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Signs You’re in a Rehearsal or Hobby Band

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, if that’s what you want to do

  • There aren’t any gigs booked. Or if there are, they don’t pay or pay enough.
  • Gigs don’t get booked because “we aren’t ready. We will gig when we are ready.”
  • There’s no set list and thus no one works on the material at home.
  • The set list or itinerary isn’t followed at rehearsal.
  • People don’t practice their parts at home and aren’t ready for rehearsal. (“Practice separately, rehearse together” - say it over and over)
  • People don’t show up on time for rehearsal or worse, cancel at the last minute leaving other band members there high and dry.
  • Rehearsals expand instead of contract. In other words, people want to have more rehearsals as the gig approaches instead of getting better and needing less. Or, they keep having rehearsals but that’s all the band ever does.
  • Replacing a member starts the whole process over. Instead of the new member learning the songs on their own and jumping in with maybe a couple of rehearsals (“Practice separately, rehearse together”), it’s like the whole band has to learn everything again.
  • Someone describes the band as “pro’s” [sic]. Could you imagine someone in another field (plumbing, dentistry) saying, “I’m a pro [plumber or dentist]”? Or, “I’m Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, and we’re a pro band with over 20 years of experience and we’re looking for a pro drummer with his own gear”?

Disclaimer: I don’t have anything against any type of band people want to do. My old band started out as a hobby band, never intending to play out. Some bands do want to play out a little, others more, and some hope to make a career of it or nearly so. As one friend of mine put it, “The beauty of music is that there are lanes for all types of musicians i.e. full-time, semi-pro, weekend warriors, hobbyists, etc. It’s really just a matter of finding the right lane.” Another friend replied, “Sometimes it’s difficult to find the right lane because what people say doesn’t necessarily match what they really want or do.” That’s the point of this post. I have had struggles “finding the right lane” for what I want to do as far as a matching (not marching) band. After discussing it with some musician friends, I came up with this list.

Posted 2016 03 08 at 12:03 PM

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