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Finding rehearsal days that work for everyone?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Burt35, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. Burt35


    Dec 9, 2013
    I realize this will sound like Communication 101 to many, but with the first rehearsals for my new band looming on the horizon, I have to ask.

    Obviously, the smaller a band is, the easier it should be to find a mutually agreeable day to practice. But what if the band is just big enough that there doesn't seem to be one night in everyone's schedule that they can block off for regular rehearsals? I'm worried that that might happen.

    What do people do if you can't find a regular night that everyone can commit to? Extortion? Coercion? Bribery? :crying:

    Thanks for any input!
  2. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    How big is the band? At some point, it makes sense to rehearse sections (rhythm section, horns, vocal harmonies, etc). But if yours is the standard 3-5 piece club band and you can't find a weekly rehearsal time, you might consider whether you can succeed with biweekly rehearsals.

    If the players can't move schedules around for even that—and it's the sort of band that has to rehearse—then maybe you have the wrong players.
  3. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    A lot depends on who the people are and what the music is. Lots of guys on this forum will talk about bands they formed or joined that went straight to gigging with no rehearsal at all. That generally works if a) the musicians are seasoned pros and b) the music is "standards" that everyone already knows. I'm sure a lot of rock guys could jump in and play You Shook Me or Sweet Home Alabama, or jazz guys do Summertime and Autumn Leaves, without needing a rehearsal.

    In general, I've felt that you can usually have a productive rehearsal even if you don't have everyone there, as long as everyone is doing their homework. It should be OK for one person to be missing, two in a big group (6+), and the others still get their parts fitted together pretty well. As long as you can get that quorum on a regular basis - and there's no one who's just NEVER there - you should be able to make it work.
  4. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    If you can't find a night to rehearse, when are you going to find a night to gig?

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Howlin' Hanson and BayStateBass like this.
  5. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    While this may not be the case with your band, I have almost found myself in bands with people who will simply look for any excuse not to practice.

    I recall one joker who tried out for a band I was in say he was too busy to practice on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays because of work, and Thursdays and Fridays because of school. How about Saturdays and Sundays during the day? He couldn't because he said he needed his time off to study for school. How about at night? No, because he needed to have a social life. I told him it seemed like he was too busy to be in a band, which made him react as if I had kicked his dog.
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  6. I'm in a 5 piece band and we only practice together every other Sunday. Everyone has practice stuff at home wether it be practice amps, line 6 pods or whatever so they can work on stuff at home. We always record ideas at practice even if its just a ghetto cell phone recording. We've been together since the late 90s and this schedule works out the best. When we were young and didn't have kids or real jobs we practiced a lot more together. But in all honesty for us at least the more often we practiced the more time was wasted at practice. I don have the patients to sit there waiting on someone else to figure out their part for . If rather them work on it at home so when were together in not sitting around not playing for half the practice.
  7. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I don't care how they react. He is too busy to be in a band. If he can't allot a little time for rehearsal, then how can you ever work up a decent act?
  8. yeah, we always get mad at each other because of scheduling issues.
    sometimes you just have to figure it out.
    At the end of each practice, you agree on the time when you can all be there again.
    If they can't make practice on a regular basis, then you need to find someone else.
    everyone has a life, but to be in a good sounding band, rehearsal is needed.
    Burt35 likes this.
  9. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    You can almost always find a way to make it work, even if it seems like it can't. The big thing is that everyone has to want to be there. A couple of options that I have found worked in bands I have been a part of.

    Set a weekly rehearsal time in stone. If it's Tuesday night from 7-10, or Sunday afternoon from 2-5 or whatever, EVERY week rehearse at that time. If it's set, and if it is a priority for everyone, you can work your other commitments around it. Occasionally something will come up where one person can't be there because they have something come up that they absolutely can't reschedule or get out of, but "I'm not available Tuesday nights because I have rehearsal" is easy to say/remember instead of "I'm not sure what my schedule is like" or "we didn't set anything in stone..."

    Set the next rehearsal at the end of the current one. Take 5 minutes for everyone to sit down with their schedule for the next week, and find something that works for everyone. Don't leave until you've made it work. This could mean someone has to compromise or reschedule something else, but again, it comes down to priorities.

    Scheduling apps/websites. This works particularly well with bigger bands (5+) where if one or two members aren't there but the majority of you are, you can still get stuff done. There are a bunch of different ones, doodle being one I have used. Essentially you have a moderator who sets potential rehearsal times, and then everyone in the band fills in when they are or are not available. It takes less than a minute to click through everything and say "yes" or "no" to them all. It is also helpful in that you get to see who is constantly saying "no" and not available, and that might be something you need to address.

    If someone can't be there consistently and their schedule never seems to work, then you need to figure out if it's a scheduling issue or a commitment issue. Either way, you need to ask yourself if they can pull their weight in the band with the number of rehearsals they can attend or if they are holding you back, and decide if they should be a part of the project or not.
    Belgand and Burt35 like this.
  10. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out....

    Feb 6, 2010
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    i have never understood people who get into this activity, but don't like to play. It would be like a hockey player who hates skating...

    Both of my bands prax on Sundays. I live about an hour away from the home base of my metal band so that is all we can do. The other band practices sometimes twice a week if the neighbors allow since it has to be after 9 pm
  11. Chains


    Jan 22, 2014
    +1 to MikeCanada

    Our "set in stone night" is Thursday.
    Once a month, we examine our calendars for conflicts and have a back up night, which we all know is Monday. Our families know of our Thursday commitment.
  12. pick a night, and make it work. it's not that hard.
  13. tspallone


    Oct 13, 2011
    Nanuet, NY
    I'm in a new group right now mainly because the other bass player didn't want to rehearse. He just wanted to show up to the gig.

    I'm all for rehearsal. However, practicing is different than rehearsing. You practice your part on your own, you rehearse with the group to get tight.

    Personally, I like the every other Wed. night rehearsal from 7pm - 9pm. That works for me. In between those reheasals I'm going over what we did and fixing flubs and learning new songs to be prepared for the next rehearsal.

    I understand time is short for everyone but, to just want to show up to a gig? If everything were I-IV-V blues, maybe you could get away with it but then, why would you even want to bother?
  14. Seems like this is something that should have been discussed before the band formed.

    I decided a while ago that if I ever have to recruit anyone into a band again, they're going to have to come audition on our regular practice night (usually Thursday nights for us). Can't make it? Then you can't be in the band, sorry.
  15. We use a Facebook private page. It works well only because all of use are on FB daily.