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What's your criteria for when to resume rehearsals?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mstillman, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. mstillman


    Dec 6, 2011
    MetroWest MA
    Just curious how you're evaluating the million dollar question of when to resume rehearsals. Not really looking for advice on whether to do it, rather what factors went/go into your decision. Room size, number of local positive cases, number of singers, status of local businesses, etc.

    Our 6-pc cover band was last together at an early March gig. Some are discussing rehearsing this weekend. All middle-aged (high 50s to low 60s), 5 males. Three to 4 of us sing, which is my primary concern.

    It'd be great to play together again but not sure the perceived risk is worth it. Some bandmates are concerned with an August outside gig. I'm thinking we've done tons of songs in our year together. I'm fine with practice at home and I'll see you there, but I know at least the 2 lesser skilled ones aren't.
    75Ric likes this.
  2. Torrente Cro

    Torrente Cro

    Sep 5, 2013
    In my country we have 0 or 1 infected per day, and we are about to start rehearsing again.
  3. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    These are good starting points, also whether any of you are at elevated risk. And whether law and regulations actually permit such a gathering. How wide is the circle of contacts of each band mate? (the more people, the bigger the risk obviously)

    As for my band, small 4-piece rockabilly outfit, we first rehearsed again last Thursday. In my state, the reported cases have nearly completely vanished, like no new cases during the last fourteen days, with maybe 5 over the last weekend. None of us are in the elevated risk group (all early 30s with no relevant chronic illnesses), our rehearsal room is properly ventilated and offers plenty of space. Band mates all have very limited social contacts anyhow. The risk of infection for us is (at the moment) what we would deem very slim. Private gatherings up to 10 people are allowed again, with this restriction being lifted in the next week also. We would also be technically allowed to play in front of up to 250 people.

    The gig situation though... not so great. We have a streaming gig coming up, but live music is still not happening much. Almost all festivals and occasions for playing out have been cancelled for this band (we usually work the outdoor crowds, not dive bars or anything).
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts

    #1 All the musicians have survived. A number of bandmates are in high risk categories.

    #2 Must be safe to congregate. None of the places I've been rehearsing allow 6 foot distancing. Vocalists, wind and harmonica players cannot wear masks.

    #3 Booked gigs...no gigs, no rehearsal.

    It will be interesting to revisit this post if/when I am gigging and rehearsing once again. My gut feel is not for another 12 months. It would be nice to be wrong.
  5. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I'm doing a rehearsal next week. We're holding it outdoors. My criteria is that everyone takes the threat seriously, I wouldn't rehearse with anyone that thinks it's a hoax because I know that aren't taking any precautions.
  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    At this place by, as long as we can maintain a six foot distance while playing, I am willing to rehearse. That's my criteria.
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    All of that. I had tentatively already retired from gigging anyway though, so it'd take a substantial cash carrot and/or a really great project in other ways to get me to even contemplate changing my mind on that. My other formerly weekly playing outlets mostly involved folks in high risk categories and very small and confined spaces, but none of them have shown any interest in getting together any time soon.
    Wisebass, ted burik and RustyAxe like this.
  8. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I'm in the same boat, really. Even if the band gets going again I might just tap out. Been ten years with them, a good run.
    pcake, bolophonic and Passinwind like this.
  9. I'm in the UK and I don't think our government has gotten the virus completely controlled yet.
    I'm kinda thinking that I need to see new cases in the "tens" ( instead of thousands ) and deaths as close to zero as possible before we start rehearsing.
    Wisebass, BluesOnBass, Oddly and 3 others like this.
  10. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    At this point, it's looking like " when hell freezes over" :bassist::bassist::bassist::bassist:

    Realistically, maybe next spring....
  11. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    We have no cases on Vancouver Island right now, and even with some soft openings of things, it's pretty quiet out there, so we're going to play using the new normal next week in the drummer's basement. It has direct access to outside, and we are all set up at least 8 feet apart with him in the furthest corner. All of the gear is already set up and he's disinfecting everything first. Mic stands will have cords dangling, and we can just hook up our own mics, plug in our instruments and go. We all take things seriously enough for me to feel comfortable at this point.

