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Old 04-22-2014, 12:50 PM   #1
pantallica87
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Bandmates not practicing on their own time

Almost everyone I know, tells me that I tend to be an arrogant *ick when i communicate with other people. So rather than upset everyone in my band with my straight fowardness, id like a little advice on how to approach my bandmates that are not practicing on their own time. How do i know they arent? There is still hesitation (guessing when a certain part begins and ends) and timing issues (starting the song, and transitioning from the verse to the chorus to the solo). We have had the same 6 original songs since last november. We cant add anymore b/c we still have these issues with the songs that we have. Some members live over an hour away from our practice spot and all members, besides me, are married.
I try to get ATLEAST 1 hour of practice a day. Most of the time I practice alot longer but im happy if I atleast get an hour. I take pride in playing guitar and I feel bad if I dont get playing time everday. Here lately schedule conflicts have limited us to 1 practice a week and that is not enough. To make up for this down time I have created single rythym guitar tracks with a metronome for all to practice with. They have had these tracks 3+ months. But we still have timing issues and a vocalist that is still "reading" lyrics while singing. Why am i so concerned?.. We have our first show in exactly 31 days from today. I refuse to embarass myself on stage and would rather cancel than play a show that my mates obviously arent passionate enough about to practice for. If I told them exactly what I just said, an argument/fight would be the end result b/c I dont know what its like to work full time and have a wife that wants to watch TV with me all night (even tho I do have a full time job and a GF that lives with me). So w/o being mean, what is the best way to approach my band and tell them to get off their butts, leave the wife alone, and practice an hour a day with the tracks i provided them?
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:23 PM   #2
tonehunter1992
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lead in with that you ALL have work to do. Make a to do list. "Lets try and get track 1 down perfect for next week , if they show up unprepared tell them you were having issues with one part , is there any help they need learning some of their parts?
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:30 PM   #3
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Not to sound like a dick, buy why schedule a show when your band isn't ready?
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:34 PM   #4
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He most likely thought theyd be ready in the amount of time before the booking
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:08 PM   #5
pantallica87
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We booked it a little over a month ago. I thought that was enough time and i still think we have enough time with a month left, but our music just sounds rough to me. Its not smooth like it should be. Im counting on them to do their homework and practice by themselves since we cant practice as a group 4 times a week. But they're totally not doing it. It was obvious this past friday night and saturday morning practice.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:13 PM   #6
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So, sit down like tonehunter said. Work with them all.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:17 PM   #7
pantallica87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonehunter1992
lead in with that you ALL have work to do. Make a to do list. "Lets try and get track 1 down perfect for next week , if they show up unprepared tell them you were having issues with one part , is there any help they need learning some of their parts?


I wouldnt say they need "help" but what they're doing is more along the lines of just being rusty from not practicing the past10*days. They know the parts, but the lack of commitment to practice is causing some to lag behind and its throwing everything off.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:21 PM   #8
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How about this:
1) Send an e-mail saying something like "Let's record the next practice so we can work out which songs need most work"
2) Record the practice
3) Play it back at the end of the practice - if things are bad it should sound pretty obvious. Just do it just on a phone/laptop to avoid hassle of setting up mics (or arrive early and mic yourself if you really care). The quality will be terrible, but you'll notice mistakes particularly if people don't come in/miss notes etc.
4) After listening give honest feedback but avoid details
"Well that doesn't sound great - we missed the Verse/Chorus transistion every time in SongX." NOT "Bob you played the wrong note there - you are such a shit drummer"
5) Ask whether they still want to go ahead - give the band the option of either cancelling the gig or working on it for next weeks practice and seeing if they can improve. Either they will want to give it one more try OR they won't care enough and want a good excuse to get out the potentially embarrassing gig.
6) Repeat the recording/listening/feedback the next week. If it's much better then hooray; if not then say "Sorry we're now 2 weeks away and I don't think we can play the gig sounding like this" [Maybe give another 1 week and add an extra practice or 2 if there's still some hope?]

Peer pressure really works! If they feel they're going to let the band down by not practicing then they're much more likely to make time to practice. Having a recording gives you some evidence of how good/bad you sound which makes it a lot easier to not be a complete dick shouting "you missed the solo AGAIN". If the recording is low quality it will actually probably help your case for more practice!

If it goes well great - play the gig well - everyone is a winner
If they think the recording is ok but you're not happy - find a new band; you're never going to be happy with guys who have different standards
If you all think the recording(s) are sh*t and there's no hope of improvement then cancel the gig.

