Band rehearsals

How Do you get good band rehearsal???????? What can be done to improve them??????? If anyone has some good suggestions feel free to post, because there is nothing worst than rehearsals of 10 to 14 of the same people turning up twice a week.


Staff member
unless of course your band has 10-14 people in it - in which case it's always 100%..

Otherwise, keep them interesting, play plenty of music of varying styles and standards. Have a good apres-band (if ages allow) once in a while.
Don't be afraid to chuck people out if they're taking you for a ride - same goes for conductors. 10-14 interested players is far better than having 7 or 8 people who don't give a damn.
Push the band - but not too hard. Remember to do some Lowest Common Denominator work

Remember that there's a symbiosis between what's good for the band and what's good for the members. Long term, you have to keep the members happy. If that means dropping sections, going non-contesting, or playing nothing but "Ground Force" for two years, then that's the way to go.

</ Pontification>

Roger Thorne

Active Member
As an MD I have found that keeping the interest of the players is vital for good attendance.
Rehearsals must be planned and everybody (including percussion!) must be catered for.
There is nothing worse than sitting there for half an hour whilst your MD sorts out the back row cornet section.
I personally like to have a quick change round of reportoire. I very rarely play the same piece twice at concerts, unless its a big blockbuster, or something that is topical.
Again, nobody wants to attend rehearsals week in week out to play the same music. I like to give my players a challenge so the choice of music is also important.
A varied reportiore is normally preferable to just working on one particular piece.
I also have a very supportive committee who give me a very generous music allowance to allow me to purchase the latest music available.

There are, of course many other reasons for lack of attendance, so it may be worth a taking a serious look at the way your band or ensemble is organised.

I remember playing for a band some years ago and we rehearsed on a Tuesday and Friday evening.
The Friday evening was always a full rehearsal, but on the Tuesday we had about 6/8 people missing due to college/evening classes.
The solution was simple - alter the Tuesday night rehearsal!

Personally I feel that the quality of rehearsals, choice of music and the relationship between conductor and players all relate to good attendance.
At the end of the day everyone in the band room is there to enjoy his or her hobby, sometimes at great expense. So if the players are not enjoying it they are obvisouly not going to attend.

I look forward to hearing other MD's comments.


Active Member
Roger Thorne said:
At the end of the day everyone in the band room is there to enjoy his or her hobby, sometimes at great expense. So if the players are not enjoying it they are obvisouly not going to attend.

I look forward to hearing other MD's comments.

Hell, yes! How true that is!

I'm not a Musical Director, but I hope my comments are as valid as the next man's... but ENJOYING your hobby is essential.

Rehearsals for us are always varied, we often pick something out of the archives for a change, even when we're working up to a contest... for instance, on Friday we got "Scheherazade" out... Challenging piece for many of the band, good sight-reading practice, and we certainly aren't planning on using it during the Christmas season! :D

Essentially, what it means to me is that I look forward to every rehearsal, I get very annoyed if I have to miss one, and that my loyalty to the band is concrete.


tMP Founder
Staff member
Hey Fishsta

What an assett you must be to your band... I must congratulate you on your dedication and loyalty..


Hey, before you all get carried away with compliments, take a look at his website!!!!...frightening!!!
Only joking 'Fishta' ..its very good!


Active Member
I've never understood why everyone thinks I'm scary... :D

Thanks for visiting it, Heather... glad you liked it!


Active Member
Re: Fishsta

spookybiking said:
How did you do the santa face over the top of yours>????????? it's good

lol... thanks!

I used Paint Shop Pro and a bit of clipart... :wink:

satchmo shaz

Active Member
from an MDs and players point of view, regarding rehearsals, you've got to keep it fun, interesting and get the pace right so players feel they've acheived something. also the social side is important. have a drink with the band afterwards, listen to suggestions, talk about things etc etc

Roger Thorne

Active Member
Come on Uncle Norbert enter into the spirit of the forum! :lol:

Let's see how Chrismassy you can make your Avatar!


Players and conductors often forget about percussion a few rehearsals ago myself and the other percussionist sat for 45mins doing nothing because we had no parts, we were ready to walk out.
I think giving each player their kind of solo is important, ever since we got out yellow submarine I've loved it.

Even if I didn't have a part for the whole rehearsal I would still go I love it that much


Keppler said:
play plenty of music of varying styles and standards. Have a good apres-band (if ages allow) once in a while.

I definatly agree with this one as well as Rogers comment about changing the repertoire regularly.

Theres nothing worse than playing all old music all the time, I appreciate this might be good for older generations of the band but for the younger, all that yellow music that you dont recognise really can be boring! Some of the old pieces I actualy dont mind, but a variety of old and new is definatly the best! Ive played in bands that have done both, one just played all pop arrangements, e.g Frank Bernaerts, another just played all old music.

Changing the music every concert, or every term in youth band is also much better, playing 'fame' for 2 years is not good! trust me! I much prefer working on new music that chalenges the band which is something I am grateful for being an older member at Wigan youth band.

Ive gone on for a bit here but this is an issue I feel strongly about that I think could cause bands to fold.


Active Member
people keep going on about variety! and why? to keep people interested of course! but there are other ways. changing the music every rehearsal etc. is just a way of stopping boredom. there are other ways, and while playing the same old stuff is boring, it can also be fun. for example, warming up with the same hymn every practice. boring, non? not necessarily! players not knowing what tempo it will be playe at both keeps them on their toes, is a good exercise, and because they know the piece, you can tell them they don't need to look etc. which is a good skill to learn for when you do test pieces.

I also know people who only come to band for the 'apres band' drink, but like fishta, I go for the music, and can't give anything less than 110%. At the moment, every breath is pain due to an injury, but it has and never will stop me from playing passacaglia (or any other piece), I enjoy banding such! but i'm lucky.

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