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Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by sants, May 23, 2011.
How do you guys get your bands tight?
i.e. - How do you run practice, learn songs etc?
-have a leader in the band
-practice practice practice
-believe in the music
I find it helps to have some type of recording of it as a blueprint.
It's not as rewarding however if you can practice and sound great at a low volume I think it helps.
The pressure of having to entertain imo makes a band get tight lol...so get a gig date
Every band member would get a copy of the songs to learn individually. Only then would we get together at practice after we had learned all our respective parts. It meant that the song would not get beaten to death at practice and maintained it's freshness.
record every practice.
Work just the rhythm section to make sure that's all on the money.
Have special vocal rehearsals to make sure everyone is one
with their vocal parts.
No booze until practice is over!
Turn down, listen to each other.
2) more practice.
3) after more practice, practice again.
4) repeat steps 1-3.
seriously, this is the best way to get tight. working with each other constantly gets you in tune with each other, allows each member to feel the other one out. we practice twice a week for 3 hours a time, and most of the time we record rehearsal. that way we don't miss anything, because a lot of the times we catch glimpses of new songs that a member brings to the band, or a change in an existing song that we like and want to build on or refine. then, during the off days, each of us has an mp3 or wav file to listen to and go over on our own time to see if it sparks anything.
communication is HUGE. communicate on stage, at rehearsal, etc. if you get familiar with your bands' mannerisms and visual cues, it'll make you even tighter. this is a major priority for us. we rely on great communication when we're playing a dynamic song or we have full band stops/starts. things like this can turn good songs into GREAT songs, because the delivery is better each and every time.
+100 on each point! Especially the vocal rehearsal thing. Harmonies are often what separates the men from the boys. If a band can pull off 3-part harmonies, they'll often get your attention moreso than a single vocalist. Not to discredit the great bands out there that are "one vocals" only, but in my experience people react to the fact that you've taken the time to write and arrange vocals and harmonies just as you would guitar/bass/drum/keys parts.
We always did the following:
1. Record everything
2. Differentiate between practice and rehearsal
3. Practice like you play. We timed our practices and anything that happened, break down, mistake, whatever, we learned to keep plugging away.
4. Play originals. That way there are no mistakes, since the audience doesn't know anyway.
Honestly ... play.
Practice is great and all. But you're never more tight than when you actually play live. Do a string of shows without practices (or with very few in between). Learning how to communicate and listen on stage is more effective than any amount of woodshedding. Practice makes you learn the songs. Playing live teaches you how to actually play them.
Be respectful of each other's non-paid rehearsal time and try to make it really count.
Don't play at show volume until everyone has their parts down, save your ears and your nerves.
As you are listening to each other, watch for spots where any instrument
is competing with the vocals and work those out.
Set your vocals as loud and clear as possible and then try to keep
everyone under the vocals.
Get rid of the songs that you're sick of playing and replace them with sure
Gig more. IME you can learn/know the songs at rehearsal but nothing makes a band tighter than working without a net. That's when you become a better listener and learn how to pull it together when things go a little sideways. Mistakes happen- it's how well you recover that makes you tight.
we record every practice. I mix and post them to a FTP site where everyone can download the songs, listen , see what mistakes are out there and fix accordingly.
One thing you should NOT do is stop when a mistake is made. Complete the song, then repeat it. If you stop in the middle of the song it trains you to do that in a performance, which is a no no.
Is say the best way is to practice the songs live WITH the real song playing through the pa. Do that once or twice, then go solo.
Sounds cheesy, but it works.
practice is not enough
focused practice with honest critique of flaws is what you need ... then an honest assessment of talent level ... dont try to teach a pig to do calculus
in my band, we kinda sorta focus our practices, but we have very very little honest critique ... and we have a talent deficit .... so we are about as tight as we are gonna get - i stopped bangin my head against the wall
If you are in a band, hopefully you have a lot of the suggestions mentioned here happening in your band. But one of the most critical issues is hearing everyone, including yourself in the band.
2. Listen to every practice recording.
3. Make changes according to what the recordings reveal.
I've been in more than one situation where the bandleader fastidiously recorded and posted the shows, and most of the band couldn't be bothered to listen to them.
As others have said; gig more often. Three gigs in a row will tighten the band up faster than two months of twice-a-week band practice.
IMO what is considered to be tight varies quite a bit. What many of my friends that have spent the majority of their musical development within the confines of classic rock radio think is tight would get you booted from most r&b bands.
I guess what I'm saying is the term is relative. Kind of like the recent thread touting the tightness of Jones and Bonham. Were they tight compared to the New York Dolls sure. Compared to the Meters not so much. Though in reference to this thread I think tight seems to mean making less mistakes.