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How to Have More Fun at Practice?!?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by FriscoBassAce, May 8, 2006.


  1. FriscoBassAce

    FriscoBassAce

    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    What does your band do at rehearsal to make it fun?

    Maybe I'm being too regimental in how I run practices (I'm the band leader). We're a classic rock cover band (We're all in our 40's), and we want to put together about 70 songs so we can play a variety of venues. We're about two-thirds of the way there, but we obviously have a lot of work left to do. I just want to get our songs down so that we can get out there and gig.

    What do you guys do to have fun at your gigs, but still keep it real and get work done?

    By the way, we don't do drugs, and we've made the rule that we don't drink at practice (we had a problem in the past with a raging alcoholic).

    Short of bringing in hookers, what can we do? :p

    edited to add: forgot to mention...we can only rehearse on weeknights for about two hours...so we don't have a whole bunch of time to screw around.....
     
  2. fr0me0

    fr0me0

    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    over sized novelty hats.
     
  3. hartke20g

    hartke20g

    Apr 12, 2006
    miami, FL
    have a set amount of time to just listen to music and talk about stuff (anything interesting, usually not about work/married life because that brings a lot of people down). or if they're really into their instruments and know how to improvise, have a set time to just jam and wank about.
     
  4. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Be friends with eachother. If you all have a decent work ethic, you shouldn't have to push to finish. All of you should spend time at home learning the material on your own.

    Goof off a little. Start playing a riff from a fun song to play, just for the hell of it, and soon everyone will be playing along with big smiles on their faces. Bring a Kazoo, don't say anything to anyone, set up a mic, and just as everyone's about to jam, tell everyone you're going to Kazoo your bass parts tonight. Keep everything light and jovial. It'll make it so people can't wait for the next practice.
     
  5. bassbully43

    bassbully43

    Jul 1, 2005
    Gee...i am in the same type of band guys in our 40 -50's we have 50 songs getting more all the time and we practice once a week unless there is a gig...then we just play the gig. We DRINK...yep nobody gets loaded just giddy and loose and we have a pretty good time and unwind....your rule was started due to a alcoholic in the past if you guys can handle the booze ...let it rip and have fun....if not im lost on any ideas...a pillow fight?:smug:
     
  6. FriscoBassAce

    FriscoBassAce

    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative

    That's funny dude!
     
  7. Kittens? Strippers? Kitten Strippers?
     
  8. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    We usually sacrifice small animals.
     
  9. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    K190-Jack-Daniels.

    I'm in the same type of band as you, in the same age group.
    As long as everyone knows their limits, there is nothing wrong with having the occasional nip at practice. We've been known to. :)
     
  10. Bluesdog

    Bluesdog

    Apr 24, 2006
    Gold Coast
    Ditto , with the band and the age group, also.

    we actually have a swap around song, where we all use someone elses instrument, we were doing it to the beatles money ( thats what i want ), but we've done it to others , kept it simple because my guitar soloing skills suck as do my Keys . and the less said about the drummer the better.but it's fun.
     
  11. MazeMouse

    MazeMouse

    Jan 27, 2005
    Netherlands
    I don't know if you like that kind of "toilet-humor" but you could try to make "suggestive" moves on the upper horn (or neck) of your bass to your drummer and see if he still keeps time.

    Also funny, switch instruments for a few minutes.

    Bomb the drummer (read the farting on stage topic ;))

    Do some crazy rockstar antics. (foot on monitor, windmills, etc) Sure to get people laughing and into the rock-mood.
    Rehearse like you're on stage and not only will the mood be lighter when you ARE on stage but you have learned the song while doing the rockstar thing. Which is what people are paying for.

    Retune your bass and watch the strange looks as people see you do "a different thing than you normally do"
     
  12. I'm not sure but I got the feeling from your first post that you don't 'know' these guys all that well and you only really see them for practices. I think the reason that my band's practices are such a good time (and we virtually never drink in the studio) is that, along with practicing for four hours a week, we're down the pub together one night a week as well. We're all close friends, and we feel comfortable around each other, which I think makes for a better atmosphere in practices. Also, there's nothing quite like seeing your singer shuffle into the studio with a blinding hangover and suddenly realising that he spent two hours last night baring his soul to the rest of the band.

