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How to practice a better practice?

Tips and thoughts on band productivity.

Bandbeat blog post on how to have better practice and rehearsal sessions with your band

Practice Makes Perfect as Wire once sang, but to make the most of your practice, you need to perfect the practice itself first. Or at least optimize it. However, that’s easier said than done, so we scoured the web and collected the best tips on how to make the best of your rehearsal sessions.

Before practice

A good practice begins before practice. The first thing to think about and discuss is the reason for calling the rehearsal. To write new material, to develop ideas, to practice for a gig, to rehearse existing songs and covers, or just jam? Once you’ve reached to a conclusion, it’s time to plan your setlist. Making sure you’re all on the same page is the basis from which to start and structure your rehearsal -in a realistic manner. A proper bandmate should consider learning his/her parts alone, before the band rehearsal. You’ll need some warming up, but that’s not the time to learn that new riff.

Before leaving the house, make sure you (or the studio) have everything you need. Luckily, Bandbeat can help you with that, by selecting and booking your equipment in advance.

Last but not least, don’t be late (please). Nobody likes it and you’re probably paying for that time, so why waste it?

During practice

The first thing you can do when you enter the studio is to start recording the rehearsal (we’ll come back to this later) and make sure you’ve removed all distractions. Well, that’s mainly your phones and other people.

Also, even if it’s nice to play at full volume, you might want to keep your levels down so the loudness doesn’t drain you just after the first song. Don’t worry, you’ll crank the amps up towards the end.

Timing how long you need to set up and pack down your takes is really helpful to get a better understanding of each session, as well as taking and scheduling your much needed breaks.

After practice

Once you’ve finished your rehearsal, catch a breath and take a few minutes to discuss with each other about what went down. Review the session to identify any potential mistakes and consider the difficult parts you’ll need to practice more.

Being in the beat of the moment, this might be the perfect moment to be punctual. Plan your next rehearsals to save time and set a consistent -if possible- timeplan. Bandbeat’s recurring bookings feature can make it easier to book once you’ve found your schedule.

Then, if you’re not in a hurry, why not just hang around for some bonding time?

Final thoughts

A good but still at times controversial advice would be to consider picking a leader, appointed to do the organizing and outsource some responsibilities to him, so you don’t need a band meeting for every little thing. Maybe even entertain the idea of hiring a manager? However, the most important thing is to always respect each other and communicate. 

The day after, take some time to listen to the recording of your session. You’ll be surprised on things that went unnoticed (both good and bad). Your next hit might be hidden in a wrong note (they do exist; sorry to our jazz friends). Stay in the pace, set your goals, practice more and discuss.

See you at the studios bandmates!

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