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Set List Modification in MS Word

Started by cdeminski, March 01, 2017, 09:34:34 AM

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Hi all,

I'm relatively new to using BandHelper, and I'm having some difficulties figuring out the best way to achieve results when I want to create set lists.

I've entered all of my songs into the database. I'm a vocalist, and I don't always play with the same group of people at a gig. In fact, I usually wind up playing with pick up bands, so each time I do a gig it's a slightly different group of people.

What I've resisted doing is putting either instrumentals I want my band to play OR songs other musicians sing into my song database. The reason is I don't want to clutter up MY song database with information that may not be used again, or have to create duplicate copies of songs I already sing with someone else's name and key attached to them.

QUESTION: Can I create a separate project in BandHelper which would have these extraneous songs, and then pick and choose from whichever song database I want for a set list?

My situation leaves me with having to export a set list in HTML format, and try to modify it using MS Word. I tried that for a gig this past week, and I got frustrated with my attempts to edit the data. When I would try to modify the information, the text would start wrapping within a column and it would make a mess of the grid, even when I greatly reduced font size.

So instead, I started a "blank" set list and just typed everything in from scratch (which is what I had been doing before I purchased BandHelper.) However - continuing to put together manual set lists would defeat the primary reason I bought this app!

I'm looking for the best way to proceed with the circumstances I mention.

Many times I want to include YouTube links in a Notes section for my musicians, so they can listen to the tunes I need them to learn for upcoming gigs. I don't know how to create a column for "Notes" in my set list. I tried creating a Custom Field, but I can't get it to show up in the Set List.

So as you can see, I need help!



Yes, you can create separate projects in your account to separate these files:

However, you can only add songs to a set list from the same project as the set list ... so you would have to temporarily move these songs into your main project before adding them to a set list, then remove them from the project afterwards (I believe they will stay in your set list at that point, but I haven't verified that). It might be easier to leave them in the project but activate and deactivate them as needed (using the Active checkbox on the song edit page; they will definitely stay in your set list when deactivated). Or you can use song tags or colors to organize them within your main project. If you're not already using colors for something, that might be the easiest.

When you ask about adding YouTube links to a set list, do you mean a shared (printed/emailed) list or a set list that someone would view within BandHelper?


Thanks for your reply Arlo.  :)

Hmm. I'm already using multiple colors in my song database to indicate different kinds of songs (jazz, blues, pop, latin). Also, putting other songs in my database would mess me up if I tried to print or export the information as a complete list of songs I sing, which is very important to me.

When I create a manual set list, (see attached example) I use the Notes field to show another singer (in this case, Mark), or if a song is an instrumental. I would also use the Notes field in my (manually created) set list to share a YouTube link with the band.

I wouldn't mind exporting the HTML file and editing it, but I'm just finding the export difficult to manipulate... because the columns aren't easily identified once the HMTL is pasted into a MS Word document, adding rows also messes up the "look" of the original HTML, and I can't figure out an easy way to add the NOTES column.


You can't add the Notes field to a set list, but you could create a custom field for Singer and include that on set lists (and write "instrumental" or "--" in that field if there is no singer).

It sounds like you're sharing set lists outside of BandHelper, so in that case I'd also make a custom field named "Link" to put the YouTube links into. If people were accessing the set list inside BandHelper, it would be better to put the links into the Notes field where they will be clickable.


Thanks for your reply Arlo.

I took your advice and added two custom fields: Singer and Links. Then I went into my Test Set List and ensured those custom fields were selected. However, when the set list was exported as an HTML, the custom fields do not show up as column names.

I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, I just don't know what it is... :-(


I also wanted to add that, unfortunately, some of the musicians I work with are older and they are not technically adept. Some don't even use email (they need help from family members), others don't know how to use social media, still others don't understand apps like iRealPro at all.

While I can rely on their musical knowledge and prowess at gigs, I don't want to burden them with learning how to navigate an app. I'd rather do whatever is needed myself to get them set lists (usually emailed and then paper copies handed out at the gig) to make them comfortable.

It must seem silly to you, since the idea of using the app is to make life easier, and it WILL be - eventually - when I figure out a way to dovetail my use of the app with my existing manual processes to help save time.


