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How much rehearsal is enough?

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  • How much rehearsal is enough?

    So gigging musicians,

    When do you think your band is ready to move from the practice -==->rehearsal--==-> into the gigging phase?

    I think you should start gigging once your sound starts coming together.

    Other thoughts?
    Steve from Motown.

    *-*
    "When art critics get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When artists get together they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine."

    -Pablo Picasso

  • #2
    How long a band should rehears before there first gig can vary depending on how good and how dedicated the muscians are. And how much time you put in to it before the gig.

    My old band from the eighties used to rehears three days a weeks, unless we had a gig coming up, then we would do, five days a week. I know that quit a lot but we were a signed to RCA, and we had some money comming in. We took the whole thing very seriously. I think if you want to have any chance of "making it big" you've really got to put in a huge amount of time.

    Now I play with a bunch of geezers, and we only get together, once a week. But we're expected to do our homework. Playing a lot outside of rehearsal is what keeps the band from sucking.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by forceman
      So gigging musicians,

      When do you think your band is ready to move from the practice -==->rehearsal--==-> into the gigging phase?

      I think you should start gigging once your sound starts comming together.

      Other thoughts?


      2-3 times a week to get started, in a month or 2 at best, you should have it all together, cause you'll never get any better slugging it out in your basement.

      So after a month of rehersal, start looking for gigs, that way, you are forced to get the songs down. You'll either have found people that are serious about playing or you have found a few buddies to drink and smoke pot with.

      After that 1once a week should be good, that is as long as you have a gig or two a week.

      The new rehersal schedule should be for fine tuning things and learning new material and seeing how it sound.
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      • #4
        Try to figure how long your music will be played on stage. You can then start to have other perameters like song length. It also depends on the type of music and the type of musicians. Some jazz musicains get together only a couple times and then play out. I've done that. What a rush.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Perfessor
          Try to figure how long your music will be played on stage. You can then start to have other perameters like song length. It also depends on the type of music and the type of musicians. Some jazz musicains get together only a couple times and then play out. I've done that. What a rush.


          I pla with a freind plays his songs for me a few times , and after that is off the cuff and learn what ya can. I really is a trip sometimes and other times pretty frustrating.
          _____________________________________
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          Posts as of Jan 10th 2013: 82,617

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mikeo

            So after a month of rehersal, start looking for gigs, that way, you are forced to get the songs down. You'll either have found people that are serious about playing or you have found a few buddies to drink and smoke pot with.


            Agreed. I found that setting a goal date to be out playing is critical to making progress. If you dont have a plan how can you judge if you are making headway fast enough?

            I have quit bands because they want to practice for months on end before going live. At that point it is no different than a boys night out playing poker.

            My band is currently replacing our singer and drummer. We set a firm deadline to start booking in 4 weeks and start gigging in 6 weeks. We figured out how many songs we need to get down in each practice (2 a week) to meet that deadline. It keeps us focused.
            Steve
            A Life of Peace, Love and Protest Music
            KC AKA MidLifeCrisis

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            • #7
              The best rehearsing is done on a stage...
              There is nothing you can do in your rehearsal space that will truly prepare you for live work (well okay, you must at least not suck...).

              As other have said, nothing like a planned gig to give you a kick in the nuts and make you improve.

              I recommend finding a small gig locally just for fun first.

              Last year I joined a band that was starting from scratch. After 5-6 months of rehearsals, although we had been somewhat tight since the beginning, they still wouldn't want to commit to a gig yet. I got tired of it. My current band plays almost every weekend, rehearsals for us are called soundchecks (that's where we try new material). I'm so much more motivated! I've been playing with these guys for the last 5 years but since we started gigging very regularly, we improved at least 2 folds, yet we don't even rehearse anymore! It's not just the playing that has improved, it's the whole stage act, interaction with the crowd, pacing of the show, etc. There is much more to gigging than being good musicians.
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              • #8
                Just enough to where you can gig...too much rehearsing makes you stale, IMHO.
                God(s) bless the rest of the world(s), too

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hardtailed
                  There is much more to gigging than being good musicians.


                  Absolutely.

                  Usually, the 'musicians' are the last ones to grasp this.

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                  • #10
                    Learn the songs... chord progressions, how many choruses, etc... the general structure

                    Then rehearse the beginnings and endings - take-off and landing - those are the critical parts to sounding professional...

