Missing rehearsal..

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Humblerumble, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    I play in a band with two guitarists, a drummer and a singer. We practice one night a week for 3-4 hours. We've been playing together for a couple of years and we are all older guys 30's -50's. We all have pretty demanding jobs, and at times can't make rehearsal. Well we usually just can it for the week if someone can't make it and try again the next week. Well lately we have missed a lot of practice. What do you guys do when someone in the band can't make rehearsal? I figure that my options are 1) rehearse with the remaining members, 2) look for a fill-in for the evening or 3) do like we have been doing and just can it for the week. Any input would be appreciated.
  2. If everyone's having fun with it, why not just drive on?

    Besides, isn't "band practice" a euphemism for "an excuse to drink beer, hang out with the guys and stick the wife with the kids?"
  3. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    My drummer works for a major graphic arts place that demands a lot of high profile work. So he goes through phases where he can't make practice for weeks at a time. We've found it's best to go over the material without him then give him a cd of what we want to do and how we want to do it. It's on his shoulders then to practice it at home and make sure he's good for shows. Whoever is missing practice needs to know that they need to work extra hard on their spare time to make the band work.
  4. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    How often does the band gig, and more importantly how productive are your rehearsals?

    Are you learning new material at every rehearsal, or do you tend to just "tighten up" the current material?

    Perhaps conflicts are coming up more often than in the past because there's some loss of interest. A weekly rehearsal for a band that's been together for a couple of years is a great sign of commitment, but can become stale pretty easily if you're not being truly productive. I'd have a meeting on the matter to determine if everyone is still commited.

    See if another night is less likely to conflict with people's work schedules. Finding a "fill in" for rehearsals isn't very practical. Who would do it without being paid? Who would learn your sets just for the sake of rehearsal and no gigs?

    If you're gigging plenty, and have plenty of material now, why not consider taking a break from rehearsing for awhile? When the material you're doing now starts to get a bit stale, you all should become more motivated to rehearse again.
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    If it's a money-making proposition and everyone says they love the music, no one misses rehearsal.

    If it's just a hobby for someone and they made clear up-front to the band, I guess you just have to live with it......and forget about playing anywhere but third-tier joints because the better clubs won't hire anyone who can't compete with the "sharp" bands who have it going on.

    IME, the first thing that goes in a band that doesn't practice/rehearse enough is the timing, as well as the audience.....right out the door. :crying:
  6. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    The band hasn’t practiced or gigged a lot lately mainly because of some health problems the singer had. He had an unexplained blood pressure problem that caused him to almost lose sight in one of his eyes. The doctors didn’t want him to do anything that could cause his blood pressure to go up (including singing) until they found the problem. They got that corrected and we got back on the practice schedule for a while then the drummers work schedule went crazy because of a new computer system at his company and he is an IT manager. That kind of subsided, but you get the idea. We want to push the band to the next level and I approached everyone a few weeks ago and asked them if they were still serious and they all said yes. We usually tighten up and try to work on some new stuff. It’s not like people are missing rehearsal for bogus reasons, but as we are trying to push the band I wondered how to best utilize the time.
  7. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    You can probably get some mileage out of rehearsals with limited personnel. It's not quite the same as having the whole band available to rehearse but sometimes it allows you to focus on things that would get missed in the full setting. For example, with bass, drums and the rhythm guitar, you could really focus on getting the "engine room" of the band nice and tight without boring the singer while you try and get the kicks co-ordinated across the instruments. Likewise, with bass, guitar and vocals you could keep yourself fresh with the tunes and maybe work on some vocal harmonies that might otherwise get neglected.

    I'd rather have a partial but focussed rehearsal than get everybody together and waste the evening because nobody has done any preparation.

  8. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I would either continue the practice, or get a fill in.

    As Craig said, it may be impractical or difficult to get someone to fill in. Regardless, if I can get a copetent fill-in, I would. It's a great way to evaluate potential subs for the band.

    I also agree with Wulf with doing what you can with limited personnel. You don't need to have the entire band together to practice harmony vocals, or write songs. I would make the most the time and personnel available to me, to improve as a musician.
  9. BertBert


    Nov 9, 2002
    Just a personal experience in the same ballpark -- My wife and I are going to China in September for two weeks to adopt our daughter :hyper: and because of the travel and having a new baby, I'll be taking time off from my band until probably late October. While I'm gone, we decided it would be a great time to get started on recording a demo (possibly full length) CD -- getting the drum tracks recorded will take at least a couple of weeks (probably longer than that) and until I'm ready to come back, the other guys can put down tracks and I can eventually fill my part in.

    The moral being, there's usually something productive that the band can do without the bass player. (Insert unproductive bassist joke here) If nothing else the band can take time to recharge the musical batteries.
  10. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    First BertBert Congrats on your new family member! (I stopped and sent up a prayer for you as I was writing this:) Anyway I think I feel like most of you guys in that there are plenty of things that we could be doing during that time to further the band and ourselves musically. I think I'll throw it out as I would like to get together and work on "something" and see who is game. As usual, lots of good ideas in this thread, Thanks guys!
  11. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Mt band is in the same situation. We have missed several rehearsals lately due to vacations, illness, work, etc. But we are all in this primarily for the fun, so we just practice on our own to stay sharp. The tough part is getting the vocal harmonies down. That you really need everyone together to do. If it is the Key player that can't make it, we will rehearse the guitar songs without him.
  12. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    A few years you say? Well it depends i think on the situation. If your a cover band, no big whoop. Tell the guy to learn this tune at home. Originals are a different story, with technology you can email clips back and fourth and still write tunes but and have seen this done. But you still need to make time to get together and sort some things out in person I feel if you really want to give a tune your full attention. The next time you all get together bring it up in a meeting and work something out.