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#1
Just wanted to get some others opinions on having girlfriends and other friends at practices. Personally I think it is a really bad idea. I think when you have others there you tend to try and put on more of a performance instead of a practice. You try to entertain the guests more instead of doing stuff like working out a new song, which can seem boring and repetitive to an outsider. It's also just distracting because whenever there is a break, the band members go talk to whoever they brought instead of talking about band stuff. So should I tell my other band members no more bringing people? We only get to practice once a week and we really need to make the most of those few hours to write new songs, and practice.
#2
bad idea... no extras at practice
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#3
I regard the band as a workplace. Do you bring you mates to work? Nope, there's no point. Same goes for a band.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#4
Quote by AlanHB
I regard the band as a workplace. Do you bring you mates to work? Nope, there's no point. Same goes for a band.


I agree with this. But it's likely to cause friction if people aren't all on the same page about what your goals are.

So you need to have a band meeting and discuss this sort of stuff. It's quite possible that your bandmates view practice as a fun time to hang out with your friends, and you view it more like Alan does - as work.
#5
Quote by HotspurJr
I agree with this. But it's likely to cause friction if people aren't all on the same page about what your goals are.

So you need to have a band meeting and discuss this sort of stuff. It's quite possible that your bandmates view practice as a fun time to hang out with your friends, and you view it more like Alan does - as work.


Yep.. This...

Now, Girlfriends and Wives are interested in what your doing, and want to feel like they are a part of what your doing. A good way to keep everyone involved is every few months hold a rehearsal where the friends/girlfriends/wifes/significant others are invited. The band knows they're not going to get a whole lot of serious rehearsal done... We make ours a cookout as well... It's fun, and it keeps everyone off your ass for a few months for the real rehearsal.. AND you don't look like a douche with the "NO GIRLFRIENDS" rule..
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
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#6
Quote by Papabear505
Yep.. This...

Now, Girlfriends and Wives are interested in what your doing, and want to feel like they are a part of what your doing. A good way to keep everyone involved is every few months hold a rehearsal where the friends/girlfriends/wifes/significant others are invited. The band knows they're not going to get a whole lot of serious rehearsal done... We make ours a cookout as well... It's fun, and it keeps everyone off your ass for a few months for the real rehearsal.. AND you don't look like a douche with the "NO GIRLFRIENDS" rule..


Dude, they can come to gigs.....
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#7
Quote by HotspurJr
I agree with this. But it's likely to cause friction if people aren't all on the same page about what your goals are.

So you need to have a band meeting and discuss this sort of stuff. It's quite possible that your bandmates view practice as a fun time to hang out with your friends, and you view it more like Alan does - as work.

I totally agree with the idea that band practice should be like the workplace. However I think my other band members view it as more of hang out time. So once again I'm gonna have to be the dictator and set the rules. I don't know how I can not come out of this looking like an asshole.
#8
Quote by TNA
I totally agree with the idea that band practice should be like the workplace. However I think my other band members view it as more of hang out time. So once again I'm gonna have to be the dictator and set the rules. I don't know how I can not come out of this looking like an asshole.


Well, you can't be a dictator. And nothing is going to create problems like trying to be one.

And look, sometimes it's for a reason. I was in a band for a while where practices were lazy, jammy, six hour affairs where we'd be playing for like three quarters of the time. It's kind of hard to say that something like that is "work."

So instead, in your band meeting talk about the objectives you need to cover in practice. Try to push the band not towards a "no friends or hangers on" rule, but rather towards the fact that you guys stay focused on what the band is doing for a certain amount of time. "From 2 to 4, let's really focus and make sure we get stuff done, and then we can f around and hang out afterwards."
#9
Quote by HotspurJr

So instead, in your band meeting talk about the objectives you need to cover in practice. Try to push the band not towards a "no friends or hangers on" rule, but rather towards the fact that you guys stay focused on what the band is doing for a certain amount of time. "From 2 to 4, let's really focus and make sure we get stuff done, and then we can f around and hang out afterwards."

