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When is too much rehearsal?

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Thanks in advance for reading,


I have a music project going and have had the same one for about 2 years. It was about one year ago or a bit more when the band had lost the Guitarist and we really started taking things serious. We upped our practice time to 4 times per week when that happened. Wed at 4 p.m. Thurs at 6 p.m. and Fri at 3 p.m. and then again on Sunday morning (the painful one) at 11 p.m. Each of the practice times are about 45 minutes to 2 hours long. Depends on what we are working on.


So my question is, is this too much? We know the songs, and it seems that we practice so much that we just start to run through the motions. I know of bands that we are friends with and they practice maybe once every other couple of weeks and just play shows, and they sound just as tight live, if not more, and they have been playing about the same amount of time as us.


So I think that it is possible that we practice so much that we are overdoing it? We are getting sick of the songs to a point where we no longer have a passion when we play them which forces us to make mistakes and what not. It also makes me a bit less stoked on the whole band thing when you are so freaking bored of it because of how much you have to go there, and how much you have to miss out on just to make the rigourous practice schedule.


So is this right thinking? Or am I way off base and do we just totally kick ass for being able to practice this much and change our set for every show and constantly be writing new songs and changing ones that we don't like?


Thanks and let me know what your opinion is on this....



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You are rehearsing too much if this is becomming a burn-out situation for your guys.


You need to be well-rehearsed. No argument there. But if your guys leave the band because they're sick of it, where does that leave you but to start over after finding new musicians to take their place.


What do the other guys think? What do the venue owner's think? Is this rehearsal schedule for more than live performance - a CD perhaps?


It's good that you've got a handle on this. I'd try to keep everybody happy and still stay in good form. It's a balancing act for sure!


Good luck!


Is There Gas In The Car? :cool:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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If the music's sloppy but you're enjoying it, you ain't rehearsing enough.


If the music is sounding good and you're enjoying it, you're rehearsing just the right amount.


If the music's sounding as bored as you are in playing it, you're over-rehearsed.


A band that gigs often should be just slightly under-rehearsed on any given song prior to its debut. Cos it's guaranteed that the first couple gigs will sharpen it up, and the energy that comes from "Wow, what's gonna happen tonight?" is unique and marvelous. You should not be leaving the first few gigs in the rehearsal studio....

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.


This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Thanks for the replies. I will need to ask the Guy and Girl, what they think about our current schedule.


I am pretty sure that they feel different then myslef. They both are rather boring people who do nothing but go to work, sleep and play music. I am a man of many interest, I ride trial MTB's, I Surf and Snowboard, and I have a great girl who I love to spend time with.


They are much different, and I think that is why maybe I feel that we are overpracticed. Nontheless, I will still ask them because it is becoming bothersome.


We are working on a CD, but we are on the "production" part of the CD, most of the tracks are allready laid to a click, and we are gigging live. We are playing tonight at the Belly Up in San Diego. A great venue....


Thanks for the replies and I think I have found my answer.... we don't practice too much per say because we are still a little sloppy here and there, but it is more me than them that is getting bored with the rigorous shcedule.



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My son was in a band for 6 months a while back. One day I asked him how it was going and he said we need to rehearse more (they rehearsed 3 hours a day 6 days). I said why? He said we're not getting any better. I said are you still having fun? He said no because we're not getting better. I told him to quit. It's kind of that "you can't polish a turd" thing.



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I think coyote had a great answer. You need to practice as much or as little as it takes to get the music sounding really tight while not getting bored and burned out. That can be different for different people.


Going back over the same songs over and over when you already have them nailed down cold, is rarely very productive. And it's frustrating if you have one band member who seems to take forever to learn basic song structures. But if you are working up new songs or arrangements, you rarely get stale, and sometimes you might want to get together just to jam and have fun which can stimulate creativity and make you a better band.


FWIW, my band tends to practice once or twice a week, for 2 to 4 hours a session. The bass player and I, who do the songwriting and band business, tend to get together another time or two during the week to work on songs and do whatever business we need to. That way when we do rehearse with everybody, we've got new stuff to bring to the table, new goals, new things to keep us all inspired.


