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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Rehearsal strategy?

larryguitar19
Contributing Member
*****

South Florida

larryguitar
May 21st, 2017 06:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So let's assume you just formed a new band. Everybody is a weekend warrior but have been in other bands gigging in local clubs. It's promising. We have agreed the next series of rehearsals will be all about tightening up the set list.

I've watched other bands get serious. There are basic approaches and then some hybrids. I'm interested in what other folks think is the most efficient.

a.) 'academic music school? --when I took piano lessons that how they did it--break pieces down in sections and just do intros and changes and outros rather than doing the entire song

b.)'Do the song until you are sick of it?'--just do the entire song over and over at one rehearsal until you got down.

c.) "Crash and Burn the Setlist?----pick a setlist and do the set list over and over until you get and then expand the setlist

d.) any other approach

Ayns
Contributing Member
**********

UK

England's Sloppiest Guitarist
May 22nd, 2017 05:14 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My current band’s been together for about 10 years now, and when we were regularly gigging 4-5 times a month we didn’t rehearse at all. I think we went 2-3 years without a full band rehearsal.
However after almost a year’s break, we’re now rehearsing with a novice drummer and new guitarist.

To get us up and running we’ve been rehearsing 2-3 hours twice a week, to get two full 45 minute sets plus a few others “just in case”.
Rehearsing virtually the same set list I’ve been playing for the last 10 years isn’t much fun for me, but I realise we’ve got to do it.

To begin with we gave the new guys the set list and let them have a couple of weeks to learn the songs themselves. Rehearsals aren’t for “learning the songs”, although we occasionally jam a new song just for fun to see if it works.

Then the first couple of rehearsals we just ran straight through the set list, repeating any songs that weren’t up to standard, but still pretty rough and ready. Then we started working on the vocal harmonies, as four of us sing.

The big question seems to be, do you stop halfway through a song if it’s clearly not right or do you wait until the end and “do it again”. At first I used to let minor things slide as I didn’t want to interrupt the flow, and undermine anyone’s confidence, but now we’re up and running, I’ll stop a song dead if I think we’re making repeated errors otherwise they become embedded in the song.

(This message was last edited by Ayns at 07:15 AM, May 22nd, 2017)

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
********

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
May 22nd, 2017 06:49 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My biggest thing is to show up to rehearsal prepared to play the material. Rehearsal is not practice. Practice is something you do at home on your own time.

I will no longer play with people that do zero work on their own time. I just started playing bass with group that plays only original music. They've released one CD already and we're doing a CD release party on the 30th for the second one. The first rehearsal we had, I think I knew the material better than the guys that had been playing it, and they told me that they weren't expecting things to go as smoothly as it did.

The moral of the story is, if the musicians are prepared, it doesn't really matter what approach you take. The reverse is true as well.

davywhizz
Contributing Member
********

Redesdale UK

"Still Alive And Well"
May 22nd, 2017 11:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My wife and I are currently putting a new band together, having had a couple of years' break. In the past we've worked with all sorts of people with very different attitudes and abilities. If I had to sum it all up I'd say "generally frustrating", though sometimes it has come together really well. But the current bassist and drummer are almost too good to be true: excellent players who come to rehearsals on time and well prepared. The process is usually that someone makes a suggestion we all like, I do some chord charts and check the key with my wife, who is the lead singer. If the charts are right I scan and email them out,including a rough arrangement and we try them out next time we meet. We soon know if something has potential, in which case we develop it further. The drummer is going on holiday soon and we've marked out that time to sharpen the backing vocals.Once we start regular gigging we won't rehearse for months unless there's a problem (such as someone leaving) or when it's time to add new material.

jazzguy

Philly, B-3 Capital

don't dream it be it
May 24th, 2017 09:37 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"My biggest thing is to show up to rehearsal prepared to play the material. Rehearsal is not practice. Practice is something you do at home on your own time."

this.
we rarely have full band rehearsals but the organ player comes over once a week.
he's retired and I just wish he'd be a little more proactive and learn the stuff @ home instead of coming over to my house and having me run down the changes, etc..


6 Cylinder Slim

north woods

It just needs more voltage
May 25th, 2017 08:00 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It all depends on what you're trying to do. If you want to play originals, custom arrangements, complex songs and sound as tight as a touring act, you have to rehearse a ton. If you're going to copy records, a rare rehearsal to make sure everybody got their homework done is plenty.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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******

I've got my own

double-cross to bear
May 25th, 2017 09:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Rehearsals aren't for learning the songs."

Spot on.

Another item to consider is some tunes just don't seem to have that necessary 'spark of energy' when played as a group. If everyone knows their parts and the tune still doesn't seem to get off the ground after five (or so) tries, bag it and tag it.