I've tried that, I've tried telling them we need to focus more, but it never seems to work. It usually something like talk and catch up for an hour when we first get there, play our setlist, screw around for 30 min, then if I can get everyone back and willing to continue practicing from that point we attempt to work on a song. Usually ending with us attempting to play this new song all the way through after just writing it 10 min ago and nobody really knows how it goes, then everyone gets tired of working on it because it's not fun to actually work on a song, we play some covers and go home. Also if there aren't any friends or girlfriends there, everyone is usually on their phone every second there is a break in playing and planning on ending practice early so they can go hang out.
#10
Quote by TNA
Just wanted to get some others opinions on having girlfriends and other friends at practices. Personally I think it is a really bad idea. I think when you have others there you tend to try and put on more of a performance instead of a practice. You try to entertain the guests more instead of doing stuff like working out a new song, which can seem boring and repetitive to an outsider. It's also just distracting because whenever there is a break, the band members go talk to whoever they brought instead of talking about band stuff. So should I tell my other band members no more bringing people? We only get to practice once a week and we really need to make the most of those few hours to write new songs, and practice.

personally i don't think it's either or. i think it really depends on the people you bring. sometimes my dad shows up to my practice and just watches. he doesn't get in the way or anything and understands that we need to do an actual practice and not just entertain him. some people though are a different story. my dad knows most of the people in the band though, not just me (i play with guys my dad's age). but for the most part i would say don't bring people.
#11
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
personally i don't think it's either or. i think it really depends on the people you bring. sometimes my dad shows up to my practice and just watches. he doesn't get in the way or anything and understands that we need to do an actual practice and not just entertain him. some people though are a different story. my dad knows most of the people in the band though, not just me (i play with guys my dad's age). but for the most part i would say don't bring people.

Ya I think that would be a little different and I would be fine with that. But if you are calling people and telling them to come check out our band, or bringing a girl there and trying to impress her the entire time. Obviously you won't be as focused.
#12
Sounds like maybe this isn't the band you really want to be in.

If you sit down and talk to them and they're not interested in the level of commitment you are, then it's time to find new bandmates. If you guys don't share a common vision for the band, it's not going to work.
#13
It's always about what YOU want and how much you want it, so looking at the band you have to ask yourself how serious you are about it, whether it is just a hobby, some fun in your free time or it is really something to work hard on (which does not mean that it's no fun then).

After this is cleared up, the other answers will come
#14
Quote by TNA
Just wanted to get some others opinions on having girlfriends and other friends at practices. Personally I think it is a really bad idea. I think when you have others there you tend to try and put on more of a performance instead of a practice. You try to entertain the guests more instead of doing stuff like working out a new song, which can seem boring and repetitive to an outsider. It's also just distracting because whenever there is a break, the band members go talk to whoever they brought instead of talking about band stuff. So should I tell my other band members no more bringing people? We only get to practice once a week and we really need to make the most of those few hours to write new songs, and practice.


Helpful Hint, to make the most of practice, you shouldn't be writing in practice.

As far as bringing in people. The only time I have ever done that was to critique, from our drummers teacher. And that's really the only time there should ever be an outsider, if you will, there.
#15
It depends.

Obviously there's the whole "Other people are a distraction you should be working" thing, which makes sense. But at the same time, it's always good to get a gauge on where you're at before you hit gigs.

Getting opinions on your 'live sound' can be good, as well as opinions on how you look. Like if you look unnatural or still, an outside opinion can tell you that, which you'd prefer to have prior to a gig than after you've just played one.

Though whenever my band's had someone at practice it's been for taking photos/videos or whatever as opposed to just hanging out.
#16
Quote by Punk_Ninja
It depends.

Getting opinions on your 'live sound' can be good, as well as opinions on how you look. Like if you look unnatural or still, an outside opinion can tell you that, which you'd prefer to have prior to a gig than after you've just played one.


No argument there at all.

But ...

