Is Dis Comoishel Poitenshel???
Practicing, Rehearsing and
Is this Commercial Potential?
You've spent all week getting that Metallica lick just right, last week the
timing was all over the place and you didn't have the foggiest of what a
"Mixamatosis" scale was.
Now your set....... You now know that it's called a Mixolydian mode and
Kirk Hammet, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Frank Zappa used them
extensively, you also know that to cut sixteenth notes at 150 bpm, your
alternate picking is going to need work.
You get to the rehearsal a cool twenty minutes late, the rest of the band are
even cooler, theyre an hour late, and one of them lost the tape so he didn't
practice his bass lines.....does this scenario sound familiar?
To be the best you can be, the first person you have to come to terms with
is yourself, you have to have the discipline of practicing at least an hour
every night, if you don't understand something, find out about it, buy a
book, learn to read music, get a teacher, sit an exam, whatever it takes.
You owe it to yourself to take it seriously. It's what you want to do.
Hey man, what about the soul?
Knowledge and technique does not kill the soul, the individual does..... think
about it.....since when does learning about a Mixolydian mode kill your
So now it's two hours into the rehearsal and the bass player is starting to
get it, " The first finger goes there, and then slide up two frets....like
this......no , no ....like this!!!!"
Maybe everyone should learn to read music? In a perfect world, you could
walk into the rehearsal, set up, hand everyone music and start playing
immediately. (If your in a cover band, starting buying every music magazine
with music transcriptions you can get your hands on.)
First run through...... pretty rough; Second not so bad......watch out for the
coda and the key change; Third........ We've nearly nailed it now.......etc.
A solid rehearsal routine:
1) Arrive on time, with music prepared, and equipment in working order.
2) Set up and be ready to play within 20-30 minutes then help the
drummer; he usually has three times more equipment to set up. Help set up
the P.A. system.
KEEP THE INBETWEEN SONG DOODLING AT LOUD VOLUMES TO
AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM.
3) Play two well known songs to warm up and then start on your new
material while you are fresh.
4) Have a short, five minute break and put together a set list of all your
5) Play through the set list as if it was a gig; take note of all the fumbles
and mistakes so you can go back and work on them later.
Rehearse at least once a week at an affordable, local rehearsal studio.
Set up a band kitty. A normal-sized rehearsal room costs $40-50 per 6
hour session, this can vary due to quality, times and size. Shop around.
A four-piece band putting in $15 per week each, paying $50 a week for
rehearsal time will end up with $10 a week to pay for posters, flyers, demo
tapes etc. It all adds up! Set up a kitty to meet your own needs.
After about two months of this, you need a gig. Enter the local Battle of
the bands competition, try to nail a support for another band by taking the
best recorded demo tape (or home video) possible of your best two songs to
the local pub, local festival, anywhere! Nothing teaches you more about
yourself and your band than your first gig in front of a group of people
saying "Impress me!"
Once you have the gig, organize a mailing list and posters of the band,
make sure you have the mailing list page at the door on the night so you
can post flyers to announce your next gig.
Put your posters up anywhere that's legal. Some local councils fine you for
putting up posters on their telegraph poles; Coffee shops, record stores,
schools, wherever you think your fans may be.
Send press releases to the local papers and community radio stations and
follow up to see if they want photos of the band....... professional photos.....
not grainy polaroids of the drummer knocking off his last stubby.
Know your equipment, and know your P.A; How many channels? How
many mikes? Do you need a D.I. box for the keyboard player?
Who is doing the sound? Can you trust him/her? If you don't know, find
Play the gig! Play it as if it was your last! The half-hour warm-up before
you went on is now paying off, your playing great and your playing what
you want to play! Think of this as not the end result, but as part of the
Is this commercial potential?
You have to ask yourself "What is commercial?"; But not before you ask
yourself "What do I want to play?" "How do I want to play it?" "At my
best or Half-arsed?"
Try to live by this equation:
Commercial Potential = (Professionalism x dedication) + Creativity,
Originality and Flair.
The type of music is up to you. Good music or Bad music......