Whether practising alone or playing with your band, rehearsing is the best way to build your skills and become a tighter musician.
It’s good to get into a rehearsal routine and treat practices seriously- even if you’re just meeting up to jam, structured rehearsals get better results and help you to prepare for recordings or gigs.
You should stick to a sound limit whether you are running through a live set or meeting to work on new material. Quieter rehearsals help to identify any problems with individual parts and work out how parts can work together.
Many bands start out rehearsing at home but not everyone has enough space or forgiving neighbours. Some schools and community groups offer cheap rehearsal space and there are many well equipped rehearsal studios out there. Some spaces are available at an hourly rate and some studios rent spaces to one or more bands exclusively. It’s worth looking around for the best deals but things to consider include rehearsal space, storage space, standard of PA and soundproofing. If you are going to leave your equipment at a rehearsal studio, make sure the studio is covered or look into getting your instruments insured- the Musicians’ Union can advise on this.
With the availability of cheap portable recording equipment, it’s a good idea to start recording your rehearsals. You can then listen back to see where certain changes are needed and use these recordings to prepare for going into the studio.
Useful links on rehearsing
The Bunker: http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk
Garage Studios: http://www.myspace.com/thegaragestudios
Musicians’ Union: http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk