Poll: How long are your practices?
Poll Options
View poll results: How long are your practices?
1 hour or less
9 8%
1.5 hours
8 7%
2 hours
26 22%
2.5 hours
16 14%
3 hours
18 15%
3+ hours
41 35%
Voters: 118.
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#1
Just curious as to how long your practices are with your bands. Right now mine are running around 2 hours. My bassist keeps insisting that we practice for longer like 3 hours or so and I find it completely exhausting.

He always comes early before practices to get in extra time, as well as to miss hitting traffic. We were supposed to practice 7:30-9ish with the drummer, he rolled in around 6 and we practiced until 9:30. I was totally worn out.

I planned on 7-9 tonight but he asked again if he could come early and I said that's fine but he'd have to wait in his car because me and my girlfriend will be eating dinner at the time.

It's not like we're not tight. I don't think we could be any more in synch and that is due to us practicing weekly to get things where they're at. I more need practice with the drummer than him.

Anywho, enough of my rant.
#4
With just me, my other guitarist and our drummer its about 4 hours, then our bassist rolls in after work for about 2 and a half hours of practice.
Poop.


Yes, poop.
#5
About 3 hours. Sometimes goes to about 2 hours 30 by the time we get to one of the Guitarists' house and everything set up...
This will start a RIOT! in me
#6
about 4 hours
(by mistake i clicked the 3 hours on the poll)
joining a new band though so not sure how long it will be with them
Last edited by '93 at Nov 11, 2009,
#7
The current group I'm playing with is just prepping for a studio session, not regularly gigging, so the project leader has pulled people from all over the state. This means one of our regulars has a two hour drive on nights when it's farthest away from him, and the rest of us have to commute a fair bit too. It also means we can only meet once a week. We've been in the three to four hour mark because of this, and occasionally meet up for a bit longer on a saturday.

If I was playing in a local group right now, I'd make sure rehearsals happened twice a week and were kept at the 2 hour mark. That's just the best combination of a convenient schedule and how I learn music I've found it to be a great format. Usually anything longer than that is just a disorganized mess or jam that doesn't go anywhere.
#8
Our practices were about 2-3 hours long. However the singer was susually playing with her game boy or making paper hats and when she was singing we couldn't hear her anyway...

Stupid band.
#10
Wow thanks for all the awesome replies.

Yea my personal solo practice I'm lucky if I can get in 2-3 hours a week. With me recording the album right now I'm losing a lot of hours. I also still take guitar and vocal lessons every week too.

Just curious for you guys that are practicing upwards of 4 hours, are you running through your sets a couple times? Are you working on specific aspects on your stage performance - stage presence, communication, audience interaction, etc.?

I find I like practicing longer when I have a drummer and the lead guitarist but when it's just me and the bassist it just starts getting really annoying. I think it's more a personality thing. I think I like the two hours because everyone stays fresh and you can keep working hard.
Last edited by Lauren Bateman at Nov 11, 2009,
#12
We practice for upwards of 7 hours. Often 10-12. I don't think we've ever had a practice that was less than 3 hours, unless its a tighten-up right before a gig which are usually 2 hrs. Obviously we eat in the middle and have cigarette breaks, but I'd say 90% of our practice time is spent playing music. Until right now, I thought that was normal haha.

We run through songs, arrange our setlist, experiment with different keys, different vocals, solos, backing vocals, drum parts etc. and we usually write an instrumental "jam" piece every practice that we can pull out in a gig. Nothing too time-consuming there, but we do learn 3 - 5 songs every practice to keep our setlists fresh, as we used to practice once a week and gig once every 2 weeks.
Last edited by Declan87 at Nov 11, 2009,
#13
we practice for about 36 hours but the majority of the time is spent throwing soda at each other and stuff...we spend the weekend at the drummers house
#14
Three hours or more, that's the time we spend there anyway. i can't say how much of it is actually pure rehearsal.
#15
Quote by Declan87
We practice for upwards of 7 hours. Often 10-12. I don't think we've ever had a practice that was less than 3 hours, unless its a tighten-up right before a gig which are usually 2 hrs. Obviously we eat in the middle and have *** breaks, but I'd say 90% of our practice time is spent playing music. Until right now, I thought that was normal haha. .


Holy crap! 10 hours! That's more than I sleep! (then again, so is 3 hours)
#16
we generally practice for about 3 hours. But only because one or two of us has to go to work or go to bed (drummer works early in the morning and sometimes we practice late) or something like that. I'm sure if we had all day without anything to do, we would practice all day. haha we usually go through all of our complete songs at least once and then start working on new stuff. if we get a little bored, we'll play some covers for fun. I guess that's a bit redundant.
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#17
Practice until you've accomplished what you need to accomplish. Setting arbitrary time limits is silly. Sometimes the mojo just isn't there and its best to call it quits early.
#18
i usually go to my drummer and bassists house friday night, play for like 2 or 3 hours, go to bed; Saturday we wake up and play most of the day, around 8 hours. Then sunday around 2 or 3 again.


so we practice a lot!
#19
My band will normally set aside a whole day/afternoon & evening to practice. In part this is because two of the members need to travel for half an hour to get here, if they're spending an hour in a car to get here and back we'd better do quite a lot.

