Blog#5 The Band Rehearsal/How To Make A Rehearsal Successful/New Songs
Welcome to our 5th blog, thanks for reading.
The last three blogs centred on choosing appropriate songs for 'Energy' and constructing a set to make every booking go with a bang.
This blog is an insight to our rehearsals . .
How Often Do We Rehearse?
This varies but probably every month or so. We know the 'set' inside out so don't need to go over songs we perform regularly. Rehearsals are for new songs, we tend to learn new material quickly and get it in the set as soon as we can to test drive it and set if it will remain. When we first formed we tried to rehearse every single week to get together a body of material.
OK, it's not rocket science but when we get the below things right we have a productive rehearsal.
I'm lucky to have a little studio space at my house in Norwich, Norfolk big enough for us to rehearse, this saves me time travelling to rehearsal and setting up my drum kit.
What Makes A Successful Rehearsal?
(1) For me to get organised setting up the sound system, leads, mic's and everything else before band arrive, this saves wasting time when they do.
(2) For the band members to turn up on time so the band can make the most of every minute, rehearsal time is precious and shouldn't be wasted.
(3) For everyone to spend time learning the material before arrival. Where parts for an instrument are complicated it's very frustrating for the rest of the band hanging around while one member learns parts they should already know.
(4) Record it, so you have something to listen back to. It's amazing how things aren't quite what they seemed when you listen back. It will help you make the finer adjustments required to make a song sound great; an altered backing vocal, an extra chorus at the end of the song, less drum fills?
(5) Clarify the versions that you're all going to learn. Edit the original recordings for medleys so everyone knows what they're doing.
The Rehearsal’s New Songs
We rehearsed a new guitar riff medley that I came up with:
Rocks (Off) - Primal Scream
Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz
Brown Sugar - The Rollin’ Stones
This medley went together surprisingly easily, everything worked just as the edited MP3 that I'd sent to everyone before hand. The swagger of Are You Gonna Go My Way sounds like it could add something to our set. It was great to revisit and old classic, Brown Sugar, this song has a great vibe.
Sir Duke - This was trickier than expected. A nameless band member (you know who you are ;-) didn't learn the parts properly so there was no way a song with such particular parts was going to be properly rehearsed.
Testing The Water With Tracks
We also had a quick go at some other tracks including Died In Your Arms Tonight - Cutting Crew, Uprising - Muse, and All The Small Things - Blink 182, to see if they're worth learning properly.
The former very much failed the 'Golden Rules' that I talked about in Blog#2. Uprising would be difficult to dance to as it's quite syncopated and Died In Your Arms is just the wrong vibe for a celebration. Personally, I really would love to do those songs, but running a successful wedding, party band is about what our clients and their guests want, not me.
All The Small Things rocked, felt great, upbeat, and virtually everyone knows it so we'll be learning that one at some point for sure.
Talk To Each Other
I'm privileged to have such talented musicians in the band and I very much value and appreciate their opinions.
Thanks for reading,
Band Leader and Drummer
Norwich Norfolk Wedding Party Band