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davegriffiths91

How often does your band rehearse?

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12 minutes ago, TimR said:

Probably time to remind everyone what a practice is and what a rehearsal is...

Very good list, but I see the rehearsals also as a social event. It is just like at work (and yes, it is work): keep your mates happy and everything goes well.

The productivity point of view is always there, but the overall feeling needs to be reasonable. It does not have to be fun always, but everyone can give their best possible output. And that's what I call music.

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Usually 3 times a week, 3/4 hours on 2 weeknights and then a longer session on most weekends. Lucky to have our own studio so make the most of it. We have a zoom h4n always ready for jams/interesting ideas which all get cut and uploaded to a cloud service. 

Edited by MonkeyTrick

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1 hour ago, BrunoBass said:

We tend not to rehearse those (I could probably play them in my sleep) but even gigging them I’m counting down the seconds til they’re done. But they’re crowd pleasers, so we’ve got to play them.

I don't get the "They're crowd pleasers so they stay in the set" thing.  Find some other songs that would be equally popular and swap them in and out.

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3 minutes ago, itu said:

It does not have to be fun always,

It’s more fun if everyone is being productive by producing good music and feels they’re working towards a common goal. 

As Dave’s mate is finding out, the fun gets sucked out really quickly if you’re just continually rehearsing the same mistakes, or one band member is being anal over the quality of the tunes. 

You can socialise down the pub for a fraction of the cost. 

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I enjoy rehearsing (practicing) whatever you want to call it. Yep i think of it as a job to be done but there's no reason why you can't enjoy doing a job.

Amazes me why this topic always seems to trigger overly strong opinions. There's no right answer, there's no right or wrong way and its certainly not a competition. 

For those that are in it for money and its maybe their main source of income then its understandable why rehearsals could be seen as a waste of time when you could otherwise be out gigging and making a few quid. 

The fact that a rehearsal only costs me £7 for 3 hrs i suppose you could call it socialising so where's the harm. 

Each to their own i guess.

Dave

 

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21 minutes ago, TimR said:

It’s more fun if everyone is being productive by producing good music and feels they’re working towards a common goal.

...

You can socialise down the pub for a fraction of the cost. 

I am sorry that my language is not up to yours. I meant, that sometimes work may be hard and not so fun, but the results are just like you pointed out: good music.

If the meeting and working with other band members is not social, then what is? I just do not get your exact point, so sorry.

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28 minutes ago, Nicko said:

I don't get the "They're crowd pleasers so they stay in the set" thing.  Find some other songs that would be equally popular and swap them in and out.

every song should be a crowd pleaser. :D

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I just see socialising as something to do in spare time. If the guy has a family and teaches, then his spare time is at a premium. Setting aside a whole evening a week for ‘socialising’ is fine if you don’t have young kids and other evening work. The social element of a rehearsal is one element of being in the band. Unfortunately people will put that as their only reason and that’s when you head into difficulties. If members of the band just see band practice as a reason to socialise and aren’t interested in gigging then the band is heading nowhere. The fact that they’re still not gig ready speaks volumes. 

Edited by TimR
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5 minutes ago, TimR said:

The fact that they’re still not gig ready speaks volumes. 

To be fair the OP says he thinks they are ready, but some of the band do not.

FWIW I'm in a band for the social element, and wouldn't really mind if we didn't gig that often but I think that I'm in a minority and as the rest of the band want to gig I will do it because its a necessary part of being in my current band.  However, a few minutes social in a 3 hour session is enough, chat afterwards or meet up in the pub.

BTW our usual rehearsal room costs me around £10 plus a gallon of petrol.  Three hours in my local would be considerably more and by the end of 3 hours I'd be talking utter crap.

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yeah, I find it completely natural to have a social element to rehearsals.  even if it's simply getting into the studio, running through the set and leaving, it's still hanging out with people for several hours every week.  The best practices include an element of hanging out.  It can be both - work and fun - it doesn't have to only be one or the other

And I don't agree with some of the "just learn the song and only rehearse if there's a problem that needs fixing" comments.  I love playing the bass, even better playing the bass in a band. I never see a rehearsal as time wasted, unless there's a specific reason for the rehearsal not being productive.  And playing the songs over and over again to get them really tight, and to build up a musical relationship with the other band members, is time well spent.

YMMV.  I've played with a couple of guys who much prefer a looser "jazz" feel, where there's room for spontaneity and they don't want to feel like every song has been played to death.  But not for me 

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49 minutes ago, TimR said:

I just see socialising as something to do in spare time. If the guy has a family and teaches, then his spare time is at a premium. Setting aside a whole evening a week for ‘socialising’ is fine if you don’t have young kids and other evening work. The social element of a rehearsal is one element of being in the band. Unfortunately people will put that as their only reason and that’s when you head into difficulties. If members of the band just see band practice as a reason to socialise and aren’t interested in gigging then the band is heading nowhere. The fact that they’re still not gig ready speaks volumes. 

