The puzzle of the setlist

I have taken to jigsaws recently. It’s a nice way to wind down in the evening.

The one I’m doing at the moment is hard – the title doesn’t lie. It’s full of dalmatians and not much else. It looks even harder in black and white but not by much.

The first step for me when doing a jigsaw is to find the edge pieces. These are easily found, and once you have them joined up, you have a frame for your jigsaw.

The next step is to work on the bits that look easy. It might be someone’s face, or some part where the colours involved don’t feature anywhere else on the jigsaw.

Finally (which is most of the jigsaw in the above case!) it comes down to scouring the available pieces for one that looks like it is the right shape and has the right colours for the part of the jigsaw on which you’re working.

When putting together a set for a show, like a jigsaw you start with the edge pieces. The start, the finish, the encore, songs immediately before and after the interval. Next you pick the songs you know people will want to hear and fit them in.

These numbers frame your show, but often the really juicy bits are the last ones to be added. The gems that are just the right shape, size, tempo or mood for that part of the show. Take your time picking these pieces – keep looking till you find the right fit – it’s the only way to complete the puzzle.

I'm Kieran and I play piano. Actually I do a bit more than just playing - I teach others how to play, and I write music, arrange it and host/produce shows.

4 thoughts on “The puzzle of the setlist

  1. Thanks for your message Pauline. I would love if you did that…I hope they get something out of them.


  2. Love your blogs Kieran. Am going to use some of them in school with teens for focus reflections (with your permission) Ta


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