I think that's a pretty specific situation. I think it can be a good idea to let a few supportive people and a few knowledgeable people sit in on a practice once you've already got stuff close to "finished" but before your sick of practicing it.

That's a long way from what the TS is saying his situation is. THey're struggling to get basic material down, still, it sounds like - they're a long way from giving a pre-gig polish.
#17
My view is as follows, if it's a legit practice:

Friends: No
Few friends there to judge how you're doing and try to give any pointers: Yes
Girlfriends: No. No. No. Unless they're in the above category. Which they usually aren't.
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#18
Quote by AlanHB
Dude, they can come to gigs.....



It can go either way.. I've been in bands that handled it both ways... The way I mentioned was the best arrangement in my opinion... I can see it being better the other way if the amount of work needed to do doesn't allow for a day of down time every once in a while...

I play for fun now, (We still play out and get paid, but we're not working on an EP either) so the Spouses/Girlfriends while aren't specifically invited to practice, they're welcome in my home, and if they show up, they pretty much congregate around the kitchen table with a bottle of wine until we're done... Because they've gone to gigs.. Lots of 'em... and.. they don't need to be in the garage to hear us... Hell the whole neighborhood hears us..
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
OLD GUYS RULE!!!!
#19
Quote by Papabear505
It can go either way.. I've been in bands that handled it both ways... The way I mentioned was the best arrangement in my opinion... I can see it being better the other way if the amount of work needed to do doesn't allow for a day of down time every once in a while...


If you want "down time", just take a week off practice. Usually after time the frequency of practices drop anyway, because there's no need to. Most of my bands are down to fortnightly practices, one's monthly, another is by necessity. They all just gig. Of course we wouldn't have gotten to that position if we'd wasted all our previous practice times playing around with girls instead of practicing.

As for your other comments, I live with my girlfriend, and also have practices in a shed at the back of my house. This doesn't mean that I've invited them to practice, like what is happening in the situation above. If she pops her head in, it's all good, but probably for 10 minutes tops.

If a practice is done correctly, it's a pretty boring thing to watch, constantly starting and stopping songs, discussing them and repeating. Over half an hour can be spent working out a 3 minute song - it's pretty boring. Although it's a lot less boring if you hang out with the band members instead, like being backstage! But nothing gets worked on.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#20
Usually only a few real reasons:
1. You have a whole set lined up, little live experience, and want some opinions (make it clear that you want brutally honest opinions beforehand)
2. Bring a camera/video camera and get them involved! Free pictures are always good (although if it's someone's girlfriend, they may focus on someone a little more)
3. They can play instrument and you don't mind practice becoming a "hey, let's try this song" jam. Even if it's not permanent, jamming with new people can simulate new ideas.
#21
We usually only bring friends or siblings over if they're going somewhere with a band member later and it was just convenient for the two to be in the same place. They stay out of the way and use the computer while we practice. Occasionally we do have some friends who are also musicians come over to listen and jam.
#22
My band has had friends and girlfriends at practice and its never gotten in the way of writing or practicing. yes we actaully write some songs at practice!!! But all of the friends/girlfriends that come are also musicians so they don't try to distract us. Of course we talk to them when we take 5, but it doesn't get in our way.
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#23
my bass players father takes out bassist to practice, so it consists of me, my bassist, my drummer, and my father/manager.

my bass players father is a musician, and usually has good pointers. other than that, I dont like having others at practice.
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No.


Well, technically it could be done, but only in the same way that you could change a cat into a hamburger. It's an unpleasant process, and nobody is happy with the result.
#24
Quote by sonny bb
My band has had friends and girlfriends at practice and its never gotten in the way of writing or practicing. yes we actaully write some songs at practice!!! But all of the friends/girlfriends that come are also musicians so they don't try to distract us. Of course we talk to them when we take 5, but it doesn't get in our way.

