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Having trouble actually having practice.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by StrudelBass, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    Has anyone ever been in this rut with their band? Most of my band members have conflicting schedules as we're all occupied with going to school (college) and having jobs, so we don't get much practice in. When we can get a practice in it seems kind of pointless because we'll go weeks before we have another. I'm guessing when the school semester is over we'll be able to get in a little more practice, but that still won't be for a while, and what about time for gigs? What could I do in the meantime while my band is busy?
  2. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    u could just practice...i suppose, but i am kind of in the same situation as u, apart form werse, i have plenty of 3 time, and i spend most of it practicing, but my band have collage and whatever, and we just got our guitarist back after he left last year (for no reason), then we had a choice to either have him back or his ex girl who he had just broke up with a day before, and with the drummer (my cuz) bein best mates with him, he choose him over the singer even tho we both new he was unreliable and isnt seriouse about bein in a band, anyway, we got him back, and weve had 2 practices in 3 or 4 month, its hopeless, i am the only seriouse one in the band and we could of had a singer but ended up with the same guitar player who doesnt care, so what i do is just practice as much as i can by my self for now, but he even has excuses to get out of practices, which is weird, but if theres a practice, i will go, even if it is pointless lol
  3. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    We have set practice days usually. We allways practice sunday mornings. Coach's are not aloud to make you practice on sundays. And school's aren't supposed to be in session (to my knowledge). And church only lasts so many hours. During the week, the guitarists runs, I have swim practice twice a day, the drummer, well he does drummer things. And the singer, i have no clue. But that aside, with busy schedules you have to sit down and figure out when it's best to practice. And if you feel the band is worth sacrificeing some things you do, then you have to sacrifice (if you deam it necessary). Or you could allways just jump on-board another band, and still be with this one. Maybe it'd give them some motivation to get practice together, if the bassist (i assume), is in another band.
  4. This post needs a period or two.
  5. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Sounds like you want to place a greater priority on music than the others in your group. Time to start another project. You can always stay in this one, but don't limit yourself because someone else doesn't want to go at the same clip. It never hurts to gave more than one iron in the fire.
  6. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I've played with the same guy for over ten years. I say guy because it's just me, him and a drum machine. We very seldom practice together and when we do, everything goes onto a tape recorder. I've got everything that we will do in performance on tape and can refresh in a short time.

    Sometimes it is hard to find the song that I want because I didn't start indexing for too long. :)

    He has one of those schedules, also, that allows very little time for music. When we have a gig, he emails me a song list and we both practice to the tapes.

    We have over 300 songs and are both always up to speed on gig nites.

    Granted, it's lots easier for two guys to stay solid this way than it would be for a full band but the concept should work.
  7. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    What about the writing process? How can we come together and colaborate in writing our own music if we can never find the time?
  8. Keep at it cause oppurnities do come ( sorry bout the spelling )
  9. Tingly


    Jul 16, 2005
    Yonkers, NY
    I agree with pkr2. The cassette tape recorder has proved to be a Godsend for me! It doesn't even have to be a good one. The pitch reproduction is not as important as the timing. Everyone in the band should use one, or make copies of the rehearsal. If the members are serious, evry one of them can practice their ass off with the taped "band," and make a lot of progress on their own.
  10. ireidt


    Mar 6, 2005
    Pick a set day to practice. My band hasn't been practicing for a while myself, guitarist works weekends, and the drummer and I are both in my schools marching band, but now marching season is over, we are practicing every tuesday.

    If you ca't practice all the time, practice once a week, and work on new ideas individually for the next practice.
  11. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    It needs alot more than that. Chili, what college do you attend?
  12. something that used to work well with my now ex band was all of us investing in a program like noteworthy or guitar pro. We could still write music and contrubute ideas and stuff with out actually being there. someone would write something, save it, then email the rest of the band the file. then we'd all take the time to add our parts in, make changes, and then send it on over to the other bandmates with suggestions and ideas for the song. then after that we had a finished product we'd take the time to practice at home and then when we were all together we'd jsut run through the stuff and make any touch ups that may have been needed, it made the little time we did have together so much more productive, we eventually stopped using it though when we were able to get weekly practices, funny thing is that's about the time we started having problems
  13. My band hasnt practiced since the start of september, wish i was bothered anymore :p
  14. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    My band doesn't practice much. We've got pretty much the same setlist at most of our gigs, which corresponds pretty closely to our CD setlist. Most of our gigs are the 30min - hour variety, so we don't have to mess with it much. We do cycle through a new song every gig or so, but we can usually pick that up in our "refresher rehearsal", the rehearsal directly before the gig.

