Picking a Group Song

Jerryc41

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For you people who play in groups, how do you pick your songs? My Zoom group plays songs picked by the leader, with half a dozen spontaneous requests thrown in. He sends out the list ahead of time - from our collection.

The group that's meeting in person seems to have switched to requiring each person to pick a song - not my favorite method. In the past, people would just shout out a request.
 

Gary52

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In our group the leaders (my wife & I) pick most of the songs. We encourage others to pick songs, but most people in the group seem happy to let us do it. Occasionally we'll send out a playlist in advance, but I prefer some spontaneity.

We're getting together in person again, but it worked the same way when we were Zooming.
 

hendulele

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We go around the room, dealer’s choice. The only caveat: if you pick a song, and it’s unfamiliar, we ask that you be able to lead it. Sometimes that means we don’t play that song. Others we may end up running through it a few times and learning it.
 

rustydusty

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In our band, anyone can suggest a song, but they will need to back it up with the words, dots, and chords in the key they would like to do it in...
 

bunnyf

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Some groups I play with just go around the circle and take turns selecting out of the 2 Daily Ukulele songbooks. Another goes around the circle and folks have to bring copies of a song they’d like to lead. In the group I lead, I am a bit of a benevolent dictator. We have a Dropbox with songs charts that I have approved and we go around the circle taking turns picking from that list. We have a lot of beginners so I like to be able to select songs that I think translate well into a jam setting (generally familiar but not always, with mostly familiar chords, w/o quick chord changes). I always ask for suggestions but filter for those I think will work best. In the bluegrass jams I attend, it is easier. There is a body of common songs. No printed music is necessary and the format is almost always to go around the circle w/ each person taking turn picking a song and the key and taking responsibility to lead it.
 
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For you people who play in groups, how do you pick your songs? My Zoom group plays songs picked by the leader, with half a dozen spontaneous requests thrown in. He sends out the list ahead of time - from our collection.

The group that's meeting in person seems to have switched to requiring each person to pick a song - not my favorite method. In the past, people would just shout out a request.

Actually we "choose" our songs. The only "picking" we do is on the strings and our noses....
 

plunker

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I would think songs that would somewhat challenge the more inexperienced player, chord progressions all can handle, and off course everyone should like somewhat.
You can please all of the people some of the time, you can please some of the people all the time, but you cant please all of the people all the time.
 

mds725

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In my ukulele group (San Francisco Ukulele Rebellion) we used to go around the room pre-pandemic for anyone who wanted to to pick and lead a song. To preserve as much as we could of that formula online without having the awkward pauses after "who would like to lead a song next?", I've always asked people to volunteer songs to lead in advance and I created from those requests a playlist that I shared with people ahead of time. Then we started having "theme evenings," such as songs from musicals, songs written or performed by women, Hawaiian songs, songs from the 1960s, love songs, etc. We get through about 20 songs in two hours, and we have enough people who want to lead songs that each songleader gets to lead one or two songs. People seem to enjoy thinking about what songs they'd like to play that fits that week's theme. We met in person again in June for the first time since the pandemic started and we reverted to going around the circle (so everyone who wanted one could have a turn choosing and leading a song.
 

TopDog

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I ususally create the 'sheets*' that our group uses, and it is a tricky process in one respect; many of he songs that I play to check out the 'sheets', actually work for me,as a solo player. But in the group context, some of them just do not work! I have found this over the past twelve years or so whilst running first one group, and then a second one. I encourage requests from the members, and work out a sheet based on that request, and as I have said some of them just do not work as a group effort whilst working fine for one person.

*Sheets refer to the olden days when I did actually print out the sheets on A4 paper to distribute;now,we all have tablets/iPads and I just email them!