moving rehearsals to once a week

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by StellaJohnson, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    There has been alot of discussion on tmp about subs, cost of travelling, committment and the list goes on. I'm in this boat, would love to play but struggle with everything else I have to deal with day to day.

    Would having rehearsals once a week instead of the 2 which seems the norm attract more players to a band. Has it worked for any bands out there, capitalising on semi retired players who cannot committ? I would certainly consider going back to playing if this was the norm. I know rehearsals are essential to keep the band at a good level, but surely it would be more benifical to have 1 rehearsal a week with a full band then 2 with half a band.

    Any thoughts?
  2. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    That would be fine if people practised at home between rehearsals!

    Two rehearsals is abnormal for amateur musical groups. I don't know any wind bands or orchestras that have more than one.

    I gave up playing for a couple of reasons, the main one being that it felt like having a second job. Not just the rehearsals but he commitment to regular daily practice.
  3. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    We only have one anyway
  4. ophicliede

    ophicliede Member

    I work with a young band that only has 1 rehearsal a week, however home practice is essential between rehearsals. I have seen many bands that end up rehearsing every night of the week before contests, lips get tired and players become emotionally tired also. Sometimes less is more.
  5. brassneckuk

    brassneckuk Member

    We go for once a week and call a second (or third) on the run in to contests or bigger concerts. This Christmas period we may skip weeklys and concentrate on the smaller fund raisers. People are really busy through December so that should work well. However, its really difficult to prepare for contests (and much less enjoyable for all) if people do not attend when called, but thats between them and their band....
  6. agentorange

    agentorange Member

    If my band announced that they were going to one per week then I'd hand in my notice immediately. I work shifts, and the shift pattern dictates that i work two night shifts in every 8 day period. So, if we decided to rehearse only on a Wednesday for example, then there'd be two consecutive Wednesdays i'd be missing. That's 3 weeks between rehearsals for me - not nearly enough to satisfy my demand.

    So, to answer your questions - If I was looking for a new band, I wouldn't be attracted by weekly rehearsals, and I don't see how it can be beneficial if people (with similar circumstances to me) can go 3 weeks between rehearsals.
  7. Euphanasia

    Euphanasia Member

    I only joined my current band when they dropped from two rehearsals a week to one.......although I had helped them out a few times, I couldn't commit to two rehearsals a week as I work permanent nights........
    As I am not on a fixed night line, I can usually wangle an night a week off for rehearsals, plus be around for the extra ones pre-contests/concerts and, of course, I can usually blag the time off for jobs........However, two fixed rehearsals every week would have been impossible for me to commit to with any degree of conscience.....
  8. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    The band I conduct is a once a week affair, and the culture is completely different to twice a week bands.

    It suits them and they enjoy it, but it severely limits their ability to improve; those who cannot commit twice weekly are likely to either lack the time or inclination to do the work inbetween to move their own playing forwards also.

    As a player, I enjoy what I do so much that I will make two pratices a week work. I've changed jobs in the past to make that happen! For the financial and time cost, I feel I get very good value (even when I lived in Australia and band was 90 minutes away) compared to most hobbies.

    I know we are all different however!
  9. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    I tend to agree, I think banding in general and individual bands are going to have to 'box clever' in the years ahead if we are to survive.
    The era of the majority of people working 9 til 5 mon to fri with every weekend off is now gone unfortunately, and it is short-sighted of bands if they don`t adapt and recognise this fundamental change in our working routines.
    I once played with a very successsful band in London, who only rehearsed once a week ordinarily and I recall the membership seemingly responding positively to the 'perk' of only one rehearsal per week.
    The bands who in the future reflect the changing needs of it`s membership, will be the successful ones in my opinion.
    I think I read on here once, that bands on mainland Europe almost exclusively rehearse once a week, is this another example of us being slightly behind the curve in comparison to our more enlightened neighbours?
  10. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    I seem to remember a few years ago hazel grove (don't know if they still do) were 3rd section and rehearsed once a week, I think there is a band up in leeds way when I was looking round when I lived up there that rehearse once a week and they are 2nd section, so it must have worked for them. I know it dosen't suit everyone but it is a start. There are alot of ex players out there like myself where circumstances have changes who cannot commit full time and too many bands having 2 rehearsals a week for the sake of it with empty seats.
  11. John_D

    John_D Member

    We did move to a once a week rehearsal but have since moved back to twice a week, and the standard rapidly improved. We rehearse on tuesday and thursday. The once a week rehearsal was on tuesday (as some people said they had other commitments on thursdays). Since going back to twice a week we have increased membership, with a couple of the new members also having occasional other commitments - usually on a tuesday!!
  12. backrow

    backrow New Member

    Stella we have a vacancy and I have tried to PM but I can,t get it to work. If interested give me a call on 07792047120 we can be flexible and you won't have to carry your bass to jobs!

