[JPhonk] Rehearsal wisdom

David Brancazio dbrancazio at comcast.net
Wed Oct 18 16:18:19 EDT 2017

Thanks, everyone who’s weighed in on this!  


I think all the comments I’ve heard will put us on the right track, and generally that the band will benefit from 

(a) more quiet-band-member patience and focus during rehearsals, and 

(b) more effectively-run rehearsals. 


Here are some things that delay us from playing, and some possible ways to address them:


Insufficient consensus about what song to play next

*	List songs on a white board, as Richard suggests, and follow it
*	Agree beforehand on a rotating schedule of rehearsal leaders (and backup rehearsal leaders)


Discussions about how to lead/play parts correctly

*	Test songs out before rehearsals, individually or with a smaller group?
*	Sectionals?


Dealing with technical problems

*	Better preparation, test equipment beforehand


Distributing charts, dealing with missing parts, dealing with errors on charts

*	On-site printer?
*	Digital charts?
*	Agree to move on to the next song if charts aren’t ready?


Trying to get people’s attention / waiting for people to be ready to play.

*	No-noodling rules?
*	Time limits on delays before proceeding to the next song on the list?
*	Reduce noise by disallowing very young children indoors, perhaps.


Musicians figuring out new parts

*	Agreed-upon time limit for practicing parts between songs?
*	More advance notice for new songs?
*	More preparation by band-members



I believe we can find solutions that allow us to continue to be both spontaneous and celebratory!!!




From: JPhonk [mailto:jphonk-bounces at or8.net] On Behalf Of Richard Lerner via JPhonk
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 3:11 PM
To: JP honk band messages <jphonk at or8.net>
Cc: Richard Lerner <riccardolerner at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [JPhonk] Rehearsal wisdom


At Expandable they put up a white board   Anybody Can suggest a song and they go down the list. Not perfect, but a posted list really helps. 


Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 18, 2017, at 2:34 PM, Lilia Volodina via JPhonk <jphonk at or8.net <mailto:jphonk at or8.net> > wrote:

Hi Dave, 


I second that, and would like to see changes in those areas of our band dynamics moving forward.


Listening is a very useful communication skill and I hope we can all get better at it for the mutual (and musical!) benefit. 






On Oct 17, 2017 10:59 PM, "David Brancazio via JPhonk" <jphonk at or8.net <mailto:jphonk at or8.net> > wrote:

Hi band-mateys, 

 I was reading the Old Testament after last night’s rehearsal and was surprised to come across this commandment, in Leviticus I think:  

 “Thou shalt not noodle on thy instruments of music whilst thy brethren speak unto thou, and especially during indoors rehearsals.”


This seems highly relevant!

 Of course we’re all just trying to learn the songs better, and often we’re learning new songs on the fly, so naturally we want to practice whenever we have the chance.  But it gets REALLY loud in there.  My ears ring to begin with, and I honestly felt ill afterwards.  Here’s my request:  at the very least, please don’t ever play over people who are addressing the group.

 Last night’s large group, including some very enthusiastic young musicians on vocals (i.e. screaming), made noise control very tough.  In general though, I think we must find a way to express ourselves, have fun, and learn music, all without damaging our ears. 

 I understand that at School of Honk, leaders have figured out some way for musicians to practice their parts somewhat out of earshot of the others.  Perhaps we can do something along these lines? Or, perhaps, when there are times that enough of us want to practice on the fly, we can set aside a minute or two for that, and anyone NOT wanting to do that can step out of the room?   

 Let’s also try and remember that louder is not always better.  We can sound REALLY good, and have fun too, when we use more of our dynamic range.  The best street bands know how to do this.  My high school music teacher once asked: “What’s more powerful-  rock music cranked way up on your stereo, or the sound of soft thunder in the distance?”  



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