When is a song ready?When deciding by committee


Silver Member
Just wanted to know how it is decided in your bands,in my band we have a lead singer that knows nothing,and if we get through a song in practice without stopping,no matter how horrible,it finds it's way on to the set list,the bass player is not much better.The guitar player and I constantly are at odds with this.My feeling is that if you can play a tune at rehearsal well three times in a row it is ready,and in general a tune needs to be rehearsed with the week end warrior bands over two rehearsals to make sure it is committed to memory.I have also noticed that it usually takes the song being played out/gigged 3 to 5 times for it to really set in and and find it's niche.


Platinum Member
That's actually a great problem to have, IMO! I've heard it said the part of being a productive artist is knowing when to drop your brushes and call it good, and I agree with the spirit of that.

At some point, fiddling around with it and second-guessing all your writing decisions can be paralyzing and prevent you from moving on to the next thing. Better to throw caution to the wind and move on. The song will sort itself out eventually (hopefully!). It is good to be able to plow through it without stopping no matter how rough some of the changes might have been. You can then revisit the rough spots and fix what ails them - revisiting just the changes or trouble spots. Then you can all sleep on it and come back to it next time and fake your way through it again. Anyone with a brainwave on how to make it just that much cooler should feel free (or obligated) to pipe up with their idea.

Often when we rehearse, we'll seriously botch this part or that change, but we power through it. We won't always go back to revisit the trouble spot, often we'll just identify it and say, "better luck next time!" and move on. The benefit there is learning how to manage a train that's jumped the tracks, then wrestling it back on again - which is a critical skill for live situations where nothing is worse than a full-scale train wreck.


Silver Member
Yes I agree,esp when talking original music,for the most part the the microscope comes out when recording.I was talking about a cover band,should have specified. OMG The bass player and singer came up with an original and insisted on playing it at a gig and the singers own wife said it sucked.


Platinum Member
I think the general rule here is..amatures practice till they get it right...pros practice till they can't get it wrong.,but you have to set your own standard.The good thing is that if its original music....if you screw up..no one will know but you....well usually.

In rehearsal...if you screw up,you really have to stop.Powering through is not a solution to a problem you need to correct on the spot.Whoever is making the mistake needs to go home and continute to work on the problem.If that player is over their head,then the part should be changed till you can get the other part right.Its like driving on a street with potholes..either you're going to hit that same pothole over and over...drive around it ,or take a different street the next time.

You have to work A to Z.You don't go to B if you can't get A right.The hardest part about doing all of that,is having fun playing music,and not pissing off your band mates doing it.

Steve B

Hissig Gompen

Senior Member
It depends on what the target audience is. If you're mostly playing rock cover songs at shabby bars it's not crucial that everything is 100%, you could probably get away with some mistakes here and there. If you're doing a tour as a support act to build a fan base for your own material, everything better be 100%.