#1
Hey

Me and my band will be spending Friday afternoon in a rehearsal studio for the first time ever, which is costing us £7 and Hour split 3 ways. We'll be spending three hours in there, and I've tabbed five or six songs for us to learn.

In Previous rehearsal sessions, normally at one of our houses, we tend to break for a while, go on the X-Box 360, mess around on the trampoline for a while or something like that. This means we only spend about half the time we are there actually rehearsing. My worry is that the other bandmates are going to ghet easily distracted, considering the amount of time we are booked in for.

My question to you is how can you make the best use of rehearsal time, while also keeping the attention of my bandmates?

Plus, is there anything I should know about rehearsal spaces, like "Do's or Dont's"?

Any help is much appreciated.
Cheers
TJ
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#3
They Do, otherwise they wouldn't be in the band Einstein
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#4
As for the Dos and Donts, be polite to everyone that works there. Don't stay overtime. Don't break anything etc etc. Just behave normally.

If you're in for 3 hours you'll need a break. But just a quick break, you know, 10 minutes, have a coke or something and then get back to it. There's not much to it, just make sure everyone going knows you're going to work and not to jack around.
#5
Ok so that might not have been so helpful. What about booking 2 hours then 1 hour break and another hour.
#6
I have the same problem. Before we realised we could go to our local music shop 'realistic rock' we always practiced in our drummers house. During this time someone in the band would get bored or distracted half way through a song. We tried our local music shop, and found the same happened. What I tend to do when everyone's distracted I take control of the mic for a second and just ask everyone to stop really. Usually this works. If you want to take a break during your rehearsal, get everyone to chip in and buy some drinks, my band gets a ten pack of coca cola. Just make sure your band mates are aware that you've all paid money to practice and work, so don't waste your time there, or it'll be a waste of money.

Good luck with your practice, and thanks for reading my lengthy answer,
Sam
#7
Quote by mikey_360
Ok so that might not have been so helpful. What about booking 2 hours then 1 hour break and another hour.

Your Humour Bores Me

Thanks Confusius, and Sam too
Great Idea, I said to bring some snacks and stuff, cos with us being in there for 3 hours, we'll need a 10 Minute break or two
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
Last edited by Rock&RollStar at Aug 19, 2009,
#8
How many of you are going to the practice? Because like my band, there's so many of us, it's impossible to get everyones attention at one time.

Oh, also another tip, discuss what songs your going to do in what order before you go in, that way you can plug everything in and get started straight away.
Last edited by DrNinja at Aug 19, 2009,
#9
Theres four of us, so it shouldn't be so hard. Thanks for the tips. Our drummer has been playing for just under a year, but has focused mainly on theory.

I've done a few tabs for him, and told him if he can't do a song, then its fine, I have a variety of easy and more challenging stuff tabbed.

I'll try and set up the gear as described, and will keep the noise to the right level. Thanks to everyone who helped so far.
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#10
You have to pay to practice together? I'd try to find somewhere that you won't have to pay, that's money you guys could be using for equipment.
Oct. 20th, 2009: New guitar AND front row for Mars Volta.

Quote by denizenz
Is that a ukulele in your pants, or did you just rip ass to the tune of "Aloha Oi"?


I met Sonic Youth on June 30th, and Mars Volta on Oct 20th.
Last edited by soundgarden19 at Aug 19, 2009,
#11
Yeah, but our drummer cant get his drumkit around
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#12
bummer, if you can't play for free then know your parts before you come into practice. Be prepared, bring extra cords, picks, sticks, etc.
Oct. 20th, 2009: New guitar AND front row for Mars Volta.

Quote by denizenz
Is that a ukulele in your pants, or did you just rip ass to the tune of "Aloha Oi"?


I met Sonic Youth on June 30th, and Mars Volta on Oct 20th.
#13
Make sure you having everything prepared for when everyone arrives. 'Rehearsal' time is for rehearsing, not practicing individual parts. At the moment, we have the distraction issue in our band, as I sometimes have to spend time working out the direction of song ideas that I've thought of over the week, which means that for example, if I'm not working with the bassist on his part, or the horn players for theirs, they'll usually get bored and then it'll take a bit for them to get back in the 'zone'. But, we're not at rehearsing, we're still in the process of writing most of our material, which I can't really do all on my own just yet. But, in your case, if you're rehearsing music, then its got to be a few hours of straight dedicated work. Breaks are a must, you can burn yourself out trying to nail songs very quickly, and just make sure that your sessions dont go for too long.
#14
Why don't you just practice at the drummers house...? Correct me if I'm wrong, but you guys just sound like teenagers. Not like you're living in an apartment or anything. And if the drummer lives somewhere he cant play loud you might as well move his kit to somewhere you guys can turn it up and take the money from the practice space to get him an electric kit to practice at home.
We've dressed up in our best...

...and are prepared to go down like gentlemen.

Quote by bogg808
The PBT is for those too TGP for the rest of UG.

#15
All practice your parts before hand, that will be useful. But what my band does is work through all of the songs. If it is a new song, we start off with bass, drums and rhythm guitar, then play with the lead guitar, then the vocals. But if you all know it already just play through it. Then what you should do, is play your whole setlist as if you were playing a gig.
#16
when you have your breaks keep the conversation music based, talk about how you can improve, etc. dont give em chance to get distracted.

anyway if you're paying for your time there everone will want to make the most of it.

oh, and NEVER let anyone in who isnt in the band. our drummer used to let his mates come into our practices and they used to just mess about and generally put us all off!
RIP Turnip. RIP MCA.
RIP #58.
#17
What this band practice needs is a band leader, luckily you have come to the right place.

