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"Practice once a Week, Gig 1-2 times a Month"

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Stingray5, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Stingray5

    Stingray5 Supporting Member

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    Minor rant - my long time top 40 band is ending at the end of this year, and so I'm off to craigslist etc. to find a new gig. Why do soooo may cover bands have this same M.O. to practice every week and only play once or twice a month? Why not the other way around??

    Now, I'm coming off a 5 year run with a band that never practiced at all and gigged 1-2 times a WEEK, so perhaps I'm a little biased, but still, if you are going to get together and play every week anyhow, why on earth wouldn't you just gig and get paid, and if you must practice then make that a monthly thing? :confused:
  2. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

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    Your mindset is "rehearsal". The bands you're looking at are probably thinking "practice", i.e. that's the only time anyone in the band does.
  3. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

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    The easy answer is family and work commitments. It is much easier to find a couple hours a week to rehearse than to find the time to gig.
    My band was supposed to be setup like this until most of them became unemployed and they needed the money. Now we gig all the time and rehearsals are rare. As the only person with a real day job, this has been difficult for me but fortunately, I have an extremely supportive (and patient) bride.
    It is pretty hard to add new material without rehearsals. At least that has been my (limited) experience.

    Practice is indeed something different. I practice all the time.
  4. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

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    Because guys don't have time to manage the business side of the band (hunt up gigs, etc.) but still want to jam.
  5. obimark

    obimark

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    Because they are BS'ers- after 20 years of playing in gigging bands off and on, there are two types :Those who practice in order to play out. And those who play out.

    Never shall the two meet.

    If a cover- band has its **** together the only time you need practice or rehearsal is when you are adding new songs. (once you have your setlist down)

    (Unless you are in some elite top-tier corporate type band)
  6. DwaynieAD

    DwaynieAD

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    that's how my originals band operates.

    sounds like they're in it for the fun and not to fill the coffers at home. nothing wrong with that. maybe discuss with them you'd like to see more gigging and a little less rehearsing.. they may be open, they may not. proceed from there.
  7. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom Supporting Member

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    As mentioned by obimark, my current band (we play covers) is new. We've just recently formed, so we rehearse once a week, for now. Once we get down a predetermined amount of songs for a set list, we will start playing out, hopefully 3-4 times a month.
    Once that begins, I don't see us rehearsing more than once a month, just so we can learn new material.
  8. Stingray5

    Stingray5 Supporting Member

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    Yes exactly, well put.

    see for me it's the opposite. Wife and I both work full time, 2 kids in middle school and into sports and music - my weeknights are the busier nights.
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

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    The other easy answer is that 1-2 gigs per month is probably optimistic.
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

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    It's not the end of the world depending on what your goals are. I belong to a non commercial band that has 2 rehearsals and 1 gig per month. The players are excellent (I'm one of the weak links), and rehearsals are run in a professional fashion.

    But attending rehearsals for other band members -- amateur or pro -- to learn their parts by rote would be pretty de-motivating for me.
  11. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

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    +1. Yep, I know huh.
  12. bigboy_78

    bigboy_78 Supporting Member

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    When my band is good enough to be booking a couple of gigs a week, we’ll stop rehearsing as well.
  13. mellowinman

    mellowinman

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    My band will always rehearse once a week, and play out twice a month. We play out twice a month because honestly, that's all we have the energy for. Putting on a show takes a lot out of us. We give a TON of energy to a four hour performance, and that includes the load in/load out of a lot of gear.

    We rehearse once a week because we are trying to get the band super TIGHT. We are not happy to just "make it" through the songs we play; we want to NAIL them. And we are always adding songs.

    You people who make generalizations about why bands do this or that have closed your minds. My band evolves all the time. We are many different things. Sometimes, we DO play out more than twice a month. And sometimes, we DON'T rehearse once a week.

    But one thing we ALWAYS do: get better.

    For each of you that says you play out all the time and never rehearse, can I watch a video of one of your shows?