In the mean time be a good citizen and let the gig organizer know you might not be able to play - don't go into full detail just say "We've missed a couple of practices and are trying to fit some extras; we're pretty sure we're going to be ready but will let you know next week"
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Last edited by doive : 04-22-2014 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:28 PM   #9
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6 songs in 6 months and still not ready? I suspect those 6 songs are getting pretty boring by now so interest is waning a bit. Have a band meeting and ask how we move forward. Be quiet and let them express their views. It sounds like unrealistic expectations all around. Remember that perfection is not the goal, and pursuing perfection kills creativity and tends to be a band killer. Amazing performance (with a few surprises) is the goal.

Sometimes going out and totally sucking is necessary to drive home the point. It worked for Van Halen.
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Last edited by Cajundaddy : 04-22-2014 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:58 PM   #10
pantallica87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doive
How about this:
1) Send an e-mail saying something like "Let's record the next practice so we can work out which songs need most work"
2) Record the practice
3) Play it back at the end of the practice - if things are bad it should sound pretty obvious. Just do it just on a phone/laptop to avoid hassle of setting up mics (or arrive early and mic yourself if you really care). The quality will be terrible, but you'll notice mistakes particularly if people don't come in/miss notes etc.
4) After listening give honest feedback but avoid details
"Well that doesn't sound great - we missed the Verse/Chorus transistion every time in SongX." NOT "Bob you played the wrong note there - you are such a shit drummer"
5) Ask whether they still want to go ahead - give the band the option of either cancelling the gig or working on it for next weeks practice and seeing if they can improve. Either they will want to give it one more try OR they won't care enough and want a good excuse to get out the potentially embarrassing gig.
6) Repeat the recording/listening/feedback the next week. If it's much better then hooray; if not then say "Sorry we're now 2 weeks away and I don't think we can play the gig sounding like this" [Maybe give another 1 week and add an extra practice or 2 if there's still some hope?]

Peer pressure really works! If they feel they're going to let the band down by not practicing then they're much more likely to make time to practice. Having a recording gives you some evidence of how good/bad you sound which makes it a lot easier to not be a complete dick shouting "you missed the solo AGAIN". If the recording is low quality it will actually probably help your case for more practice!

If it goes well great - play the gig well - everyone is a winner
If they think the recording is ok but you're not happy - find a new band; you're never going to be happy with guys who have different standards
If you all think the recording(s) are sh*t and there's no hope of improvement then cancel the gig.

In the mean time be a good citizen and let the gig organizer know you might not be able to play - don't go into full detail just say "We've missed a couple of practices and are trying to fit some extras; we're pretty sure we're going to be ready but will let you know next week"



Really good idea. A recording wont lie and will expose the parts that need work.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:33 AM   #11
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record it...and than be a dick

I hate too say it but your band needs a Hitler, I have 2 bands.....one does their homework.....the other one I have too yell at....it´s unfortunate but I tried being the "nice guy" and that led to crappy performances. So be the a-hole and when you walk off of stage and didn´t suck.....well they´ll still think your n A-hole but you´ll be an A-hole with more gigs.
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackst4r
record it...and than be a dick

I hate too say it but your band needs a Hitler, I have 2 bands.....one does their homework.....the other one I have too yell at....it´s unfortunate but I tried being the "nice guy" and that led to crappy performances. So be the a-hole and when you walk off of stage and didn´t suck.....well they´ll still think your n A-hole but you´ll be an A-hole with more gigs.


If you have to be an A-hole I don't think it is really worth the effort.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:03 AM   #13
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Maybe just play a crappy gig and everybody will remember it and maybe that will motivate your bandmates to practice.

But yeah, record your band playing. Also tell your bandmates which parts are not working. Give some constructive criticism.

Also, maybe try playing some other songs and come back to these songs later (at least in the future - you need to play the gig first). Playing the same six songs for half a year is just boring. You need some other songs. You can practice many songs at the time. It's a lot more fun to play many songs than just one song until you can play it perfectly and then move to the next song. Nobody wants to do that.

Maybe the metronome tracks are not inspiring your band mates. You need to tell them which parts are not working. Also maybe ask them which parts they think work or don't work.

Do you have recorded versions of the songs? Maybe your band mates aren't completely sure of how the songs should sound like?
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:07 AM   #14
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Honestly i wouldn't worry about it too much, lots of bands have to learn on the fly and playing live will make you a better band much quicker than just practicing all of the time. I realize you want to sound good for your shows, we all do, but i have been in your shoes before and sometimes just playing a gig or two (and recording it for reference) will let everyone hear how they each sound.

So if they sound like crap THEY will know it and if it continues you fire them and move on.
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:30 PM   #15
Jeremie Emond
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Have you ever asked your other bandmates what their goals are ?
What do they expect from that band ?
If it' something they do just for fun once a week like a social activity ?

Cause if you're the only 'serious' musician in that band, you might want to
consider quitting. Or Before quitting, join or start a side project and let
your bandmates know about it. You might end up transitioning full time
in you other projects.
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