How to Have a Successful Band Practice
Some bands have the luxury of a practice area, or lock-out practice room that allows them to keep their equipment set up all the time. You can find out about practice areas in our 101 Ways to throw a great show article. For those of you who don’t have that luxury, here are a few tips to help you out.
Set up is a very important and easy task to do. Every musician I know can’t wait
to ‘Jam’, but there are a few things that you want to take into consideration before you practice. Here is a list of things you should think about when you practice.
1) Remember to have plenty of water for each of the band members. Hydration is very crucial. You also want to make sure that there is ventilation or a fan to keep the air circulating.
2) Figure out where each of you will set-up. Be sure to leave enough room for each of you to practice your stage presence when practicing. Very important.
3) Every band has to set up, so here is a set up order I found that is very effective: Drums, bass first, guitar, P.A. after. Help each other out as much as you can and break down the opposite way you set up every time.
4) Tune your instrument/s and run through a quick warm-up for about 15 min before your actual practice. I find that a good cover song is a great way to get greased up before a session.
5) Make sure to have a list of the songs that you will be practicing. Be sure to include song tempos and any changes or ideas you may have for your songs. A very effective way for this is to print out sheets for everyone or to have a white board positioned for everyone in the band to see.
6) Have your metronome handy so that you are consistent with your every time. This will help you out in your recording session in the future.
7) If you already have a recording of your songs, you might want to review them just before you practice to keep the song fresh in your mind. Sounds lame, but trust me it will lessen the chance of mistakes.
8) Try to record your practice every time so that you can hear how you sound and blend with each other. TAPE DOES NOT LIE.
9) Save the important stuff for after the band practice. Show dates, practice schedule, album artwork, band image can all wait till its time to go. The band will be pumped up for the band meeting after you practice.
10) Take breaks every 30 min so that you can discus the songs and to get fresh air. Your brain and your body need breaks so you don’t fatigue even your strongest player.
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