Posts Tagged ‘ band

Everyone’s Favorite Pastime: Scheduling Rehearsals

Setting reasonable goals for a gig as far as new music and new musicians will save you lots of stress later on. Once you have those goals are set, scheduling the right number of rehearsals in the right proximity to a gig will ensure that everyone is fresh and prepared.

For a 50 minute set of songs that are already arranged– that is, the band is learning off of pre-existing tracks or arrangement, I’d give a pro band that hasn’t played the material before two 3-hour rehearsals. The latter rehearsal should be a day or two before the gig, with a couple days in between the two rehearsals to review anything that needs work after the first.

If the songs have yet to be arranged, you’ll want to budget in time to spend arranging each song in the rehearsal room. Professional musicians who can write their own parts in a quick and timely manner help a lot. I’d add about 30-40 minutes per tune that needs to be arranged assuming that they are fairly typical as far as form without too many twists and turns. If you’re playing a through-composed song with alternating odd meters… well, you could set aside a couple hours of rehearsal to arrange it, or you could have someone arrange it beforehand.
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Do I Need Charts For My Band?

This is an important question to ask, because effective charts can cut down rehearsal time, but ineffective charts can do the opposite.

Sheet Music: Helpful or Harmful?

In a typical rock/pop/singer-songwriter context, professional musicians will be accustomed to transcribing songs from a track or demo and making their own charts, notating exactly what they need to know, which varies from instrument to instrument. I also find that making my own charts helps me to memorize songs, so that later I can get my head out of them and look like (less) of a tool onstage.

That said, there are a few good reasons to have professional charts prepared:

If you are playing particularly complex music, with dense harmony or specific (and varied) parts that you want the band to play, charts can be very effective and save hours of uncertainty in the rehearsal room.
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Preparing Songs for Your Band

How can you as a musician or artist be heard above the static? How can you distinguish yourself so that you are the one that gets remembered, that gets the call for the next gig and the gig after that?
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Artists: How to Effectively Prepare a Band

There’s no one way to get your band together. Miles Davis, James Brown and The Beatles, for example, all had notoriously different ways of running their bands, of working together (or not working together), and all made excellent music.

The harder it is for your band to listen to your songs, the less likely they are to know them!

There are, however, several principles to follow that will ensure that everyone takes your music seriously and that result in a much tighter musical unit.

Preparing Songs for Your Band
Send a single demo of every song. Make sure that the demo is listenable, easy on the ears, and representative of how you want the song to sound. YouTube and other streaming media are a no-go– if your band is able to get it to work, they’ll likely only get to hear it once. Read more

Being Over-Prepared: Tips for Musicians & Singers

How can you as a musician or artist be heard above the static? How can you distinguish yourself so that you are the one that gets remembered, that gets the call for the next gig and the gig after that?
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When you walk into the rehearsal room or recording studio, you will want to make an immediate impression– of professionalism, of precision, of creativity– of all that it is that you do and that you do it well. If you walk in unprepared, there’s simply no way that you can be at the top of your game.

The fix is simple: be over-prepared. Learn everything ahead of time. If you’re a sideman, know every note of your part. Have it charted out. I find that making your own charts helps to memorize songs, as I can later visualize the form in my head. The more time that you take to learn tunes and develop a personal and effective way of notating what you need to know, the more efficiently you’ll be able to learn them.
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