Band practice etiquette

The unwritten rules of having a productive rehearsal.

Posted: 3 March 2020

It’s an important time in any musician’s journey. You’ve pulled together some friends and taken the first step towards playing shows by arranging a band practice. Whether you call it a ‘jam’, ‘rehearsal’ or a ‘practice’ the methodology stays the same. We’ve gone through some of the most important factors to keep in mind, whether it’s your first ever rehearsal or you’re a seasoned touring musician.

Fail to prepare – Prepare to fail

Everyone is guilty of being forgetful at times, but preparation is key to avoiding issues that can derail the entire rehearsal. If you’ve got some song ideas that you want to share with the band, it might be worth recording them at home and sharing with other members before the rehearsal so you’re not going in cold. (Find out more about home recording here) You could even throw some other instrumentation on to get your point across! Even just a video from your phone sent over to the other members will help.

A great way to have a band working like a well-oiled machine is by starting a Whatsapp or Facebook group where all of the members can contribute and share ideas back and forth (this is also a god send for arranging rehearsal times with busy band mates!) You could also create a Google Calendar and add in any holiday dates/gig dates, so everything is visible.

Now you’ve got the other members in a group chat and you’re sharing ideas and making plans, you’ll need to prepare your gear.

Listen, Listen, Listen

It’s easy to be distracted in a rehearsal environment but nothing ruins a good thing more than a lack of communication. It’s super important to listen in a rehearsal environment. If your vocalist is trying to figure out a line - don’t shred non-stop for 20 minutes, if the rest of the band are trying to work through a part - don’t sit on your phone. It’s never easy dealing with different egos but listen, be patient and work through ideas collaboratively and you’ll finish the rehearsal with a smile on your face.

Have Fun

Some of the best friendships and relationships are formed whilst playing music, it’s a brilliant opportunity to meet new people and the most important part of music is the enjoyment in doing it. Be careful not to get too bogged down in the logistics. Turn it up and rock out!