Do you practise your band's material?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Microbass, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. Yes - It should be a nessecity in a serious band

    32 vote(s)
  2. No - You can't practise if you don't know what everyone else is doing...

    3 vote(s)
  1. At home, when you are practise, do you play by yourself? And sing along (singers) and try new things at home and bring them to practise etc?

    your thoughts on how this would help practises 'flow' more, and/or perhaps a disadvantage...
  2. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    I'll bite. I don't practice my bands material hardly at all, though not by choice. The reason is we do all originals and the band leader refuses to give out tapes. So I do it by ear at practice, and we only ever do single takes. The plus side of this, is that my ear is constantly improving. The down side is if we haven't done a tune in several weeks it can be a bit rough, particularly as I may not remember the changes (I'm the new guy). So when I practice at home I play against my CD collection and work with some theory books. For the tunes that I do know I will run through them several times a week. However, they are constantly evolving so that presents new challenges every week as well. While I do find this frustrating at times, I do enjoy the challenge of pick-up playing.

    Perhaps this will start your discussion :D

    Dan :bassist:
  3. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
  4. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Standard practice for my band was a 2-3 hour practice, the 1st hour/45 minutes would be to run through every song, so that we never got rusty. Sometimes it bugged us, but we never screwed up on a song live. (Now I wish I could say the same off stage...)
  5. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I wish my bandmates would practice the music we play as much as they play/practice things that don't have a bearing on what we need to rehearse. I hate having rehearsals turn into practice sessions because someone didn't take the 10-20 minutes during the week to prepare.

    We play classic rock, not classical music!
  6. the reason for this thread was becuase i was having an arguement with my guitarist; he insisted it was impossible to practise his own songs that he wrote without the band (read: excuise for bad performances); and coincidentally it just so happens he is usually the reason that we don't practise.

    he then insisted that it was MY fault - not the first either! - that we don't get enough done!

    theres two sides to the story, but at least mine is the truth.

    ive quit this band. :)
  7. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Yep - a significant chunk of my practise time is spent working on learning songs for the band and then exercises to develop the areas where I need to improve in order to play those songs well.

    I also record a fair chunk of our practises and all our gigs on minidisk - every now and then I'll go back and figure out what exactly 'that cool thing' I played was so that (with more practise) it becomes part of my vocabulary.

  8. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Hell, yes. Even if you know the stuff cold, it's a good idea to run through it once in a while just to keep fresh.

    I rarely run through full songs unless I'm trying to memorize the structure; more often, I go through individual parts.

    When you play the stuff on your own, you'll notice mistakes that would go unnoticed at a full rehearsal.
  9. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Of course. There are lines in our songs that need to be cleaned up, and just cleaning it up at one point in time will do nothing to garunteee it forever. Plus there are other places that could use some spice, and its better to do it with plenty of time and a clear head, rather than try to force a solution on the spot between band memebers. Sometimes one or the other is better, but I prefer to think things out.
  10. Tosya


    Oct 11, 2002
    I don't practice outside of band practice. Just not enough time! Sometimes I'll run through a few scales to keep limber if I can squeeze it in.

    If I did have a chance to practice, I might run through the band songs to hear if I had any problem spots, but I would probably just mess around with new song ideas. If I'm having trouble singing and playing a part, I might isolate and work on that, too.

    It seems like it would be a good idea to work out rough spots on your own so that when you come to band practice you've got your part down.
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Some pretty amazing replies here.

    If you only practice the tunes at band practices you're not going to get much done :rolleyes:

    The post about the songwriter being unwilling to hand out tapes is completely ridiculous :confused:
  12. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Over the course of several months, beteen rehearsals and performances I've managed to record just about every song our band does. Now when I want to polish up a song or do a refresh on one we haven't played in awhile, I just put on the tape and can play along to it as often as I want. As of late, our leader, who also has his own recording studio, has been handing out CD's of new songs we will be doing in the near future. This has been fantastic. By the time we rehearse them for the first time together, everyone already has the songs nailed and it's just a matter of applying a final polishing up.
  13. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I practice scales and am always trying to persue new things outside of rehearsal. That's practice. I also refresh myself on the stuff in rehearsal that gives me trouble because I want to stay sharp, as well as work through the newer stuff we decide to do.

    But one/bandmates has to be clear on what the band is together for, or not much will result long term. Maybe one or two decent jams.
  14. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    If you don't practice material outside of a band practice then you may be wasting everyone else's time. Everything will come together better if everyone spends time working on material away from band practice.

    If you can't get a practice tape from someone else in the band, then make your own.

    This can be done a number of ways.
    Cheap 4 track recorders can be purchased under $100.
    Even cheaper tape decks with recording ability can be purchased from places like Walmart.
    I have a ($15 from walmart) portable recording tape deck that has a built in microphone that is designed for recording memos that I bring to all practices and gigs. The sound quality is not the best but it gives me something to listen to and work on away from a practice.

    You can also use the tape to "prove" to someone that they played a song differently during the last rehersal
    P1: Last week you played the bridge after the 2nd verse
    P2: No I didn't
    P1: Here it is from last week (listen to on the tape)
    P2: Oh maybe I did

    It also helps to take notes during band practices.
    I always bring a small pad of paper and a pen.
    One might be surprised at what one forgets between practices/gigs.
  15. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Thanks for the advice. I am going to implement this. I quite enjoy being able to practice the live material and making it work smoothly.

  16. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Practicing your band's material outside of band practice is the best way to make use of band practice. Why should people be figure out fingerings, changes, and other stuff during practice. That's all stuff you can do on your own.

    I play in a cover band, so there's not much excuse as to why I can't get a recording of song that we are gonna do. We are all busy enough that we don't practice as often as we should (but we've been gigging alot). We only practice 2-4 times a month so it's crucial that we do our homework. Otherwise, precious time is wasted doing stuff that could have been figured out beforehand.
  17. At home, I practise new ideas that came up during band practise - for fluidity, and to find other voicings and options.

    Apart from that, it's some scales, some FX manipulation and experimentation, but mostly working on new ideas I can bring to the guys to be fleshed out.

    And I tend to give equal time to guitar, toybass, upright and recording.
  18. Prahainspring


    Oct 22, 2002
    New Jersey
    I've never practiced anything my band has done at home. When someone comes up with an idea (riff,lyrics,beat) the band at practice takes it from there and everybody will add something to the song. I think this helps a bands chemistry too. The guitarist will add something to the song that he made up at home (we all record the practice to see what we can or can't do)and then play it at practice time to see if it will flow.

    BTW: we have practice once a week and have the entire day to come up with something, so we basically have all the time in the world.
  19. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Full on, man. There's no way I'm getting onstage half-arsed - 110% or nothing, I reckon. I drill the more difficult things over and over, stuff wherein the inherent difficulty is compounded live, ie. tapping. We have the luxury of a fairly well-equipped studio, so if something isn't down in my mind then I simply get it burnt onto CD and kill it at home. I don't sing in the band, but I practise singing the harmonies and lead vox in order to draw the relevance of what I'm doing underneath it all. All for the song, bay-bee.