    So, if the problem is that you need to know the guys better then get down the pub one night, or invite them all over for a bbq.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers
     
  13. I'm in the same type of band and age...
    I reckon 70 is a hell of a lot of songs to get under your belt before gigging. Two thirds there? Maybe you should get a gig booked - that would focus the practice.

    Also as Lord Henry says if you know each other a bit better you might find it becomes fun anyway.

    We usually spend about an hour practising, then have a break. Sometimes a beer, sometimes a cup of tea and a chat - nothing formal planned, then do some more practising. I think the talk time is quite important - a bit of bonding is good!

    Also, after a few gigs and shared experiences, you'll have more in common too.

    We rarely practise old songs unless we haven't aired them for a while or just as a warm up. It can become stale then. I reckon you need to get gigging! :)
     
  14. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Invent/use ridiculous dance moves while you are playing. Like busting out with MC Hammer's sidways motion thing during a heavy part.
     
  15. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Playing the songs we intend on playing is fun to me. People wanking away while others are talking or in between songs really gets on my nerves, generally people who aren't focused and are goofing off get on my nerves after a while. It's okay to have some fun at practice BUT if we are sitting down talking about a gig or trying to write up a setlist and you are sitting there goofing off or acting like the guitar stand is a macchine gun....I will get pissed because you are making everyone loose focus of the task at hand.

    that's just my $.02
     
  16. barebones

    barebones Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Try painting each other's toenails.

    Matt
     
  17. bassbully43

    bassbully43

    Jul 1, 2005

    AWWWWWWWW....YESSSSSSSS that is the stuff to loosen ya up and let it all hang out...practice can be real fun when you belt down a few shots of the jack. I can't handle it no more thou:meh: it makes my gut burn like a Texas asphalt highway.
     
  18. We are all basically the same age(19,19 and 20), and basically the same senses of humour. Whenever we have a short rehearsal, we try and get a lot of stuff done, but we never sacrifice the funny stuff. Telling a funny(not necessarily true) story can lighten the mood up a bit. Start up a jam as those can be really fun for all involved. If you're singing, change the lyrics around into something silly. Take any innocent comments and make a joke out of them, or a pun or something.

    I.e., last night we had the random thought of playing a punk/more rocking version of one of our slow songs. That was pretty fun in itself. I kept the same bass solo(pretty slow and fits the slow version well), and it worked out well. But I also started doing more fills and licks and stuff. Afterwards the singer/guitarist(who is a girl, who is dating the drummer), was like "I really liked those licks! Keep them!(since we are going to play the rocked up version at a gig in a couple of weeks)". My response: "Note to self: more licking". Don't mean to have more sexual jokes or anything, just keep it light hearted.

    Another example: singer on the phone booking a gig, mentions how we are in the same room. Don't remember the context, but there was talk of getting heads chopped off. Couple minutes later I say: "I don't want my head cut off, I want to be headed". Unintentional puns work pretty well.



    Also, don't force it. Whatever comes naturally to you, do it!
     
  19. A drink of my own creation, i call it makers ala natural

    take one large glass ( 16 oZ preferably )

    add 5 cubes ice
    Fill to top with delicious Makers Mark bourbon

    wala, a great time at practice.
     
  20. Jeff Martinez

    Jeff Martinez

    May 10, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Burger King onion rings!!! (see: "bombing the drummer")

    Our guitarist and I spend a lot of practice time with a foot on the monitor (since our singer would have a coniption if we did it on stage). This often leads to handfulls of picks, Doritos, M&M's, etc... being thrown around.

    One of the most important things we do is to have a "non-practice" practice once in a while. This as simple as hangin' out at Starbucks, to a BBQ, to catching a show together. The main thing is just to get to know what makes everyone tick.
     

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