How Often to Practice Your Band

As a concert or show approaches, you would want to feel as ready and prepared as you can possibly be. Especially since the whole performance is teamwork put together, it also takes teamwork to make the dream work.

As a general rule, two practices in the week before your show of two hours each will provide the necessary preparation time. For weeks where you have no bookings, once is enough to keep your project progressing.

How Long a Normal Band Practice is

A normal band practice is 2 hours long. During this time you will be able to practice an hour set list plus learn a new song or two. It is important to stay focused and optimize your time during an intense period than to lose concentration with too long practices.

It is very important to have a goal when you practice and stick with it. Keep the following factors in mind that could affect your time:

  • Punctuality vs. Traffic – Even people that try to be on time can’t help if the traffic is blocked.
  • Do you need to practice new content?
  • Water breaks
  • Setup/ packing up time
  • General discussion time (setlist, gig info, etc.)

This does not mean that the above-mentioned is not important, but you need to plan while keeping it all in mind. The worst feeling is not being sure if you are ready for a performance.

Try to get your setup ready in 10-15 mins and help others where you can.

How to Structure your Band Practice

To maximize your time together, it is key to set and establish the goals that you need to achieve during the practice. This differs from weeks when there are gigs to weeks when you have no bookings.

Being prepared saves everyone the time to repeat certain parts and will help you all to feel more confident. It builds trust within the band to know that you are reliable and that you respect the time of the rest. Here’s a suggested structure for a performance week including time to learn a new song:

  1. Arrival and greet (2 mins)
  2. Setting the goals for practice (3 mins)
  3. Set up (10 mins)
  4. Warm-up song to check the sound levels (5 mins)
  5. Learn new music (20-40 mins)
  6. Take a break (15 mins)
  7. Practice your set for performance (40-50 mins)
  8. Pack up (7 mins)
  9. Reflection (3 mins)
  10. Greet and leave (1 minute)

Having a good spirit within the band reflects well on stage. Be as flexible as possible while you try to reach your goals to keep a good spirit. Be patient with one another and focus on the musical needs of each other. If someone receives an important call, move your break a bit earlier to stay within the time.

Not all instruments take the same time to prepare. Help your mates to get ready so you can start your practice.

How Many Rehearsals you Need for One Gig

As a general rule, you will need one rehearsal of two hours to practice and build confidence for an established band. For new bands or established bands with new members, add 20-30 minutes for each new song to practice together.

New bands should focus on keeping their shows shorter but sweeter. Always try to keep an unfamiliar crowd impressed and leave them while wanting more for next time with 4-6 well-rehearsed songs. For a new band to practice these 4-6 new songs for a show, should take between 4-8 practice hours, depending on the experience of the members.

Now you are ready and hopefully inspired to get practicing. If there are any thoughts about what I left out and what should be shared, please add them to the comment section below.

Good luck with the journey and keep Rocking!

De Wet

The dream started during a school tour at the age of 15 years old. One that might take a long time to reach. De Wet was 16 years old when he got his first bass guitar as a gift from his dad. The guitar was found, hidden under boxes. As if it was waiting for its owner to come by and pick him up. He practiced every day to improve and to teach his fingers to dance to the music. After finishing high school, he played in various bands where he collected valuable experience, before being signed by a record label as an upcoming band. He reached success at age 22 when he released two albums with his band, which also included televised music videos for publicity. By age 24, he co-started management, artist promotion, and booking agency for successful and upcoming musical acts.

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