#1
Has anyone done this? I thought that this could be interesting and I've never done this. I have 2 bands, and I thought for each one it would be interesting if I had one of my friends sit in and just watch us practice or give a suggestion when we're working on songs. Conveniently enough the people I thought who could do this are from one of my bands; guy from band 1 watches band 2 and vice versa.

Anyone have experience with this? Does it benefit anything?
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#2
I've tried the same thing a couple times in the past with mixed results.. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's an unqualified disaster.
The main things to consider are, if you're looking for an objective, un-biased perspective, can you expect to get it from somebody who is in another band with you?
And what is their personality like? Will they give you honest answers, or just a pat on the back? Will guitarist in band 'A' resent getting advice or criticism from guitarist in band 'B'?

It can lead to unusual collaborations that really help to mix things up; Just know the dynamics of the group and the people in it before you start.
#3
Well I have a rock band and a metalcore/metal band. I figured the vocalist in my metal band could sit in on rock band practice, and one of the singers/guitarists from rock band sit in on metal band. We're all friends, we all know each other. I'm pretty sure most if not all of us can handle criticism.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#4
I think it's a terrible idea. People just get distracted and less gets done, ends up being a waste of money.


#5
Quote by Gerard_xD
I think it's a terrible idea. People just get distracted and less gets done, ends up being a waste of money.


I agree. Practice time is meant for practice.

If you want feedback, why not have a proper performance and ask the audience after what they thought. Also videotaping yourselves and watching it back can help.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#7
Every time we have people sit in on practice, I feel like we're boring them. We are all focused on doing our own thing and they just sit and watch. unless someone agrees to sit in and give you input, it's not really beneficial for your band, it's actually kind of limiting feeling like you have to entertain people. It is nice to play sometimes to people and get positive reviews, definitely inspires me to keep practicing on my drums.
#8
I think it depends where you are in your product development.

Are you learning, practicing and ironing out difficulties or are you past that and into rehearsals for gigging and shows?

At show rehearsals is when you want "test" audiences, prior to that if you are working on new material, having anyone sit in would be distracting to you and boring as hell for them. It is hard enough to keep your drummer entertained let alone people sitting around watching a couple guitarists work through a phrase for a few hours.
Last edited by Quintex at Oct 16, 2011,
#9
Quote by AlanHB
I agree. Practice time is meant for practice.

If you want feedback, why not have a proper performance and ask the audience after what they thought. Also videotaping yourselves and watching it back can help.


Because no doubt that your first performance would be the same friends that are going to be your audience at your first show anyway. Why not get some feedback on how the songs sound, how the presence of everyone is before getting up on stage in a public forum and maybe being unprepared and making a bad show of things.

TS...1 person to sit in, put them in a chair in the corner, don't acknowledge them, and don't talk to them until they are done going through your songs. Practice is for practice, don't be trying to learn new songs or working on parts while they are there, run through your set list and act as if it was a real show and get them to critique the band.

Try not to bring anyone's close friend who are going to say you sound awesome no matter what. The point is to be critiqued and find things that need to be worked on that maybe you guys don't realize are potential issues.

oh yeah! NO GIRLFRIENDS!!!
#10
Quote by scguitarking927
Because no doubt that your first performance would be the same friends that are going to be your audience at your first show anyway. Why not get some feedback on how the songs sound, how the presence of everyone is before getting up on stage in a public forum and maybe being unprepared and making a bad show of things.

TS...1 person to sit in, put them in a chair in the corner, don't acknowledge them, and don't talk to them until they are done going through your songs. Practice is for practice, don't be trying to learn new songs or working on parts while they are there, run through your set list and act as if it was a real show and get them to critique the band.

Try not to bring anyone's close friend who are going to say you sound awesome no matter what. The point is to be critiqued and find things that need to be worked on that maybe you guys don't realize are potential issues.

oh yeah! NO GIRLFRIENDS!!!



Even my closest friends who are musicians can give me criticism or compliments without going down the "Dude that was awesome!" route all the time. I figured it would be better for after we have some songs down, not when we're working on stuff, so yeah I agree with what you're saying. They can hear our stuff and give pointers and suggestions.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#11
Quote by scguitarking927
Because no doubt that your first performance would be the same friends that are going to be your audience at your first show anyway. Why not get some feedback on how the songs sound, how the presence of everyone is before getting up on stage in a public forum and maybe being unprepared and making a bad show of things.


