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Musicians that don't like to rehearse


Outkaster

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Recently we suffered a huge loss and difficult person to replace in my main band. I understand people are replaceable. He said it had run its course after 22 years. My real question is about musicians that dont like to rehearse, I feel that may have influenced his decision. It seems like you join a band and its all new for awhile and then people get lazy. They rehearse to get people up to speed but then never reinvent themselves. It seems like older musicians just want to show up to get paid and play. They send files over the internet. Its like they have kind of given up or it does not matter if they sound like shit. I would think you would want to get better but I also understand peoples goals are different. It just seems like a trend that musicians are lazy. If people even rehearse for 2 hours a week they could get in and get out quick and have done something constructive. I guess I dont understand that mindset of just winging things. Especially because this band is popular and gets a lot of work.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

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There's rehearsing and then there's REHEARSING.

 

It depends on the situation and the group.

 

I'm all about rehearsing, if it is going to be a meaningful, productive outcome. I rehearse my quartet regularly, and we're always adding new material, writing and recording.

 

What I won't do, is rehearse with a group that likes to "jam" at rehearsals, drink beer and simply socialize. I also won't rehearse with a group where I'm the only one who comes to the rehearsal actually having practiced my end of things at home. Too many group members take band rehearsal as the time they use to learn changes and parts, instead of doing the homework and using the band rehearsal time to work out arrangements, form and tighten it all up.

 

If a group is prepared and all the members have done their homework, a two hour rehearsal is usually enough (assuming an on time start, and 30 minutes wasn't eaten away by the drummer arriving for a 7pm rehearsal, at 6:58 and has to unload and set up the kit). Two hours of rehearsal means two hours of playing.

 

If you show up for rehearsal and haven't touched your ax since the last rehearsal, or the gig over the weekend, don't waste my time.

 

I guess I fall somewhere in the middle of the pack.

 

 

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Are you talking about band rehearsal or personal rehearsal? There is no excuse for not doing personal rehearsal in my book.

 

But band rehearsals can also be a bad thing. Two cases come to mind - a friend's band gets together to rehearse, but instead they spend most of their time listening to the lead singer pontificate (it's technically "his" band) about the political fodder of the day, while the rest drink. The other case is my own experience with my last band, which rehearsed everything to death for 6 months and could barely get out of the basement to gig.

 

Ya gotta keep the band from becoming stale however!

Moe

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This strikes a raw nerve with me, Outkaster. Over the last two years I've run across a whole slew of players who seem to pride themselves on "not having to practice". Several have played with some big names in the past, and perhaps riding on past laurels want to presuppose the conceit that they're way too good to require regular rehearsals. "Just tell me when the gig is and how much it pays." And they're used to doing R&B and Real Book gigs that way. There are many things they can do well, right out of the gate...groove like monsters, find a great fit with the rest of the instrumentation, etc.

 

The glaring area where this has been a problem is with original material, or material with odd meter changes, extended harmony or somewhat contemporary, dissonant changes. Or in several cases, any genre outside of the narrow area of specialty. Wow, a huge problem is exposed.

 

This wouldn't be such a frustration for me if guys had just been up front from the beginning and noted, "I'm an R&B and funk guy, not so much a jazzer, and I don't know how to play Pat Metheny tunes well." Or whatever. But since the insistent claim is, "I can play ANY thing, bro" - well, it's a big letdown when big gaping wholes show up. How refreshing for me to recently gig with a great jazz drummer - sensitive to dynamics, can go from a whisper to a roar, keeps volume appropriate to the room, great technique - to tell me right up front he's a jazz guy and doesn't feel R&B and funk.

 

My band has been rehearsing twice a week since February. 30% is my original material. After parting ways with the guitar player and replacing the drummer, the stable unit digs rehearsing and understands the need and benefit. And our first show proved it out.

 

Anyway, yes, I've been running into the same thing.

..
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Well it is about group rehearsal. Even if people can get a few songs together I am fine with that instead of playing the same shit for a year and a half.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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I like to rehearse, but time for me and my band mates is at a premium. If we get 2 in a month, we're doing good. So we maximize our time together. We have an agenda, everyone learns their parts at home, we get together for the 2 hours we have and put the songs together, and that's that. We have fun, we joke around, but we get down to business. When we say "be ready to play by 8:30", that's what it means- not get there at 8:30 and spend a half hour setting up. Our guitar player teaches so we can't start til late, and our bass player is a cop who gets up at 5am, so our time is very limited and we have to maximize our productivity. Everyone in the band is on board with this idea and it's one of our strongest parts of how we try to keep it at a professional level.

