7 tips to more effective band practice
Ensuring you get the most out of your band’s rehearsal time not only can save you money, it can save relationships too! In this article, we explore ways in which you can ensure the most constructive use of you time at your weekly band practice.
Ask any seasoned band member and they will admit to more than their fair share of poor band practices. But have you ever noticed how some bands seem to have the same level of talent, kit and song writing ability yet seem to, somehow… well…. click?!? Sometimes its just a matter of rehearsal.
Take a look at the BlackFrog top tips below and see if you can implement any of these at your next practice.
Arrive on time – or at the very least… ARRIVE!
Want to get more out of practice? The first rule is simple, actually turn up on time. If band members are late or frequently cancel at the last minute, no one can practice. A band member turning up late can often start a rehearsal session off to a bad start.
Start off by getting warmed up
In the same way you warm up before exercise, so you should also warm up before practice! Some (odd) people practice scales… but, if you know a couple of easy covers too embarrassing to play live, now is the time to play them! My band (Underground) tend to kick off with the 12 bar blues riff as the structure, then some improvised lead, bass, keys and drums. It just seems to get everyone in the mood to make music. Your pre-practice warm up is also a good time to:
Setup and mix your sound
Playing the ‘my amp is louder than your amp’ game is counterproductive and tantamount to comparing your willy size with your band mates. In fact, bad sound can ruin your practice as instruments disappear into the black hole of noise. My band run every instrument possible through the live desk. This means that we have complete control over: 1. The master volume and 2. Individual levels of the mix. We utilise XLR outputs on amps, digital drums and digital pianos – having ONE balanced and mixed sound.
Keep volume down
I know, I know… some of you, especially of the Punk variety, will be questioning this point but, in rehearsal, it is more important to keep volume at a sensible level and to keep your playing tight. Keep your Marshall’s volume dial off 11.
Don’t practice songs wrong
Really messed up the start of that last song? Then STOP. There is no point in practicing a song wrong. Either start again or rewind to the section that needs work and practice it… after all, that is the point of rehearsal. Which leads on to point 6…
Band practice is for band rehearsal, home is for instrument practice
Keep practicing through out the week at home. Master songs in your own time and leave band practice to work on arrangements and rehearsing.
Set objectives for band practice. Start by playing through your entire set making note of the tracks that need work. Create a plan for next week to work on those tracks that need more attention.
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