Wednesday, October 21, 2009

3 Easy Steps for Creating and Updating Your Wedding Music Repertoire

Step 1. Take out a few peices of paper, and some colore pencils, too. On one page scribble down the kinds of music that you play right now, making a list of your present repertoire. Be as detailed as possible. Don't stop to analyze whether your music is approppriate for weddings. Just write down the titles of every tune you know how to play comfortably, music that you know you can perform in front of an audience without stumbling or breaking into a cold sweat.

If you play different genres of music, say you can play jazz guitar and know some bluegrass tunes, use different colored pencils to differentiate between the types of music you play. Maybe use one color for up-tempo tunes and another for slow ballads. You can also separate the types of music you play by ethnicity or whether they are secular (religious) or non-secular. Take time to go through your sheet music books and include everything in your list. Take as long as you like to complete this page.

Step 2. Review this list and place things in an order that makes sense to you, an order that you could perhaps share with a potential client, a bride. Place all the pre-ceremony music together, the reception music together, the possible bridal entrance tunes together, and so on. You'll want to be prepared to offer the bride several choices for each wedding activity. Remember: Not every bride wants to enter to "Here Comes the Bride."

Step 3. Start on a new page. Make a wish list of all the kinds of music you'd like to learn to play. Write down specific titles. These may include tunes you are still working on, tunes that you're not ready to perform in front of an audience quite yet. This list will help you to determine if you should continue working on these tunes or abandon them for other music that will give you a better chance of landing you wedding gigs.

When you're done with the list , compare it with the first list of songs you know. Do the songs you want to learn fit in with the types of songs appropriate for weddings? For instance, if you play for receptions, are they danceable? Put these tunes in order, with you first choices at the top of he page.

If you are in a band or ensemble, do this entire brainstorming exercise with your band members. They may have tunes in their personal repertoires that could be worth adding to your group's song list. This exercise will also help to confirm that all the members of your group have the same goals. If they aren't interested in performing at weddings and receptions, then the truth will certialny come out through this brainstorming activity. The key to this exercise is to make sure that each member of your group is on the same collective track. Musicians who share the same goals tend to get along well together and have longevity as a group.

Brides love menus of information. When they aks you, "What do you play?" you'll now be prepared to share your repertoire list with them.

Copyright © 2008 by Anne Roos, excerpt from "The Musician's Guide to Brides: How to Make Money Playing Weddings", published by Hal Leonard Books. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced in any form, without written permission, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review.

Hundreds of additional tips, are available for musicians (and all entrepreneurs) in my book, "The Musician's Guide to Brides" available wherever Hal Leonard Books are sold: music and bookstores, and through online retailers including,, Sylvia Woods Harp Center catalog, and of course, at my website at

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