It's not so much that they are distracting its more like, everyone feels they need to put on a performance to keep them entertained. And those 5 min breaks quickly turn into 30 min breaks.
#25
Quote by TNA
It's not so much that they are distracting its more like, everyone feels they need to put on a performance to keep them entertained. And those 5 min breaks quickly turn into 30 min breaks.

so you wouldn't say that someone who feels like they need to entertain is distracted?

sorry man but that is pretty much the definition, if you are trying to practice and not trying to entertain, then someone trying to entertain people is being distracted from their original job of practicing.

you should explain that having people there is distracting and keeping you all off your game.
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#26
It works if the friend is knows music well, and is familiar with your stuff so they can give opinions. Especially in a band doing original material, it's good to have a test subject for new songs. In my main band's practice, we've always have one our buddies their to help out. Luckily she's honest. It does no good for anyone to stand there and say you sound perfect.
#28
Biggest problem: Not everybody shares the same goals. If you guys were focused on practicing hard and nailing the material, then there would be no time for extracurriculars and the GF's would feel ignored. Then the problem cures itself when they decide not to show up anymore.

I'm gonna guess you guys are young, high school-ish. You are fighting against one of the most powerful forces in nature: The power of the almighty "V". I don't know... maybe your bandmates bring their GF's because they are deathly afraid some other dude in a better band will be "taking care" of their GF while they are at practice.

Tell your bandmates to become that "other dude" in the better band, and they won't have to worry about tasting somebody else's meatball sub when they come home from practice and kiss the GF. And to become the alpha-dude in the better band, the band needs to take it semi-seriously and practice!

I've been down this road before. Some band members feel that "they have arrived" because they are getting the inevitable desired attention for playing in a band. They'll quit practicing adequately, with the mindset of "mission accomplished, I'm getting laid".

Just put it on the table with them. Tell them that you are laying it out there and they can do with it what they want. Let them know that you feel the GF's and texting are a distraction and keeping you guys from achieving something special. And then don't get butt-hurt if they don't agree.

If you guys don't have any gigs lined up, that will also contribute to the lack of focus. Nothing stimulates the "Oh, shit" response quite like having an impending gig and not wanting to be the obvious weak link in the chain. If your band doesn't have any aspirations of playing gigs or recording stuff, then it sounds like your band is just all about having some casual activity time.
#29
Quote by TNA
It's not so much that they are distracting its more like, everyone feels they need to put on a performance to keep them entertained. And those 5 min breaks quickly turn into 30 min breaks.

We've never taken 30 min breaks I mean, unless you count going to guitarcenter to get a drum key because it's lost
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#30
Quote by cheapr2keepr
Biggest problem: Not everybody shares the same goals. If you guys were focused on practicing hard and nailing the material, then there would be no time for extracurriculars and the GF's would feel ignored. Then the problem cures itself when they decide not to show up anymore.

I'm gonna guess you guys are young, high school-ish. You are fighting against one of the most powerful forces in nature: The power of the almighty "V". I don't know... maybe your bandmates bring their GF's because they are deathly afraid some other dude in a better band will be "taking care" of their GF while they are at practice.

Tell your bandmates to become that "other dude" in the better band, and they won't have to worry about tasting somebody else's meatball sub when they come home from practice and kiss the GF. And to become the alpha-dude in the better band, the band needs to take it semi-seriously and practice!

I've been down this road before. Some band members feel that "they have arrived" because they are getting the inevitable desired attention for playing in a band. They'll quit practicing adequately, with the mindset of "mission accomplished, I'm getting laid".

Just put it on the table with them. Tell them that you are laying it out there and they can do with it what they want. Let them know that you feel the GF's and texting are a distraction and keeping you guys from achieving something special. And then don't get butt-hurt if they don't agree.

If you guys don't have any gigs lined up, that will also contribute to the lack of focus. Nothing stimulates the "Oh, shit" response quite like having an impending gig and not wanting to be the obvious weak link in the chain. If your band doesn't have any aspirations of playing gigs or recording stuff, then it sounds like your band is just all about having some casual activity time.

