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davegriffiths91

How often does your band rehearse?

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My friend is going through some difficulties with his band at the moment arguing about frequency of rehearsals. 

He has a second kid on the way, a full time job and he teaches so is a busy dude and has been rehearsing with a newly formed band every week for a while (3 hours a week). He says they are gig ready but others in the band don't agree. He said that the productivity isn't good enough during the rehearsals and that's why they think they aren't gig ready. I've seen videos and they are as good as any pub band I've seen. 

My mates theory is that if they rehearse once every two weeks it will force them to be more productive instead of everyone messing around inbetween songs etc.

How often do your bands rehearse? Do you go in with set goals and time frames?

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That very much depends on who is available and when.

At the moment we've not got any gigs until December, so we meet up for 4 hours about once a month to run through some new ideas - we're in a writing phase.

We'll probably have a couple of four hour rehearsals in the 10 days before our next gig trip (Sicily 7th Dec).

We've been together for donkey's years - we don't need much rehearsing - it's all in the muscle memory.

I do miss it when we're in this kind of between gigs phase.

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in both my band's cases, we're mates and it's our hobby so I'm happy to go to rehearsals twice a week just so I can play some music and have a chat.   

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In general we rehearse every week whether gigging or not, however recently due to very packed schedules and holidays we’ve lapsed a bit. 

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We would normally rehearse every week 3hrs but with hols and other band commitments and no gigs until Dec its about every 3 weeks altho we do a 6hr session.

I prefer the 6 hr sessions as they seem a bit more relaxed and we can spend time sorting things out in a 34 song set.

We have a few new songs to add for the Xmas festivities as well.

My personal preferance would be every fortnight doing 6hr sessions and that reduces the travel costs as opposed to weekly. We are all quite well scattered and i'm 40+ miles to the rehearsal studios. Drummer is further altho its mostly motorway driving.

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7

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9 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

In general we rehearse every week whether gigging or not, however recently due to very packed schedules and holidays we’ve lapsed a bit. 

Where do you rehearse these days Loz?

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The band I am in rehearse twice a week. We always decide on any new songs at least a week in advance and try and have them ready for the rehearsal. We use Facebook to discuss any new songs etc. Works for us.

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12 minutes ago, jacko said:

where do you rehears Dave?

 

Berkeley in Glasgow. It has good studio gear and not too expensive. Car Park is a bit small and with the sunday parking charges now it means you need to get in early.

Singer from Boness, Keys from Ratho, drummer from Wanlockhead, Guitarist from Glasgow so he's got it easy and me from Thankerton. Ideally Allister from MacFloyds studio in Cumbernauld would have been perfect and more central but alas they had to close down because of council rates going thru the roof after first few years.

Dave 

Edited by dmccombe7

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We rehearsal every week, three hours on a Thursday night, and have done for the four years I’ve been with the band, holidays etc excepted.

i don’t think we need to rehearse with that frequency, given that we gig regularly and that our set is very well drilled. I’m pushing for less frequent rehearsals unless we’re looking at new songs.

Our (very local) rehearsal space closed last year and we had to move to another studio about 30 minutes drive away. Given that I do approximately 200 miles a day in my job, the prospect of another hour’s round trip after work is unappealing. 

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46 minutes ago, davegriffiths91 said:

My friend is going through some difficulties with his band at the moment arguing about frequency of rehearsals. 

He has a second kid on the way, a full time job and he teaches so is a busy dude and has been rehearsing with a newly formed band every week for a while (3 hours a week). He says they are gig ready but others in the band don't agree. He said that the productivity isn't good enough during the rehearsals and that's why they think they aren't gig ready. I've seen videos and they are as good as any pub band I've seen. 

My mates theory is that if they rehearse once every two weeks it will force them to be more productive instead of everyone messing around inbetween songs etc.

How often do your bands rehearse? Do you go in with set goals and time frames?

I'm in a similar position to your friend. I'm in two bands and I do one rehearsal every week with one, and the other is every couple of weeks.

Bands are odd things. It can all get a bit emotional, however what worked for me was telling the guys that I was finding it difficult to manage everything and I needed a breather. People are usually pretty reasonable (if you give them the chance to be).

It can get a bit fraught though. This week I'm doing a practive at 7:30 - 1- and then a gig at 10:45, so it's not ideal!

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My band rehearses twice a week although we are flexible with this if members have other bits to do or are away etc. Also, they're my friends and the music's good so I don't see it as a chore at all.

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34 minutes ago, dmccombe7 said:

Berkeley in Glasgow. It has good studio gear and not too expensive. Car Park is a bit small and with the sunday parking charges now it means you need to get in early.

Singer from Boness, Keys from Ratho, drummer from Wanlockhead, Guitarist from Glasgow so he's got it easy and me from Thankerton. Ideally Allister from MacFloyds studio in Cumbernauld would have been perfect and more central but alas they had to close down because of council rates going thru the roof after first few years.

Dave 

There's another in Cumbernauld called Paul's halls. Equipment isn't amazing but if it makes life easier for you guys?

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My preference is for at least three hours, ideally four, once a week.  Which everybody agrees to and they have to produce a note from their mum if they want to skip it.

