bands rehearse in strange ways, so its probably a good idea
to write a column about this subject. For instance: I was playing
in a band that had just started. Wed been rehearsing all the
tunes, and we could play them, though there was still a lot of work
to be done. The most logical thing to do for this band, was to work
on these tunes a little bit more. This never happened, only new
tunes were rehearsed, so that in the end when I quit this
band we could play a lot of tunes badly. For some reason,
I was not able to convince the members of this band that this was
not the right way.
In another band a lot of tunes were rehearsed, but to my surprise we never played them during gigs. Or I played in a band that had worked hard and had rehearsed about 300 tunes. Soon after the gig had started, the singer/guitar player started to play a song nobody knew. Other bands don’t rehearse at all. This is not always a problem, by the way. When you play with good jazz musicians and standards are being played that all members of the band know, this can be very refreshing and the level of playing can be very high.
I believe you have a responsibility toward your audience: you
must see to it that the quality of your performance is as high as
possible. If this means you have to rehearse more, rehearse more!
This sounds very logical, but unfortunately I have played with a
lot of musicians in the past who did not seem to feel the same way.
They had not prepared themselves properly, were drunk, came too
late, were too stoned etc, but performed anyway. I think its
a good think to remember the following:
Make a program for your rehearsal
When my band Slick rehearses, we do this all the time. Before rehearsing,
we e-mail each other and decide what we should rehearse. When we
have rehearsed this material, we go home. This is a very efficient
and nice way to work. I love it.
Dont rehearse for more than three hours
A shorter rehearsal is also excellent, but if you rehearse longer,
people are no longer concentrated and tend to forget everything
youve worked on.
When youve got a repertoire, dont start to rehearse
new tunes until youre band can play enough tunes excellently
to last the whole gig. Of course, this approach will raise the
quality of your performance.
Dont be late and be prepared. This way, youll
avoid a lot of irritation.
I hope this column will inspire you to rehearse properly if you
have not done so in the past!