1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Fixing mistakes in a band that doesn't rehearse...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by glocke1, Dec 9, 2018.


  1. glocke1

    glocke1

    Apr 30, 2002
    PA
    B/L complains about clams coming from me..Not saying I don't generate any, but this is a band that sends around a setlist a week before the gig and we just show up to play.

    We generally don't do a bad job but we sound like a band that doesn't rehearse.

    This last one contained 3 or 4 songs that no one in the band had played before, as well as some relatively complicated tunes.

    This morning i get a text from the guy saying I need to clean things up as I was "throwing clams left and right and the second set was particularly cringe worthy".

    Listening back there are some here and there by me, especially on songs I am less familiar with, but everyone in that band is making mistakes here and there.

    My argument is that people can practice these tunes all day and all night at home on their own, but unless there is actually face to face practice sessions on a routine basis where these tunes are played and mistakes are ironed out that kind of stuff is going to continue to happen.

    The guy basically disagrees with that using the argument that practice will make us tighter but won't fix clams.:rolleyes:

    I don't even remember the last time we were all in a room together that was not at a gig. Probably the last time we had any kind of real practice was late Spring/early summer.
     
    Dan Gibbs, ScotRFM, michla and 5 others like this.
  2. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    Well if you play the songs the same as the recordings you should practice them enough to have them down cold. The odd clam happens. Tell him when he throws out three new songs a week before a gig you need more time to prepare and get them down cold.

    What I object to is his method of delivery. Just texting and then being so rude about it. That’s a dick move.
     
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    If the mistakes were clams by you (or anyone else), rehearsal is not where you fix it. If the mistakes involved interplay between musicians, you have a point. I agree with your BL.
     
    stylonpilson, DJ Bebop and shadven like this.
  4. glocke1

    glocke1

    Apr 30, 2002
    PA
    Yeah..in fairness he noted that he has to make improvements of his own, but most of his energy was focused on me.

    some of the tunes are doable without a rehearsal...others should be rehearsed.

    Honestly I can practice these tunes until the cows come home, but mistakes will persist. For example lead guitar player totally skipped part of the intro sequence to one song we do and launched right into the verses which the cause for one of the clams. If we all have different versions of the tunes in our head there is no way we will ever have an error free performance.
     
  5. glocke1

    glocke1

    Apr 30, 2002
    PA

    I agree and disagree. If I throw a clam because of a missed part that is certainly on me...but rehearsal is most certainly where you work on tightening things up to reduce the chance of clams.
    The tightest bands I've been in ? Those are the ones that rehearsed on a regular basis...The least tight bands I've been in? Those are the ones that just send out a list and people show up and play. I'm not saying they sound bad, they just sound like they don't rehearse.

    Also, there is the fact that not all of us are on the same page regarding changes/chord progressions. Theres been more than one instance where some other member of the band totally ignores a chord change. Happened last night during the intro to one of our songs.
     
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Paging @Joe Nerve Some very good bands never rehearse.

    Again, tightness is one thing. Clams are not the same.

    I went to an audition last year where I had to learn 10 songs in a week. Was I as tight with the drummer as I would have liked? No. Did I miss any notes? No.
     
    DJ Bebop, mcnach, tradernick and 3 others like this.
  7. We should distinguish between clams made from momentary lack of focus ("brain farts") and clams made because someone doesn't know the arrangement or the song very well.

    If this BL wants to play out without rehearsing, he can hold you accountable if he supplies a specific arrangement (chart, recorded version, etc.) and insists everyone stick to that one version. I have done this many times with bands.

    The only trouble spots will always be intros and outros, and that's the main purpose of a rehearsal IME. We spend around 10-20% of a typical rehearsal checking for content coverage, mainly the guitars and keys deciding who will play what, or who will sing what harmony, and the other 80-90% of rehearsal involves arranging intros and outros.

    So, is your BL concerned because you guys aren't on the same page with intros and outros? Is he expecting a certain version and you guys aren't on the same page with him? Is he throwing curves on stage by deviating from the arrangement everyone learned? Or are you truly not as familiar with the song as you should be and making a lot of "brain fart" mistakes?

    Also, I wouldn't focus too much on what the others are or aren't doing; BL singled you out and that should be your main concern. Unless they are struggling due to some of the same confusion outlined above, then it's a band thing and needs to be addressed for the benefit of everyone.
     