We'll start at, say, 2, run through half a dozen songs we know well, then switch to working on whatever new ones we have planned. After getting sick of running through/tidying them up, we might go and sit down with a computer and Guitar Pro to fix bits of another song, practice some covers, jam a bit, have a break. Eat an evening meal, get back to the songs we're working on, maybe make some rough recordings/critique me and the lead singer on harmonies... Allow for a bit of messing around, jamming, and that's easily 6-8 hours of time spent reasonably productively.
#20
with us it kinda depends, we normally start around 3:00 or 4:00 and practice til we feel like we're done or someone has to leave. I think its usually around 4 hours. we normally have a little jam session to warm up and make sure our dynamics and tone is right. then for the first couple of hours we really work on stuff, and then we just run through any songs that we feel like need more work or just jam.
#21
Quote by Declan87
We practice for upwards of 7 hours. Often 10-12. I don't think we've ever had a practice that was less than 3 hours, unless its a tighten-up right before a gig which are usually 2 hrs. Obviously we eat in the middle and have cigarette breaks, but I'd say 90% of our practice time is spent playing music. Until right now, I thought that was normal haha.

We run through songs, arrange our setlist, experiment with different keys, different vocals, solos, backing vocals, drum parts etc. and we usually write an instrumental "jam" piece every practice that we can pull out in a gig. Nothing too time-consuming there, but we do learn 3 - 5 songs every practice to keep our setlists fresh, as we used to practice once a week and gig once every 2 weeks.


I'm assuming you're a cover band. This is extremely ineffective practice time.

With 10-12 hours everyone could learn the songs during the week in their own time. If everyone had it down by the time practice rolls around you could easily get them together with a standard 2-3 hour practice session.

For me it's 2-3 hours, depending on what's happening. If it's getting together a new song (originals) it can take up to an hour or more (alone)to get the structure down. Otherwise there's just a lot of polishing other songs and fixing up problems. At the end of each practice we run through our set, or as much of it as we have time for.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#22
My band practices are long as hell. Most of us arrive at 10am, we jam instrumentally for about an hour, and the singe shows up 11. We usually play through all of our songs twice, and our covers. Most of time we'll be making a new song, so we spend an hour or so getting it down (original, covers are pretty much all learned at home), play through it until we can finish perfect. Then we go out to eat. Few more hours of practicing, usually jamming this time around. Video game break. Then we run through our songs or a setlist again.

So we get there at 10am, and leave around 10pm, if not spend the rest of the night at the house (in which case me and the Rhythm guitarist jam for several more hours acoustically), with about 3 hours of break.

So, maybe an average 8 hours of practicing?
#23
Usually we start at 12:00AM and work until around 8:00PM,with one longer break at some point and a short pause for dinner.
#24
Quote by AlanHB
learn the songs during the week in their own time. If everyone had it down by the time practice rolls around you could easily get them together with a standard 2-3 hour practice session.


This ^

Every band I've been in over the last ten years (hehe.... only three bands, I think....) has had an understanding that everyone does their homework during the week. Show up and expect to get it tight. It's disrespectful to show up and learn the song on my time or his time or the other guy's time when everyone else has put out and learned it on their own time.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#25
Quote by axemanchris
This ^

Every band I've been in over the last ten years (hehe.... only three bands, I think....) has had an understanding that everyone does their homework during the week. Show up and expect to get it tight. It's disrespectful to show up and learn the song on my time or his time or the other guy's time when everyone else has put out and learned it on their own time.

CT

I'm sure ye have a point, and it's true that a lot of learning is done at practice, but a lot of the songs we play aren't arranged for guitars, bass and drums, so a lot of our time is spent trying things out to see if they work, explaining ideas we've come up with, keyboard parts, etc.

That said, about half our songs ARE for guitar, bass, drums, and these could certainly be worked on at home. Thanks for the advice and I think I'll try and communicate this to my band at our next meeting
Last edited by Declan87 at Nov 18, 2009,
#26
Quote by Declan87
I'm sure ye have a point, and it's true that a lot of learning is done at practice, but a lot of the songs we play aren't arranged for guitars, bass and drums, so a lot of our time is spent trying things out to see if they work, explaining ideas we've come up with, keyboard parts, etc.

