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Bluewine

Productive Rehearsals

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2 hours ago, scalpy said:

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. 

If your gigging a lot, play hard ball with members. Don't let anyone show up saying they didn't have time to learn a part or a song.

Send out an email to the band saying:

"We're cancelling tonight's rehearsal. Blue didn't have time to learn the assigned song "

That sends out a message loud and clear.

Blue

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3 hours ago, dmccombe7 said:

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.

Dave

Some band members may have more free time to prepare than other members. For example I'm the only member of  my band that's retired. I can prepare all day or all week if I want to. Those with full time traditional jobs/careers may not have that luxury.

I think rehearsal requirements should be made clear and agreed on before hiring someone.

Blue

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12 minutes ago, Bluewine said:

If your gigging a lot, play hard ball with members. Don't let anyone show up saying they didn't have time to learn a part or a song.

Send out an email to the band saying:

"We're cancelling tonight's rehearsal. Blue didn't have time to learn the assigned song "

That sends out a message loud and clear.

Three problems with that:

  1. Generally, people won't tell you in advance if they haven't practiced. They'll mention it as they're setting up.
  2. Don't know how it is in Milwaukee, but round here, if you cancel the rehearsal on the day then you'll still have to pay for it.
  3. Your approach seems a little petty and passive-aggressive. I can see it working in a very highly paid function band where the band leader has a reputation for not suffering fools, but in your average £300 per night pub covers band, it would come across as highly strung, and your best musicians would leave you for a project with less "band drama"

S.P.

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3 hours ago, dmccombe7 said:

In a 3 hr session i expect to run thru a 2hr set.

Dave

Dave,  a band would have to be paying me fantastic money to commit to 3 hour rehearsals.

Blue

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2 minutes ago, Stylon Pilson said:

Three problems with that:

  1. Your approach seems a little petty and passive-aggressive. I can see it working in a very highly paid function band where the band leader has a reputation for not suffering fools, but in your average £300 per night pub covers band, it would come across as highly strung, and your best musicians would leave you for a project with less "band drama"

S.P.

Agreed, this approach would only be for highly paid bands.

Blue

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3 minutes ago, Bluewine said:

Agreed, this approach would only be for highly paid bands.

Blue

or for repeat offenders

I've certainly suffered from one band member making it impossible for the band to make progress, and there does come a point where there is actually no point rehearsing that night because the band isn't going to achieve what it has set out to do.  I wouldn't do it for a first offence, but my enjoyment of a couple of bands would have been a lot greater if somebody had cancelled one or two of those pointless rehearsals and made the person at fault realise that they are letting everybody else down and costing the band money each time they can't be #rsed

Never managed that, but did successfully instigate a policy whereby if you cancelled on the day, or didn't show up for practice then you have to pay the full cost when the studio asked for it the next time.  Funny how the amount of cancellations went down...

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I can't stand reheasals that are not work. 

I auditionned for a few bands, and everytime there was more beer and smoking than playing, I just said goodbye. 
I'm a professionnal in scheduling and project management, hence... all rehearsal dates are planned, confirmed at the end of the previous session, with the to do list (songs to work on, to learn...) we record every rehearsal, so if there is a difficulty that has not been mastered during reheasal, the guitar guy sends the recordings and we work on it. 
Ne songs are learnt at home, and set-up together, with changes if wanted. 

I'm a real freak about it. Sure, we have fun, we joke, but at the end of a two hours rehearsal, we have at least played 10 songs ininterrupted like in a show, and one hour of working. 

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15 minutes ago, Henrythe8 said:

I can't stand reheasals that are not work. 

I auditionned for a few bands, and everytime there was more beer and smoking than playing, I just said goodbye. 
I'm a professionnal in scheduling and project management, hence... all rehearsal dates are planned, confirmed at the end of the previous session, with the to do list (songs to work on, to learn...) we record every rehearsal, so if there is a difficulty that has not been mastered during reheasal, the guitar guy sends the recordings and we work on it. 
Ne songs are learnt at home, and set-up together, with changes if wanted. 

I'm a real freak about it. Sure, we have fun, we joke, but at the end of a two hours rehearsal, we have at least played 10 songs ininterrupted like in a show, and one hour of working. 

The point about how much work you expect to get out of a rehearsal is a good one.  It is art/fun after all and musicians aren't typically known for their sense of responsibility, but there is a point to  it

For anything up to two hours i would expect a bit of d#cking around/catching up for the first half hour, setting up, jamming a song to get up to speed, etc, but then pretty much solidly playing or working on stuff for the rest of the practice.

