I’m always checking out new and interesting products to help make my life in a band easier. I was looking at some guitar tablature books and stumbled onto the Gig Guide series published by Hal Leonard. The Gig Guide series is designed to provide musicians with a blueprint for building bands.
What Hal Leonard has done in the Gig Guide series is to pick a musical genre, say Classic Rock, and compile a 12-song setlist. It’s the same thing I’ve done for you with the Live Musician Central Set List series. You get several tools to use to learn the songs with the Hal Leonard Gig Guide series. Along with the list of songs are a Lead Sheet with the basic essential parts you’ll need to know to play the songs. This could be as simple as chords and melody. You also get a demo CD with a full band playing the song so you can hear how you should sound. The full band on the Classic Rock Set would be drums, guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals. You also get a copy of all the lyrics to memorize. Finding the correct lyrics can be a real chore to track down so having the Gig Guide for the lyrics is a very good feature.
There are also pages of the book dedicated to learning the background vocals correctly. The lead sheet will show you which notes to sing as well as the words the background singers are supposed to sing. I’m sure you’ve noticed how hard it can be to pick out what the background singers are saying on some songs and this book will help immensely with that. The books also include performance tips such as which verses have harmony and which verses don’t.
The songs in each genre of the Gig Guide series are proven live band hits. For instance, in the Classic Rock Set the songs are:
- Cat Scratch Fever – Ted Nugent
- Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
- Lights – Journey
- Mony, Mony – Tommy James\Billy Idol
- Oh, Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison\Van Halen
- Rock And Roll All Night – Kiss
- R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A. – John Mellencamp
- (She’s) Some Kind Of Wonderful – Grand Funk Railroad
- Summer Of ’69 – Bryan Adams
- Surrender – Cheap Trick
- Takin’ Care Of Business – B.T.O.
- Tush – ZZ Top
So as you can see, those are some certified big hits. I’ve played several of those songs over the course of my career and they’re all floor fillers. So If you’re looking for a quick, easy way to knock out 12 songs and have a set for your band to play. Check out the Hal Leonard Gig Guides.