#1
I had an interestingly good practice with my band a few hours ago. We decided we would set up my barn as if we're on stage for our upcoming gig, and we also wanted to run our entire set.

We got started on our first song and ended up doing it twice to solidify the good sound and overall tightness in the band. Then we made a few errors in some other songs we don't normally make but finished the set after a while. Throughout practice we went back and fixed up most of our songs we were not tight on very well, which I would say made it a successful practice.

I'm concerned about a few things though. We all really want to do our entire set as if we're playing live, but we haven't been able to do it yet, due to mess ups and whatnot. Our drummer is awesome, but he ends up forgetting the beats sometimes, and sometimes either keeps up one beat or just stops altogether.

After some practices we fixed that up so it's going better and he's got all of his beats figured out now. But am I too worried? I feel like the rest of us can play our stuff, and it's not that our drummer can't do a damn good job, he's just forgetful sometimes. I might be the once who is most concerned about it.

Also, should I/we really be worried about playing our whole set at once yet, when we end up having mess ups and need to stop, or should we just repeatedly play and tighten up every song individually and then do the whole set?

Final issue, between our first and our second song our rhythm guitarist needs to tune to drop C, and then retune to drop D between our 2nd and 3rd song. What should we do to keep the crowd involved and not bored while we're waiting for him?

Our show is on the 21st by the way, and we're having practice again saturday, so any help before then would be appreciated.
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 really would suggest trying to get a different guitar for the other tunings, even if its a crapy one. But if not possible just try and joke around a bit, talk about yourselves. Everyone interacts with the crowd differently, don't exspect to perform like your favorite bands. Come in with an open mind. Also, mistakes will happen, just try to go with it as best as possible and have a good time.
tpt
#3
You are too worried;
use eye contact with the drummer to help him not forget;
make up a story that has a connection to the next song OR one of you do a solo or something.

Most important DO NOT HAVE STRESS!!! and drink something before the gig.
#4
It's my first gig which is why I feel concerned. I'm confident that we'll do very well though. Even if we don't we'll plow through it.
I'm not gonna drink before the gig because I'm a minor
And if he can find another guitar to use for that song he probably will. We'll talk to the crowd a bit, there's a band before us, so we can buy time with "Give a hand to (band name)" etc
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
#5
Quote by Noninim
You are too worried;
use eye contact with the drummer to help him not forget;


+1 During big transitions it can be a good idea for someone, whether it be guitarist or bass player, to make eye contact and make it together.

I have to do this for me, because one song we play changes tempo and I go back and stare him in the face and count just to make sure I don't f up, better now, but I still do it just in case I get off.

And yes you do need be playing the set all the way through. Treat it like a real gig, you should be working on your stage presence, what your going to say, etc. Everything should be worked out before hand.

And getting a second guitar would be ideal. Though, it really should not take you more than 30 seconds to tune. Practice that as well, he should be going as fast as he can. Maybe change the setlist around a little bit, if there's a song that ends without guitar, or the guitar can just be dropped and the bass and drums can jam the hook for a minute.
#6
Your real concern should be that your drummer doesn't know the songs. This is most likely because he doesn't practice at home. At your next practice tape it for the benefit of the band, and recommend that EVERYONE (including the drummer) play along with the recordings.

If you want to play like you're playing live, when somebody screws up, keep on going. Do it at practice, play them back-to-back and time the entire thing to see how long a set you have.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#7
Quote by AlanHB
Your real concern should be that your drummer doesn't know the songs. This is most likely because he doesn't practice at home. At your next practice tape it for the benefit of the band, and recommend that EVERYONE (including the drummer) play along with the recordings.

If you want to play like you're playing live, when somebody screws up, keep on going. Do it at practice, play them back-to-back and time the entire thing to see how long a set you have.


We actually ended up doing that, the recording thing. He hasn't been able to practice at his house recently because of lots of family things going on, but they've stopped so he's able to work things out more now. And now since we went through everything a few times he should know how the songs go. We wrote up notes for each song on each section, with a few words describing what the guitars and drums do, and how many measures they go.

Practice saturday will probably consist of playing the set all the way through treating it like our gig, timing it, and then going back and fixing things up. We're really tight on a lot of it, and only 2 of our songs have areas where anyone was majorly messing up (out of 7 songs) so making sure everything is tight as can be is our goal, and after that/during that, it will be making sure we know what we're going to be saying during our gig.
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
#8
Quote by thePTOD
Also, should I/we really be worried about playing our whole set at once yet, when we end up having mess ups and need to stop, or should we just repeatedly play and tighten up every song individually and then do the whole set?


Don't Stop!! Obviously during a performance, but also in practice... Mistakes will happen, but you have to work through them, and thats a skill, that has to be learned...

I played Workin' Man's Blues to a Ragae beat because the drummer got the order of the set list confused... The bass player caught on, about the same time I did, and the singer just played along... I think it sounded like CRAP!!! but nobody knew we'd made a mistake.. of course the drummer just about wet himself when he realized what he did and that we just kept it going...
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
OLD GUYS RULE!!!!
#9
Often bands design their setlists to support songs in different tunings. Often times you see songs in D tuning together and drop C together. Usually this involves separate guitars so its an easy switch.
There's room for all of God's creatures; Right next to the mashed potatoes.
#10
Quote by dkeenan
Often bands design their setlists to support songs in different tunings. Often times you see songs in D tuning together and drop C together. Usually this involves separate guitars so its an easy switch.