 

 

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What I won't do, is rehearse with a group that likes to "jam" at rehearsals, drink beer and simply socialize. I also won't rehearse with a group where I'm the only one who comes to the rehearsal actually having practiced my end of things at home. Too many group members take band rehearsal as the time they use to learn changes and parts, instead of doing the homework and using the band rehearsal time to work out arrangements, form and tighten it all up.

 

If a group is prepared and all the members have done their homework, a two hour rehearsal is usually enough (assuming an on time start, and 30 minutes wasn't eaten away by the drummer arriving for a 7pm rehearsal, at 6:58 and has to unload and set up the kit). Two hours of rehearsal means two hours of playing.

 

If you show up for rehearsal and haven't touched your ax since the last rehearsal, or the gig over the weekend, don't waste my time.

This! (Well, I like to jam, but that depends on the band and the goals. As far as the songs and getting them ready, I agree 100% though.)

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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We have fun, we joke around, but we get down to business. When we say "be ready to play by 8:30", that's what it means- not get there at 8:30 and spend a half hour setting up.

 

Unfortunately that happens often at worship practice at church--people show up late and take forever to set up their stuff.

 

What's worse is when the worship leader shows up 20 minutes late, hasn't picked out the songs, so we then have to wait another 15-20 minutes.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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It depends on the situation. I am not into wasting performances in the basement, and cant be bothered. If its learning new material, or doing some re-arrangement, thats fine, but otherwise, I cant think of one valid reason to go to someones house and practice playing Livin on a Prayer if the band can play it and sing it Competently. If its not working, then yes, lets fix it, but otherwise, YAWN. I do homework at home. I expect everyone else to do the same. When playing scripted cover songs where nothing changes, Im not wasting my time.

 

Gimme something new to play, and Im all about putting in the time.

 

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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We've got better at using our time wisely because the amount if time we have has decreased.

 

But you have to be careful about too much personal rehearsal. If the song forms are not defined, you could end up struggling to overcome patterns that you have internalized. This happened to me when our band decided to do a Last Waltz set. I got pretty pissed off when the arrangments were different than what I had been preparing for. Being more prepared than everybody else ended up making me look like I was unprepared. Quite vexing. :mad:

 

Regards,

Joe

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There's rehearsing and then there's REHEARSING.

 

It depends on the situation and the group.

 

I'm all about rehearsing, if it is going to be a meaningful, productive outcome. I rehearse my quartet regularly, and we're always adding new material, writing and recording.

 

What I won't do, is rehearse with a group that likes to "jam" at rehearsals, drink beer and simply socialize. I also won't rehearse with a group where I'm the only one who comes to the rehearsal actually having practiced my end of things at home. Too many group members take band rehearsal as the time they use to learn changes and parts, instead of doing the homework and using the band rehearsal time to work out arrangements, form and tighten it all up.

 

If a group is prepared and all the members have done their homework, a two hour rehearsal is usually enough (assuming an on time start, and 30 minutes wasn't eaten away by the drummer arriving for a 7pm rehearsal, at 6:58 and has to unload and set up the kit). Two hours of rehearsal means two hours of playing.

 

If you show up for rehearsal and haven't touched your ax since the last rehearsal, or the gig over the weekend, don't waste my time.

 

I guess I fall somewhere in the middle of the pack.

 

 

+1!

 

My current situation is all cover tunes, and past experience tells me that rehearsal usually translates into "learn MY parts on YOUR time!"

 

Fortunately, the group is all on this same page and everyone does their homework, eliminating the need for rehearsals.

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Our R&B band practices about once a week. New bass player and drummer. So we do go over material the rest of us know - but that's good. No jamming - just nailing down parts. Got to get the tempos, stop-times and cues, key changes, etc down with these kind of tunes. [we play in all kinds of keys because of the singer] The next good reason to rehearse is that we now have a couple of regular gigs and have to work up new material.
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
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I was in a situation that very much soured me on rehearsal for a while. It was the Learn the Parts Once You Get There school. I wound up having to teach everyone their parts, and it got old, very quickly.

