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Rehearsal Rules

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Depth_Charge, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. Feel free to have some fun with this one :)

    My covers band has been struggling to produce anything of value lately, despite the time invested during the week in trying to prepare "the troops".

    I've considered coming up with a poster with our rehearsal room rules printed on it, so far I'm considering some basics including:

    - Know your parts, and the days agenda, prior to arriving at rehearsal to avoid surprises and loss of productive practice.
    - Set your own tone and mix yourself into the mix, not over the top of it.
    - No excessive noodling.
    - Help each other set up and tear down.

    So...what would you put on your rehearsal room rules poster for all to see?
  2. CoDBassPlayer


    Oct 30, 2006
    That no practice is to be held without the bassist.

    Seriously, we get it all done. If the guitarist and drummer were there they'd just noodle. Just everytime the screw around bust out in some big loud slap line to wake them up.(It's great to do that if you turn your basses volume down far and then you turn your amp up louder, then just turn your bass up and play.)
  3. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    * have someone lead the rehearsal - and not necessarily the frontman.

    * if you're gonna pass gas, leave the room

    * stand up and play, you lazy $%@#
  4. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Get some rest the night before rehearsal, so you don't get all worn out before practice is over.

    Don't be so buzzed that you can't pay attention and do your work.

    If you wanna take your shoes off, make sure you wore clean socks and shoes. No one likes foot stink!

    Have extra batteries, power cords, etc. Equipment malfunction costs too much practice time.

    Save chit-chat for breaks and after-practice.

  5. No smoking breaks (for short 1-2 hour practices), its everyone elses money too!

    I find it useful to have a run through the set right at the beginning of practice then from there choose what needs focused on
  6. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I find it hard to believe that if everyone is professional about it, that rules even need to be created in the first place.

    It's kind of like unwritten rules that you...

    1. Know your parts (and learn YOUR parts on your own time).
    2. Show up on time.
    3. Don't waste valuable BAND time wanking.
    4. Don't play over other people trying to tune or work out parts.
    5. Be constructive with criticism and suggestions.
    6. Be straight/sober.
    6. Golden Rule applies.

    I mean really, why is this even an issue? I don't think I've ever been in a band (over 25 years of playing) where any of these rules weren't already common knowledge. Those individuals that couldn't handle such simple guidelines didn't last much longer than a couple of practices.

    Some things we have at practice, or incorporated into the band...

    We each make up a list of 10 songs we'd like to add to our "group" list of songs we'd like to learn. Then we compile a master list of the 40 new songs (10 each) that we want to play. We each vote for our top four out of those. We total the votes and whatever songs get voted in are our next four to learn (and all are expected to learn their parts to those four by next practice). This way, everyone gets a say in the song choices, and we know what songs are in the "queue" for next practice. There is no confusion as to what to learn. An added benefit is we can look ahead to next week's vote, and see if we can get that one we really liked (but didn't make it last time) voted in this time...or maybe there is yet another new one we heard recently that we'd like to add to the list. It makes it fun. It's kind of like "American Idol", only it's about voting for our new favorite songs instead of people. It's also challenging to see what each of us comes up with for new songs.

    After we started this, the band is on overdrive now to learn new stuff because we are so excited about the fresh material (and we must know 200 songs already, but we add to the list every week). Our set lists never get boring or stale...neither for us, or our fans.

    We put up a dry erase board with a current list of songs we are working on. We check them off as we learn them, or we make notes next to the title like..."need to work on harmonies" or "Bridge still needs work", etc. so everyone knows what is being worked on and where we need to steer our focus.

    The most important thing for BAND rehearsals to run smoothly, is for each and every person to learn and work on their own parts, on THEIR OWN TIME. Nothing defeats the purpose of, or wastes more "band" rehearsal time, like someone having to work out their own individual parts on BAND time.

    Obviously, if their are vocal harmony parts or key parts to the song that need to be worked out, perhaps an individual can work it out in the band setting, especially if the person worked out a part but for whatever reason it doesn't fit. But that is rare.

    Band rehearsals are for working out the whole song as a group, not for individuals to figure out what they should already know.

    Despite it being fun, everyone should take a professional approach, whether you play full time, part time, or do it mainly for fun and an occassional gig.
  7. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001

    My band would get NOTHING done if we had that rule! ;)

    BIG +1 to everything that Sundogue said.
  8. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    Record rehearsals. Bands seem to do less screwing around when they know tape is rolling. Plus, you can embarrass anyone who doesn't know their part and it shows on the tape. ;)

  9. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Ooh, nothing is as brutally honest as a recording. ;) :D
  10. I only have two rules:

    1) Everyone shows up / leaves on time.
    2) No one plays while someone is talks.

  11. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    In addition to rehearsals, one of things I found constructive is to have band meetings outside of rehearsal. I prefer to have them in a public place like a restaurant. That way, it's less likely that tempers will flare up because most folks don't want to make a scene. Plus, for people like myself, I'm always in a better mood and more productive on a full stomach.

    But, your mileage may vary.
  12. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    +1. Great point. Plus you can hone your sound quicker.
  13. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006
    Never thought to do this...awesome advice.

    I'm trying to instigate....er, I mean initiate some rules and structure into our band. Nothing happens without a plan, and wasting time getting nothing accomplished and not improving from week to week is getting old....really getting old.

    Needless to say I'm meeting a lot of resistance with these ideas.
  14. i dont really like the idea of imposing so many rules, makes it seem too much like chores, or work... but i guess it depends on your band situation.

    we have unwritten rules i guess, like showing up on time, not playing over people trying to work out new parts etc.
    but we work together rather well and dont usually have any problems though. i think thats cos we communicate fairly well.
    it dosent seem like a chore cos everyone has a bit of a muck around, a little chatter etc, but we get back into it without wasting too much time.

    i think if youre thinking about having rules, maybe you should stop and just tell the members what youre feeling?
    like if people noodling and wasting time is bothering you, explain it to them.
  15. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Really, most musicians know what the unwritten rules are. If you feel the need to "post" rules where you practice, perhaps there are bigger underlying issues with the band that should be sorted out.

    My main band is more like a family anyway and we talk about a lot of non-band stuff at practice too. Practice for us isn't just to learn new songs together (though we accomplish four new songs every week quite easily), it's also kind of a bonding thing...our night alone together...in a non-gig atmosphere. I could see if maybe you were a nine piece band, but since we are only a four piece, I just don't get how practice can get out of control for most bands.
  16. mattsk42

    mattsk42 Supporting Member

    This is a fantastic thread for beginning bands. I copied most of it and the other similar thread and forwarded it to our singer.
  17. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Some very good rules! For my band I'd like institute the following....

    1. No noodling
    2. No noodling
    3. No idle chatter
    4. No idle chatter
    5. No noodling
    6. Have a rehearsal setlist (and not ask what song to play)
    7. Have P.A. set up before rehearsal. Not when rehearsal is supposed to start.
    8. Listen to & Learn the damn songs.
    9. Be in the mindset of being productive.
    10. Don't waste my time (I live 40 miles away)!

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