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Old 04-20-2013, 11:18 AM   #1
KinkyC
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Planning band practice

So today is my first ever band practice. I was wondering if you experienced guys had any tips on keeping it running smoothly. I've never been in a band before and I'm pretty sure none of the other guys have been, so I don't wanna waste time sitting around wondering what to do next.

We agreed on a couple songs to learn so we had something to play and get warmed up to, get in time, etc. But I'm not sure what to do afterwards

Is there anything you guys that have been in bands before can tell me to be more prepared?
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:57 PM   #2
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well hopefully eveyrbody learned the songs that you guys said you would

try to get through those as best as you can
and if youre serious about the band try to get the song really tight and what not

after you do that try just jamming picking a chord progression or key or whatever and just playing around with ideas
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:54 PM   #3
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Get tight as possible. If you guys mess up on some part of the song try it again after the song.
Make sure everyone knows the songs or else it's going to be a waste of time. Make a sound check before practicing so volume levels are equal. After practicing talk about band goals. What are you guys trying to play? How far do you want to go? How serious are your bandmates? If originals are going to be written make sure you guys are on the same page about the writing process. You might want to buy some earplugs. Don't forget to have fun!
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megaluisdeth
Get tight as possible. If you guys mess up on some part of the song try it again after the song.
Make sure everyone knows the songs or else it's going to be a waste of time. Make a sound check before practicing so volume levels are equal. After practicing talk about band goals. What are you guys trying to play? How far do you want to go? How serious are your bandmates? If originals are going to be written make sure you guys are on the same page about the writing process. You might want to buy some earplugs. Don't forget to have fun!


this is the most important part. Being in a band is not just about showing up and playing if you want to get anywhere. You guys have to connect as friends on some level and know that everyone had the same idea of where you want this to go. And be honest.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:17 PM   #5
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Most of the bands I've been in have 2 cover songs we know well.
We may not necessarily ever play the songs live, but they are great for warm up, especially when your band doesn't have any originals yet.
Plus make sure you guys keep a good tab on your email contacts.
Send each other riff ideas and stuff.
Practice atleast once a week.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:32 PM   #6
kilbie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megaluisdeth
Get tight as possible. If you guys mess up on some part of the song try it again after the song.
Make sure everyone knows the songs or else it's going to be a waste of time. Make a sound check before practicing so volume levels are equal. After practicing talk about band goals. What are you guys trying to play? How far do you want to go? How serious are your bandmates? If originals are going to be written make sure you guys are on the same page about the writing process. You might want to buy some earplugs. Don't forget to have fun!



As well as that, you might want to think about doing the following:
1. Don't mess around with your guitar between songs when people are talking. At band practice, everyone should be playing together, not just playing something by themselves. If like to fidget with your instrument and can't help yourself, I suggest you turn the volume off. If someone else keeps playing when everyone is trying to talk, tell them to stop, as they probably don't know any better if your all new to being in a band.

2. Don't play on other people's instruments without being asked, it's bad manners. Maybe you don't mind if someone plays with your guitar, but some people do mind, so you should always ask.

3. Don't change someone else's amp settings (or turn on/off their pedals), again, it's bad manners. If you don't like someone else's tone or volume, tell them nicely, don't just go and change it.

4. Bring a tuner.

5. Try not to be overly critical of other people's playing. When I make a mistake in a song I usually know, and I don't need other band members to tell me everything I did wrong.

6. If you like playing covers, you might want to think of some extra covers to learn for next practice. The covers you pick need to work well for your singer, as singer's can't change their voice all that much. Also, when picking covers, try and avoid covers that use instruments you don't have. ie. if you don't have keyboards there are some songs that won't work very well.

7. If you haven't memorised the songs you intend to play, bring a music stand to put your music on.

8. Bring a pen and paper. (It can be useful for writing down people's contact details, next practice times, and changes you make to the songs)

9. Try and pick a time for your next practice. It's really annoying trying to text/ring everyone to choose a practice time.

Good luck with your band practice.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:49 PM   #7
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Have clear goals set for each following practice. When we played we would always run through the songs from beginning to end. Don't worry if there's a mess up. If there were any mistakes, we would go back to them afterwords and play through them a few times, or even just the problem section, until it was tight.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by scguitarking927
Don't worry if there's a mess up. If there were any mistakes, we would go back to them afterwords and play through them a few times, or even just the problem section, until it was tight.