You'd pull out of playing live because you're afraid someone will tell you you're crap. It's a common fear amongst a beginner musician. However, every first gig with a band is going to be crap, it's just something you'll have to learn to deal with.

You are really just putting on a performance, just in a smaller way. If all you're doing playing some songs to a group of people, it's a gig.

However if you are actually going to get people to watch your practice session - replaying the same parts of songs over and over, rethinking parts, spending 30 mins on each song, all you're doing is boring them to crap. They'll leave soon in and not come to your next performance.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#12
Quote by AlanHB
You'd pull out of playing live because you're afraid someone will tell you you're crap. It's a common fear amongst a beginner musician. However, every first gig with a band is going to be crap, it's just something you'll have to learn to deal with.

You are really just putting on a performance, just in a smaller way. If all you're doing playing some songs to a group of people, it's a gig.

However if you are actually going to get people to watch your practice session - replaying the same parts of songs over and over, rethinking parts, spending 30 mins on each song, all you're doing is boring them to crap. They'll leave soon in and not come to your next performance.


I'm pretty sure I wouldn't turn down a gig just because one of my friends thought our practice session wasn't good. But I get what you're saying, there's no point in having them over to watch us write, but I think it could help a tad if you had a person or two over to listen to you run through a set just to see what they think. Plus if they give positive feedback, it could boost the band's confidence, especially if they have a gig that night, so they aren't going right from 0 people besides the band listening to a lot of people.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#13
i think it's an interesting idea. Whether it's having someone sit in on practice or at a gig, and then offer commentary.

Couple of thoughts, though:

1) The whole band has to agree to it.
2) This has to not be motivated by ego, eg, "I'll bring in this guy and he'll argue for the changes I want to make." Rather, it has to be about "Let's bring somebody in to help us see stuff we're too close to see."
3) The guy has to know what he's talking about, and not just be somebody's friend or bandmate in another project. Everybody in the band has to respect him.
4) The guy has to understand how to give constructive criticism.
5) Every bandmate has to feel free to reject his advice.
#14
Quote by AlanHB
You'd pull out of playing live because you're afraid someone will tell you you're crap. It's a common fear amongst a beginner musician. However, every first gig with a band is going to be crap, it's just something you'll have to learn to deal with.

You are really just putting on a performance, just in a smaller way. If all you're doing playing some songs to a group of people, it's a gig.

However if you are actually going to get people to watch your practice session - replaying the same parts of songs over and over, rethinking parts, spending 30 mins on each song, all you're doing is boring them to crap. They'll leave soon in and not come to your next performance.


I don't think anyone would pull out of a show because someone told them you suck, I'm saying if someone sat in and you were playing through your set list you can narrow down some of the potential problems that your going to have.

I did this for my first band and we went out and performed as flawlessly as you could get in our first gig and moved on through a regional botb contest over a month. We played 4 gigs for the botb and we got 2nd competing against some renowned bands and musicians in the area, those were our first gigs ever, none of us had played live before hand.

We got a local frontman who had been playing for years to come in and sit in on our "rehearsals", again not practices, and he nit picked and critiqued every last little thing we did. And I'm a firm believer that we made it that far because of his help and feedback. There's no way we could have competed against some 30 other bands and get to the final two standing.


I've also done this recently as I'm in a RATM tribute and we had a few people that we found were big fans of rage and brought them into a practice and ran through the songs we had down to see what they thought, how close we were to sounding like them, how our stage movement compared, etc. That would be a situation where you wouldn't go out and play in a tribute where you cant do the band's songs and performance justice. It would be a joke.
Last edited by scguitarking927 at Oct 17, 2011,
#15
Listen to Alan. I see no good coming from this. Just do your thing, sometimes a performance will suck, you just gotta learn from it and chug on.
#16
Quote by shortyafter
Listen to Alan. I see no good coming from this. Just do your thing, sometimes a performance will suck, you just gotta learn from it and chug on.