    New normal for me includes wearing a mask (did you know they sell them at The Gap now? :D ), using disposable gloves depending on where I'm going and what I'm doing. Keeping a little more distant from others (out of their spittle range), and still not going to places where there are many pinch-points, or crowds can gather intentionally or not.

    All four of us sing, and I've tried singing in a mask and it was not bad, so that's my plan for starters. Our drummer rehearsed with his other band last week using the same protocols and it went well - he wore a mask the entire time and said it was fine for singing with his headset mic. I also bought two additional pop filters for the guitarist and I, so that there's an extra level of protection from spittle flying about during those loud plosives. :D
  12. Our decision is being made for us... Until further notice, the space where we practice has a 15-page set of guidelines set by their parent company, and it's not practical at the moment with a 14-piece band. And as others have mentioned, vocalists and horn players can't wear masks (which is 9 of us) and I don't think everyone in the band is quite taking this as seriously as others.

    I'm okay with not rehearsing for now because the U.S. can't seem to take this seriously and get it under control. All of our scheduled gigs are getting cancelled one by one anyway, so we're just in a holding pattern for now.

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
    pcake, arbiterusa, jwr and 2 others like this.
  13. I'm currently playing with a nine-piece group so I'm only going to be okay playing in an outdoor space that gives us at least six feet apart from each person. Our state has been hit hard but we're in an area that has seen relatively fewer cases than the bigger town and cities... no idea when I'll be okay with a previously normal rehearsal.
  14. shastaband

    shastaband Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    After 55 years of paid gigs, I'm thinking it might be time to hang it up and just work solo in my home studio. Since I play guitar, bass, and keyboards, and own a copy of EZ Drummer, that may be all I need.
    pcake, TheDirtyLowDown, jwr and 4 others like this.
  15. grinx

    grinx Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    Damn the torpedoes! FULL SPEED AHEAD!!
    City, MynameisMe, RoadRanger and 4 others like this.
  16. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Hate to say it, but my group were barely hanging together before COVID. Combine that with my deep-seated desire to not get sick or get anyone else sick (for starters, drummer's missus is immunocompromised and we rehearse at their crib), and I don't envision any rehearsals on the horizon.

    (Also no one's dangling any gigs before us, so there's that too.)
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
    pcake, petrus61, bolophonic and 2 others like this.
  17. Jefenator


    Aug 22, 2008
    Kind of a judgment call, factoring in the size of the group, the size of the space (indoors or out), the age of the members and jobs lined up or lack thereof.
    I've already rehearsed with a couple of different groups where we could stand 6 feet apart and do a live streaming show. (The virtual tip jar haul was pretty impressive, BTW.)
    The 8-piece Salsa band with our usual crowd of 100+ dancers, that probably won't even think about rehearsing until after the vaccine. That means going dark for this entire year and quite possibly next year too.
    ted burik likes this.
  18. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    my jazz band is seven pieces: can't rehearse in the basement right now, but we're looking at a community building that would afford physical distancing. i'm the only "high-risk" player (and i'd love to play a note or two with others) so it will mostly depend on the willingness of the 6 others to convene --- and the availability of the community venue. we're talking about a saturday rehearsal on the 13th or the 20th, schedules permitting.

    per the OP: criteria include physical distancing, face masks for the rhythm section (we have 3 horns), and availability of the above-mentioned venue.
    Wisebass and mikewalker like this.
  19. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Probably not before we have actual gigs booked, and who knows if that'll even be this year. My primary band has been fairly active virtually, I really don't think we're losing much in the interim.
    Charlzm likes this.
  20. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    "Cash Carrot" should be the official TB Band Name. :D
    Oddly, pcake, audreycashin and 9 others like this.

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