For three hours or more I'd expect a fairly chilled session, and usually with a beer/fag/whatever break half way through, but certainly at least 2/3rds of the practice to be actually playing/working

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47 minutes ago, Stylon Pilson said:
  1. Your approach seems a little petty and passive-aggressive. I can see it working in a very highly paid function band where the band leader has a reputation for not suffering fools, but in your average £300 per night pub covers band, it would come across as highly strung, and your best musicians would leave you for a project with less "band drama"

IME the best musicians wouldn't need to be told. Anyone who needs to be reminded to pull their finger out can leave, and those guys wouldn't be missed.

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Rehearsing new songs at high volume levels is unproductive IMHO........actually, rehearsing generally at stooopid volumes is a pet hate of mine.

Just shows that people aren’t interested in hearing anyone but themselves. 

I actually really enjoy rehearsing with a band if:-

Everyone has practiced their individual  parts thoroughly. 

Volumes are low enough to hear each other.

No ones drunk/stoned.

I have a stool to sit on (I bring my own).

There are Jaffa cakes, or fig rolls.

If Partners/family/friends have to be in attendance, they shut up, or make some tea.

 

(I often prefer a good rehearsal than having to gig) There..... I’ve said it. 

 

 

 

 

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I dunno. We rehearse at gig volumes. That's not LOUD, but we're no quieter because we're rehearsing. 

And sitting down is a bit a pet peeve for me. Unless you gig sitting down, in that case you're excused ;)

And I hope you take fig rolls to gigs? Otherwise what are they doing there?!! 🤣

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1 hour ago, Bluewine said:

Dave,  a band would have to be paying me fantastic money to commit to 3 hour rehearsals.

Blue

3hr rehearsal is the standard time slot over here. Typically £30-£35 for 3 hrs per band.

I'm talking at the stage where a band is starting out to reach gigging quality which for me is a high standard.

My thoughts are that if you can't commit to rehearsals then you won't be in the band and we have 2 ex-professionals who have toured extensively and in one case played stadium gigs including Wembley Arena. He is the band font of all knowledge because of his experience and strangely enough also the drummer so there's a contradiction :laugh1: 

If you want to be good and stand out from the average bands you need to put the work in.

If the band is gigging the same or almost the same set every week then that's a different story and rehearsals would be very infrequent mainly for learning new songs.

In your case Blue i believe you've been with the band a good few yrs. Did you rehearse when you started with your current main band ?

Dave

 

Edited by dmccombe7

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I like a rehearsal where the drummer turns up in a foul mood cos he's had an argument with his Mrs, then the guitarist turns up drunk with no leads.

After I've helped the drummer set up and lent Mr Guitar some leads  I'm then most gratified when the drummer starts taking out his frustration by hitting every drum as hard as he can, with GuitarMan playing his best Hendrix impersonation at a different speed at absolute full volume. To be perfect, the singer should then turn up saying they can only stay for 1/2 an hour, at which point guitarist nips out for a 10 minute smoke break, coming back smelling of skunk and unable to stand.

We'd have time to play 4 or 5 songs, but wouldn't get past the first one because:

a) the singer thinks it should be faster

b) the drummer thinks it should be slower

c) the guitarist is sick on my pedalboard

 

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35 minutes ago, bigjohn said:

I dunno. We rehearse at gig volumes. That's not LOUD, but we're no quieter because we're rehearsing. 

And sitting down is a bit a pet peeve for me. Unless you gig sitting down, in that case you're excused ;)

And I hope you take fig rolls to gigs? Otherwise what are they doing there?!! 🤣

I’d generally be happier lying down at a gig to be honest, preferably in another room/venue/town.

Of course I take fig rolls to gigs, doesn’t everyone?! 

 

 

Now now you mention it, I have noticed a lack of biscuity comestibles by the rest of those toadies in the band. It’s all “core tone”, or “modal this” and “diatonic that” with them.....bugger off and pass me them biccies. 🤪

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Communication. Thats the key for me. Making sure we have all learned the correct version of the song, not the one they played live in that gig in 84 in Poland. You must have seen it on youtube? 

Rehearsals are for getting the performance gig ready not for learning the song. I don`t mind rehearsals as long as it doesn`t become a "social event." You are paying dough out to do this so get the tunes tight and bugger off and do some gigs!

Pet hate in rehearsals. You are speaking to the singer sorting out the arrangement and the guitarist starts playing a riff from an old heavy rock number, the drummer knows it, picks up and joins in as you try to talk to singer. Much abuse follows :angry2:

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1 hour ago, jezzaboy said:

 

Pet hate in rehearsals. You are speaking to the singer sorting out the arrangement and the guitarist starts playing a riff from an old heavy rock number, the drummer knows it, picks up and joins in as you try to talk to singer. Much abuse follows :angry2:

Yep i hate that too. What makes it worse is when the guitarist wants to talk to singer everyone should be quiet or they take the huff.

