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Band practice, or rehearsal??

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MJ5150, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Alright fellow TB'ers. I have one for ya.

    I play in a not-at-the-moment-gigging cover band. Hopefully that will change when I recover from elbow surgery all the way. That's beside the point. Here is the purpose of this thread.....

    I get very frustrated with our drummer, guitarist, and singer. They use band rehearsal to practice their parts. The drummer is very talented, so he figures he can always rely on natural talent to make it through a song, and he can do a pretty good job of it. The guitar player shows up to practice the new songs we picked. The singer has stacks of lyrics he is always thumbing through to find the right ones. The drummer usually says something like "I didn't practice this week, I was busy. This song is pretty easy though".

    It pisses me off to no end. I am married with two kids. No one else in the band has kids. The guitar player is single. I ALWAYS show up ready to play the new stuff, and tighten up some older songs.

    Am I alone? Do you guys consider the gathering of bandmates as time to "practice" the song, or is it time to "rehearse" the song. A time to show up and learn the song? Or a time for everyone to show up already knowing the song, and to work on harmonizing and putting it altogether?

    I think it is time to play the song, and work on timing, etc......

  2. Nails


    Jun 4, 2000
    Austin, Tejas
    You are getting the short end of the stick here. I think people should know they're parts for the songs you're working on before they show up. There are acceptable reasons for not learning the parts, but in general, you should know the songs.
  3. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    As my school band instructor used to say:

    "Practice on your own time!"
  4. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I practice on my own 1-2 hrs a night, rehearse with the band 2hrs a week.
  5. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    What Zulu said. The rest of your band is acting very amatuerish.
  6. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Get used to it, your a bass player.. and therefore by default the only reliable member of the band ;)

    Actually I think all 3 of the things are correct. The only thing I dont think full band rehearsal is for is learning individual parts to songs.
    Let me elaborate - if the band plays pre-written material then you dont have to learn as a group. If you do originals then - as a bassist for example - my parts wont be fixed until I've played with the drummer, as I might change bits and bobs to suit a more intersting rhythm he comes up with, etc?
    Learning a song in rehearsal is fine as long as you'e all competant players.

    Rehearsal time is for practicing anything that requires playing in a group. You can each go away and work on bits that need individual practice in your own time!

    Personally, I wont stand in rehearsal trying to figure out my parts to songs. and I wont listen while other people do it either!
  7. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Thanks for the input!

    I get tired of watching my bandmates sit there and learn songs in front of me. I just wonder in my head "what the heck are you doing all week before we get together?"

    Overall, these guys are talented, and we all get along. I guess I will just put up with it. Considering my other option is to quit the band and have no one to play with.

  8. I seem to remember a thread on this a while back....! While there is always a difference of opinion on what it is actually called, the conclusion is simple - when everyone gets together, they should know there own parts! If not, the entire band has been let down.

    The way I see it, from time to time, everyone in the band will have been unable to work their bit out for a very genuine reason. But if they're not pulling their weight - and from your description they're not, what are they doing in a band??? Even more so if they are particularly talented!

    Just my 2 cents worth!
  9. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
  10. Not a new subject at all. There is a lot of stuff out there on the discipline of a productive band rehearsal.

    Cover bands definitely have the benefit here of learning/practicing their parts at home and bringing it together at rehearsal. They have written music to study.

    Original bands have different tasks, however. Some "band rehearsals" are neither practices nor rehearsals. They are writing sessions. IN my bands we all write our parts (most of the time) following an idea brought by one of us. Once in a while the "composer" will have something in mind for everyone, but not fully worked out. The product sounds like the band rather than one person. And those parts need to be written during rehearsals. We might spend 45 minutes just learning a song together (or learning the idea and composing the song).

    This is where practice comes in. I practice it for the next few days, learn it, then we come together all knowing it, but maybe then it needs to evolve, change, get rewritten. And it is fine to do that in rehearsal as long as EVERYONE is doing it and the approach is disciplined. Like: "Hey guys, let's work on that new one...I have an idea for something I want to do in the chorus, but I need to hear it to know if it will sound good with the guitar at that spot in the third measure." After all, we aren't all Beethoven.

    As for members using rehearsal as practice...spare me the drama and let me have the evening back with my family!

  11. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    We practice our individual parts during the week so when we rehearse on the weekends we are not sitting there waiting for someone to figure out a part for an hour. For the most part I'm lucky all of the guys are hard working and are prepared come rehearsal.
  12. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm the leader of my cover band.

    Here's the way rehearsal works.

    Rehearsal starts at 7:30pm. That means that at 7:30pm we start playing. So, if it takes you 15 minutes to setup, tuneup, and wank for a while, then you get there at 7:15pm. At 7:30pm, I call the tune.

    We warm up with two old tunes, work out problems on one or two other tunes, then learn the new songs for that week. Then we just play songs for as long as we want.

    At the end of rehearsal, I hand out charts and lyrics for the songs we'll learn next week. Then we sit down and listen to them, while reading the charts/lyrics. Individual parts are discussed, I point out different points in the arrangement for everyone to be aware of, and we all get a feel for what we'll do.

    Earlier in the year I had a guitarist, vocalist, and percussionist that weren't learning they're parts. I spoke to them individually to correct this. They didn't. I warned them again. They didn't fix it.

    I fired them, and replaced them.

    If you are the leader of this band, fire them. If you're not the leader of the band, find another band. These people are amateur fools who will waste your time. You have no business playing with them.
  13. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings

    Finding people on the same wavelength is always a problem - see my post in management....