I found that, unless you mess up every single song; it's better to stop when you do a major mistake (go out of time or solos messed up; or players did a certain part diffrently) and focus on correcting that song.
I say this because I've been in a band where we (the singer) kept saying "all right, we'll correct this later; let's play all the songs first"; and after 6 months we were still doing the same mistakes.
In another band, we stopped to correct mistakes, and after 2 practices all the songs are quite well done.
Maybe it's because of diffrent experience of the band members, but I think it's more useful to invest 2 hours of practice to correct a certain part of the song or to work only on a single song until you can play it really good; rather than playing 15 songs with mistakes.
Also, I do think that playing in a band is a completely diffrent beast than playing in your bedroom; fist because your "backing track" is made by other people who will make mistakes; and secondly because you probably won't hear your instrument at the same volume as the others; so I think it needs a certain "study" to play good with a band, if you are not very experienced yet.
Obiously it's just my opinion.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele_R
I found that, unless you mess up every single song; it's better to stop when you do a major mistake (go out of time or solos messed up; or players did a certain part diffrently) and focus on correcting that song.
I say this because I've been in a band where we (the singer) kept saying "all right, we'll correct this later; let's play all the songs first"; and after 6 months we were still doing the same mistakes.
In another band, we stopped to correct mistakes, and after 2 practices all the songs are quite well done.
Maybe it's because of diffrent experience of the band members, but I think it's more useful to invest 2 hours of practice to correct a certain part of the song or to work only on a single song until you can play it really good; rather than playing 15 songs with mistakes.
Also, I do think that playing in a band is a completely diffrent beast than playing in your bedroom; fist because your "backing track" is made by other people who will make mistakes; and secondly because you probably won't hear your instrument at the same volume as the others; so I think it needs a certain "study" to play good with a band, if you are not very experienced yet.
Obiously it's just my opinion.


I think it's good to try and play a song all the way through, even if you make a major mistake. When you play live you can't just start a song again if you make a mistake, so you need to practice going through a song with mistakes.
After you've gone all the way through the song, then you can go back and work on the parts of the songs where there were mistakes. However, only work on mistakes you made as a BAND, not individual mistakes. So if the guitar player stuffed up the solo, you don't need to go back and work on it because the guitar player can fix the solo at home. However, if it always sounds awful when you go from the chorus to the verse, that is something you should work on fixing as a band.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:08 AM   #10
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When I started playing in a band, we also had two or three cover songs that we played. It was kind of a warm up thing - we learned each other's playing style. You need to learn to play together. Remember that you might not be able to play perfectly in the first practice because you don't know your playing styles and how they sound together. So you might sound awful at your first practices. But that doesn't mean the band won't work together.

At our first band practices we also jammed some songs that we knew, even though we hadn't planned to play those songs. We are an instrumental band so we don't have a singer that would need to learn some lyrics. We can just start playing some random stuff. Though I'm sure a singer knows lyrics to many songs, just like a guitarist knows many riffs. Remember to have fun!
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilbie
I think it's good to try and play a song all the way through, even if you make a major mistake. When you play live you can't just start a song again if you make a mistake, so you need to practice going through a song with mistakes.
After you've gone all the way through the song, then you can go back and work on the parts of the songs where there were mistakes. However, only work on mistakes you made as a BAND, not individual mistakes. So if the guitar player stuffed up the solo, you don't need to go back and work on it because the guitar player can fix the solo at home. However, if it always sounds awful when you go from the chorus to the verse, that is something you should work on fixing as a band.


Yes, that's what I wanted to say
It seems I misunderstood what you did write; I tought you said to play ALL the songs; and than go back to fix the mistakes.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:05 PM   #12
Kyle Sousa
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Originally Posted by crzywhiteboy
this is the most important part. Being in a band is not just about showing up and playing if you want to get anywhere. You guys have to connect as friends on some level and know that everyone had the same idea of where you want this to go. And be honest.



Exactly. It is very very important that everyone in your band is on the same page as you first. You need to make sure that you can get along with these people first. Also they all need to have the same goals as you. For and example, If you want to be in a band that has the intention of going on tour and selling cd's, but Johnny just wants to play for fun, and doesn't want to take it as serious as you, then you have a problem which could end up in alot of frustration.

I have wasted a lot of time in bands by playing with people I either didnt get along with, or that we didnt have the same goals. No matter how good of a player they are you need to ALL be on the same page.

With all that being said. Have fun, and I hope you enjoyed your first practice yesterday.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:52 PM   #13
scguitarking927
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Originally Posted by Michele_R
Yes, that's what I wanted to say
It seems I misunderstood what you did write; I tought you said to play ALL the songs; and than go back to fix the mistakes.


That's actually what I meant originally. Someone else quoted your post too .

In my eyes, there's a difference from someone hitting a wrong note or accidentally missing a beat once in a while, than completely fudging up a whole section time and time again. And you know when stuff like that happens, and you generally don't need to tell the player. "you missed that note/off beat, make sure you stay in time"...they know.

That's why we would play through the setlist, put our "problem songs" on top of the list, and then work through those one by one. You need to play all your songs every time IMO so you don't loose the "tightness" you developed. Not playing a few songs after a week or two because you were focusing on working through other songs does nobody any favors. You'll just have mistakes in the other songs, and then rinse and repeat.

But to each their own, no right way to go about, every situation is different.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:06 PM   #14
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When you are writing a song fix the issues when they happen. Once the song is written you need to start playing it all the way through so you know you can hold up in a live situation even if a mistake is made. Obviously go back to the problem areas afterwards.

That's how my band does it.
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