The set list won't include column names. I looked up your account and it looks like you haven't entered anything into the custom fields yet. If you do that, the entries themselves should appear on the set list.


Hi Arlo, thanks again for your help.

So I did enter my name as Singer for one of the songs that was on the Test Set List, and it did then make my name appear in the Set List. The thing is, in my song database, I'm always the Singer so this field is redundant for me, except for my need to create a manual list.

I'm thinking that instead, perhaps I can add a fake song, called "Other Singer" and then in the Singer field, put "Other" and then replace it with the information that's needed when I modify it manually later. This removes the need for me to enter my name as Singer in every single song in my database.

I did the same thing for "Guest Performer" which is what happens on one of my gigs, where I invite guest singers to come up to the bandstand for a jam. I create space in the set list for "Guest Performer" as many times as I need it. I never know what the Guest Performer is going to sing, so that information would always be blank, and is different from "Other Singer" who is another (temporary) band member for the evening.

All of this seems like a complicated way of getting around the specifics of setting up my database for use in making sets. :-/

One thing I'd love to be able to do is create a custom template for a Set List and then populate it with whatever elements I need, rather than have to rely on my database structure to cobble something together.

What do you think?

P.S. I'm attaching the most recent version of the Test Set List, it's still a very ugly baby, but getting there


To clarify, do you want to show the singer of a song that is in your database -- so only the singer's name but not the title needs to be manually entered from one gig to another? Or do you want to show the singer of a song that is not in your database -- so both the title and the singer's name needs to be manually entered?


Hi Arlo, thanks for your ongoing patience.  :-[

In my set lists, I want to show four things (when it comes to songs, and not breaks or pauses).

1. Songs I sing. These songs would come out of my song database into the set list I can create with BandHelper.

2. Other Singers. These songs would not be in my song dbase, however, I have entered a "Song" into my database called "Other Singer" with a Custom Field for the Singer's name which reads "Other Singer." Then I need to manually enter the name of the song, their key and name.

3. Guest Performers. These songs would not be known until the actual gig, however I have entered a "Song" called "Guest Performer" so I have a space with a certain amount of time allocated to this item.

4. Instrumentals. These songs would not be in my song dbase, and need to be manually entered into the set list.

None of these 4 things will resolve two items:

"Link" (unless the link is for my song). If I have an "other singer" coming, and I know the song and the performer, I might want to include a YouTube link for the band ... and this song would not be in my database.

"Notes" (like "trade 4's with the drummer on this tune" or "bring me back in on the bridge")

I don't know if this helps, but I appreciate you continuing to coach me.



Okay, so even if you aren't filling in the custom field values in the app, you could still add a custom field and include it in your set list and this will make an empty space in the HTML output that you could type into. Does that help?


Hi Arlo, thanks for your response(s)!

Yes, it helps. But for me, the only way to know is to start using it for "real" set lists. So, I'm going to try it again for the next gig (wish me luck!)

I'll let you know...!  :D



Haha, thank you!

You've been such a valuable resource as I make my way through this... thank you Arlo!


I'm in a somewhat similiar situation to you, singing and playing in several bands where guest singers might drop in, and I also manage the set lists in most cases. I see you trying (to me) quite complicated and work intensive workarounds in order to avoid entering instrumentals and other peoples songs into your database.

I DO have songs from other singers and also Instrumentals in my database and it makes my life with BandHelper easier instead of more complicated. You say: "putting other songs in my database would mess me up if I tried to print or export the information as a complete list of songs I sing, which is very important to me." I see several possible solutions to this: You could tag each of your own songs with something like "MySong". Now you'd only need to build a Smart List that is filtering for that tag and you'd have a list with just your own songs that you could view, print and export without problems.

As you most probably know you can add a song to several projects, so you could alternatively add a special project called "ME" and add only songs that you sing to that project - in addition to other projects, where that song already appears. So when you change to that project you would see a 'clean' version of your database which shows only your songs and where you could use every exporting, sorting and viewing feature that BandHelper does offer.

Plus, you can add a project like RESERVE or ARCHIVE and after a gig you move songs that you probably might never use again to that project. Should you ever need one of these there is no need to reenter or retype something, just make them appear in your regular project again.

Maybe you can use one of these tips.