I've done other things with other bands which either work or they don't (the only thing that generally hasn't worked was trying massive six hour rehearsals - too long to stay focused)

If the OP's mate is finding that the rehearsals aren't productive enough now, I'd suggest specifically sorting that out, agreeing a plan and getting everybody to stick to it, rather than assuming that moving to fortnightly practices will magically fix it.  Pretty sure that'll just result in having unproductive rehearsals every other week instead of every week.  In my experience rehearsals don't always need planning if the need for them is self evident - writing material/learning new songs/sharpening the playing/etc.  But if that starts to drift then it doesn't hurt to agree (or possibly just tell the band) what you'll be doing this week, and making sure that you stick to it

If it's more about freeing up time with a baby on the way, that's a conversation with the band to explain the circumstances.  If they are half decent human beings and it doesn't affect the band then it shouldn't be an issue - I've personally always made the effort to see if practices can be changed if it becomes an issue for one particular band member...but it could become a test of how valued they are

Edited by Monkey Steve

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Originals band, once a week around 3/4 hours, write new stuff and talk business, Gigging at least a minimum of once a week, so rehearsing the set is't needed,

Covers band, 2/3 times a year close to a gig to iron out any kinks, play through a couple of new ones, Gig sporadically once or twice every 2 or 3 months.

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With my old band we spent almost a year rehearsing once a week, until we started gigging. Then we stopped rehearsing as we were gigging almost every weekend.

With my current band maybe once every two weeks, although have been having 4-6 week gaps due to the guitarists being away etc.

Ironically, he said ages ago he thought we were gig ready, the recording of our first gig a few weeks ago says otherwise.Im not a perfectionist, but when the band gets together and someone keeps forgetting what they are supposed to play, or plays it in a sloppy way, i dont count that as 'gig ready'. i guess its all down to each member making the effort way from the studio or gigs. A band is only as good as the person who puts the least amount of effort in.

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1 hour ago, Bassmidget209 said:

There's another in Cumbernauld called Paul's halls. Equipment isn't amazing but if it makes life easier for you guys?

We recorded our Ep at Paul's halls last year. Turned out better than I was expecting but we did use our own gear.

We share an old barn near dalmahoy with the drummer's son's band.  It's a bit cosy but craigo gets to keep his double kick kit set up so he's happy.  I often think rehearsing is a lot worse for drummers than us. Most studio kits are in appalling condition. 

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1 hour ago, Bassmidget209 said:

There's another in Cumbernauld called Paul's halls. Equipment isn't amazing but if it makes life easier for you guys?

Think i've been in that one and its rooms are quite small and the gear isn't very good plus some of the mains sockets looked a bit suspect to me. Is that the one near the station.

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7

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6 minutes ago, dmccombe7 said:

Think i've been in that one and its rooms are quite small and the gear isn't very good plus some of the mains sockets loked a bit suspect to me. Is that the one near the station.

Dave

yep, not too far from the station.  

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OP asked what fellow BC'ers do. The 6hr session was simply a reply to his question. 

Each band has to decide what suits them best. The 6 hr sessions that i prefer doesn't suit others in the band but because of the travel involved and the parking issues around Glasgow studios these days it simply made sense for us.

Agree the issues need to be resolved first.

Dave

 

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3 hours ago, davegriffiths91 said:

He has a second kid on the way, a full time job and he teaches so is a busy dude and has been rehearsing with a newly formed band every week for a while (3 hours a week). He says they are gig ready but others in the band don't agree. He said that the productivity isn't good enough during the rehearsals and that's why they think they aren't gig ready. I've seen videos and they are as good as any pub band I've seen. 

My advice to your pal would be to book a gig or 2 in what remains of this year and force the issue, that'll shift 'em!

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If we are in a busy period (April - September) when we are gigging most weeks, we very rarely practice. 
In the quieter periods we will usually do two a month at a push.
I think its been mentioned above, but the key is when everyone agrees to learn a song, post the version of the song you intend to learn in the forum of communicating you use (FB, whats app , slack etc), then you have to learn it. Its really that simple. 
It is for us anyway.
Guess it means relying on everyone in the band pulling their weight and having trust in each others musical abilities.

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In response to the OP sounds like the band is looking for reasons to rehearse rather than gig.

We try to get together once a week, but with busy lives it seems to be once a fortnight for 3 hours.  Having said that we are a covers band and have 35 or so songs.  Recent sessions have all been polishing stuff that we're not happy with or learning new stuff.  We have a gig coming up next week, and practice this week will be a full set run through - that will be the first time we've played some of the songs since our last gig.

We agree what we're going to work on before the session, but often get sidetracked by our singer insisting on trying songs she really wants to do.  I think i preferred it before Whatsapp messages started flying around such as:

Singer 2 days before session "We should try XXXX"

Me "We have four new songs on the go, don't really have time to learn it properly before next gig"

Drummer "I agree. Four new songs is enough"

Singer "But its really easy"

Guitarist "Yeah, three chords"

Singer "Even I can play it"

Me "My parts not easy"

Singer "Shall we try anyway"

Me "F*ck off, or perhaps learn the bassline yourself".  Bite lip.

So last practice ended up with half an hour playing songs I haven't had time to learn properly.

 

Edited by Nicko
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