How can you make your band better?
I'm going to be honest, the band that I'm in is not very good. We could be good but the band lacks focus. We practice once a week for about 3 hours. Now you would think we would be good practicing that long, but that's just not the case. When playing gigs we have long pauses between songs and in some cases the guitar players don't know who starts a song.
We just come across as amateurs, and I'm no professional by any means but I do take it serious. I just want to band to get better and that hasn't been the case.
My question is how can this band get better? We are a cover band.
Unless everyone shares your views it won't happen it's time for you to leave and find others who share your vision.
There is seriously no excuse for tribute/cover band members to not have their sh!t together. Everyone has the original music to practice, everyone should be working on their parts in their own time. The only thing that full band practice should entail is rehearsing the set, working on problematic parts, and agreeing upon endings to songs that fade out on the recording.
With the limited info at hand, I'd guess that your bandmates are NOT practicing on their own, and only working on material once a week for three hours when you all get together. If that's the case, you will not get any better and probably need to pull together more practices per week OR get some more focused bandmates. :D
Take notes of what needs to improve and work on it. It honestly sounds like you know what to do you are just not doing it. Make your practice time count, don't just waste time until the 3 hours is up or spend it playing stuff half-assed. You might just find that people are not willing to put the time in and you continue on this path.
Does it matter to the rest of the band and they can't get it or they think it's fine like it is?
If it matters to them, practice the transitions, not the songs. You probably have the songs down if you practice covers every week. Practice just the beginnings and how they come out of different songs. That should be your focus. ;)
practice and gig more
1. Practice a lot more.
2. Make sure everyone does there homework before rehearsal.
Every one should know the songs tempo, key, and who starts.
3. Practice your set like it is a show, no breaks between songs or
other interuptions. Also have your singer practice what he will
say to the audience.
4. Gig more, even if you suck. You will only get better.
My two cents
you are only as strong as your weakest link.
also record EVERYTHING and make sure all band member listen between rehearsals.
It my open there eyes to there weakness and problem areas.
You don't just need more practice time. You need better practice time.
Make sure you songs in blocks of at least three, so that you know how one song flows into the other.
There's a place to start.
Been there, done that. You're not going to get them to change. You have two choices: accept it for what it is or move on.
At times going through something similar, I found a website under the name Guitarglen who writes quite candidly and not at 30,000 ft. You might want to check that out.
Closer to a gig, I'm starting to get the band to concentrate on playing the set at rehearsal with agreed upon transitions.
I was in a band like that and left them.. Patience ran out..
The problem was not that they would not show up for practice, but the problem was that they did not practice at home.
Only the singer came prepared - the others just didn't study at home at all. Every week we just started off where we left off the week before.
Just playing together a couple hrs per week isn't going to get you very far. At least not me.. Perhaps if you're a good player it is, but I sure do need the practice at home so I can show up prepared..
What mjac28 says - try to find some like-minded people who share your views on practicing at home alone and practice with the whole band..
Our drummer has that problem and it kills me. He plays the song, ends it, f's with his drum key, takes a drink looks up and then it dawns on him... oh, what's next?
Know what is next before the song ends and prepare to go right in. 5-10 seconds for accolades and go. If there is a guitar change or settings to change etc. it should be noted on the set list to address the crowd or something.
Hell, half the songs he doesn't even start. Just know the songs you start!! Geez!
Yup. The biggest obstacles a band faces is direction, focus and unification. The music is fun and easy. But the ability to play music doesn't make a band.
Have an intentional band meeting:
DISCUSSION ITEMS -
1. why do we exist as a band?
2. what do you want out of the band?
3. (if you are all still in the same room by this point) what achievable goal should we set and by what date?
4. what steps do we take to achieve that?
5. and 6. do the same for a mid-range goal.
You might be thinking, "Oh crap, this is like a business meeting!" Well, welcome to the world of the music business.
The above list doesn't include all possible questions, but it's a good start.
Or just keep fartin around and blaming each other when you smell/create something rotten. That's a little harsh, but it's a good word picture.
BTDT. It sucked. Been with too many cover players who want to learn the song at rehearsal. They show up with chord sheets from the internet and it becomes clear that they haven't even listened to the song yet, let alone worked on it at home. Any group that wants to learn the songs at rehearsal is doomed to failure, or at least a LOOOOONG time to even learn one tight set. This is what's wrong with your band. No investment of time outside the group rehearsal. I used to work with this one guitarist who insisted on playing songs "the way I've always played them in other bands". Problem was, he played them wrong. He wasn't interested in learning them correctly, just doing what he'd always done.
There are two possibilities;
1. They have little or no experience and do not realize they are going about this the wrong way.
2. They have no motivation or real interest. They're just in it for the jam and a night out of the house.
One is fixable, if they are willing to listen and change, the other is not fixable at all.
Bottom line; the fix is easy. Either get the players to rehearse on their own time and come prepared, or find a new band/members. When I was in your position I found a new band because I determined the others were not going to change their ways. When I joined my current band I was told I had 6 weeks to have 3 sets ready. These people do their homework, and on week 7 I had my first gig with them.
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