Funny enough I'm in a metalcore band. Get it? Chug on? Metalcore?
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#17
Scguitar - is it possible the BOTB was won because you brought the largest audience with you? BOTBs are usually won that way, rather than music skills.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#18
In his defense, Alan, scguitarking said his band performed 'as flawlessly as you could get in our first gig', so I think that's the point he's making, not that he almost won.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#19
Quote by thePTOD
In his defense, Alan, scguitarking said his band performed 'as flawlessly as you could get in our first gig', so I think that's the point he's making, not that he almost won.


Well I wasn't meaning to attack, it's just that I think we've all been in situations where the band with the most audience (not necessarily the best band) has won.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#20
Quote by AlanHB
Well I wasn't meaning to attack, it's just that I think we've all been in situations where the band with the most audience (not necessarily the best band) has won.



Yeah I agree. Still I think I'm not going to be doing this anytime soon. The only time I really would do it would be a while before a show and run the whole set, and get pointers.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#21
Quote by thePTOD
Yeah I agree. Still I think I'm not going to be doing this anytime soon. The only time I really would do it would be a while before a show and run the whole set, and get pointers.


Personally, I wouldnt' even do it then... you're going to get pointers from One opinion to try to satisfy a crowd. (better be a REALLY good opinion)

Practice is for Practice. Get feedback from a show..

Just my opinion.
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
OLD GUYS RULE!!!!
#22
I recently sat in on my friend's band. It can be fun and worthwhile as long as your friend won't **** around the whole time.
#23
I often have a load of my close friends squeezed into band practices! It's fun. It can be like a mini concert really. However you shouldn't do it at every practice, you still should have practices with just the band so you can sort out the details. It's often distracting when there are people there. However, it is good for practicing for an upcoming gig and overall a good experience and good fun.
#24
occasionally the girlfriend of either the drummer or the trumpet player in my band will just chill. the drummers girlfriend is mellow and doesn't say anything. the other one gets bored quickly and starts complaining. we've also had people walk into the house where we practice completely uninvited. they say hi and then leave.

never really had a problem with any of it.
Strauss!
"I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way." - Gustav Mahler.

Quote by AeolianWolf
absolutely what will said

Yay, my first compliment!
#25
Quote by AlanHB
Quote by Gerard_xD

I think it's a terrible idea. People just get distracted and less gets done, ends up being a waste of money.

I agree. Practice time is meant for practice.

If you want feedback, why not have a proper performance and ask the audience after what they thought.


I disagree.

What is the point of waiting until a proper performance to find out if your material will go down well in front of an audience? Surely the whole point of rehearsals is to get the band and the set ready for a performance?
Of course, feedback from gig audiences will still continue to shape your set, but surely it's more efficient to at least have some clue as to how an audience will react to your set before you play a proper gig?

The only way I can see of doing that is by having people sitting in on your rehearsals. Of course, it's essential that anyone who comes along to your rehearsals does so in the understanding that dicking about and distracting the band will not be tolerated.

My own band used to rehearse in an upstairs room in a pub, and we pretty much had an open door policy when we rehearsed that saw a lot of our friends and pub regulars turning up to watch us practice, generaly between a dozen and twenty people would turn up and each rehearsal was almost like a gig in itself, (they were usualy well behaved, if anyone was drunk or too distracting, everyone else who were there to watch us would soon put them in their place because they didn't want to lose the regular free entertainment) and I'm still convinced that doing it that way made a huge difference to our early gigs.

It meant that we could go on stage as an experienced performing band (even though to most people it appeared as though we'd only just started playing gigs) and actualy look and act 'professional', which set us apart from many of the other bands that were just starting out and playing the same venues as us.
#26
Quote by SlackerBabbath
My own band used to rehearse in an upstairs room in a pub, and we pretty much had an open door policy when we rehearsed that saw a lot of our friends and pub regulars turning up to watch us practice, generaly between a dozen and twenty people would turn up and each rehearsal was almost like a gig in itself, (they were usualy well behaved, if anyone was drunk or too distracting, everyone else who were there to watch us would soon put them in their place because they didn't want to lose the regular free entertainment) and I'm still convinced that doing it that way made a huge difference to our early gigs.