That said, about half our songs ARE for guitar, bass, drums, and these could certainly be worked on at home. Thanks for the advice and I think I'll try and communicate this to my band at our next meeting


Mate, if the songs aren't already arranged for guitar etc, then it would be even easier to learn. You just identify the underlying chords and make up your own parts.

For example, Baby One More Time - Britney Spears. It has very little guitar.

The chords are as follows; Bm F# D Em F# (repeated)

Now make up your own part using those chords. It should only take you 5 min or so. Now we can get together and play it.

Edit: The most amount of songs I have learnt for a cover band in a limited time was 40 in 3 weeks. That was with 3, 3 hour practices. Went fine, but it was a cover band of experienced musicians. With this knowledge there is no reason where you couldn't get 10 or so in the same amount of time.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#27
Quote by AlanHB
For example, Baby One More Time - Britney Spears. It has very little guitar.

The chords are as follows; Bm F# D Em F# (repeated)

I like how you know that


My band usually practices 3-5 hours a week, depending on what we have to do. When we're learning a new original song, its usually longer, as the writer of the song has to show us the song, and then we either jam around with it to write each instrument's part or the writer tells us what he has in mind. It also depends on how much flow we're having. If the band's not feeling it some day, we'll call it quits early, but if we're on a roll with a new song, we'll extend it. We also review all of our songs, which is about 1 hour.
#28
Quote by One on Sunday
I like how you know that



It's incredibly catchy and makes a great blues jam

Also try Rhianna's Umbrella for a bit of a harder edge
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#29
We can set aside time for practice for up to six hours, but we take regular tea and garden breaks so i dunno how long is spent actually practicing
#30
Usually it's an all-day thing for us.
The actual practice will be like four hours or so. Sometimes even 6.
#31
The amount of wasted time in practices in this thread completely astounds me. Perhaps a better question is "How much of your practice time is actually spent practicing songs?". By practicing I mean "playing an actual song together, not learning or writing".

The only time I have spent over 3 hours with my band outside of gigs is in the studio.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#32
Quote by AlanHB
The amount of wasted time in practices in this thread completely astounds me. Perhaps a better question is "How much of your practice time is actually spent practicing songs?". By practicing I mean "playing an actual song together, not learning or writing".

The only time I have spent over 3 hours with my band outside of gigs is in the studio.

What's wrong with writing as a band?
I find that the material my bands (past & present) have written with all members present is far superior to material written by members individually.
Being able to sit down, bounce ideas off of each-other, discuss the moods, themes, and emotions we're trying to convey, and criticise/make suggestions about each-other's parts has always been central to every musical project in which I've been involved. Songs tend to sound more complete and "together" that way.
#33
Quote by toyboxmonster
What's wrong with writing as a band?
I find that the material my bands (past & present) have written with all members present is far superior to material written by members individually.
Being able to sit down, bounce ideas off of each-other, discuss the moods, themes, and emotions we're trying to convey, and criticise/make suggestions about each-other's parts has always been central to every musical project in which I've been involved. Songs tend to sound more complete and "together" that way.


This is an ideal, and not realistic. The songs are written primarily by 1 or 2 people in the band, the rest create their parts around the song. They develop naturally as you play them together.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#34
Quote by AlanHB
This is an ideal, and not realistic. The songs are written primarily by 1 or 2 people in the band, the rest create their parts around the song. They develop naturally as you play them together.

Must have some damn good imaginary weed up here in Canada for me to have imagined such completely imaginary band practices.
Last edited by toyboxmonster at Nov 19, 2009,
#35
Quote by AlanHB
Mate, if the songs aren't already arranged for guitar etc, then it would be even easier to learn. You just identify the underlying chords and make up your own parts.

For example, Baby One More Time - Britney Spears. It has very little guitar.

The chords are as follows; Bm F# D Em F# (repeated)

Now make up your own part using those chords. It should only take you 5 min or so. Now we can get together and play it.

I'm afraid you're overestimating my bandmates' imaginations
#37
Used to practice for about 4 hours but I've found it to be counter-productive.
Always seem to progress more with multiple, shorter sessions.
404: Sig not found.
#38
Quote by toyboxmonster
Must have some damn good imaginary weed up here in Canada for me to have imagined such completely imaginary band practices.


I'm not saying it's impossible, but try to stand back and think about who wrote the actual song. The song is the basic chord progression and lyrics. It is not the funky bassline or the mad guitar solo. I have never been in a band where 4 people contributed equally to a chord structure or lyrics - that just sounds annoying. Some may say "yeah that sounds cool" or "can we try this thing here?" but that is it.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#39
somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3
Quote by asator
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It's okay because whatever, forever
#40
2-3 But I drum In a Technical Death Metal Band so we generally have a 5 minute break every 30 minutes or so to allow me to stretch to help prevent cramp.
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