  13. SteveT

    SteveT Member

    Don't Do It!

    This is a very sensible comment. The health warning for me is that it severely restricts the ability to inprove a band. Also it means that you have to spend longer on working up testpieces if you want to win. Often bands that only practice once a week, won't put in the extra work required before a contest anyway, even though they say they will.

    This is particularly true in the South of England, the reason most heard is that people in the South have such "Important Jobs"... or the transport issues? To put this into context, I won the London Area contest last year with starting the testpiece "Resurgam" (tough ask for 2nd section), much earlier than ususal. Thank god I did, because I got 2 rehearsals in the week before the contest.

    Anwyay, going to 1 rehearsal a week is the slippery slope to mediocrity! My advice -Don't do it!
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  14. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    We moved from 1 a week to 2 a week in my junior band days. The problem was that a lot of the band couldn't (or in some cases wouldn't) make the extra night. So what happened was that a few of us improved much quicker than the others, and are now largely dotted around the top/1st section in yorkshire 5 years later.

    The problem was we left the rest of the band behind in terms of ability - and this let to conflict when some of the players on corner chairs who didn't ever make the second rehearsal were asked to move down for players who were now undoubtedly better.

    Whatever choice you make, there are consequences. If you go to two rehearsals a week, some of your players who aren't too bothered about improving may pack it in or become unreliable for attendance. If you don't, some of your players who do want to move on, improve and see how far banding can take them may decide they have to move on to do that. The important thing is that you discuss it thoroughly and do what's best for the band as a whole. And only those of you close enough to the situation to understand it will know what that is.

    Either way, good luck

    (On a side note, I currently do three rehearsals a week many weeks.... though that is spread over two bands.)
  15. Jack

    Jack Member

    Derwent brass in the midlands, rehearse once a week and they are in the top section. Definately works, as long as people practice... I don't play for derwent brass I play for carlton brass who do rehearse twice a week which is fine by me but occasionally I do find it tough if I have a particularly heavy week for work at uni so the idea of rehearsals once a week seems ok to me.
  16. ophicliede

    ophicliede Member

    Stephen, I have spent years conducting some bands twice a week and even more in the run up to contests, some players believe they can put every thing right in the practice room. My current band started it's life with one rehearsal a week, we have gone from 4th Section to 1st in 5 years. We do have some extra rehearsals before a contest but at the end of the day it is all down to the individuals making the effort and coming together as a band. You don't learn your part at the band rehearsal.
  17. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    My band currently does 2 rehearsals a week, but I wish they'd change to one! We have a fantastic conductor on a Friday night and when we play under him we are a different band - he tells us exactly what he wants and how he wants us to do it. His experience and knowledge has been invaluable, and it is a delight to work with him - it's also hard work, but no-one minds. :clap: I wish he was available for the other rehearsal. :frown:
    Unfortunately, due to resons beyond my understanding, we never know who is going to be wagging in the middle on the Tuesday night. In 7 months I've played under 7 conductors :mad: When one conductor tells you one thing, then another comes in and tells you something different, it gets rather frustrating. Before ayone says why not bring it up with a committee member, don't worry, I will. A band needs consistency, and if that means a consistent one rehearsal a week, stepping up to more before comps, etc then I'm, all for that.
  18. David Pegram

    David Pegram Member

    We have changed from 2 rehearsals to 1 a week with a positive outcome.
    With 2 we were getting a split band with some players unable to commit on a regular basis to both rehearsals so we were getting a different on a sunday to that of a wednesday.
    Now with 1 on a wednesday we have full rehearsals most of the time and as MD rehearsal time is much more productive.
    We do add extra rehearsals or sectionals leading up to important events.
  19. Basstiger

    Basstiger Member

    We dropped from 2 to 1 a few years only lasted a few weeks as most of the members wanted 2 so we went back to 2 again...we are in the South of England and it doesn't seem to be an issue with travelling etc and even with a few empty seats some nights we still manage 2 meaningful rehearsals a week. We do operate a diary system whereby you sign out if you know you're not coming so on the very rare occasion there's not going to be enough there to make it worthwhile they will cancel in advance, but that is far and few between.
  20. nigeb12

    nigeb12 Member

    Hazel Grove still rehearse once a week, although we do have extra rehearsals running up to contests. We are debating whether or not to move to 2 having just been promoted to 3rd section. Some players are in favour because they feel that practising at home doesn't replicate what happens in the bandroom, there are some who work shifts (as mentioned in another post) and there are some who just enjoy rehearsing. Others feel that they are unable to commit to twice weekly rehearsals. Anyway I think we will probably stick to 1 rehearsal and go to 2 about a month before a contest...maybe..:-?