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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Average length of song for Bar Gigs.


S.F. Bay Area

Oct 15th, 2017 10:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

What would you say should be the average length of songs for your typical bar gig?
The guys I play with keep picking songs that are 2 minutes long. I say that that is too short. After the patron recognizes the tune, decides to find a dance partner etc. a 2 minute song is over. I say they should average about 5 minutes. What say you?

Ramblin Rhodes

Sportsman's Paradise

Doin' Bruin
Oct 15th, 2017 10:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

Take their two minute songs and re-arrange to repeat a couple of verses and a bridge to make a 4:30 song...and if the dance floor fills in the interim...D.C. al Capo....happy..happy...happy..!!

Rick Knight
Contributing Member

St Peters, MO USA

Standing in the back, by the drummer.
Oct 16th, 2017 06:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

4 to 5 minutes seems like a good average.



England's Sloppiest Guitarist
Oct 16th, 2017 07:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

We play 11-12 songs in a 45 minute set. Not much spiel between songs do that's an average of about 4 minutes per song.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Oct 16th, 2017 09:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

Nothing wrong with doing an extra chorus and repeating the first verse. The songs should at a dance gig just keep coming, maybe in groups of 3 or 4. If patrons have time to sit down between songs you are not getting to the next one quick enough.

2-3 minute songs work great this way but you have stop talking between them and just get on with it. One song ends, the next is counted off. Medleys are perfect extenders.....

Contributing Member

Suburban MD.

Are your prayer beads maple or rosewood?
Oct 16th, 2017 11:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

Consider a medley for a lot of simple 'old time rock and roll songs.'
We used to smush:
It Wasn't Me (or Johnny B Goode depending on which lyrics jumped to my mind!) in A
Travelin' Band (CCR) in G
I'm Down also in G
Whole Lotta Shakin' in C
(Something I've now forgotten) in D
and Devil with the Blue Dress in B

It was usually 2 verses and a solo except for "Devil", for which we just pulled the live Bruce ending.

Contributing Member

Redesdale UK

"Still Alive And Well"
Oct 16th, 2017 01:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

I`ve got a new band about to start gigging. Yesterday we were timing the songs at rehearsal for the first time to help us put sets together. We had a range from just over two minutes (all 1960s vintage) to 4.30 or so. I think that`s about the right upper limit for dancing.


Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Oct 16th, 2017 03:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yes. Stretch them with a guitar solo or make them part of a medley 4 minutes minimal no more than ten, although I've been known to do a medley of old 3 chord rockers that sometimes stretches to 30 mins.

Contributing Member

juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Oct 17th, 2017 06:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

Our longest songs are "In memory of Elizabeth Reed" and a 2 song mash up we do, they are about 8 mins. each. We cover about 30-35 songs in 3 50 minute sets. We go into our songs at a very fast pace with very little talking going on between songs, maybe just some thanks for any applause we get from the crowd or sometimes an announcement of the next song we'll do.

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Average length of song for Bar Gigs.

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