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Are Your Reheasals Productive?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bluewine, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Are you bands rehearsals as productive as they should be?

    Obviously rehearsal structure will vary from band to band.

    For the most part I think rehearsals are for trying out new material or breaking in new members.

    What does your band do to make sure rehearsals are focused and productive?
  2. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    They're productive when we want them to be, it really depends on what we're trying to do. One of the things my indie rock band does is play songs we're especially concerned about or having problems with while dropping two members. So we'll play it with just bass and drums, just guitar and keys, or some other combination. This way we can each really hear what the other members of the band are doing and refine our parts accordingly, and it also helps people to realize when their time isn't so hot.

    As for making sure they're productive, someone we'll just say 'FOCUS!' and then we do.
  3. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Our rehearsals are usually pretty productive. Of course, there will always be the "we've-got-a-show-in-two-days-and-I-want-to-go-over-all-the-material-we'll-be-playing" kind of rehearsals, but in general we tend to have 2 or 3 new songs (originals) that we'll be working on at any given time.

    I like to set up a session with our bandleader outside of rehearsal to learn the tunes basic structure and chord changes, then build it up from there.

    We've got some songs that we only rehearse if someone requests that we work on it, or if we played it poorly at our last show. And then there will be newer material that we all know, but are in the process of fine tuning.

    Depending on how long we're rehearsing on any given day sets the tone for how practice will go. Sometimes we focus only on new stuff, like when time is limited, and on longer days we tend to mix up the newer stuff with older material.
  4. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    I play in 3 bands. 2 of them have fairly structured (productive) rehearsals...work on the weak stuff, modify/tweak arrangements, tighten the mix, etc.

    the 3rd band is way out in left field. Weekly "rehearsals" are little more than a jam session. Folks may drop by and "sit in" on a few songs. Never really know what the song will sound like 'til its over.

    Needless to say, the 3rd band rarely gets gigs (the last 'real' gig we did was in August!! lol), but it sure is fun. Much more fun than the other 2 bands.
  5. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Yeah, again different for all bands.

    I like this approach, however it's not for all bands.

    White Board

    ' This is the agenda and what we want to accomplish today"

    1. Complete run through of our 3rd set to make sure our new Singer is ready for our next show.

    2. We were all asked to learn "Outside Woman Blues" Let's go through it.
  6. manghu67


    Jun 13, 2011
    Omaha NE
    They're as productive as we want them to be.
  7. Mine are productive.

    I put the charts on the stand, and we play them. Might take a couple of runs through to get the form, then we work the group vocal harmonies and put it all together.
  8. We don't. We fry bacon in coca cola, throw things at eachother, mess around on eachothers guitars/basses/drums etc...

    Oh, not to mention putting half of the kitchen in a glass and telling our guitarist to drink it.


    Edit: We do actually get everything we want to done. Learn new songs, write new songs, work on older ones etc.... just mess about in the process.
  9. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    That's good, especially for bands with members that have a significant commute and are spending a lot of $$ on gas.

    However I realize and understand some rehearsals are merely social time for some bands.
  10. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Understandable, and this is actually the protocol for rehearsals for bands with younger members.

    Not saying this approach can't be productive. It would not be productive for me, but I'm not 18.
  11. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Our rehearsals are always productive. We rehearse from 8:30 until somewhere around 10:15-10:30, depending on what we need to accomplish at that rehearsal, which is determined based on what we have coming up on the gig calendar. After that, many of us go to a bar where they hold a table for us and keep the kitchen open until we get there. Social time is after rehearsal; the purpose of rehearsal time is to rehearse.
  12. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Our rehearsals are always productive - and fun. We'll usually get together and run through the rougher/newer songs of our set, and then we'll take a quick break to grab some beer, come back, and then work on writing new material. To say the least, I love that my band is able to do this sort of thing and remain productive.
  13. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Interesting responses.

    Here is an issue maybe some of you have encountered.

    Rehearsal for no reason. Everyone knows the material cold and there are no gigs in sight
  14. dave_p


    Dec 20, 2005
    well, we seem to get a lot done. pick up 2 or 3 songs a week, rotate out things that are weak. it helps that none of us have one track minds and we dont tend to over analyze every aspect of a rehearsal, arent picky about where our amps are situated, dont suffer from borderline auspergers and arent obsessed with auditions. this allows us to concentrate on having fun and playing well.
  15. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Not really applicable for us. There are always things that we can work on that will improve the band, and always gigs on the calendar. If there are no specific immediate priorities, we will sometimes spend a rehearsal reading through new charts (ours is a big band, so most of our material is charted out).
  16. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I think fun is an element of the rehearsal we can't forget about. It should be fun.

    However, I would never allow beer, smoke or substance at any rehearsal I am conducting. This would be explained in clear terms to any new members.
  17. nobodysfool


    Apr 22, 2010
    Shelby, OH
    Our rehearsals run the gamut. Sometimes, we have specific tunes we want to learn, other times, it's a stream of consciousness kind of thing, which does produce some surprises, and we wind up adding a song to the list that none of us realized we all already knew. We have an original or two that we work on, tightening up the music and breaks, stripping out extraneous stuff that doesn't add to the song, and work on getting it to the stage where we feel comfortable recording it. We work on vocal harmonies when we hear something that isn't working, and if we've fluffed something at our last gig, that one is on the block for work.

    We're all looking for new songs to add, and we do discuss which songs don't seem to be working anymore, and if we should drop them entirely, or just slide them to the "if we need it" category on the list. A couple of the sample songs on our website are not in the list anymore, for whatever reason....They were recorded before I joined the band, and while I can play them, I don't play like the bass player that played on the recording.

    Rehearsal is also "boys night out" for us, a chance to hang, crack jokes, reminisce, and enjoy our friendship. It provides some therapy for all of us, since we play out about once every 6 weeks, on average...and we all love to play, but we all have lives and jobs, too.

  18. dave_p


    Dec 20, 2005
    also, since we all have very similar tastes in music and the type of stuff we want to cover, usually one of us will merely mention a song at rehearsal and 9/10 times we will have all worked on it at home and be prepared to knock it out at next rehearsal without any real discussion. we just do it. its actually almost a game, like if you mention a song, someones gonna call it next rehearsal and see if anyone was paying attention.
  19. Yeah - generally what we do in rehearsals is "go through the set a few times" and work on 2-3 new songs...we've got 1-2 that we're working on ATM. If there are any harmonies we work on them and go through the songs with harmonies once or twice more.

    We just generally throw in whatever we want to with new stuff (unless someone complains about what someone is doing in which case we compensate) so long as it fits the song and you're not letting your ego get in the way.
  20. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Well I would not want to label rehearsals as "boys night out", but you touched on some of the elements that make a rehearsal session fun.

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