It doesn't sound like your band has a leader, and it's time for you to step up. Rehearsal time is not a time to play on a trampoline or x-box. It is a time to rehearse. I personally think that 3 hours is too long, and that 2 hours is more preferable because around that time you'll be getting tired anyway.

The most simple strategy of making the best of your time is to set an agenda, which I'll usually do with my bands. The agenda will look something like;

1. x song - fix introduction
2. y song - determine how long the solo should be
3. z song - make sure that everyone stays in time
4. new song - show and try out
etc.

The idea is that you have been working on a set of songs and want to polish them into a finalised form for gigging. The list above is typical for an originals band, because the songs can be constantly developing, everyone wants input, and repeat play-throughs of the songs are required to ensure that the band members become familiar with the songs.

The band leader will say into the microphone, "lets try song x and see how we go". In the case that nobody knows "song x" because they didn't bother learning it, skip it and go to "song y". After playing through songs it will become obvious what went wrong. Have a quick talk about it and try it again. Repeat until done. If the chorus isn't right, play the chorus repeatedly etc. Know that you don't want to stick on one song for too long, so after 15-20 minutes you can move on to the next song.

Once all songs are completed on the agenda, try to play all of them from start to finish at the end. It will inspire your band mates to focus more on the music and you'll feel like a band.

Now as Chuckles mentioned, the majority of the time the band members should know their parts before coming to practice. It is inexcusable for a cover band's members not to know them due to the amount of help they can receive in relation to the songs. They can download the tabs and can jam along with the original song on the net. If you are playing original songs, there is more of a learning aspect initially when a new song is introduced. The easiest way to speed up the learning process is to record a demo of you playing your guitar part and making a chord sheet for the other band members to practice with at home.

If the majority of your practice time is spent learning songs, this is not practice time. You are not practicing. You have gathered to work on individual goals and this should be done at home.

In school I remember dreading group work on a written project because I'd be the only person who'd do all the work and the whole group would get credit for it. Bands do not work this way. A band is more similar to a car, where each part is essential and integral to the success of it. Take out the radiator, it dies. Take out the windows, people don't want to sit in it. Take out the exhaust pipe, makes horrible sound.

If you want your band to become a functioning unit, efficient use of time at practices is a must.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#18
Quote by mcraddict81592
Why don't you just practice at the drummers house...? Correct me if I'm wrong, but you guys just sound like teenagers. Not like you're living in an apartment or anything. And if the drummer lives somewhere he cant play loud you might as well move his kit to somewhere you guys can turn it up and take the money from the practice space to get him an electric kit to practice at home.


Well he has a kit, but we have been thinking about staying back after school to practice. The school have a kit, and its free, and we could get the school's minibus home.

But in the meantime, its our only real option, cos we cant really play at the drummers house every week, its not fair, his mum would have to make us dinner. You might say that it sounds like a bit of a stupid excuse, but its still valid


Also, thanks for all the tips, especially Alan HB's EPIC post
I'll take everything into consideration for next time we rehearse.
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#19
Quote by Rock&RollStar
Well he has a kit, but we have been thinking about staying back after school to practice. The school have a kit, and its free, and we could get the school's minibus home.

But in the meantime, its our only real option, cos we cant really play at the drummers house every week, its not fair, his mum would have to make us dinner. You might say that it sounds like a bit of a stupid excuse, but its still valid

Also, thanks for all the tips, especially Alan HB's EPIC post
I'll take everything into consideration for next time we rehearse.


You could always just eat at your place then go to his house for practice, or practice on the weekends.
Oct. 20th, 2009: New guitar AND front row for Mars Volta.

Quote by denizenz
Is that a ukulele in your pants, or did you just rip ass to the tune of "Aloha Oi"?


I met Sonic Youth on June 30th, and Mars Volta on Oct 20th.
#20
Some tips I found useful.

1)Show up 5-10 minutes early, there's a good chance the room will have not been in use the previous hour and unless the owners are really pissy you can get in early and use the time to set things up.

2) allocate time to pack your stuff up finish so you can be out of the room when your time's up, don't play right up until your times over

3) Take a break halfway through or so. It'll refresh you and should make the session more productive and less tiring.
#21
My band practices at a local workshop with 3-4 rehearsal rooms with amps, PA and drum kit ready.

We usually take smoking break every 30 min or so. We also write and learn all songs there so alot of the time we spend there is used for learning and then we go through the songs. If we're practicing for a gig we go over the set over and over.

But anyways, the breakes are great because then we can discuss songs/gigs and whatever band related stuff and time to get a good laugh while we're rehearsing. Usually we're also more focused once we go back in and start to play again.
#22
Don't use the Xbox 360.
Learn songs at home, then rehearse them together in the studio.
And if you guys are new together... Don't go for 3 hours...
You guys should probably go for 1-2 hours.


And I have to ask... are you guys rehearsing at Dead Parrot studio by chance?

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#23
3 hours WAS a bit hopeful...

However, we do not play at a dead parrot studio.
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix