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Productive Rehearsals

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What is a productive rehearsal? 

Share your thoughts and ideas regarding how to get the most out of rehearsals.

Blue

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To come together after learning all your parts beforehand at home and nailing the new song at rehearsal after going through it two or three times. 👍

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, steantval said:

To come together after learning all your parts beforehand at home and nailing the new song at rehearsal after going through it two or three times. 👍

This!

Edited by Mudpup

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Everyone to turn up on time and to have their parts well rehearsed and ready to go. This has never happened 😫

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IMO there are two kinds of rehearsal, covers and originals.

For the originals, anything goes. We used to sit around in someone's front room, start with a skeleton of an idea and swap suggestions until we were happy the song was finished. Then we'd take it to the studio.

Rehearsing covers is costing you money, so turn up knowing what you should be playing. The geography of the song and arrangement might change but that shouldn't be a problem if you already know your part.

IMO practise is what you do at home to learn the song and rehearsal is the band putting it all together.

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4 minutes ago, chris_b said:

For the originals, anything goes. We used to sit around in someone's front room, start with a skeleton of an idea and swap suggestions until we were happy the song was finished. Then we'd take it to the studio.

Our writing process involves a lot of unproductive reharsals.

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22 minutes ago, oZZma said:

Our writing process involves a lot of unproductive reharsals.

IME originals bands are either democratic or dictatorial. The democratic ones can be messy if the focus isn't there. I've been lucky in that respect.

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2 minutes ago, chris_b said:

IME originals bands are either democratic or dictatorial. The democratic ones can be messy if the focus isn't there. I've been lucky in that respect.

Mine is dictatorial, but still messy xD

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We rehearse every week irrespective of whether we’re gigging that weekend or not. One of the main comments we get is that how tight we are in our performance so I’d say all of our rehearsals are productive. 

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Discipline at rehearsals is key. People messing with new gear, widdling away, on their mobiles, smoking/vaping breaks etc all go towards making things very arduous IME. Being able to talk and express ideas in an open manner is vital to making any material work in performance.

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Have an objective for the rehearsal, whatever that may be. No point in rehearsing every week just because you rehearse every week ( unless that's the objective ).

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For me it’s feeling I’m further forward In some way than before it. New song, new bassline, nailing something you’ve struggled with previously, adding some BVs, whatever. But basically not standing still (or going backwards, God I hate that).

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For us, a new music reheasal is knowing the arrangement and 90% of parts and then recordiing it with a simple Zoom style digital recorder, the output is shared among the band a day or so later, this highlights where the song is good or bad and gives something to work on for the following week.

Pre gig rehearsals are typically us working on smooth segues between songs and thinking about material 'pacing' and balance of who is singing what

Rehearsals are also often a chance for us to get an idea whether a song will work or not before the serious detailing starts

I like rehearsing.

 

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I find it helps if we agree an outline agenda before hand. Be it rehearing a set if we've not played for a while or focussing on particular songs or parts. Turning up with a blank slate is also fine by me if we've not played for a couple of months. Old set lists help to get a train of thought. 

As far as arriving at rehearsal with all your parts nailed goes... well that depends on what you're going to do with the song. If it's only gonna get played in a blue moon or perhaps only a few times, then yeah, it makes no sense to do it any other way. We've done this for specific requests. If a song is likely to become more of a staple, then we tend (and I prefer) to start with jamming it and listening to it on the PA and focussing more on feel and arrangement to begin with. Playing the notes in the right order at the right time is the easy bit!

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20 minutes ago, No lust in Jazz said:

I like rehearsing.

I prefer gigging.

These days, most of my gigs are done without rehearsals. I'll get an mp3 or links to YT, do the homework, turn up and play. Good drummers make it all possible.

Having said that I'm rehearsing on Wednesday. The drummer and me are fine without, but it's been called by the band leader, mainly for his benefit. He'll turn up under rehearsed and with no clear idea of the new songs or their arrangements. On the gig he'll probably have forgotten at least 50%  of what we did. The drummer is very good, the songs are usually excellent and apart from the amnesia, the band leader is good too. So, as usual, I'll put up with the hassle to get to the good bits. Ho hum!

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Posted (edited)

Everyone attending, know the songs prior to arriving, no wasting time in between songs. In a 3 hr session i expect to run thru a 2hr set and then work on any issues or new song ideas,

Have a list of the songs to run thru and start at the top and work thru the list otherwise its whatever song someone can remember is in the set and then songs get missed or forgotten about.

As a band we agreed on a 10-15min break in the middle for a coffee and a band discussion. If a 6hr session it could be longer or more often breaks.

I am the odd one out in our band as i personally see the rehearsal as work and want to get in, get the job done and make sure we cover all the set. I refer to this as "gigging the set" 

It can be difficult when others don't see the urgency in getting on with it but that's bands for you.

One other thing if using the studio  gear is to not spend a lot of time finding your sound as more than likely its not there without your own gear. Just make sure its approx and you play the correct notes when required.

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7
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39 minutes ago, chris_b said:

I prefer gigging.

I like gigging too, However, for me being rehearsed makes gigging more fun

I like bands to know their material and don't like / avoid bands who take the looser approach, y'know the 'we don't need rehersals cause we can toss off this stuff' type of bands..

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Learning parts before the rehearsal- yes, but then remembering them after that too! My mantra is to rehearse with gig energy levels, that way when the adrenaline kicks in for the real performance the bar is already higher. 

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I have had to draw the line with my country band, as to how many new songs we can learn. They're not gig orientated, they just love country music. So I had to explain to them that 20 songs that we know well and can play tightly at a gig, is better than 40 songs that we know vaguely and can stumble our way through, in a shambolic manner.

I'm forming another band, with other musicians, and I was very impressed by the two guitarists, who were very focused and had done their homework before the rehearsal.

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It's going to vary from band to band depending on what the priorities are, but the key to me is agreeing in advance what is going to happen at the practice so that everybody knows and can do their homework accordingly, whether it's learning a new song, running through the set to sharpen up the playing, or just coming in with bits and pieces to have a jam and see if any new songs emerge.

Emphasis on "agreeing" - and sometimes reminding certain band members what has been agreed so that they actually do their homework in time.  One passive/aggressive lead guitarist in an old band was very good at seeming to agree what song we'd be preparing for the next rehearsal, and then turning up to say that he hadn't had time to work on that one so why don't we all play the song that he wanted to do instead?

Beyond that, arriving on time.  While I'm OK with singists timing their arrival until after the lead guitarist has finished assembling his gear and widdling away for ten minutes, and the normal five or ten minute delays that life throws at all of us, I've been in a couple of bands where one member would routinely turn up over an hour late.  If that's normally you, I can guarantee you that the rest of the band has spent that hour calling you a c#nt and discussing how and when to sack you

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, spike said:

Have an objective for the rehearsal, whatever that may be. No point in rehearsing every week just because you rehearse every week ( unless that's the objective ).

Agreed, every rehearsal should have a dedicated agenda.

I like the idea of dedicated vocal rehearsal . This would be acapella, nailing down specific background and lead vocals. If done right it would only take an hour.

You could also dedicate a rehearsal to tightening up and locking down bass and drums.

The members would know what songs to work on and arrive prepared.

Blue

 

Edited by Bluewine
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This was how it ran best in my originals band.

Run through the set once. Anything that wasn't nailed or was new play again Have tea and biscuits. Try something new until it stopped being exciting. I would normally bring in some lyrics and we'd go from there. Discuss the set/songs. Maybe change or retire an older one. Have a quick run through of songs that needed it again. Help the drummer pack up and check the diaries.

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9 minutes ago, Low End Bee said:

This was how it ran best in my originals band.

Run through the set once. Anything that wasn't nailed or was new play again Have tea and biscuits. Try something new until it stopped being exciting. I would normally bring in some lyrics and we'd go from there. Discuss the set/songs. Maybe change or retire an older one. Have a quick run through of songs that needed it again. Help the drummer pack up and check the diaries.

Thing is, all bands are not democracies. In my band only the band leader would bring in and present new lyrics.

If I presented new lyric ideas they would be rejected. I wasn't hired to contribute lyrics. 

Blue

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