 

I play in my church band now, and we rehearse usually twice a week. Once on Wednesday, then again on Sunday before service. The other day the musical director gently berated several band members because they would show up at the starting time, then have to set/tune up, and it cut into limited rehearsal time we have. Funny thing is, this was for the Wednesday rehearsal, and he was the one that held us up on Sunday. As far as the songs, he posts them on the church website usually by Monday or Tuesday, with YouTube videos and charts so we can learn our parts ahead of time.

 

Last night my new band had a rehearsal that was what it's all about. We set up on the stage we'll have our debut performance on Dec 3, using the house sound system. Everyone was there and set up on time. There was no extraneous jamming, just pure rehearsal. We worked up some "new" material, refined some older stuff, made a few changes here and there. It was a lot of fun, because it was 5 guys with a common goal, to get as much done in as short a time as possible. We've had 2 rehearsals, and so far have enough "Rehearsed" material to play 2 1/2 hours solid. That's not counting the stuff we can do without rehearsing.

 

We're all very experienced, and would sound better than the vast majority of the bands in the area even without rehearsal. But we all know that with rehearsal, we'll sound even better.

 

True, since we're doing cover tunes, there's a lot we can do without rehearsal. But getting together enables us to refine things like the vocal breaks in "The Weight", the various parts in "Knights in White Satin", the Chinese 4ths in "China Grove".

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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It depends on the situation. I am not into wasting performances in the basement, and cant be bothered. If its learning new material, or doing some re-arrangement, thats fine, but otherwise, I cant think of one valid reason to go to someones house and practice playing Livin on a Prayer if the band can play it and sing it Competently. If its not working, then yes, lets fix it, but otherwise, YAWN. I do homework at home. I expect everyone else to do the same. When playing scripted cover songs where nothing changes, Im not wasting my time.

 

Gimme something new to play, and Im all about putting in the time.

 

That's how we work it. Once a song is on the set list, it's not played at practice again, unless it needs a touch up. If we have something that's been on the back burner for a while, we'll bring it up at practice to knock the rust off before we stick it back in the set. We have 2 new songs that we'll touch on next Tuesday at practice. One we have played once live, the other, we had learned but our singer was sick and she asked for it to be pulled from the list because it's got some high parts that she didn't want to try until she felt better. So that will get run again as well. Then we'll probably learn another new one.

 

The other thing we do to be more efficient is the 3 of us that sing all get together 30-45 mins or so before everyone else arrives to run over vocal harmonies. That way we have them down and don't waste the other guys time while we experiment with different harmonies and run the parts enough times to lock them into memory. Usually I'll figure out basic harmonies when I learn my parts at home, then teach them to the other singers and tweak them until they work.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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The glaring area where this has been a problem is with original material, or material with odd meter changes, extended harmony or somewhat contemporary, dissonant changes.

That is the real purpose of rehearsal. To confirm that everyone is playing from the same sheet of music (pun intended) and tighten up the arrangements.

 

Even with original material, technology allows musicians to exchange enough information to prepare in advance of organized rehearsals.

 

As mentioned, a band rehearsal should be making sure the songs are played right and the groove is tight. Rehearsal is not the place to learn parts.

 

Granted, there is a time when musos can sit around, playing their instruments and shooting the breeze. It is usually when they don't have bills to pay. :laugh:

 

Otherwise, weekly jam sessions or "performances" i.e. band rehearsals playing the same tunes over and over again gets old PDQ. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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My "Dougie chords" story ...

 

I would have said (for cover/function bands) - no rehearsal needed. Played the tracks before many times, it'll be fine.

 

I'm relatively new in Scotland - but gigging a long time elsewhere. The Edinburgh/Glasgow bands I depped with were fine without rehearsal. Did some work in a smaller city called Dundee.

 

Couldn't figure out what was wrong, odd chord every so often just wasn't feeling right.

 

A few months later one of the Edinburgh musicians I gigged with heard I was working with Dundee guys. He asked how I was getting on with the "Dougie Chords."

 

Told me a story about a great Dundee singer (old now) who dominated the scene there for three decades. It's not a huge population and my Edinburgh bandmate said the story is that just about all the local Dundee players have gigged with this Dougie guy, learnt their trade in his bands - and picked up his "special chords" without even realising it.

