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Rehearsal Time... ^_^

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Shoka42, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. Shoka42


    Jul 19, 2003
    Right, before I start, I did search before posting this, but couldn't find anything that catered specifically. If you know if I have missed something, feel free to point out m stupidity!

    Here goes... I am in a band called Abilene, and as yet we havn't performed, and this is because we havn't rehearsed enough. This wouldn't be so bad, were it not for the fact that generally, our rehearsals are not very productive!

    What usually happens is we bog off to the drummers house (for obvious reasons), set up our kit, tune up, and wack out the tunes we know (all 4 of them!). Now we are at the moment, doing all original stuff, and I would like to keep it that way, as I think our stuff is pretty good! However, our weakest song, we play best. What could be our best song usually changes every time after the solo. And all our other songs are pretty much formless.

    So here come the questions
    What is an effective way of sorting out the songs we have?
    How do you guys go about writing songs, any particular way? (ours kind of "fall" out)
    Do you decide before hand what you will do at each practice?
    How do you get the drummer to quiet down a bit? (I know, I know, it's imposible)

    Thank you in advance!
  2. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Effective way of sorting out songs?
    Make a list of songs your band has down, songs that need work, and songs that need to be learned.

    Writing songs?
    Many different approaches to them, and it too numerous to put in this thread. Since your songs seem to fall out, record your rehearsals and listen to the recording and see what riffs, or other noodling around sound good enough to make into a song. If you're boozing it up or puffing away, recording will help you to remember the cool stuff you came up with.

    Decide what to do beforehand?
    Definitely. Time is limited, and it's enough of a challenge to get the whole band to rehearsals, so I don't want to waste time at rehearsal. It's frustrating to see band members noodling away, or otherwise wasting time while someone is trying to figure out their part. People should learn their parts prior to rehearsal, especially if you are doing covers. You should have a goal at rehearsals, whether it is to work on tunes, have band meetings, etc. Imagine playing soccer (football) with no goals. It just becomes a bunch of folks running around the field kicking a ball around. Now let's apply this to bands, no goals will lead to a bunch of guys noodling around.

    How to make the drummer be quiet?
    Bring down your volumes. Will the drummer still jam away when he can't hear the guitars, bass, and vocals? If so, he's a wanker, and he doesn't need a band to do what he wants to do. Let him wank in the corner by himself while you do something more constructive. I don't believe in loud rehearsals. You can't work on vocals, or harmonies, or dynamics when everyone is blaring away. It's easy to think your singer is singing in tune when the guitars are masking everything, but when it's showtime the lack of practice will be shown through the PA. I refuse to get into volume wars. There's nothing to be gained by it other than hearing damage, wasted practice time, scaring off audiences, pissing off neighbors, and getting the cops called on you. Yeah! I'm the loudest in the band! What do I win?
  3. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Hm... What I'm left wondering about is the fact that you only have TWO original songs (and two in-the-making), and don't want to do covers. You're saying that you're going to WRITE thirty more songs to have enough for a show? How long is this going to take? I mean they'd have to fall out of y'all pretty prolifically for like a year or so to put a whole four hour show together, right?.

    You know that most big-time original bands start out playing COVERS, and they work more-and-more originals in as they write more and develop a fan base, right? It'll sure get you more gigs, which will get your name known and all. I mean I'll bet that there are plenty of big-time acts who are so big that they CAN'T do some of their favorite songs - I mean other people's songs - that they love to perform, and perform so well; now they have albums to 'support' and managers controlling them and whatever, so they're 'stuck' doing all originals.

    Don't you guys have favorite bands that put a love of music in you, and even inspired you to learn to play an instrument in the first place? You should do a few of their songs too - don't you think?

    OK, let's see now...
    1) Deciding beforehand what you're going to do:
    Of COURSE, Man - what'a'ya, nuts? I mean not for a jam, but the difference between a jam and a band - like practically-speaking just by DEFINITION - IS the fact that you 'decided what you're going to do', right??.