I think we must be looking at it from different perspectives. I'm retired so playing in the band and rehearsals are what i regard as socialising and my spare time. I live in countryside so socialising in pubs is very limited unless i drive. Different when i was younger and lived in town where i was out every night socialising but as i got older i found drinking in pubs wasn't something i craved for. Probably why i live in a country village where nearest pub is 5 or 6 miles away. :lol:

I can see where you're coming from tho when the socialising takes over from the objective of gigging and i always have in my mind from the outset that if i feel a band won't ever gig for whatever reason then i just move on. I always explain that from the outset tho and tell every band if we aren't gigging within 6-12mths then i'll move on. Most bands take that quite well and many respect the fact i'm so up front and honest. It does tend to drive them a bit more to do more than rehearse.

Bands are simply a hobby for me and i never regard it as a source of income. It helps when it is tho :laugh1:

Dave

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15 minutes ago, Monkey Steve said:

yeah, I find it completely natural to have a social element to rehearsals.  even if it's simply getting into the studio, running through the set and leaving, it's still hanging out with people for several hours every week.  The best practices include an element of hanging out.  It can be both - work and fun - it doesn't have to only be one or the other

And I don't agree with some of the "just learn the song and only rehearse if there's a problem that needs fixing" comments.  I love playing the bass, even better playing the bass in a band. I never see a rehearsal as time wasted, unless there's a specific reason for the rehearsal not being productive.  And playing the songs over and over again to get them really tight, and to build up a musical relationship with the other band members, is time well spent.

YMMV.  I've played with a couple of guys who much prefer a looser "jazz" feel, where there's room for spontaneity and they don't want to feel like every song has been played to death.  But not for me 

Spot on for me too 👍

Dave

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18 minutes ago, Monkey Steve said:

And I don't agree with some of the "just learn the song and only rehearse if there's a problem that needs fixing"

That’s not exactly what I said. 

Practice is practice and rehearsal is rehearsal. They’re entirely different activities. You only rehearse once the songs have been practiced. Continually rehearsing songs that have mistakes in them is pointless. You need to identify where the problems are are practice those bits. 

So the question is; what’s not gig ready? Are the band still making mistakes? In which case they either need to practice those parts or individual members need to go away and practice their parts.

If the band can play a song from top to bottom with no mistakes a few times then it’s gig ready.

Too many bands I’ve been in have no agenda set at the beginning of the practice/rehearsal. 

So in answer to the OP,  once every two weeks won’t solve the problem. It’ll make it worse as I doubt anyone is picking up their instrument between practice/rehearsals.   

 

Edited by TimR
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6 minutes ago, dmccombe7 said:

I think we must be looking at it from different perspectives. I'm retired

Of course we are. And you’ll probably find that within any band each member looks at it from a different perspective. 

Certainly in my band we do. One is a busy director who works most nights well past 8pm, one works 7-4 5 days a week, one is a self employed mum with 4 kids, then there’s me who has many other hobbies and odd work times. 

Pleasing all 4 is pretty difficult and it’s important that good communication happens, or in my experience, one or all will get very frustrated.

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2 hours ago, dmccombe7 said:

every song should be a crowd pleaser. :D

To an extent. Some are more crowd pleasing than others. 

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1 hour ago, TimR said:

That’s not exactly what I said. 

Practice is practice and rehearsal is rehearsal. They’re entirely different activities. You only rehearse once the songs have been practiced. Continually rehearsing songs that have mistakes in them is pointless. You need to identify where the problems are are practice those bits. 

So the question is; what’s not gig ready? Are the band still making mistakes? In which case they either need to practice those parts or individual members need to go away and practice their parts.

If the band can play a song from top to bottom with no mistakes a few times then it’s gig ready.

Too many bands I’ve been in have no agenda set at the beginning of the practice/rehearsal. 

So in answer to the OP,  once every two weeks won’t solve the problem. It’ll make it worse as I doubt anyone is picking up their instrument between practice/rehearsals.   

 

again, from my perspective, I don't agree.  And not meant as a criticism, just that I have a different perspective

I think there's a false distinction between practice and rehearsal - the words are synonyms anyway, and I certainly wouldn't see any difference between the two, and I would suggest that any inference that you've drawn about what people are referring to based on whether they have said practice or rehearsal may not be correct.  They might mean different things to you, but they certainly don't to me.  And Roget's is on my side 😊

Of course (and back to the point you are making) you may be practicing for a different reasons - learning the songs one week, correcting mistakes the next, improving performance after that. And often all three at the same session, depending on which sings are being played.  It's the improving performance bit that justifies continuing to rehearse even when the songs are played without errors: getting tighter, and understanding everybody's parts, not just what you are playing.  I've certainly played in bands where we've all agreed we're not "gig-ready" until we've got really tight playing the songs, despite nobody making any mistakes.  It's more a feeling than anything that can be quantified.  But, again from my perspective, it's not about everybody simply knowing their parts, and there is value in running through the songs regularly. 

