On Becoming a Rock Musician

By H. Stith Bennett | Go to book overview

The Realities of Practice

Commitment to a Schedule The first consideration of the practice session is that it is a prearranged meeting, and there can be as many or as few sessions as the group cares to arrange. Observation of many groups shows that there is a great variation in frequency of practice schedules (from "never" to "every day"), and further that the categorization of groups by their practice scheduling yields an indicator of group career stages. It is, of course, not the number of practices, but the ideological framework which creates a particular practice density that is indicative of the group's stage of development. When there is not enough material to play a three- or four-hour gig, the group is at an early stage, and the need for practice is great. If the "every day" schedule is actualized at this point, the shortest possible lag time ensues between the group's formation and the playing of its first gig. As the number of practices decreases from the practical limit (i.e., "every day," which means "almost every day") the time it takes to construct a repertoire increases. Since the ability to accept an engagement depends on the existence of a repertoire, the practice schedule of a newly formed group determines its possibilities for succession to the steady-gig stage. It is, however, the fate of many groups to break up after initial formation because a workable practice schedule cannot be maintained. Here are some typical examples of non-musical factors affecting the existence of group music.

J: There's one thing we're gonna have to do, and that's practice every day. If we don't do that there's no use in saying we've got a group together.

s: That was the reason my last group broke up. We coulda had

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On Becoming a Rock Musician
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • On Becoming a Rock Musician *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Contents *
  • Preface *
  • I - Group Dynamics *
  • Introduction *
  • Group Definition and Redefinition *
  • II - Rock Ecology *
  • Instruments and "The Outside World" *
  • Equipment and the Band Van *
  • Gigs *
  • III - Mastering the Technological Component *
  • Technology and the Music *
  • The Realities of Practice *
  • IV - Performance: Aesthetics and the Technological Imperative *
  • Playing *
  • "Other People's Music" *
  • Appendix *
  • Loudness and Equalization *
  • Notes *
  • A Guide for the Reader *
  • Bibliography *
  • Index *
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