The first time you start Setlist Monkey on your iPhone you should add all the songs your band has in its repertoire. The “Songs”-screen lists all your songs in alphabetical order.
Adding Songs to your Repertoire
You can add songs on the “Songs”-Screen by tapping the “+” -sign on the top-right. This leads you through a wizard asking you to specify your song title, key, tempo and duration. This data will help you later on, when building your setlists.
Just tap on an entry on the “songs”-screen followed by the field you want to edit. Be aware that editing a song’s details will affect all your setlists that use this song. So if you have a song that you might play in different variations (let’s say a short and a long version), you should add them as two separate songs in your repertoire.
Just swipe over an entry in your “Songs” list and hit the delete button that shows up. Again be aware that deleting a song here will also delete it from all setlists that use this song.
Building your Setlists
Use the “Setlists”-tab to build your setlists based on the songs you have entered previously. Setlist Monkey will help you with calculating the total duration and suspense curve of your setlist.
Creating an empty Setlist
Tap the “+”-sign on the top-right of the “Setlists”-screen and provide a meaningful name for your setlist, like “Basic Rehearsal” or “Gig at Club XY”.
Next you will be asked for the desired total duration of your set. The duration is calculated from the raw playtime only. Depending on how you present your show (changing instruments, talking to the crowd…), your actual show duration might be longer.
So if you need to leave the stage after an hour, you should not specify a duration longer than about 50 minutes to account for the breaks between the songs.
To edit the name or duration of your setlist tap on the “Edit” -button on the top-left of the screen followed by the field you want to edit.
The Dark Arts of Setlist-Building
Now comes the fun part, where Setlist Monkey can really help you. Tap on your newly created Setlist on the “Setlists”-screen and add the song you want to start with by tapping on “Add next song to setlist” on the lower edge of the screen.
Now you will see a list of all available songs. Choose one by tapping its name. Keep tapping the names of the songs in the desired order of your setlist. On the top of the screen you can see the last song you have added to your set. Keep an eye on building up tempo from song to song.
You may notice that there are two large buttons on top of this screen: “All” and “Harmonics”. “All” shows all remaining songs from your repertoire that have not yet been added to your set. “Harmonics” will show only remaining songs that make a good harmonic match to the previous song. A “good harmonic match” is calculated by the “circle of fifths” and helps to build your set with sections of ear-pleasing progressions of songs. If there are matching songs, the “Harmonics”-filter will engage by itself, if there are none it will fall back to the “All” list.
At any time, while building your setlist you may tap on the “Back” button on the top left to see your setlist. The red or green indicator on the right side of your list entries shows if a song is in harmonic progression to the previous one. Green means it is, while red means it is not.
Of course you don’t really want to have all the songs in your set in harmonic progression, but it helps to decide consciously about where to use harmonic progression or where to create an incision in the flow of your songs.
Practice or Gig with perfect Tempo
The “Play” screen will help at your rehearsals or gigs to play your songs in perfect tempo.
Some songs will do fine if played a bit faster or slower than usual, but others are prone to sound dreadful if played just a bit faster or slower than intended. So it is important to start your songs with the right tempo.
This part of our iPhone app is built to be as non-distracting as possible:
On the “Play”-screen choose the setlist your want to play and hand over your iPhone or iPod Touch to your drummer or whoever is doing the count in. You just need to tap the big “Count Me In”-button and the first song of your set will be counted in with the flashing and clicking metronome. After the count-in is finished the next song is automatically pre-selected, so you only need to tap the “Count me In”-button again to proceed with the next song.
If you want to skip a song or reapeat the last one, just tap on the “Next” or “Prev” entries below the “Count Me In”-button
You can specify the number of beats for the count-in inside the “Options”-screen. If you set this to a high value you may use the count-in as a practice metronome that plays for the duration of your songs.