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Thoughts on Long Rehearsals?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jive1, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Curious as to people's thoughts on long rehearsals. To me a long rehearsal is 3 hours or more. Do you think they are effective or not?
  2. cbrophy


    Nov 11, 2009
    Central MA.
    If your band needs it.....then more practices at lesser hours is much more effective. By human nature pretty much after 90 minutes, focus starts to wander.
  3. too broad a question IMO
  4. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Depends on the personnel and what you're trying to achieve.

    In terms of team building, discussion, and general morale I like them every once in a while. Time to talk and joke around between sets instead of trying to jam through a 45 minute practice.

    For original bands, they can also be nice because noodling and jams have the ability to be explored, as opposed to ignored because you're trying to lock down set material.

    It might be overkill on a regular basis, but on an occasional basis they're nice.
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    At the 2 hour mark, I'm looking at my watch! Don't like long drawn out rehearsals. What needs to be rehearsed for longer than that?

    2 hours is my limit!
  6. escaraBAJO


    Apr 24, 2000
    I think 3 hours is Ok for the reasons exposed: original band rehearsing a set and taking time to explore.
    I like long rehearsals EXCEPT when it turns into somebody trying to learn a part. That's what private practice time is for.
  7. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    3 hours is long enough for me. Any longer than that and I start to get irritable.
    Though, if someone is supplying some beer, and I dont have other things to do that day, and we can work on some new stuff I dont mind it on occasion.
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I would consider 3 hours to be an average practice night, I have done hardcore practicing where you do 6 hours a day for a couple days in a row.

    It honestly depends on the people and the band, most bands are not that serious so at least one guy is ready to go home and enjoy his other hobbies after 3 hours, some bands practically live at the jam space and are quite productive the whole time there.
  9. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    3 hours? That is way too long. If you want me to put in 3 hours at a rehearsal session you had better be paying me for it.

    2 hours tops and if it even takes that long then I'm betting one or more band members is not coming prepared with his/her own part(s) already learned on their own time.

    The law of diminishing returns definitely applies when it comes to the length of a rehearsal session.
  10. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    10 years ago I was studying music at a music college and I had to practice 5 hours a day to stay on top of my game and learn everything. During that time I met a guitar player with whom we started and orignal band and we practice easily 5h together. We did that for more than 6 years, 5h practice during sunday or friday night.

    It allow for jamming, creating a deep bond between band member ( musically and in friendship too ). And let face it, you can't become better, grow if you never practice or if you only practice always the same thing.
  11. Depends on the "productivity" - play time versus talking and bullsh$%ing time. If you're playing straight through then, yes, over 3 hours is long.
  12. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    These days two hours is about right. When I was younger we used to do 3 or 4 hour rehearsals and that was really too long. Unless you depend on this for a living, what is the problem with waiting an extra few weeks to start booking gigs?
  13. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    I prefer keeping it to 2 hours. 3 would be tops.

    The quantity of hours I tolerate is directly proportional to how well we are using time.

    If I'm at a rehearsal for 3 hours because the singer Oopsed for the thousandth time and will now be there an hour late, I'm not too happy.

    If I'm at a rehearsal for 3 hours because no one learned their parts and the rehearsal turns into a transcribe session, I'm not too happy.

    If I'm at a rehearsal for 3 hours because there's lots of new material and the band needs it - even though everyone did their homework - I'm fine with it.
  14. We rehearse one evening a week from 7:00 to 10:00 with a 20 minute break in the middle so members can text, have a smoke, BS or what ever. Works well.
  15. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    Is it productive, fun or otherwise rewarding? Is it needed to accomplish a goal?

    Under the right circumstances, 3 hours could be too short. Under the wrong circumstances, 20 minutes could be way too long.
  16. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Depends on what level of show business it is. If it is in preparation for an intricate show with multiple parts, set pieces, and effects, it might not be enough. If it's for a group of guys playing music in a bar, it's probably about 50% too long and may just provide padding for extraneous time-wasting activities.

  17. Flatbass


    Mar 13, 2004
    I don't get how anyone could call a two hour rehearsal 'long' and saythat they can't focus that long. Would anyone come in for work at 9 and want to leave at 11? University students all around the world are working for way longer than three hours... why would a band rehearsal be different?

    I like 'long' rehearsals. The more you rehearse, the better the music gets. I prefer to rehearse for a couple of hours; have break in which we eat, drink, hang out, talk about music, setlists, band management etc, and then rehearse for a couple of hours more.
    Seeing the music improve is very rewarding to me.
  18. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Just wondering in general, but for my situation.......

    - I started up a new band, and everyone is a working musician. Top notch folks, but busy schedules.
    - The material is non-standard, so it's not stuff everyone already knows. The covers will be rearranged for some songs as well.
    - I've been talking to some folks who would be interested in booking, so I don't want to let those possibilities linger and die.
    - We will use charts when available. There are horn players in the band.
    - I want to get working to keep the guys in the band interested, as well as myself. Like the others, we want to gig, and believe that will ultimately improve us more than lots of rehearsals.

    So based on the above, I'm considering have 1 or 2 rehearsals to go over all the material (44 songs total), so we'll be ready to do an all-nighter and we can be more confident knowing that we at least gotten through the material once.

    And I plan on providing pizza and beer if we do this.
  19. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Three hours seems just about right to me. Two hours and I want to keep playing, I'd feel like we were breaking off early. More than three hours and I think you hit the law of diminishing returns, though - brain fatigue sets in and you're not making any more progress at that point.

    It does depend on time of day, though. My first band, we practiced Saturday mornings and I was willing to pretty much go as long as we could. Now, we practice on weekday evenings and once the clock gets past 9:00 I'm checking my watch. Usually out by 9:30.

    It also depends on what all goes into it. The current band, again, we get together pretty much straight after work (like at 6:00), jam a while, break to eat together and go over band business, new songs, etc., then back in the basement to rehearse some more.
  20. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    So you're not talking about REGULAR three-hour rehearsals. Well, that's different.

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