 

Rehearsals - maybe one or two wouldn't hurt.

 

BTW Dundee is a great city to gig - locals are really into their tunes. You get a better quality of query from the end of night drunks who come up to speak to you.

 

Pay is crap though, I moved on.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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Much has been said already, so I'll just add a recent experience. The sax player (and main soloist) on my quartet is a crazy character, but also a great musician. I love to reharse, he doesn't. Now, he's a great reader - but I know that my music is rather knotty to play, so we had a bit of a struggle with each other... he used to come to the (few) reharsals without having looked at the pieces in advance, so we wasted precious time while he tried to put his parts together ...

 

But I avoided to get mad at him, and tried to keep a positive feeling during the reharsals. Why? Because I knew he's a sensitive guy with a thing for live playing, so i tried to make him feel good about my music.

And I was right: At the first gig, he took the music in his hands, and took the songs in unexpected, adventurous territories. Trying to follow him made me learn a lot, and he gave me some of the best musical thrills of my entire life in the process.

 

 

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From a Bill Evans interview:

 

Did you rehearse a lot with Miles' group?

 

No, never. And I never rehearse with my trio either. We understand each other very well. If you know a tune, we must be able to play it. Each musician has enough musicianship for that. Since the beginning, we've never rehearsed with the trio, and with Miles we didn't rehearse either.

 

 

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Rehearsal with the band should be nothing more than working out last minute details and doing a final run through to make sure it sounds ok before permanently adding it to the list. We do covers, so if you can play with the cd (and everybody else plays like the cd), you're good. Practice is figuring out a good ending for a song that fades out. Or working out a transition to string songs together. Or deciding a solo is too long, let's cut it in half. If everyone knows the song like the back of their hands, these exercises are trivial. If somebody is still trying to figure out their part, it's a waste of everyone's time. As a keyboard player, there is nothing worse than blowing a week of your time programming sounds, setting up split/layers, learning vocals, and practicing, only to find someone who did nothing and is winging it. Some instruments, that's easier to do - especially if you're particularly talented. By nature, keys often require more time up front. Regardless, everyone has a responsibility to spend whatever time necessary to make band rehearsal time productive.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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From a Bill Evans interview:

 

Did you rehearse a lot with Miles' group?

 

No, never. And I never rehearse with my trio either. We understand each other very well. If you know a tune, we must be able to play it. Each musician has enough musicianship for that. Since the beginning, we've never rehearsed with the trio, and with Miles we didn't rehearse either.

 

 

Ok, the next time I play with Miles or Bill Evans, I won't ask them to rehearse. Same goes for my next hit with Wayne Shorter!!

 

Seriously, depending on the music, even the great ones rehearse, don't kid yourself thinking there was no rehearsal when many of the great albums were made.

 

There's some great footage documenting the rehearsals for the 2008 Return To Forever tour. Here are four of the best in the world, playing tunes they wrote, recorded and toured with previously and still found the need to rehearse.

 

Go figure!!

 

[video:youtube]

 

Yamaha C7 Grand, My Hammonds: '57 B3, '54 C2, '42 BC, '40 D, '05 XK3 Pro System, Kawai MP9000, Fender Rhodes Mk I 73, Yamaha CP33, Motif ES6, Nord Electro 2, Minimoog Voyager & Model D, Korg MS10
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IMO, it really depends on the situation. For a lot of gigs I do, learning the stuff at home and not rehearsing it until we're on stage is just fine because of the level of musicians I'm dealing with is such that they can pull it off and make it sound rehearsed. Heck, it's not uncommon for me or someone on the stand to start playing a tune we've never even discussed and have the others fall in and start playing.

 

On the other hand, if you are trying to 'present' something, then it really is necessary to rehearse, to get on the same page, and get small things worked out.

 

This last tour I did was kind of a combination of both ways of thinking. We were given material to learn for a string of festival dates - in other words, high profile gigs. The group consisted of guys from all over the country flying in to Switzerland specifically for these gigs, so any prior rehearsal was just not possible. We had literally no more than an hour at a soundcheck a couple of hours before the first gig to run over anything we thought might need to touch on for all the dates. I had just gotten back from another tour with the bass player and drummer, so we were at least in a similar mental ballpark, but the material was completely different (different artist) and we were using a guitarist that we hadn't worked with previously, and there was also a horn section. Anyway, everyone showed up prepared, the "rehearsal" did uncover one or two issues, and we went on to play a bunch of pretty killin dates.