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7

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3 hours ago, Leonard Smalls said:

I like a rehearsal where the drummer turns up in a foul mood cos he's had an argument with his Mrs, then the guitarist turns up drunk with no leads.

After I've helped the drummer set up and lent Mr Guitar some leads  I'm then most gratified when the drummer starts taking out his frustration by hitting every drum as hard as he can, with GuitarMan playing his best Hendrix impersonation at a different speed at absolute full volume. To be perfect, the singer should then turn up saying they can only stay for 1/2 an hour, at which point guitarist nips out for a 10 minute smoke break, coming back smelling of skunk and unable to stand.

We'd have time to play 4 or 5 songs, but wouldn't get past the first one because:

a) the singer thinks it should be faster

b) the drummer thinks it should be slower

c) the guitarist is sick on my pedalboard

 

Those 4 or 5 songs would sound amazing though. Unless you've been on the beak. 

Edited by bigjohn

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3 hours ago, oldslapper said:

I’d generally be happier lying down at a gig to be honest, preferably in another room/venue/town.

Of course I take fig rolls to gigs, doesn’t everyone?! 

 

 

Now now you mention it, I have noticed a lack of biscuity comestibles by the rest of those toadies in the band. It’s all “core tone”, or “modal this” and “diatonic that” with them.....bugger off and pass me them biccies. 🤪

Yeah biscuits are generally neglected. All about sugar levels. I don't understand the clamour for a sit down meal pre-gig. Half a bag of chips and a quick pint I understand. 

Rehearsals are the same. Light bite and a bit of fruit. I bet most people who say they don't like a beer at rehearsal don't sing. 

 

Btw. Forget fig rolls and jaffas. Coop blood orange cookies... wow. 

Edited by bigjohn

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4 hours ago, bigjohn said:

I dunno. We rehearse at gig volumes. That's not LOUD, but we're no quieter because we're rehearsing. 

!! 

Same for us, to me changing volume for rehearsals can be likened to changing from Precision to Jazz, or Les Paul to Strat, it’s not really rehearsing the songs for how they’re going to be played live. But then we’re a lack of finesse skinhead punk band so behaving like Neanderthals is the norm 😁

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We rehearse at close to gig volume.

 

Works for us 😀

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We're a bit lower than gig volume but not by much as you still need to balance the amps against the drums anyway.

Dave

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What I hate (and I have been in a few bands that do this) are rehearsals where everyone learns their parts, you go through a song and if you all start and finish at the same time you go onto the next song / run through the set. As far as I am concerned that is a waste of time and you might as well not bother rehearsing and just do the gig.

I would take it as read that everyone is gonna turn up knowing their basic parts. But what I want to do is pull the first performance of a new song apart and work on anything that could be better, transitions between parts of songs, etc. The devil is always in the detail. Maybe I have learnt a part but the drummer or keys player has heard it slightly differently. A rehearsal is to sort out issues like that rather than just banging through songs and thinking if it’s sort of OK then that’s good enough.

Once you have got to the point where it is gig tight then I don’t really see the point of additional rehearsals for the sake of it (unless you haven’t played a gig for quite a while).

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8 hours ago, Bluewine said:

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

 

I always think that dedicating a hour or so to work on BVs is a good idea.

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42 minutes ago, peteb said:

What I hate (and I have been in a few bands that do this) are rehearsals where everyone learns their parts, you go through a song and if you all start and finish at the same time you go onto the next song / run through the set. As far as I am concerned that is a waste of time and you might as well not bother rehearsing and just do the gig.

I would take it as read that everyone is gonna turn up knowing their basic parts. But what I want to do is pull the first performance of a new song apart and work on anything that could be better, transitions between parts of songs, etc. The devil is always in the detail. Maybe I have learnt a part but the drummer or keys player has heard it slightly differently. A rehearsal is to sort out issues like that rather than just banging through songs and thinking if it’s sort of OK then that’s good enough.

Once you have got to the point where it is gig tight then I don’t really see the point of additional rehearsals for the sake of it (unless you haven’t played a gig for quite a while).

Our band has reache the stage where we have broken the songs down individually as and where required and adjusted to suit what we want and now its about getting gig tight over the next few rehearsals for our first major gig with this band. 

Its taken a while as band virtually all play in other bands and all had other commitments so rehearsals have been infrequent sometimes none for a month at a time.

Dave

 

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