OTOH if we're not particularly working up anything new and the gig calendar isn't terribly full, we'll still try to get together once a week just to keep our chops up. Those kinds of rehearsals tend to be pretty loose and fun - we'll pull out cover songs we like to play or whatever.


You get the idea. If possible, let the situations dictate your rehearsal schedule rather than insisting on a particular set schedule. Seems to be more conducive to creativity.

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The best way to get tight is to play in front of people. We used to do a ton of 6 nighters and we hardly ever practiced during the week because we were just too burnt. We'd usually practice once a week when we were just doing weekends or 3 nighters.


If you can get your song list up to around 150 to 200 songs and you only play 40 or 50 a night, you can go a long time without practice without getting bored or stale to your audience.

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"you can't polish a turd" thing.

Did the band thing. I agree with the above quote. Good bands have to work but they all click after some time. Your band is practicing an aweful lot and if you don`t have it by now with these guys, most likely you never will.




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well, gigs count as practice, right?


I say that as long as y'all know the songs, and pull them off ok, and gig once a week or so you should be fine.


Otherwise, i'd say probably everyone else is spot-on about being burned out. Maybe also a new set of songs, like 5 or 10 new ones would also make things a little more interesting. Kinda rotate your set list around, etc.


Instead of practicing 4 times a week, why don't you folks all get together, go out for some drinks, and watch some other band play :D


This would be good for you too, or at least a fun, bonding experience

Dr. Seuss: The Original White Rapper



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i think it really depends upon the player's musical abilities, mental abilities (memory)and style of music as well. tight genres like pop tunes (or metal and prog tunes)with fixed arrangements and defined harmonies generally require a lot more rehearsal than looser material like jam tunes, and jazz or blues based tunes.


not by choice, but my band is lucky if we rehearse once in six weeks. and even then, it's just with acoustic guitars to work out arrangements/harmonies of new tunes. then we just whip 'em out into the next gig. fortunately my guys have real good memories for arrangements, so that helps.


to that end, as a leader, i find it indespensible for everyone in the band to be familiar with nashville number/finger system for chord changes. i.e. in any given key, one finger is the 1 chord, five fingers is the V chord, etc. that way you can call a whole tune in advance of playing it. i.e. it's a I IV V shuffle in C with a IV I ii V bridge


-d. gauss

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When the quality of the rehearsals dimish and you find yourself going on the same tiny part in the same B-song over and over and over again and not getting any better.


I artist I am currently working with was having weekly rehearsals on Monday evenings. We initially had a 8 song set that went to 12 songs. After almost 3 months of weeklies, there was NO reason for us to not know the material. It should not have even taken that much to get it all right.


When we got to the point where ppl were making stupid mistakes, we took three weeks off by skipping the music and going to get something to eat for a change. You gotta know when to back off because over rehearsing will do more harm than good.


Once a week is fine if everyone has the mind to get there on time and stop bs-ing while you are there. That means, if you are serious, no phones or pagers, no groupies and total focus on the music for the 2 or 3 hours you are there.


If you don't have someone that serves as the MD, pick the most reliable person so someone can take the lead for keeping rehearssals on point and the music tight. Work hard for a few weeks and then break together as a group.... That will keep your time together fresh...

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32


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Well I guess I should have been more specific. Thanks for all of the suggestions and what not, but it is pretty much stuff that I allready knew.


As far as polishing a turd:


We are extremely tight, and we play some of the best San Diego venues without a single mistake, and open for national touring acts here and there.... so we are definitly no turd....


As far as over-rehearsing, I think we do this from time to time, especially when we practice 4 times in a week and then play a Saturday night show, and are there again at 11 a.m. on Sunday to practice some more. I find it rediculous, but there isn't much pusuading my driven band of that.


I know and can see how over-rehearsing is damaging to a project, but they are very dedicated and driven about getting extremely tight and changing the set and writing knew segways for every show. Although it is working out, it is freaking hard sometimes considering that I have a very active life and I feel like I never get enough time to things that I want to do, just what the band wants to do.


Either way it looks like I am going to have to deal with it. Because I must admit, although tiresome, it seems that our current schedule is at least working....



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