Ever Have One Of Those Rehearsals?

Wrighty

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A little background. We put together this band right before The Great Disruption so it's only been the last few months that we really were able to get back to it with any consistency. We're a four piece doing covers and originals doing a little bit of everything from Elvis Costello to Johmmy Cash. Two of our member have never been in a serious band before but are capable enough. We've really been hitting our stride lately getting about 3-4 hours of reasonably tight music down. Looking at our first gig here in the summer.

Well, last night we had a real stinker. At least to my ears. Nobody else seemed to notice but I thought we were off on just about everything, myself especially. I just switched guitars back to my Logan after using my PRS CE24. I had to change because the thin neck on the PRS was causing me some hand/wrist pain. I don't know if I just didn't have my rig properly dialed in to the Tele but my sound was awful. My solos uninspired and boring. My vocals were trash. I feel I really dragged the entire session down and the whole of our sound/performance suffered for it. I also had an extra long day at work yesterday and had to go straight to practice, while usually I have a couple of hours to decompress and get my head in the game. I'm sure that didn't help.

Anyway, no real point to this post other than vent and try to feel less demoralized. I know most musicians have times like these, but the time I have to play is precious with the work/home life schedule we have and I just hate to waste it.
This reads uncannily like a post of mine a while back, could almost be that post. If it happens once, we’ll, that’s the way of bands. Twice and you might have a problem. Beyond that, well, not sure, I seem to have bad ones every other week and the real worry is everyone else is making comments like ‘that was great’ and ‘really gelling now’. So, no help but let me know how things progress. I have had the dilemma for a couple or three months and I really can’t do the right thing and make the break. Decided that the watershed will be a gig in August
 

String Tree

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A little background. We put together this band right before The Great Disruption so it's only been the last few months that we really were able to get back to it with any consistency. We're a four piece doing covers and originals doing a little bit of everything from Elvis Costello to Johmmy Cash. Two of our member have never been in a serious band before but are capable enough. We've really been hitting our stride lately getting about 3-4 hours of reasonably tight music down. Looking at our first gig here in the summer.

Well, last night we had a real stinker. At least to my ears. Nobody else seemed to notice but I thought we were off on just about everything, myself especially. I just switched guitars back to my Logan after using my PRS CE24. I had to change because the thin neck on the PRS was causing me some hand/wrist pain. I don't know if I just didn't have my rig properly dialed in to the Tele but my sound was awful. My solos uninspired and boring. My vocals were trash. I feel I really dragged the entire session down and the whole of our sound/performance suffered for it. I also had an extra long day at work yesterday and had to go straight to practice, while usually I have a couple of hours to decompress and get my head in the game. I'm sure that didn't help.

Anyway, no real point to this post other than vent and try to feel less demoralized. I know most musicians have times like these, but the time I have to play is precious with the work/home life schedule we have and I just hate to waste it.
Get back up on the Horse.
You still have a LOT of Miles to ride.

I think everybody has had those kinds of practices and, performances too.
You didn't win this one but, you can win the next one.
YEP!!!
 

TeleTex82

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Thanks you all for the encouragement and the shared stories. It's helped me put things in perspective. I think one of the reasons I'm so hard on myself is that I started way late with guitar. I joined the forum in 2009 but didn't actually get serious about learning how to play more than cowboy chords until 2015, at the ripe old age of 33. It has honestly been the most important thing in my life besides family and work ever since but I clearly missed out on the days of being young and in a bunch of bands etc., so it always feels like I'm musically living on borrowed time. Feeling a lot better after reading everyone's responses though. Thanks again.
 

SRHmusic

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Yeah, that's not so fun, especially with short time to get into it.

My band found it's good to just focus on the groove of a song or two sometimes, really dig into getting the feel and timing. Tone helps, but we're usually using practice amps and it's not as critical. This really helps to make the songs happen live. Also good to loosen up first with a few we know well, then try a few new ones (assuming everyone did their homework).

We seem to spend a lot of time working on transitions in songs.

Only every so often we run through a full set without stopping (but shorter solos). Usually before a bigger show or after an extended break.
 

