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Originals: How do you practice at home?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by belzebass, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. belzebass


    Feb 21, 2012

    When I was in a cover band, practicing at home was easy: fire up the original song and play to it. Sometimes I could even find a multi-track and remove the bass for practice.

    As with originals, no recording to practice to.

    How do you organise your home practice for originals?

  2. 65Hurts


    Oct 20, 2013
    DFW Texas
    Maybe buy something you can record the guitarist, vocals and drums with at rehearsal. I'm lucky in that I have a home studio, and we'll come lay down something rough that eveyone can take a copy home minus their instrument to listen to and fine tune. I find I get most ideas listening in the car.
  3. I don't do this with originals, but if I can't find the original version of a song or the band does it different, I'll take video with my camera and practice to that.
  4. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    We just use a cheap, handheld MP3 recorder to record our songs when we practice. We put it in the corner of the room, point the microphone at the wall, and place a towel or t-shirt over it. It's crude, but it's good enough to document the songs and send MP3s to everyone after practice. Everyone can do their homework and learn the song structures for next time.

    I did the same thing in high school and in college except with blank cassettes and a ghettoblaster set in the middle of the room.
  5. VeganThump


    Jun 29, 2012
    South Jersey
    Yeah a simple recorder will do the trick, Zoom makes a relatively inexpensive one. What I do a lot though is just play the songs to a metronome. I find a tempo I think is suiting and I just play the song as if I'm playing it with the band. It's actually very helpful because you really get to know the counts and not rely on cues from vox, guitars, drums, etc. Then if you're at a gig and for some reason you can't hear something in the mix, you're not lost.
  6. you mean you don't know your own material without having a recording?

    I play it from memory, correctly and in time.
  7. maxiegrant

    maxiegrant Bassist in Transition

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sellersburg, IN
    I write the material, and sing it, so I use a drum machine or metronome, and memory.

    I make demos for the other guys. Recently I started writing them up as TuxGuitar scores, too.
  8. Even a lousy-quality cellphone audio recording is good enough to take home and practice with, for me.

    Other than that, a metronome is awesome... though i have songs that switch time signatures, so it's not perfect.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Buy a cheap recorder just to make awful recordings. That will at least help you keep your place. Record rehearsal and follow along at home.
  10. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    Small amp and You Tube.
  11. VeganThump


    Jun 29, 2012
    South Jersey

    I assume the OP knows his material, correctly, but wants some accompaniment to play to at home, in order to get better at playing the material, almost like practicing. Kudos to you though for knowing your material and playing it correctly, in time.
  12. VeganThump


    Jun 29, 2012
    South Jersey

    Time signature changes shouldn't be an issue, just set the metronome so there's no accent, changing tempos mid song, that's another story.
  13. belzebass


    Feb 21, 2012
    OP reporting.

    Actually, we do have the rehearsal/concert recordings. Personally, I find several problems:
    - Poor quality of recording, some instruments too loud, some hard to hear
    - Impossible to make a "minus one" track, that I find cool to work with everyone but bass (for example)
    - The playing quality is often "shaky": some tempo issues, some bummers here and there. Listening and working to faulty recordings engrain errors, tempo issues etc. into the memory.

    I started creating a drum machine track for one song (mapping from live drum playing) and then add every instrumental track separately (like in the studio). That way everyone can practice to metronome-like drumming (it highlights tempo issues really well). Do you think it's a good idea, or am I just making my life too complicated?:help:
  14. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I just plug in and play.
  15. nojj

    nojj Guest

    May 20, 2013
    I don't agree.
    Listening to recordings like that can emphasize the errors, and make players aware of the issues.

    When I'm writing, I get an idea, assemble a drum track (usually from loops)
    then add other instrumentation & vox.
    I generally play everything myself.
    Hand it off to the fellas, and say "Here's my idea. Take it home and run with it."
    We get together, and I do a one-pass room recording that gets handed out after each rehearsal,
    until the arrangement has been formalized enough to warrant firing up the 24track.

    I had spent some time in my studio room finding exactly the best spot for a single room mic,
    and the relative balances required of each instrument.
    The result: well, I've heard worse mixes come from project studio multitracks.
  16. bass geetarist

    bass geetarist

    Jul 29, 2013
    I haven't been in a band for awhile now, but when I was, I'd always plunk myself down in front of the tv with my bass and just run through the set 2 or 3 times. Always knew the parts well when it was time to hit the stage.
  17. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    We used a Zoom to record rehearsals of new songs during the writing process, and prior to going into the studio to record we would do what we called the drop-out exercise. We'd play each song with one member dropping out, sometimes two. This would help make sure we had our individual parts down and it really helped with timing. All of this would get recorded for critique and study at home. We used Dropbox to share the files.
  18. eloann


    May 14, 2012
    I basically don't practice (though I do play quite a bit). I make mental drawings of song structures with chord changes and other meaningful events, which is something I started doing as a drummer. It does take time to sink in but I've found I could get together with ex-bandmates for a one-off and pull off stuff I haven't played in years. Unlike playing to a score or tab that gets forgotten quickly.
  19. maxiegrant

    maxiegrant Bassist in Transition

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sellersburg, IN
    Or, transcribe a simple drum beat and chord progression in something like TuxGuitar, and play along to that.
  20. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    We do covers, but our arrangements are often different from the original, so I use a Zoom H2 to record practices once we settle on a key and an arrangement.

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