serenading. However, most people that I know are aware that I play or have seen me play and every now and then I'll find myself with a guitar in my hand, and a polite request that I perform. (And I'm just a strummer and singer, not much else.)
Unfortunately, the songs that I can play fairly automatically tend not to be songs that the general public is interested in hearing. There's a whole bunch of other, more public-friendly, stuff that I've learned at one point or another but I can never remember them at the crucial moment.
What tricks do you guys have? A note on your phone with the first few chords? A list of the songs on a folded up piece of paper? Is there an iPhone app for this? Send an email to myself with the relevant details and keep it on my phone? My grandfather was a pianist and he had a music book with the first 4 bars of hundreds of songs - his own little Fake Book. My grandfather was awesome.
I do actually keep a printed spreadsheet with about 40 songs and the first few chords in my guitar case. But if I've actually got my guitar with me, it's usually because someone has asked me to do something in advance, in which case I prepare a mini-set for the occasion. So that doesn't really cut it.