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Guitarists want to practice with acoustics?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Depth_Charge, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. My band are a typical 5 piece rock band with 2 guitars running the myriad of effects they do.

    This weekend we are having a jam at my place in a 4x4m room, instead of the studio, for half the time and will probably spend a lot of time discussing band issues (we've had leadership issues since I've not been strict enough on anyone).

    Both guitarists said they were just going to bring acoustics and confirmed this among themselves over email to everyone.

    I thought this to be quite odd as the drums and I would probably drown them out (v-drums though) and we play loud rock music, not acoustic music.

    So I replied to either bring your usual rigs and play like we play live or don't bother and we'll just have a meeting instead.

    Now I'm worried they'll think I was out of line. I don't think so but I value the insight of my TB bretheren.
  2. Rob Lewis

    Rob Lewis

    Feb 23, 2006
    You'll be amazed at what you can achieve practising like this without colossal volume & distortion (and the rest) to hide behind. Downside is some people begin to realise that they're not actually that good-in my case a band fell apart because the guitarist didn't much like putting his "talents" under the microscope.
  3. see what they say back to you? or wont they?
  4. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    My band prefers to practice this way. Acoustic guitar, I bring a itty bitty practice amp, the drummer plays a barstool, and the singer doesn't get a mic. It seems that if you learn a tune, it doesn't really matter How you learn it exactly. It always amazes me that the first time we play a tune with three part harmony and full orchestration is in front of an audiance, and it always goes over well.
  5. ForestThump


    Jun 15, 2005
    "You'll be amazed at what you can achieve practising like this without colossal volume & distortion (and the rest) to hide behind."

    I really agree with this. The drummer can work with some kind of brushes and the bass can use a small amp.
    Another great exercise is to slow down tunes by 1 or 2 hundred percent.
    It really tightens things up for when you take them back up to speed.
  6. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden

    If your drummer has V-drums I see no problem with playing at acoustic levels. It has a tendency to put the spotlight on the quality of the songs.
  7. It's a good idea and fun. I used to drag my upright (long since donated to the daughter for orchestra) to those kinda things, but a small amp/speaker works. You really do get a whole different take on your setlist.
  8. ReBass

    ReBass Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    Also a great way to work on vocal harmonies, should you need to. Amazing what you can hear without loud everything...
  9. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    One of my bands always rehearses acoustically. The bassist uses my Fender R.A.D. and I play a djembe, kazoo and egg shaker. It seems to encourage vocals a lot more that way. We gig both acoustically and electrically.

    The electric thing happens pretty naturally even though we don't rehearse that way, other than we've actually got to twist one of the guitarists' arms to get him to turn up. We've all been on stage a lot with electric instruments, so it's not a challenge to move up. It's a lot tougher going from electric to acoustic than the other way around.

    You might be surprised how much better you get when you don't have a wall of volume covering for you. It makes everyone a better listener.

  10. doesn't annoy the neighbours either...

    also getting an acoustic bass or an upright can give an entire new feeling to things...
  11. Rob Lewis

    Rob Lewis

    Feb 23, 2006
    ...and if you're paying for rehearsal space you save lots of moolah...
  12. Fretless1!


    Feb 19, 2007
    + 1,000,000.

    Excellent, excellent way to practice.
  13. Darnit you guys are good! I should have asked first as I didn't consider that perspective at all.

    I got the feeling in their replies that they were just being lazy and didn't want to lug all that gear :) With some songs we play having controlled feedback, pinch harmonics etc, I was a little stumped how they'd get by without.

    As it stands, they haven't got back to me yet either. And while the drummer has v-drums, he might take the offer up of using my acoustic kit.

    Arrrrgh this band management stuff is turning out to be just as frustrating as it was wasting close to 2 years trying to join a band as a sideman and still have them respect my family commitments :)

    Thanks again.
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    Practice the way you perform
  15. stylonpilson


    Jun 30, 2008
    Reading, UK
    That leads back to the whole difference between practise and rehearsal.

    Practise is what you do at home on your own. You learn the songs and you figure out the nuances of your own part.

    Rehearsal is what you do as a band. You perfect your timing and verify that everyone knows the structure of the songs.

    Which is why they can get by with just bringing acoustic guitars to a rehearsal.

    Edit: oh, and don't worry about the management issues. As long as you are tolerant and open to suggestions, your band mates will cut you a bit of slack when you need it.

  16. You don't even need to get an acoustic bg. Your drummer has v-drums, so his volume can be controlled by the twist of a knob. And, this may surprise you, but your bass amp probably came with a volume knob as well.

    Agree 100% with the comments above regarding low-volume practices and evaluating the quality of the songs.
  17. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Almost all forms of popular music can benefit from acoustic practice. Whether it is for songwriting, practicing or working on harmonies. Also, no matter how "hard" your music is, it may be worth working up an acoustic set. Both my previous rock band, and my current country band have done specifically "acoustic" gigs. Being able to do "electric" and "acoustic" sets can open doors to more gigs and getting your music in front of more people.

    It can be alot of fun working out modified (usually simplified) parts in that it often causes me to reexamine the notes I am playing and whether they are necessary, or even the best choices.

    So go for the acoustic practice, and have fun with it!
  18. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Try recording your acoustic rehearsal to hear how the vocals/harmonies really sound.
    It's enlightening.
  19. Sneckumhaw


    Apr 26, 2006
    Def Leppard always rehearses at levels they can comfortably speak over unmic'd. Seems like a cool idea.
  20. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I find that changing things up can do a lot to stimulate creativity and break away from habitual or unconscious playing.

    At our rehearsals, I bring a small amp, the conga player uses only two congas, the drummer uses only a cocktail kit, and the guitarist will sometimes play his acoustic guitar (he always gigs with electric); the keyboard player uses his stage rig, but with a smaller amp. We can actually hear each others' recommendations and suggestions while we're playing!

    To stimulate the same kind of change, our leader (guitar/vox) will occassionally book a trio gig with just guitar/vox, bass, and congas - calling a lot of the same tunes we play as a larger, electric, band: the audience loves it, and we'll often come up with ideas that we end up using at our regular gigs.

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