I'm in this band and we've been playing together about 8 months now, although usually just once a week for a couple of hours (We're all still at school). The usual practice goes with the bass player and the singer sitting and waiting for something to happen, the other guitarist sitting around playing something with the drummer or chatting with someone (we'd all sometimes chat between songs though). I'm the one who stands there asking if we can finally start. We're not in great shape as a band and we'll admit this and we all agree that we need to play more songs (we usually do around 6 or 7 per practice), but then when it comes to the next practice, it's the same old thing from the guitarist and the drummer, despite the fact that the guitarist is allways saying we need to play more.
The other day I got us a possible opportunity to play a half an hour slot at a very small football festival (looking for some amateur teenage bands to provide entertainment between games). We have about 4 or 5 songs that we have nailed and sound good and another 5 or 6 that need perfecting, and we would have been able to squeeze in 4-6 hours practice before the gig. We had to get a recording done and send it to the people and I went to a lot of trouble getting some recording gear and using my own money, despite being very nearly broke. We eventually got the recording done and we all agreed it sounded decent enough (The quality wasn't the best, but the band sounded good and tight). The guitarist went off saying he'd clear the recording up first. That night he said that he had sent it to his guitar teacher, who didn't like it and didn't advise playing a gig. He became convinced that we weren't up to even a half an hour set and that one potentially bad gig would ruin our reputation and prevent us from getting another gig. He then refused to play the gig and convinced the bass player and drummer, who me and the singer (who is on my side in this) have no way of contacting and they now won't play the gig. It's too late to get the gig now, but me and the singer are going to insist on changing things and getting the band into shape and stopping something like this happening again. What do you guys think of this? Am I being unreasonable?

(Sorry it's so long, had a lot to get off my chest)
I will say, you probably shouldn't be playing that concert. One bad gig can ruin your reputation as a band, and you really don't sound ready. I have to also ask, what would you say 'recording gear' is? It sounds to me that you've spent a lot of money on a handheld recorder, whereas in the real world, you're competing with bands that are sending out studio recordings at their best, and demos made on Reaper with Pod Farm and EZ Drummer at their worst, and even the EZ drummer demo will sound better than a handheld recorder that's in a practice room. I personally think handheld recorders are of limited use, and I'd class them as a waste of money, but some love them for capturing jam sessions and listening back to how it all sounds, but you really shouldn't be sending those recordings out and saying that they represent your band.

What is getting your band into shape? Getting it into shape is not demanding you play gigs, it's making good songs, playing them well, becoming what I call 'objectively good'. What I mean by that, is that you want people who hate your genre of music to understand why you're on that stage, for instance, I hate Death Metal with an absolute passion, but, seeing a band like Gojira live is a very different experience to seeing Unsigned Death Band #46, and I understand why people like them, and to go outside of Death, I was once really entertained by Napalm Death, despite the fact I really don't like their music. If you want to go down the recording route, get some rough demos done with Poulin plugins and a budget interface, and as well as that, use those recordings you already have to analyse your music. Is this song good? Be honest, change what needs to be changed, don't be afraid to scrap songs, a lot of unsigned bands have around 15 songs when they gig, generally, one or two are actually good, so be honest with yourselves.

As for the practice issue, that should sort itself out when you have goals. If you're not gigging, or preparing for studio time, of course you won't be as productive as you could be, every member needs to know that you aren't playing a gig because you aren't good enough, and that should push you all to try and succeed.
Sounds like you have to either whip your band members into shape, or kick some of them out. If someone keeps screwing around or just being lazy at practice, they are not fit for being in the band. This could very well be true for half the members of a band.

It's a hard decision, but sometimes it must be done. We kicked out our last drummer simply because we found a new better one, who could dedicate more time and energy into our band.

Regarding recordings and gigs .. Don't send any recordings out or ask for gigs until you can play your songs in your sleep. Try to practice at least twice a week, regularly, and then you can take gigs any time, and not have to squeeze in a couple of hours of practice before gigs, which is a terrible thing to do. It gets you stressed, tired, and sometimes irritated.

EDIT: I say all this from personal experience.
Last edited by Oyface at Sep 3, 2013,
Could you upload a copy of your demo here?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
^ this.

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.