If you are curious about what exactly the activity of “Band Rehearsal” means, you are at the right place. If there is confusion about what the musicians are doing during this time, and what they call the different types of rehearsals, then you are at the right place.
A band rehearsal is the get-together of musicians to practice their music or to prepare for a concert. This is mainly done in a structured environment where musicians will set goals of what they would like to achieve during this band rehearsal time. The duration for such a rehearsal is normally two to four hours of practice, or until the objectives of the rehearsal have been achieved.
To go more in-depth on this topic, let’s have a look at a few types of different band rehearsals that musicians attend.
A routine practice is where musicians get together to play their music with the goal of building up their performance repertoire on a weekly or regular basis. This usually takes place at a central and comfortable location, like an agreed practice room, a garage, an open field, or at a house. All the members are usually present so that they don’t miss out on the progress of their music.
Routine practices are the stability of the band and the most important appointment to get your project off the ground. Practising once a week is a good amount so that the members can practice their pieces and find inspiration for the next meeting.
Don’t miss the post I wrote about How often to practice with your band plus a few tips, once you are ready to take it to the next level.
The term speaks for itself. It’s time to get ready for show time.
This is mainly where the band will play through their set at least once, to make sure that they feel secure and confident about what they will perform.
Depending on the set length, this could take approximately 2 hours or more.
The positive side of such an intensive way of rehearsing is that it is also preparing for a series of concerts or performances. That means that you prepare once, intensively, to perform a longer period of time.
This is when a new band is formed and members need to get to know each other to figure out the genre of music they all are open to performing. This is a critical phase in the start of a band since it will be the first direction the band will go into.
Take factors into consideration like:
- Is the music marketable?
- Will we find venues open to hosting us?
- Does the genre leave an open door to flexibility? For example acoustic vs. plugged, Rock vs. pop.
- Will the music structure be easily understandable to the commercial market?
An ideal starting point is to play a few easy covers together to get the musical feel for each other. This could also lead to expanding your musical repertoire.
When a new member is introduced to the band, it might take a bit of time to integrate and practice the content. It is important to stay open, patient and adaptable. New musicians bring new ideas and a fresh point of view. Experiencing change to their sound is not easy for musicians, but keep the interest of the band in the centre when making decisions. In this case, bonding socially is also recommended.
This is very similar to a dress rehearsal, with the only key difference being that the band members now turn away from each other, facing the same direction. This helps with building confidence in the music and with each other. Band members can become very dependent on each other when they always stand in a circle to practice, and this method forces one to balance the focus on the audience too.
The frontman also gets a chance to practice the crowd interaction in connection to when the next song will start.
Instead of asking what type of song will be next, the band has now rehearsed the exact set to perfection and they are ready for a flawless performance.
The use of this method also improves the bands’ feel for one another. Practice the members’ introduction this way, with short instrumental solos. This will put you ahead of other bands, especially when participating in competitions like Battle of the Bands.
A soft practice is when the band sits together to make sure of song structures. It normally starts with the rhythm guitarist and vocalist giving guidance, and then the other members joining in to play the song softly together. Ideally, an acoustic guitar works well for this, but a clean electric guitar would do the job just as well.
This is a great way to try out different harmonies for the vocals, especially when you have more than one backup vocalist.
This is also an ideal method to introduce new songs to the band. Every member gets the chance to create his/her own pieces for their instruments to see what they can come up with.
When only two members would like to practice parts of songs together, and where other members are not needed to attend. It’s ideal when two guitars are practising their harmonising or bass and drums looking to improve on their chemistry. This is also another effective method to practice vocal harmonising when there is one backup vocalist in the band.
At the end of the day, getting together to practice is the biggest goal. Call the practices what you want; working to reach your dream takes time and patience. The key is not to give up. Adjust your practice routine to get the most out of each session and try to put in a little more in your free time in the sense of songwriting, solo practices or general bonding.
I wrote a cool piece about building chemistry with your band members, which I personally feel is just as important to your band as the practice time you put in.