I think you are spot on with the whole "we have arrived mentality" We are actually all 22. Maybe I do view the band differently from them. I'm not content with playing the occasional bar gig and having your same group of friends come. I want us to grow, and that starts with being focused at practices.

I said girlfriend just to simplify it but really the girls and friends the other guys invite are potential girlfriends. They do something like they meet a girl and say hey come hang out with us at my bands practice. Which makes it even worse because they are trying to impress the girl because they've made practice into a sort of date.

The bad part is we do have gigs booked throughout the rest of the month. We are going to be recording soon.
#31
Quote by TNA
I think you are spot on with the whole "we have arrived mentality" We are actually all 22. Maybe I do view the band differently from them. I'm not content with playing the occasional bar gig and having your same group of friends come. I want us to grow, and that starts with being focused at practices.

I said girlfriend just to simplify it but really the girls and friends the other guys invite are potential girlfriends. They do something like they meet a girl and say hey come hang out with us at my bands practice. Which makes it even worse because they are trying to impress the girl because they've made practice into a sort of date.

The bad part is we do have gigs booked throughout the rest of the month. We are going to be recording soon.


What you have is not band practice, instead it appears to be some sort of matchmaking service where instruments just happen to be present.

So yeah, the gigs, they'll be not as tight as you want. The recording will not be great either. I really don't see much point in aiming higher if you want to keep with these "hang-outs". You're effectively a band that (a) doesn't practice and (b) hasn't practiced much in the past. It's a band because you're all together playing music, but definitely not dedicated, and I'd doubt if you'd be very good honestly.

You can continue to have these "hang-outs" and not get better, or have proper practices where you practice music without distractions and get better.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#32
Well we had a band meeting today before practice and I brought up that I didn't think we should be having outsiders at practice. To my surprise everyone agreed and didn't really make any arguments. We'll see how long this no guests rule lasts but I'm just glad I brought it to their attention.
#33
Well done.

The next discussion might be about band and individual goals so that all of you know the motivations of each member.
#34
The drummer in the band I am in always tags along his girlfriend and it ends up being a botched up practice. Less work gets done, his girlfriend changes his mindset and things aren't as efficient as they could be. Had a chat and all was resolved though some profanity was thrown around. Mindsets at practice should be primarily on practice and getting the flaws sorted out and such. Don't bring spectators of partners because it just usually ends up bad (unless the partner is part of the band haha - then by all means bring em along)
#35
Don't bring non musicians to your practices, unless your just performing for them.

Especially girlfriends.

MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JK,
#36
I agree with Alan about the whole "workplace" philosophy. You bring your girlfriend to hang out with you at work, and it won't be long until you're fired.

If you want feedback on how you sound, get a Zoom H2 and record your rehearsal and listen back to it. It's one of the best $200 you'll ever spend.

but really the girls and friends the other guys invite are potential girlfriends. They do something like they meet a girl and say hey come hang out with us at my bands practice


How old are these girls? Any self-respecting girl over the age of about 16 would most likely describe that as pretty lame. I'm imagining this vapid 15 year old giggling about "tee-hee... I met this guy... and he's... like... in a band.... tee-hee... and he invited us to, like, hang out with them at one of their practices.... tee-hee... isn't that cool... tee-hee....."



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.
#37
Quote by axemanchris
How old are these girls? Any self-respecting girl over the age of about 16 would most likely describe that as pretty lame. I'm imagining this vapid 15 year old giggling about "tee-hee... I met this guy... and he's... like... in a band.... tee-hee... and he invited us to, like, hang out with them at one of their practices.... tee-hee... isn't that cool... tee-hee....."



CT


The girls are early 20's usually but they act like they are 15.
#38
... and these guys in your band find that attractive?

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.
#39
i dont mind when people watch us...doesnt really make a difference and its nice to get some opinions. it does get slightly boring though for them.
#40
Quote by axemanchris
... and these guys in your band find that attractive?

CT


For sure! Groupies at practice!
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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