Plus, like I've said, it's fun, even if the band is just playing songs that it already knows backwards - I'd still be up for a practice every week

I'd agree that bands can certainly go out and play before they are as tight as they want to be, as long as they aren't making mistakes.  And I certainly agree that changing practices without a plan to fix the actual playing issues won't help

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1 hour ago, BrunoBass said:

To an extent. Some are more crowd pleasing than others. 

I know what you mean was just pulling your leg a wee bit. :D

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We try to be a bit lean about wasting time or cash on rehearsals.

We do about 6 rehearsals a year roughly. Its a rock covers band and we're doing about 55 gigs a year on average so rehearsals are only to whip a few new songs into shape rather than tidy current stuff up (a couple of gigs covers that bit).

We pick about 6 songs at a time about a month before a date is set, send WhatsApp video/audio round to everyone so we're all listening to the same version and then wait for the singer to agree he's OK to sing them after a few days of him practicing them alone (so the key is good for his voice and he's comfy with the idea of the song).

At that point the other guys learn their bit at home - this is so there are no surprises at a rehearsal after you've put time into learning songs. We always book 2 rehearsals within a week of each other so everything gets finished properly and make sure we gig any new songs immediately at the next couple of gigs to bed them in (or kick them out if they bomb live). We'll know within 10 minutes at a rehearsal if the song works for us and we're brutal about it - if anyone's feeling weird about it we bin it and move on. 

Of the 6 songs we would expect to get 3/4 results from them over the 2 rehearsals.

 

 

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4 hours ago, TimR said:

Practice is practice and rehearsal is rehearsal. They’re entirely different activities. You only rehearse once the songs have been practiced. Continually rehearsing songs that have mistakes in them is pointless. You need to identify where the problems are are practice those bits. 

For us, practice is what we do at home on our own. Rehearsal is bringing it all together and polishing the result. If there's more than minor problems with a song we park it and take home rather than waste time on it.

I reckon 2-3 hours a week is good;  not wasted as its part of the point of being in a band, but important to keep adding new material; not just recycling stuff.

Issue for us has been uncertainty about personnel (now sorted with new guitarist/vocals) but we've also made the songlist much more contemporary so starting again in many ways. But the 'new line up' went through eight songs last week, all new to at least some of us and they all went OK, now need polishing. Hardest thing is when we practice different versions 'Rebel Rebel goes round once after the final lyric' - 'No listen to this it's a fade' - both right....

Biggest issue for me is we always practice at Pirate (or a couple of 'unpluggeds') and the one gig we've done had supplied backline. I desperately want us to have a couple of 'full dress rehearsals' with our own gear - fortunately an engineer has been found to help us balance our sound. A band of competent players with a great sound will do better than a bunch of musos obsessed with their individual tone and volume!

 

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7 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Hardest thing is when we practice different versions 'Rebel Rebel goes round once after the final lyric' - 'No listen to this it's a fade' - both right....

I’d never expect a song to work at first play through by default. Which is why I’d still say some practice happens as a band. You’re only rehearsing once you’ve set the arrangements. That’s the point when you’re setting the song to memory and to some extent everyone will be making minor adjustments to their part of the arrangement so that it fits with what everyone else is playing. 

I’d block out a part at home with rough bass parts and refine it during the first few play throughs with the band then take it home and learn the song properly once we know it’s going to work. Most songs are very simple and just work though. 

That’s for cover bands. Originals are a bit more complicated.

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7 minutes ago, TimR said:

That’s for cover bands. Originals are a bit more complicated.

I found originals much easier. No-one can tell you you're wrong 🙂

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4 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I found originals much easier. No-one can tell you you're wrong 🙂

But writing can be lenghty if you're demanding about quality. That's why long and frequent reharsals totally make sense IMO. 

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11 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I found originals much easier. No-one can tell you you're wrong 🙂

Well yes. But the process is different. Ideally the singer/songwriter would come to practices with a song arranged ready just to add bass and drums to having already sent out recordings. 😉

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Jazz group rehearses once or twice between monthly gigs. Covers band 1 - 2  rehearsals depending on how long it's been. Both are hobby bands, everyone has day jobs. 

Couldn't agree more with the whole Practice vs Rehearsal. Players (guitarists) thinking they've learned the song by playing through the chords once to the record.. 

Interesting point on where you rehearse. Easy to become v used to the sound, and environment - band all facing eachother etc. As Mike Tyson once said - Everyone has a plan until you plug into the venue's PA

 

Edited by Drax

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5 hours ago, dmccombe7 said:

as i got older i found drinking in pubs wasn't something i craved for. Probably why i live in a country village where nearest pub is 5 or 6 miles away. 

If that were me I'd think I'd died and gone to hell, not just grown up 😊

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