Synchro

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Sometimes rehearsals just go poorly. It could be that one band member is a bit off that day, or It could be that you (because of fatigue) just weren’t in a position to enjoy playing. I know that I’ve had rehearsals where I hated the sound of my guitar, even though I was using the same guitar, same amp and same settings as I had used the week before. In retrospect, I think that I was just tired and my perceptions were a bit put of kilter.

I used to play with a bass player who hated practice; just saw it as a necessary evil. Nothing ever seemed to gel at practice, but soon as we were on stage he came alive, probably one of the best musicians i ever played with😉
I actually enjoy practicing, but i know that I’m a different person when I’m at a gig. Some of it may be the energy feedback from the audience, but I think that at least some of it is the pressure of the situation.

I wish I had a true rehearsal studio, where everyone had a place to play, a place to relax and not have to setup and tear down for every practice. If all any of us had to do was carry in an instrument and play, that would make practices a lot easier.
 

Orpheum

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Rehearsal is always a dangerous area... Bandmates not ready (confusing practicing and rehearsing), the belief that the last rehearsal will reflect the next concert, the questioning of your own evolution as a musician...
A rehearsal is just a mental and muscular training in order to be in top condition for the next show, no more!
 

Orpheum

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A rehearsal is just a mental and muscular training in order to be in top condition for the next show, no more!
I mean on a band practice level, of course. Your sound or your phrasing on a given moment is not significant of your musicianship...
 

Ron R

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Eh, we all have those nights on occasion, especially in practice/rehearsal. Shrug it off and move on.
 

Ron R

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Question....are you learning 3-4 hours of music because you expect to play gigs around 3-4 hours ? 3-4 hours to me is a Springsteenesque set....mega long....I play in a duo and we play two hours tops !
We routinely play 3 hours or more. Typically brroken ino 2 sets with a 15-20 minute break between them.
 

kiwi blue

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This sort of thing happens to me sometimes even when I'm just noodling at home and not even doing structured rehearsal or working towards a performance.

Sometimes I'm just out of sorts internally, and I play clunky cliches with no inspiration, the rig doesn't sound right, and it's all just hard work with no joy. Come back another day and the inspiration flows effortlessly, the rig sounds good, and life has meaning again.

It all happens within a context of a whole life, and the rest of that life affects how you feel and how you play. It's just being human, in a mind-body continuum that sometimes goes out of balance and needs to be rested and refreshed.
 

regularslinky

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It happens. Sometimes we go from garbage to awesome in the course of one rehearsal. Sometimes its the song. We started doing "Where the Streets Have No Name" a few months ago. Sometimes it sounds really amazing. Sometimes it sounds like a piano falling down a set of stairs.
 

JustABluesGuy

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“When you’re hot, you’re hot. When you’re not, your not!”

I does happen to most of us at times. Some days I can’t even tune my guitar!
 

Papanate

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I've never had a stinker of day - I had days where I played less than stellar - I don't think about it much to be honest - you shouldn't either - more like your Telecaster and the Leads you played were fine - you just judged them harshly - I remember one time in my band I had this lead that I thought I never got right - but every time we played it the other band members would tell me I knocked it out of the park - I never heard that way - so I continued to play it the way I played it.
 

Barbeque John

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Bass player bandmate, used to say about rehearsal "Don't use your bullet".
a fine Barney Fife reference. There is some truth there, it seems meh rehearsals can lead to great gigs.
 

stonge

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If I thought about every bad note or errant golf shot I'd never pick up a guitar or golf club again (thank goodness there isn't a qualification exam to own either lol).

On the good side, you didn't clank it in front of paying customers, and you know you can do better when you're in the right headspace after work so that's something to try to work with going forward. A bad day at work can really take the fun out of things if you let it.
 

Clive Hugh

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Our last practice the rhythm player spat the dummy and quit the group, then the drummer said he’s had enough of the drama and he quit the following weekend, which is a pity as it was really sounding good. You'd think by our age dramas are a thing of the past.
 




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