To many users here, early in their careers, this public performance would be considered a gig It's a bit different from your lounge room with 3 or 4 mates over.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#27
Ohmygawd Slacker commented on my thread.


Anyway I think I'll try it once and see how it goes, doesn't have to be an in depth practice critique, but if anyone can give pointers that would benefit us, why not?
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#28
Quote by AlanHB
To many users here, early in their careers, this public performance would be considered a gig It's a bit different from your lounge room with 3 or 4 mates over.


Even that, just having three or four mates there that are all willing to give their opinions, to me, sounds far better than a band rehearsing a set without seeking an opinion on the structure and sound of the set from someone outside of the band.

The whole aim is to play gigs and gain the audiences approval, so why wouldn't you take the opportunity (at least occasionaly) of asking the opinion of potential audience members when you are developing a live set?

Quote by thePTOD
Ohmygawd Slacker commented on my thread.

D'ya want an autograph?
Quote by thePTOD

Anyway I think I'll try it once and see how it goes, doesn't have to be an in depth practice critique, but if anyone can give pointers that would benefit us, why not?

It is important to set some ground rules with anyone who comes to watch a rehearsal beforehand though, you don't want anyone distracting the band while they are playing by messing around and moving too much (within reason, if someone merely wants to get up and go to the toilet, that shouldn't be a problem, I'm talking about people dancing or picking up a spare guitar or pulling faces at the band or trying to make them laugh in some other way while they are playing, ect)

It's not exactly a 'speak only when you are spoken to' scenario, after all, you want to bounce ideas off them, but it's best if their comments/critiques/ideas should be saved for when the band are taking a break or for after the rehearsal.

I've always found it best to have a three or four hour rehearsal with several 10 minute breaks (say, one every three quarters of an hour) to start with, where you sit and discuss what you've just done, which, as you are getting closer to the gig you are rehearsing for, become less and less as the songs and song order in the set are finalised, until eventualy you are playing the set straight through without any breaks as you would in a live situation, then sitting and talking about it for 10 minutes, then playing the whole set straight through again. It's all about developing it into into a smoothly rehearsed live set that's become almost second nature to the band.

The sort of things you want to know from someone outside of the band are stuff like 'does this song go well with the song before/after it?' or 'is this song too long? do you get bored of it halfway through?' or 'is this a good set opener/set ender/encore?' or even 'do we sound better now than we did three weeks ago?'.
You don't want some show off who's constantly saying stuff like 'i would've played that solo better' or criticising the band's playing ability in any other way, (unless something is so truly awful it really does require some commentry, but hopefully the band itself will pick up and comment on such things before the guest viewer has a chance to) that'll just cause friction, it's your band, your gig, and you'll play the actual songs as you see fit, it's mainly about getting their opinion on the choice of songs and the order you play them in.

But it's also about getting used to performing in a professional manner in front of someone too. You'll find that the band rehearse slightly differently when someone is sat there watching them than they do when there's just the band present. To start with they'll be less inclined to squabble about unimportant stuff in front of an outsider (we've all been there, right?) and they'll probably approach it more like a gig and be more animated while they are playing and put that little bit more effort into getting it right, which is, after all, the effect that you want the guest viewer to have on the band, because that way by the time they play the gig, they'll be really animated and nailing every note.
#29
Thanks a bunch SlackerBabbath. This really helped me set up some ideas for having a few people over to help my band rehearse in the future. We're looking for gigs soon, but we only have 5 songs down right now (4 originals and 1 cover) but we've got at least 2 or 3 more originals coming.

I have a few friends who are at least somewhat musical, so they could help with giving suggestions, as could non-musical people.

And unless you feel like somehow typing me an autograph (aka 'here's an autograph') You're getting sigged.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#30
Quote by thePTOD
Thanks a bunch SlackerBabbath. This really helped me set up some ideas for having a few people over to help my band rehearse in the future. We're looking for gigs soon, but we only have 5 songs down right now (4 originals and 1 cover) but we've got at least 2 or 3 more originals coming.

I have a few friends who are at least somewhat musical, so they could help with giving suggestions, as could non-musical people.

And unless you feel like somehow typing me an autograph (aka 'here's an autograph') You're getting sigged.


Glad I could help bud.