Weekly rehearsal for a well oiled gigging band? Really?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Telenator, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    It's happening again. I'm looking into joining a band that gigs but insists on having weekly rehearsals. I'm just astonished by this.

    Please, before you respond, fight the knee-jerk reaction to state all the reasons one should rehearse weekly, even though you're gigging, and consider the following:

    1) The band has arrived at a set sit and has distributed audio copies of all the songs with any key changes or variations done on the audio tracks. Very professional.

    2) It is a fact that, when you're playing cover tunes, the band will always sound better when they rehearse to the original recordings. The original recordings don't change, get sloppy, or lazy. And this band LOVES the songs "as recorded." Why not rehearse with the original players on the original recordings before a gig? Then everyone will be playing the right parts! We're all accomplished players with a pro level delivery here.

    3) I have subbed and auditioned for countless bands who haven't listened to the original recordings in years and the songs they're playing are barely recognizable and have become completely homogenized into all the other songs that all sound like the cover band, not anything like the original. All the magic of what made those songs great gets diluted out of the performance because everyone forgets to incule those special, subtle parts that make it individual.

    4) Whenever I consider an audition or subbing gig, I ask immediately, "do you play the songs 'as recorded' or do you play it 'your own way?' If they play it "they're own way," I'm out unless they supply recordings of themselves doing it their own way.

    Sure, there are all sorts of reasons for a different types of bands to rehearse, but I just can't see more than once a month for a gigging cover band whose goal is to play covers very well and retain the vibe of the original songs. For the reasons listed above, excessive rehearsal actually hurts the band over time.

    What am I missing here?
     
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  2. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    The strongly-felt preferences of the person(s) signing the paychecks.
     
  3. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Holic

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    what are you astonished by?

    That there is a band that gigs (where? everything is shutdown) or that they practice every week?
     
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  4. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, but if you insist "as recorded " the more rehearsal the better. I seldom wanted that myself but to each his own and it may be easier than learning new arrangements. A well seasoned group of musicians can get by with once a month readily.
    I wouldn't join that deal unless everyone will have pre-practised well before rehearsal. Otherwise "call me when everyone's 95% ready"
    I do enjoy rehearsal though, so not a huge deal to me as long as there's some "free time" to stretch and breathe in rehearsal.

    The band spectrum seems to run from Grateful Dead on one end; jam, go with the flow... to the Eagles on the other end where; everything must be like the record exactly.
     
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  5. Sequimite

    Sequimite Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Maybe it's just because you are new.

    The band I was in most recently stopped having practices once we were working once or twice each week. We had specialty run through practices just to introduce new material. That made sense to me.
     
  6. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I have school age kids, and I would trade one of my Teles for the opportunity to play with other people in person once a week. You get something from the ensemble experience that can't be adequately replicated by playing along with the original recording at home, whether there is an audience or not.

    I think you're right that it's important to include the most identifying elements of the original song, but it's fun to change things here and there. A friend and I did a recorded covers project while we haven't been able to play together in person, and we made this our goal. Here's the result for what it's worth.

    https://blueblockers.bandcamp.com/releases

    There's a million ways to be a band though, you've got to do what makes sense for you.
     
  7. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic

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    i'm not sure exactly what it is you're all bent out shape over. have you even played with them yet?
     
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  8. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I always hated band practice . ..
     
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  9. suave eddie

    suave eddie Tele-Afflicted

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    Good players who gig every week shouldn't need to rehearse every week unless they're introducing new material.
     
  10. lil scotty

    lil scotty Tele-Meister

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    Could it be that they're trying to get a bead on you by having weekly rehearsals until they're sure you're a good fit? Just a thought.
     
  11. P-Nutz

    P-Nutz Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I’ve been with the same band for 20 years ... we “practice” two hours weekly unless we have a gig ... the recent times have changed things, of course ...

    Why? Because we like one another, and like to hang out. We’ve watched each other’s kids grow.

    Family, fun and funk is our underlying motto, in that order ...

    Peace.
     
  12. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    Why?
     
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  13. Richie Cunningham

    Richie Cunningham Tele-Meister

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    Maybe the tambourine player needs to rehearse every week.
     
  14. eddy b.

    eddy b. TDPRI Member

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    I’ve been in bands that only gig and never rehearse, bands that rehearse once a week and gig once a week, bands that rehearse more than they gig and bands that only rehearsed and recorded. For me the main thing about rehearsing is whether it’s a productive meeting where parts get meshed out or tempos get finessed etc. or if it’s a run through of the show so the front person is comfortable etc. l know for me right now I went from 5 weekly gigs to none so any opportunity to play in the same room as others is a welcome change. The cats I play with are all bad cats, Dudes that tour all over the globe and have complete mastery of their instruments. I get it that not much changes with rehearsing given a certain mindset however I agree with other posters that to me it sounds like theses cats are trying to get to know you. Of course there’s always the possibility that it’s just an ego stroke for the singer or everyone is just trying to have a reason to get out of their house for a few hours. Life’s too short to play in bands that suck.
     
  15. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    At least you know the schedule going in.
    Everything is not for everybody.
    Perhaps, this is not for you.

    I think you may be happier with other folks.
     
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  16. chillybilly

    chillybilly Tele-Meister

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    Many musicians who have sweated blood to learn their instrument, spent time away from family and friends to practice and spent a king's ransom on equipment actually look forward to playing live in a band setting even if it's a rehearsal BUT in one of the universe's great ironies that sort of enthusiasm is often viewed as uncool, unhip, etc. even by those who secretly share the same zeal.

    That is not meant as a sarcastic rejoinder to the OP but an observation I've made numerous times. In sum, many bands and musicians want to rehearse for no other reason than they enjoy it.

    At the risk of contradicting myself, I'm not a rehearse-just-to-rehearse type. I usually preach 'when the picture is done put the paintbrush down.' Pro bands that actually are pro bands can and should expect prep and/or knowledge of the material, do a single run and maybe iron out a crease or two.

    I've heard tales of bands where the only time the members see and play with each other is at gigs. Live without a net as it were. While this may be impressive and admirable I'm not sure it's entirely desirable, but in some situations for in-demand players it's the only logistic possibility.

    As usual, there's a happy medium somewhere in terms of rehearsal frequency but it isn't necessarily the same frequency all the time especially when normal gigs occur/resume.

    All that said I have long pleaded with various bands to practice sets not just songs - timing, transitions, stage patter, opportunities to tune or adjust settings, patches etc. It's a show so don't make it just a mishmash of up time punctuated by down time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
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  17. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Holic

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    You aren't the right person for this particular band...unless...you go into it wholeheartedly accepting their way of doing the things that have made them successful. If they like to practice weekly and you don't and that's a deal breaker for you then the fair thing to do is be honest, let them know that right away, don't burn bridges and walk away friends...
     
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  18. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Holic

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    I would be curious to know the demographics of the band. I have 3 school-age children, so the fewer evening commitments the better. But if I didn't have the kids I'd probably want to play as much as my marriage could handle.

    I just like to play, so if time isn't an issue, a weekly rehearsal sounds fun, but I totally get being turned off by that if the OP has limited time.

    I'd be careful before judging the motives of the band though, because it could be anything from them trying you out to them simply just loving to play together, and neither one of those is a bad motive in my opinion.
     
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  19. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

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    It is amazing this band exists given all the posts of "I have to make the song mine" and "I never learn the solo on the record, that's boring." :eek:
     
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  20. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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