    I would like to gauge how successful you are at what you're doing, and by "what you're doing," I don't mean getting paid to play music. I mean playing good music well.
  14. duff beer

    duff beer

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    Easy....because a practice/rehearsal may only take up 3 hours of your time on a weeknight, where a gig can take up 12 or more hours on a weekend once you factor in travel, hauling gear, teardown, set up, etc.

    Some people have other commitments and can afford to give up 3 hours on a weeknight, but can't give up 10-12 hours on a Saturday.

    Hobby bands are called hobby bands for a reason...because they are hobbies and nothing more. If you're looking for more gigs, don't join a hobby band. If you'd rather jam once a week than go bowling, join a hobby band.
  15. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya

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    I was asked to be a hired gun for a gig, and the guy running the band wanted me to commit to no less than 5 rehearsals to get ready for the show. It was original music but most of it was very basic 12 bar blues stuff that I could pick up within a couple listens of each song. I told the band leader I could commit to only one or two rehearsals (as I normally have a busy schedule), and he agreed. The only issue was that I came into the rehearsal knowing their own songs better than they did :eek: I did the rehearsal, left, and called the band leader an hour later saying I'd have to pass.

    I say all that just to say that some bands are simply like that. They won't spend time outside of rehearsal learning material, and, as such, they need to get together multiple times in a month to get ready for any performance. Personally, I prefer bands that keep rehearsals to once or twice a month and gig out weekly.
  16. Stingray5

    Stingray5 Supporting Member

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    I can see that.

    A lot of good answers to why this isn't so crazy. Where I am there are a ton a great venues to play, especially in the summer, I think I'm just surprised that vast majority of ads I see, even for other instruments, have this same schedule.
  17. duff beer

    duff beer

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    In both of my bands, all of the members are married and most of them have kids. Practice once a week is their "night out with the boys", but being away from the family for one of their two available days is not something they can or want to do every other weekend. Those are the type of people you usually see posting ads. Real working musicians normally have a network of contacts and rarely need to post ads because they already know of several people that they can call. Bob who works in a downtown office doesn't have those contacts.
  18. Groove Doctor

    Groove Doctor

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    I'm in 4 projects

    1. Tribute Band. Two rehearsals when i joined an existing band two years ago, none since then. Gig every 6 weeks. Two session drummers share that role (they turned up cold and nailed it).

    2. Tribute Band #2. Six rehearsals for new band a year ago, one since with a new set list/ one less member. Gig every 6 weeks.

    3. Jazz band. 1-2 rehearsals per month, only 2 gigs last year. Great to play regularly to get my reading skills and chops up to scratch after a 10yr hiatus from Jazz. Feel like a big fish in a small pond after only 8 months.

    4. Community Stage Band. 100% reading charts,
  19. Stingray5

    Stingray5 Supporting Member

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    I agree it takes a lot of energy.

    You say that you have to rehearse weekly to make the band tight, but how long does the band have to be together before that can happen by performing weekly? If everyone is a good enough player and does their homework it becomes automatic.

    I don't have a video, but here's my band doing a song for either the 2nd or 3rd time live (we only did it 3 times), never rehearsed.



    you can check out the rest of my soundcloud, warts and all. None of those songs were ever rehearsed. They developed as we played them live.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014 at 4:08 AM
  20. FretlessMainly

    FretlessMainly

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    In the Boston area, there's been a policy at many of the clubs (I'm excluding the higher-end venues that get national acts) that you cannot book a gig in the Somerville, Cambridge, Boston area within two weeks of your gig (if I recall, it's two weeks on either side of your gig). So, to gig weekly at these types of venues, you need to travel. For several years my prog original band alternated between Boston and NYC with the occasional NH gig. And that was enough to suck some of the fun out of it after nearly seven years.

    I'm a scientist by day, so there's that aspect too. Music is more than a hobby but less than a vocation.

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