In A Part Time Band, How Often Do You Practice?

soundchaser59

Thank You Great Spirit!
Gold Supporting Member
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......your own parts? I practice by keeping a folder of all 70-80 songs. I have 4 or 5 playlists in Media Player, each list has 15 or 20 of the songs. I practice by playing along with the mp3's.

The deal is our band is not very busy, we barely play once a month. So I'm wondering how you guys who are in bands that don't play very often structure your personal practice time and routines to keep up on the tunes? How do you balance it with your other musical projects?

Do you play a little bit several times a week, every week to stay crisp? Or do you wait until a gig or rehearsal is scheduled and then cram everything in the week before? Do you let it slide for several weeks until something gets scheduled, and then cram for it?

I like to stay sharp cuz we never know when a short notice gig will come up. On the other hand, if we are't going to play often I'd rather spend most of my time working on my own original stuff in my house.
 

Badstrat

Gold Supporting Member
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1,418
As a band we only get together every few months and only to run through new songs. We learn all our parts at home beforehand. We get about 3 to 5 gigs a month and I usually spend an hour or so a few days before a gig playing along to some of our newer stuff, or brushing up on solos etc. I've got all our songs on a laptop plugged into studio monitors in my spare bedroom/studio. I've also got a converted garage/studio with all the needed gear so it's walk in/walk out for rehearsals. So I suppose we're lazy when it comes to practice but I spend 40 hrs a week in my day job.
 

7thString

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1,344
Usually once a week, and then cram in as many sessions as possible before a gig. That was pretty much a limit with two of us working full time and the other working night shifts + university.
 

Blooby

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1,600
About 4 years ago, my partner and I (in an acoustic duo) established a standing rule that we would play a new tune at every gig. We don't always have time to get together, so there have been some sweat-on-the-brow moments as we play a song together for the first time. We get hyper-focused and usually land on our feet, and then we'll totally butcher an adjacent simple song we've played 100 times before.

I'm trying to get an electric band off the ground, so I'm running through the tunes a bit before practices to avoid train wrecks. What I'm finding more important is to take a note or three during practices once we agree on an arrangement of a tune.

What I'm more apt to do these days is pick up an acoustic off a stand next to my computer and just noodle.

Peace.

Blooby
 

Kingpin

Member
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617
I rarely practice parts to songs in the current rotation, but may do so if we haven't played some in a long while. I find listening to the original recording to be more helpful than practicing what I already know. There may be some subtleties to be gleaned from the recording that I may have overlooked when initially learning the tune.

Other than that, I may explore new ideas to use in solos.
 

Yer Blues

Member
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8,549
Is it covers or originals? Originals if we are writing I will spend a little more time, but if I'm just brushing up then I try the day before to run through everything and then go back over the tricky (to me) parts. I'd guess covers are pretty much the same. When the band is playing a lot I rarely go over the stuff unless it's a spot I'm trying to clean up. I do play a few hours every day, but it's usually stuff I like or want to work on.
 
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I work with one band almost every weekend and often multiple nights during the weekend. With that band I work on stuff as often as they add a tune I haven't played before or whenever I need to go over a tune I haven't played in awhile. Most of the time I will work on the tunes for thirty minutes or so the day before the next gig. That band doesn't have band practice.

Every now and then I play gigs with a band that plays rockabilly. This band got together for band practice three or four times before the first gig to get familiar with each other. Many of the tunes I had heard before but hadn't heard often and hadn't played before. I went over all of those tunes for an hour or so the day before each practice. Since we started gigging some we haven't had band practice. And on the last gig we used a sub bass player. I went over all of the tunes, mostly listening to beginnings and endings, a couple times an hour or so each time during the week before the gig. This band is very part time. Everybody in the band plays regularly with other folks.

I practice every day for a few hours each day. But I am rarely practicing tunes I am fixing to play with a band on a gig during those practices. I consider tune learning as a separate thing. I work on tunes whenever I want or need to work on tunes. A good bit of my practice is drilling scales and arpeggios and stuff.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
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22,707
Weekly rehearsal, every day I quickly review something for at least a half hour.
 

John Vasco

Member
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1,770
Practise my own parts in my bands songs? Never.

We take songs and construct them the way WE want to. So, at rehearsal, we will take a blues number from the 1920s or '30s (for example 'Police Dog Blues' by Blind Blake) and work it up to full electric band status. Once completed, it stays ingrained...
 




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