A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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From a Bill Evans interview:

 

Did you rehearse a lot with Miles' group?

 

No, never. And I never rehearse with my trio either. We understand each other very well. If you know a tune, we must be able to play it. Each musician has enough musicianship for that. Since the beginning, we've never rehearsed with the trio, and with Miles we didn't rehearse either.

 

 

Ok, the next time I play with Miles or Bill Evans, I won't ask them to rehearse. Same goes for my next hit with Wayne Shorter!!

 

Seriously, depending on the music, even the great ones rehearse, don't kid yourself thinking there was no rehearsal when many of the great albums were made.

Yeah, the Bill Evans statement is a bit disingenuous. There are recordings out there of he and LaFaro running over tunes, working out arrangements, and so forth. Duo technically isn't trio, but 2 guys working on stuff for gigs in a trio definitely constitutes rehearsing IMO.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Most of the gigs I do are jazz gigs and some think jazzers are averse to rehearsing. However I find that they just are averse to wasting their time. I'm in a big band that rehearses every second week, and another that does a weekly jam session, but the other bands rehearse when there's a gig.

 

With my own band rehearsals are a condition of doing the gig. Everyone gets the charts and MP3s in advance so no one is learning the tunes at rehearsal. Rehearsal is two hours max; intros, form, and endings; no solos except to figure out how we're getting out of them. I prefer two rehearsals per gig but sometimes it's just not possible with everyone's busy schedule. With good players that do their homework you can get through a night's material in less than 2 hours. In my experience the players that are great enough not to need rehearsal are usually up for it because it makes everything sound better.

Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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This is the way I like to define these words.

 

Practice is what I do at home, alone, to prepare for a group.

 

Rehearsal is when the group gets together (hopefully to prepare for a performance/studio session).

 

A maintenance rehearsal is rehashing songs that have already been performed. Typically this can be avoided if everyone in the group does their homework, i.e. practices the pieces at home to a reference recording. While there may be circumstances in which it is necessary, just because the drummer doesn't want to practice alone at home to a recording is not reason enough to have regular maintenance rehearsals.

 

In general, then, a regular rehearsal should only be called when there is new music to learn.

 

Unless you are in a tribute band that already covers the entire catalog, you will probably want to freshen up your song list with new music periodically. (Going a year and a half with the same songs is probably too long.)

 

Original music can be a bit trickier to rehearse, especially if songs are composed by committee. In this case rehearsals are used to compose/arrange. Once a final arrangement is agreed upon a reference recording should be made for everyone to practice to.

 

Original bands tend to rehearse more than cover bands.

 

What about jam/improv bands? You tell me.

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I don't consider myself a 'jazz musician' by any means, but for reasons such as getting older, wanting to finish gigs at 11pm rather than start them at 11, hating to carry heavy gear, hating to 'play it like the record', and wanting to use last-minute subs, I have found myself playing mostly jazz over the pass 15 years.

 

No rehearsals. Never. None. Nada. Go to the gig, pull out the book, call a tune, count the tempo. Go. (then listen). The customers ask "How long have you guys been playing together". Uh, one set.

 

And if the leader brings a book with more arrangement than just a lead sheet, everybody shudders, because we know we can make it nice if we just listen, rather than follow an arranger's 'special chords' or set stops.

 

Just my experience.

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A maintenance rehearsal is rehashing songs that have already been performed. Typically this can be avoided if everyone in the group does their homework, i.e. practices the pieces at home to a reference recording. While there may be circumstances in which it is necessary, just because the drummer doesn't want to practice alone at home to a recording is not reason enough to have regular maintenance rehearsals.

 

I generally call these GIGS.

:cool:

 

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I do those gigs too, PianoMan51, and, while one can do it and make it sound good I always feel that it would really jump off the page if we could have spent some time going over the material. And the reason you shudder when you see 'more arrangement than just a lead sheet' is because you instinctively know that you're un(der)prepared in that situation without a rehearsal! Playing from fake books and listening to your bandmates can sound really good with the right people but playing arrangements you've rehearsed with the same people will usually sound better.
Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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