How many Christmas songs should
you include in your show?
December is the time
when most professional artists get all those extra bookings coming
in for Christmas party gigs. The real pros with years of experience
know that it pays to plan a long way ahead and these smart singers
have their Christmas set-lists all made up long before this (usually
Christmas shows are all about getting your audience in to the
party mood, and a
good selection of Christmas backing tracks poured on top of
the good cheer, magic of the occasion, mince pies and a few lashings
of mulled wine is enough to make any party go with a bang!
So, just how many Christmas backing tracks should you include
in your show?
The answer depends very much on whether you've been booked specially
to perform at a Christmas party night, or whether you are singing
at a normal gig which just happens to be during the month of December.
As you can imagine, you would be expected to sing more Christmas
songs at a Christmas party night than you would at a normal gig...
As a rough guide, if you've been booked to provide the entertainment
at a Christmas party night, then in one 45 minute set (about 15
songs), I would recommend you sing 4 or maybe 5 Christmas songs.
So, if you normally sing 2 x 45minute sets in a night, then make
sure you have at least 9 or 10 Christmas songs.
If you are singing at a normal gig and it just happens to be the
month of December (ie not a specific Christmas party night), then
including 1 or 2 Christmas songs per 45 minute set will probably
be about right.
Remember though that there is no hard and fast rule for this and
it very much depends on your audience. If you're not sure, why
not ask them? I do! Believe me your audience will enjoy it if
you ask them if they want to hear more Christmas songs, and you'll
most probably find they'll even shout out their favourites. Even
anyone who, for a bit of fun, perhaps shouts out NO! can help
create a lot of hilarity in the room when you reply to them with
funny quips about "scrooge" and "Party pooper"
etc! Gigs during the month of December should always be that little
bit more light-hearted and fun than usual because your audience
are hyped up around this magical time of year. So make sure you
join in the fun too.
Another question I am often asked is WHEN do I stop including
Christmas songs in my set list?
Again, there is no hard and fast rule, but most professional entertainers
find that while Christmas songs really please audiences and get
them in to a party mood, they tend to have the opposite
effect and fall flat AFTER Christmas has passed. So as a rough
guide, I would say you should sing Christmas songs all the way
up to, and including, boxing day, then return to your normal gig
Most of all, make sure you enjoy your Christmas gigs and enjoy
singing all your Christmas
backing tracks. Audiences can sense when you're enjoying yourself
onstage and it really helps them relax and get in to the mood
Do this and you'll create a very
Merry Christmas for everyone!
Article Written by Kenny Campbell
(This article cannot be reproduced without express
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