Some tunes for some weird reason, seem to not work, based on the players' personalities, band chemistry, etc. It's a weird thing. If a tune is fighting you, scratch it off the list--rather that beat it (and the band) into submission.

Playing music should be fun.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
**********

So. Cal. USA

May 25th, 2017 09:50 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"My biggest thing is to show up to rehearsal prepared to play the material. Rehearsal is not practice. Practice is something you do at home on your own time."

It is all about the above.

Your next get together should begin with a meeting where all the parts of each song to be played at the next rehearsal is discussed. Who is going to play what. If someone is not prepared they should be called out on it.

The rehearsal should be to work out the arrangement, not for anyone to work out their parts.

I joined a three piece band about 3 years ago now. We never rehearse. We decide what we want to add to out list and pass out a recording of the arrangement we want to do, learn it at home and go straight to a gig with it. We know each other very well, partners, brothers and friends. It just works.

larryguitar19
Contributing Member
*****

South Florida

larryguitar
May 25th, 2017 10:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

As a follow up...

Agree on 'knowing the song' first. We circulate a songlist with a youtube link of the particular arrangement.

The good news--the guys have chops and they have a good attitude.

The not so good news--the timing is always way off and it sounds muddy.

What I'm focused on is simple techniques that get things tight. So for example I'm thinking it might be a drag but we need to take an hour and just get used to playing the same main groove of the song over and over until it's programmed in our bodies.

With my last band the guys were all full time professionals with lots of experience and all I had to do was stand next to the bass and drummer and listen for the '1' and follow along. Another guy was the leader and he just signaled to me and I did as told.

This new band I think requires that I be more active in taking the lead and getting them focused. I just don't want to make it a drudge for them.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
**********

So. Cal. USA

May 25th, 2017 01:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If this is a four piece with two guitars this can easily happen. Almost without fail the two guitars should not be playing the same thing, chord forms for sure. Somebody plays campfire, somebody plays bars or 5ths. Same deal with rhythms. Somebody strums, somebody does horn chops, whacks the 2 and 4 beat or something else different. You should literally be able to hear completely though the mix and each part being played. There is more to arranging than all going to the 4 on the chorus at the right time.

Now the bad news, if the downbeat is floating around and tempo is changing within a measure(s) you have some real drummer issues. ("listen for the one"?)

Record your next get together then listen to see where the thing come off the rails. Have the bass player roll off some lows in rehearsal and add bass traps to the space if not already in place.

When I joined the 3 piece I mentioned above as a drummer, I had real problems with the guitarist pulling away from me tempo wise. He also started most songs he had the intro on too fast. A few gigs and that was over. Poor meter from the previous drummer taught him some bad habits.

What I haven't said yet is that IMO, nothing will tighten up a band better than gigging. All those little things tend to come together when everyone knows the list and you play live. We all make mistakes and throw out a clam now and then. It just happens.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
********

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
May 26th, 2017 06:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"What I haven't said yet is that IMO, nothing will tighten up a band better than gigging"

Ding, Ding, Ding!! We have a winner. You can rehearse until the cows come home, but nothing will tighten you up faster then getting up under the lights.

larryguitar19
Contributing Member
*****

South Florida

larryguitar
May 26th, 2017 10:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think Hammond and Juice are spot on and appreciate the comments.

larryguitar19
Contributing Member
*****

South Florida

larryguitar
May 29th, 2017 01:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Update--

We just had a our 3rd rehearsal and I'm very optimistic. It's coming together faster than I expected. Everybody has a good attitude.

The other guitar player is strictly a first position chunky strummer but he sings decently and he knows the songs. So I am mostly in the second or third position and do the leads and fills.

We did a couple of songs which were not on our list but we knew. I was surprised that we were able to kinda slog through the first time competently.

That tells me something. Once you get about 10 songs under your belt you get to know how everybody approaches things and the rest start to come together a lot easier.

The GF--I'm lucky that she is completely supportive--has taken to recording the sessions with multiple cameras and mics and putting together a nice little post performance package we can all review.

I'm very excited about this new project. At the rate we are going we will be doing a 100 city tour in the fall...or maybe just a couple local Tiki Bars...but nevertheless "The Big Time".

(This message was last edited by larryguitar19 at 03:16 PM, May 29th, 2017)

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
********

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Jun 2nd, 2017 09:13 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sounds great Larry! Glad it's all working out well!

hushnel
Contributing Member
**********
********

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 20th, 2017 09:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"My biggest thing is to show up to rehearsal prepared to play the material. Rehearsal is not practice. Practice is something you do at home on your own time."

IThis "o)

I like set lists too.

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Rehearsal strategy?




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