                    Then play through an entire set - start to finish, no breaks, no stops to talk about things, etc... get to where you can do that 3 or 4 times without major trainwrecks and it's time to get onstage.


                    Good musicians, who can do their homework away from the rehearsal space, should be able to put together a set in a few weeks... maybe 4 or 5 meetings...
                    mUk: an insignificant or contemptible person


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                    • #11
                      I agree that it's really best to have a specific goal to shoot for so you're not just hanging out rehearsing for no apparent reason!

                      That said, how much you should and want to rehearse kinda depends on the band and what your goals are. If you're a pro cover band you obviously should be able to learn the songs quickly or already know them, so rehearsals can be minimal. If you're an original band, the more you rehearse the better, as it helps you jell as a band and define your own sound, work up arrangements, etc.

                      And if you're kids starting out, who need to work on your chops and have little band experience, then it's pretty imperative to rehearse a lot.

                      My band rehearsed 2-3 times a week when we first got together. Nowadays, we usually rehearse once a week if we have a gig booked that week, sometimes twice if we don't. We're an original band though so we think it's important to keep working on new songs, plus there's recording etc. Plus we enjoy hanging out and jamming together - it gives us new song ideas, and we like it. Nothing wrong with enjoying the social part of rehearsing either.
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                      • #12
                        Great thread!

                        I'm older (39) and have been playing bass less than two years seriously. I got into my gigging band last July, and we played a set a month later by rehearsing once per week. I'm still with that band. We rehearse infrequently due to all of us being married and having kids. We typically book a gig and then rehearse enough to pull it off.

                        My other band has yet to get out of the basement since forming in December 2004/January 2005. We are playing a party next weekend though which will be our first.

                        I think the amount of time spent rehearsing varies with the band and the type of music being played. Also, I think it depends on how tight the band wants to be prior to gigging.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by forceman
                          So gigging musicians,

                          When do you think your band is ready to move from the practice -==->rehearsal--==-> into the gigging phase?

                          I think you should start gigging once your sound starts coming together.

                          Other thoughts?


                          Depends on the band members, what they are doing, where they are playing.


                          The band I'm in now, we waited about 6 months before playing out. That's practicing about 3 times per month. They were an established cover band, and I joined as the lone/lead guitarist, so I wanted to make sure I was comfortable with their stuff.

                          When I played in original bands, usually as soon as we had 10 songs together we'd start playing out.

                          I kind of find that with originals, you can mess up and experiment, so as a band you can play out sooner. With cover songs, people know the songs and if you're not tight it will be obvious.
                          Syko Holiday.com

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                          • #14
                            I'd done this with my band, and it's worked wonderfully:


                            We'd spend the first half of each rehearsal going over specific parts and song structure, breaks, etc.

                            The second half ot he rehearsal we will perform the songs as if we did it live on stage.

                            While we go over the songs, I have a MiniDisc recorder with a stereo mic makign a quick and dirty recording of the band.

                            After rehearsal, I take the audio from the MiniDisc recording, and make MP3s from each of the songs.

                            Then, I put it online on a "private" website that only the bandmemebers can see.

                            From then on, the bandmembers download the MP3s to hear the rehearsal sessions.

                            It's worked wonders because the first thing the bandmembers do is listen to and evaluate their own part (mistakes and all) and work hard to not repeat those mistakes during the gig.

                            Even if you don't have a MiniDisc, a tape recorder, digital recorder, or laptop with a mic would work. Anything to capture what the rehearsal sounds like. If you only assess your rehearsal from memory that doesn't cut it.
                            Elson TrinidadSinger, Songwriter, Keyboardist, BassistElson and the Soul BarkadaWeb: www.elsongs.comMySpace: www.myspace.com/elsongsFacebook: Facebook PageTwitter: twitter.com/elsongs

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                            • #15
                              I think it depends on the nature and goals of the band. I have been in both original and cover bands giging, so my take:

                              Original bands usually only play one set, and usually don't get paid much money. The gauge is whether you have enough strong material to cover an hour of stage time without goofing off. The fact that the material is original means you should record it and have trusted but disinterested third parties review the material. Just because you wrote and arranged and played it does not mean anyone else wants to hear it. When you can accept criticism of your music, you are ready to play out!

                              For a cover band, I think you are ready to gig when the material all works, and you have enough of it to get through a four hour bar gig.
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