  8. glocke1

    glocke1

    Apr 30, 2002
    PA
    Bolded...I'd say its a combination of everything. New tunes that no one in the band was really familiar with (some of which were somewhat challenging), true brain farts on my end, and others having different ideas of what the arrangements are. I already mentioned one instance where the guitar player completely skipped over part of the intro to one song. I went to play the part thats supposed to be there and he went ahead and launched into the verses which come in later.

    Im not overly irritated by it but I also don't think you can completely single one person out when everyone is having issues. One of the vocalists completely skipped a verse for one tune...The B/L himself came in earlier than he should have on the vocals for at least one tune.

    When every member is making a mistake at some point during the night, I'll be the one that says "its time to rehearse" and get everyone on the same page.
     
    DJ Bebop, Mr_Moo and electracoyote like this.
  9. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    It all depends on the players and how frequently the band gigs. I played in a cover band that added 3-4 songs per week over a four-year period. During that time we played about 700-800 gigs and had two or three rehearsals. The band was tighter than a frog‘s butt.
     
    Spooky88, DJ Bebop, Mr_Moo and 4 others like this.
  10. Chrisk-K

    Chrisk-K

    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Wrong notes played by the bassist have more negative effects on songs than wrong notes played by anyone else in the band.
     
    MarkJC8, BrianRoze, Dgl44 and 29 others like this.
  11. glocke1

    glocke1

    Apr 30, 2002
    PA

    This particular band plays probably once every 4 to 6 weeks...the players aren't bad. I play with other groups that have a higher level of musicianship involved and there are fewer issues with mistakes overall.

    Honestly with this particular band we just don't get enough face time..
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    DJ Bebop, HolmeBass and interp like this.
  12. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    Yeah, it’s gigging frequently that makes a tight band.
     
  13. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    I believe this is true. The other night I had a brain fart and started a tune a half-step low. Played two bars before I figured out why it sounded so horrible.
     
  14. Mister Boh

    Mister Boh

    Oct 23, 2016
    Annapolis, MD
    Our bands sucked, and we did rehearse. I always tried to be the least bad player though.
     
  15. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    I had one “clam” last night where the song ended and I played one more note. Can’t even remember what song. I was looking right at the leader for a cue and he didn’t give one. He said “oops”, on stage not on mic. I told him after what happened and he said that’s the way we always play it. So that song we may have played together once before, maybe three months ago at my first gig with them? We don’t use set lists. On stage communication is important.
     
  16. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    Been there lol. Why didn’t everyone else adjust to you? The only time I’ve had it go longer than an instant is when it’s hard to hear. Monitor wash etc can make it really tough to pick up tonality on low notes for me. Basically my high mids are being washed out.
     
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  17. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    I think that's your answer right there. I do the same with similar level of bands, no rehearsals, and we pull it off. The odd clam from people here and there, but not issues of "tightness" or knowing the same arrangements. It's the level of musicianship and who does their own practice that, to me, makes the difference.
     
    dannydabiker and StayLow like this.
  18. ifrisbee

    ifrisbee

    Jan 2, 2017
    Maryland
    Question - did the B/L group text everyone calling you out, or just private text to you? If the latter, could it be he also sent out private texts to the others that need to “step it up”? The point being, are you sure you’re being singled out?
     
  19. Yep, yours is not a group of musicians who should be performing in public without rehearsing and working out the kinks.

    I am concerned about the bolded part above; if no one in the band is familiar with the song, are they not listening and learning it? Do you not get enough time to learn new material? Or are people just slacking on the assignment?

    Either way, one rehearsal is enough to tell if everyone is performance-ready and on the same page - or not - and where people need to put more focus and effort.

    Also, I have always believed the best bands are the ones that perform more frequently. Public performance is the ultimate motivator. One gig every six weeks is borderline in my book. So, short of booking more gigs, you need to take up the slack and give yourselves a better chance with regular rehearsals. It's really easy to not be prepped when a gig only happens twice every three months.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  20. mike57

    mike57

    Feb 12, 2009
    Our Fair City, MA
    Which creates intimate familiarity with the material which should minimize clams.

    A band that plays every 4-6 weeks needs to rehearse now and then.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.