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Rehearsal or Practice?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jallenbass, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    In the orchestra and jazz worlds it's generally called "rehearsal" but in the rock/pop world it's called "band practice". Why is that?
  2. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Bands rehearse. Individuals practice.
  3. A rehearsal is preperation for a spacific gig. Band practice is what you do when you get together to go over existing material or new songs with no spacific gig in mind.
  4. Practice is what you do at home, rehearsal is with the band.

    And that is from a rock player.
  5. EricssonB


    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
    Cultural differences? Jazz folks are serious performers and bands suck at what they do?
  6. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Not sure why there is a difference but in most bands use them to mean the same thing. Some of the people in my band say practice and some say rehearsal. It seems like its been that way ever since I started playing.

    Musicacademy.com defines them this way:
    "Practice is personal preparation for the rehearsal. Practice is personal. Rehearsal is relational."
  7. +100%. This

    Learn/practice alone at home - so you're prepared to rehearse and or preform.
  8. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    OK, I'll bite: Because rock & pop music generally has a much lower threshold to entry, therefore a much larger percentage of players who are musically less educated, less sophisticated, and less disciplined? :eyebrow:

  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Rehearsal can also refer to the process of a group developing and polishing its live performance - with or without a specific gig in mind. The key element is that the activity is collective in nature - not individual.

    "Group practice" - if there is such a thing - would refer to the members of a group each working out his/her own individual part(s), but doing so in a group setting, rather than each player practicing alone. Which is what rehearsal often degenerates into anyway, at least among less professional and/or less disciplined players. :rolleyes:

  10. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I will say this much: If I'm invited to audition for a group, and they inform me that band practice is on Wednesday night, that would be indicator #1 that I might not be getting into something I'm looking for. If, on the other hand, they inform me that band rehearsal is on Wednesday night, that would be indicator #1 that I might be onto something. It is but one potential indicator of many things.
  11. georgiagoodie

    georgiagoodie It's all fun&games 'til the winged monkeys show up Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Sports teams "practice".
    Musical ensembles "rehearse".
  12. Rehearsal implies something more regimented than practice to me, particularly working on a set list. Practice seems like something more free form (working on new material, finding new sounds, etc.), possibly with beer?

    Of course, YMMV
  13. Practice is just a broad, general term. A rehearsal is a type of practice, where one prepares for a specific performance event. If you are just writing/arranging/learning songs, you are not rehearsing. If you have a set list determined for a show and are doing a run-through, that can be called a rehearsal.
  14. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Where does "wood shedding" fall? Or "noodling"? Or "just screwin' around"?
  15. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    I used to play in a band that played six nights a week for years. Every week the band leader would give us a list of songs that we were expected to be able to play at the first gig the following week. We would each learn and PRACTICE those songs individually and then we'd REHEARSE them during the gigs the next week. By the end of the week the new songs were tighter than a gnat's ass.

    We went for about four years before we had an actual non-gig rehearsal, but believe me, everybody put in plenty of practice.

    This was doable only because we were a group of disciplined and skilled players.
  16. ngh


    Feb 6, 2013
    brooklyn, ny
    for the longest time when people would mention "shedding" i always thought it was somehow a reference to shedding as in to shed ones skin or hair. it was a big "I get it now!" moment when i figured that one out... :bag:
  17. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Call whatever you want to call it. Some of those folks sitting high atop the musical castle will sneer and mock folks for using terms in ways they don't agree with, and that's okay. All that matters is that you actually do play and enjoy yourself. Life's to short to get hung up on pedantic differences.

  18. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I'm in a 19 piece jazz band. We have two rehearsals and one gig per month. Here's how it typically goes.

    Rehearsal 1: Discuss band business, what went well or poorly at the last gig, who's going to play what parts, introduce new members or subs, kvetch about politics, and decide on the next gig's repertoire. We try not to recycle more than a few tunes from the previous gig. If there are new charts, we run through them and then vote them in or out of the band's "book." All of this is more or less by consensus, but with respect to varying levels of ability and seniority. We decide what really needs to be rehearsed, and rehearse it.

    Rehearsal 2: More or less a dress rehearsal for the gig, to run through difficult ensemble parts and full tunes, time permitting. This is for fun, and playing through complete tunes is fun, but we don't fully rehearse every tune that we perform. Everybody is expected to be ready to play the gig.

    It's fast paced like this, because the variety of tunes is one of the trademarks of our band.

    I've played with a number of bands that worked new material into their repertoire without ever rehearsing.
  19. lhoward


    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State
    The last term I can't address, but when you woodshed, its with a specific purpose to learn a tune in order to be able to play it more competently and be able to provide a foundation for the other players and perhaps do an occasional solo that says something. That's basically what its meant to me for over the last 50 years. Noodling can be very informal, individual practice on a part of a tune or phrase or riff that some players do between songs or sets. I personally don't noodle on a gig. I feel it can be considered somewhat unprofessional depending on the type of gig it is.

    I found a few interesting links that I pretty much agree with and hopefully you might find some value in them:

    http://www.worldwidewoodshed.com/woodshedding term.htm


    FWIW, noodling also has a meaning in fishing, which I didn't know about until I searched the term.

    Lloyd Howard
  20. Exactly.

    Worse still, a band member of mine used to say "jam" all the time. Honestly, it was one of a number of factors that had me considering leaving the band. Words matter, to me at least.

    He has over time, evolved, and now says "rehearsal".