    Plus, if it's a cover, we all learn our parts before the rehearsal, so all we have to do is plug the pieces in and get it tight.

    Occasionally, we'll have an "odd" gig (an acoustic gig, or an extended length gig) and we'll practice a bit for that. I don't like to overpractice, though. I like the energy of a fresh set of songs (plus, you can't obsess over tiny mistakes if it was never perfect to begin with).

    Get a good bunch of musicians, and rehearsals become a luxury rather than a necessity. :)
  15. R.Lee


    Nov 12, 2005
    Bands practice?? It's usually a call at 610pm can you be at xyz by 7? So and so have taken off and gotten drunk, high, arrrested or ran of with boyfriend, girlfriend, pet goat, or all the above.
    You do remember the songs we talked about 6 years ago right? Well fake it!
  16. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC
    All my band does IS practice. We practice every Thursday.
  17. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    If you think that finding the time is dificult while you are in college, wait until you have a wife, kids, business and other obligations. How much time do you spend at parties, TV, getting drunk, dates and sleeping late? This sounds mean, but I don't intend it to be.

    I'm in a band with eight other people, five of us are doctors who take ER call. All members except one have a wife and kids, homes that occationally need repairs, secondary family obligations and work various hours of the day and night.

    My solution would be time management. It sounds boring, but it works. 1. Cut the things you don't need to do. 2. E-mail the band with every day and time for potential rehearsals and have them respond yay or nay to each date and time. Make up a grid with the responces and see what's good. If one guy can't make it, call him. Maybe he can switch things around. That's what I do or we would never have rehearsals. 3. Squeeze in a rehearsal just before a party or early morning if you have a place to do it. 4. Make sure everyone practices at home. YOU PRACTICE AT HOME & REHEARSE AT REHEARSALS!!! That will make your rehearsal time more productive.

    Good luck.
  18. Good. You'll blow lesser-prepared bands away at the first gig!
  19. My band was at the same place, being college students and having stuff going on. I guess I can't make too many suggestions seeing as we're at the same place. Writing new material was always hard for us as well, and then once we were all finally together for a practice we'd wind up just hanging out as opposed to really getting stuff done. Consider looking into other people if you find you're willing to dedicate more time to playing and the guys you're with now don't want it as such a high priority.
  20. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    I don't think it's necessarily time to give up on you current band. Just sit the guys down and say, "we need a set practice time."

    Then decide on a day or two during the week when you guys can get together and just run songs. I would highly suggest Monday night, if possible. If you have a gig on Friday or Saturday, it's still fresh in your mind on Monday, but you were also able to have Sunday off. Also, it's nice to have that rehearsal to look forward to on Mondays instead of "darn, it's Monday... a whole week ahead of me". The key, though, is just a day that everyone will commit to. If they can't commit a single day of the week to band practice, then maybe you should be looking for another crew.

    To make your rehearsals more productive - make a schedule and stay on it. That means schedule out time to set up and tear down. Get rid of distractions that might make you get off schedule - girlfriends, food, buddies, etc...

    The key to good time management during rehearsals is to take it in manageable chunks.

    Try this: Each rehearsal should include a review of what you worked hard on last week, 2-4 songs that you're really going to work hard on this week, and then 2-4 songs that you can just run through in anticipation of really working hard on them the next week. That way, every song gets played three weeks in a row.

    It's very effective. The first time you play through a new song, it's with no pressure... just to get the song in your head. The next week you really work on it and get it polished. The third week, you've got it down and it's just review time. This way, you're effectively adding 2-4 songs to your setlist every week.

    Start on time and end on time. Don't hang out in your rehearsal space... it's kind of a mental thing, like how they tell you not to do homework while sitting on your bed. Your brain sees the bed and immediately takes the cue into sleep mode. Same thing. If you hang out in your rehearsal space, your brain will quickly take THAT cue and make it "hang out" time ALL the time. If you want to hang out after rehearsal, do it somewhere else.

    Again, END ON TIME. You wouldn't think that this would be a big deal, but when you've got homework and other concerns, nothing annoys a guy more than having to stay late. Also, if you consistently end early, your band will begin to expect to end early... so if you needed to go for the full time, that would be "ending late" to them.

    Seriously. Decide how long you want to make your rehearsals (2-3 hours is a good length, IMHO), and schedule it on paper. Don't deviate much from the schedule. Human beings thrive on routines and habits.

    Music is a discipline, and many people don't realize this. But it takes hours and days and weeks and months and YEARS to add up to the two hours that people watch us on stage. In the end, though, all the work is worth it.

    Hope this helps.