While I can’t quite top the simple ingenuity of the Lego life hack (shown) that has probably gone viral (found on Pinterest), I can show how some of the technology of today, when used correctly in a rehearsal setting, can have a similar effect. If we are honest with ourselves, we have probably gone down the following bunny trail at some point or another:
Small problem > Headaches > Stress > Frustration > Lashing out > Reduced respect between band mates > Productivity goes in the gutter
More often than not, this stuff is caused by small problems that get under someone’s skin on the wrong day. Someone forgot their lyrics, charts, backing tracks, setlists, etc. While you can’t prepare for, or avoid every stressful band situation, you can make sure that some of the basic problems are eliminated or at least reduced to a manageable level.
Okay so are you ready for my one big life hack for rehearsals????
- Setup a Google or Dropbox drive and invite everyone in the band to it.
It seems almost too simple, right? While a lot of people are using these online drives for varying purposes, they are practically built for a band rehearsal. I know what you’re thinking, “Dude, you’re really late to the party . . . the girl popped out of the cake and everyone has already had a piece.” That might be true but hear me out. Check out the following band practice uses for an online drive:
- Upload your charts/lead sheets/lyrics/setlists
Everyone will have access to whatever they need prior to and during the rehearsal. All they will need is a tablet/smartphone/laptop with WiFi/Data access. No more “I forgot my lyrics/charts” excuses.
- You can export from Google Drive/Dropbox to apps like unRealbook
If you have charts or documents in an online drive (generally PDFs or similar), anyone in the band can export them to an app on their device for storage and use. In the case of unRealbook, you can use PDFs (and a few other file types) to create a setlist in show order and you can do it right in the middle of rehearsal if you want to (though I strongly recommend coming prepared!).
- Need to have reference tunes available for band listening? Upload them!
- You can record rehearsal from your device and upload it directly to the drive for review by everyone with drive access.
- Triggering tracks? Upload your Ableton session files
We could probably keep listing things that you could do with an online drive but you get the idea. Again, this might sound like a “duh” kind of thing but it only works when you actually implement it. At the end of the day, the goal is to get your product out there to the public right? Well, this particular hack can help you do that and do it faster by streamlining your communication with your bandmates. Time can be precious and when we aren’t wasting time, the stress levels tend to go down and life can get a little easier. After all, isn’t that what a life hack is about?
Do you have other music-based life hacks? Please share them in the comment section!