Good point. We play one song in drop C, meaning our other guitarist tunes fully down because he solos and does a lot of open string pedaling, our bassist just tunes his low C (it's the only one he needs) and I have a 7string so I don't need to tune. Every other song we play is done in drop D. We'll discuss what to do tomorrow about it, but we'll probably use a separate guitar.
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
Our band groups our songs with alternative tunings together, and I use 2 guitars. Completely changing tuning on a guitar (other than just dropping 1 string a whole step) doesn't usually get it solidly in tune on the first run through, and will need all 6 strings rechecked.

Concerning the drummer (and rest of the band, for that matter)... Make sure none of you are cocky or lazy in your practice. I've had problems with band members believing that they have mastered a song after playing it once successfully. Then they come back next practice and screw it all up, wasting everybody's time. You guys need to practice your parts, together or individually, until it is so routine and mundane that it has become boring. Once it becomes boring, then you can use the additional focus and bandwidth to concentrate on stage show.

We've had this problem before, and the recording (audio or video) is definitely an eye/ear opener. We remind each other "Don't be the weakest link. Know the song so well that you make one of the other guys the weakest link".

Our band runs through the entire setlist at practice once, and identifies weak songs to play again at the end, at least one or more times until we are satisfied. If we become time constrained, then "homework" is assigned.
#12
Quote by thePTOD
I had an interestingly good practice with my band a few hours ago. We decided we would set up my barn as if we're on stage for our upcoming gig, and we also wanted to run our entire set.

We got started on our first song and ended up doing it twice to solidify the good sound and overall tightness in the band. Then we made a few errors in some other songs we don't normally make but finished the set after a while. Throughout practice we went back and fixed up most of our songs we were not tight on very well, which I would say made it a successful practice.

I'm concerned about a few things though. We all really want to do our entire set as if we're playing live, but we haven't been able to do it yet, due to mess ups and whatnot. Our drummer is awesome, but he ends up forgetting the beats sometimes, and sometimes either keeps up one beat or just stops altogether.

After some practices we fixed that up so it's going better and he's got all of his beats figured out now. But am I too worried? I feel like the rest of us can play our stuff, and it's not that our drummer can't do a damn good job, he's just forgetful sometimes. I might be the once who is most concerned about it.


Sounds like you just need more rehearsals
Quote by thePTOD

Also, should I/we really be worried about playing our whole set at once yet, when we end up having mess ups and need to stop, or should we just repeatedly play and tighten up every song individually and then do the whole set?

Go through the entire set, push through mess ups and try to cover for each other rather than actualy stopping the song, (because that's what you'll have to do if any of you mess up on stage) but make a note of songs that you mess up in, then after you've played the set, just play the songs that you messed up again, then have another go at going through the entire set again.
Quote by thePTOD

Final issue, between our first and our second song our rhythm guitarist needs to tune to drop C, and then retune to drop D between our 2nd and 3rd song. What should we do to keep the crowd involved and not bored while we're waiting for him?

If he has two guitars with two different tunings, he could just swap guitars, which only takes a couple of seconds. If he doesn't have two guitars, could he possibly borrow one from somewhere?
Quote by thePTOD

Our show is on the 21st by the way, and we're having practice again saturday, so any help before then would be appreciated.

To be absolutely honest, it sounds to me like you may have booked the gig before you were ready, which can be a mistake, although it does give you something to aim towards. If you're worried that you won't be ready in time at you're current rate of rehearsal, then the best advice I could give you would be to increase your rate of rehearsal.
#13
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Sounds like you just need more rehearsals

Go through the entire set, push through mess ups and try to cover for each other rather than actualy stopping the song, (because that's what you'll have to do if any of you mess up on stage) but make a note of songs that you mess up in, then after you've played the set, just play the songs that you messed up again, then have another go at going through the entire set again.

If he has two guitars with two different tunings, he could just swap guitars, which only takes a couple of seconds. If he doesn't have two guitars, could he possibly borrow one from somewhere?

To be absolutely honest, it sounds to me like you may have booked the gig before you were ready, which can be a mistake, although it does give you something to aim towards. If you're worried that you won't be ready in time at you're current rate of rehearsal, then the best advice I could give you would be to increase your rate of rehearsal.


We had our last practice Saturday, and are shooting for 2 or 3 more before the 21st. Our Saturday practice was probably the best one we've ever had. We played the one song that was giving everyone the most trouble before we ran the set, and we got it near perfect. Then we went through the set with one of my friends there as our audience, and we did really well I think. No mess ups the audience would have noticed, and once we finished that we went back and played two or three of our songs another few times just to make sure they were all down.

Our plan for the practices before the show are to run the set, fix weak parts, and then run the set again, however we may do the 2nd run instrumentally, since our vocalist is a screamer and we don't want to kill him Plus he has his parts down near perfect most of the time.

One thing we need to figure out is our dress rehearsal. We really want a good one but our rhythm guitarist has his other band to attend to as well, so we may ahve to settle for a Thursday dress rehearsal instead of Friday (his other band needs practice, dunno how well they're gonna do )

And we got another guitar for him to use in the Drop C song.
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
#14
haha I remember my first show... our drummer messed up the introduction in our first song and completely stopped playing to hear what was going on. With the last kick hit of that song, the chain fell off his double bass pedal. During our second song, the other guitarist broke a string but we both forgot the extra guitars in the car so he had to run out to grab his. We played the third song without him (besides accounting for different tunings, this is another reason to bring a spare!). Then we hit our stride until the last song where I messed up the second verse.

With all the screw ups, it was still an awesome night and we had a shit ton of laughs about it afterwords. The best thing you can do is just go have fun. Stuff goes wrong, it happens to everyone but you just need to go with it. There will always be bands that are better than you guys, but just go out there and do your own thing.

In short, get a second guitar for the tunings and as a just in case. Yes, you are too worried. Remember to have fun because some stuff is just out of your control, and enjoy the experience!