    Oh - I could mention this also - one thing I've found to be a problem, especially with younger bands, is this idea that a band is a 'democracy' (in many cases, it seems, some sort of wierd hyper-democracy where every freakin' thing has to be VOTED on - eesch!). May I suggest that it be more of a REPUBLIC - that is to say certain responsibilities are taken by different members, and that member is pretty-much the boss of that thing. Now WHO GETS THE RESPONSIBILITIES is what you democratically voted on (..a democratic republic, you know? OHH is there room here for an remark on Brittish-American history... Naa.). In our band for exaple, the guitarist puts together what songs we need to practice for each rehearsal (of course at least one of the other two of us always throws-in a couple too that we've been practicing or whatever, and he just scribbles'em right onto his list - none of us are tyrants about it!); I always handle the sound and recording and techie-stuff; the drummer always handles printing lyrics and burning practice tapes and CDs.

    2) getting the drummer to quiet down: If he's like the drummer who I'm working with now - who is a best-old-buddy of mine for twenty-some years (and he owns the PA and recording stuff) - then YAAAAAH, RIGHT!! HAHAHAHAHAAAAAA.... (oh! that's a funny one.)

    Hope I've been of some help,

  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Do the other band members want to take a more constructive approach? If so, just follow the steps above (which essentially boil down to 'follow a plan with a purpose'). If not, then it's a little trickier and it might be time to look for other playing opportunities.

  5. Shoka42


    Jul 19, 2003
    Thanks for the great replys, may I reply to them each in a seperate post, so it's less confusing for me :p

    Good idea, will be worked on!
    Sometimes we record straight onto the computer, but it's just with a mic, and we havnt got any decent equipment for that, or money for studio time :( (we don't booze or puff - yet - we only 16/15 :D)

    Taken on board!
    Well, I am the singer aswell :D but quiet rehearsals sound like a dream! Drummer is a wanker (in the music sense - he's my best mate!). I am going to show this to my fellow band members and see if we can work something out!

    Thanks alot Jive1!
  6. Shoka42


    Jul 19, 2003
    Well, we all have loads of ideas, riffs, melodys, lyrics, tunes etc. Enough for 30 songs at least, i would have thought! The trouble is getting them to piece together into something more meaningful!

    Yer, I understand that, I just like being original! I think we will be doing some covers in the near future though!

    We all have a varied and ecclectic taste in music - from Queen to The Prodigy to Bach! However, for obvious reasons, some bands should remain uncovered (Queen, Led Zeppelin). As for inspiration, a friend of mine who played bass was my inspiration - I loved the sound, the look, everything, and it encouraged me to find out more! I have always sung.

    Sounds like a good idea, we need a band meeting, and hopefully we can sort all that stuff out!

    I always have hope!

    Most definitley, thanks man!
  7. ambolina

    ambolina Guest

    Apr 7, 2004
    San Diego, Ca
    I think 30 is blowing it a bit out of proportion. I know a lot of bands on here do gig where they play 1.5 hour sets or double sets. But there's a lot of bands, like mine, which play a 3 band bill and do a 35-45 minute set. Depending on the length of your songs, you only need 6-9 songs to make a set (14 if you write short rockers like us and we don't do covers).

    Granted, that's still a lot of material if you're coming from only having 2-4 complete songs. Adding a cover might be good for when you're getting started to get one more song in that you don't have to worry about writing.

    I don't really have any advice. I was in another band that was kind of like yours...they had been working on the same 8 songs for TWO YEARS. And they kept changing them. Even up to the point of their first show. It was at the point where they needed to just decide THIS is how this song is going to be and move on to writing new material (the original 8 songs started from two people and as more people joined the band, they wanted to move on to new stuff that they felt they could contribute to, not these 8 that these two guys either just needed to get over or dump).

    Recording so everyone has something they can take home w/ them is great. Then you can all work on ideas away from practice and share them when you're together.

    Good luck getting it together!
  8. ERIC31


    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    If you're boozing it up or puffing away, recording will help you to remember the cool stuff you came up with

    Don't even go there with that crap. It's nothing but bad and your music will suffer as well. If you don't start, then you won't have to stop when you are in rehab and your band in shambles. Plenty of examples of what that does to a career, not to mention a life.
  9. Shoka42


    Jul 19, 2003
    Yer, agreed here, dont worry about us! Heck, one of us is a morman! (not me)
  10. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    why the heck shouldnt queen and led zep be covered???????????????????????????????????????

    there's no holy ground in music - anything can be covered - as long as you do it well :p
  11. Shoka42


    Jul 19, 2003

    I'd disagree, I would consider someone covering queen as blasphemy!
  12. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    There's a time and a place for everything,chill'un an' that place is called College... (Chef)