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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

7 Tips For A Better Rehearsal


Rehearsal image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog
Regardless of where you're at in the musical food chain, rehearsals are an essential part of your life. One of the major differences between a pro and an amateur is in rehearsal technique. Here's a quick checklist to make those rehearsals go a little smoother so you can get a lot more accomplished (excerpted from the How To Make Your Band Sound Great band improvement book).


1) Have an agenda. Know what youʼll be working on before rehearsal even begins. It saps so much energy out of a band to argue about what you're going to do when you have to decide at the rehearsal. Learn something new, work out something that doesn't sound right yet, but keep moving forward. And plan the next rehearsal at the end of the last one.

2) Know your parts before you get there. You canʼt concentrate on playing with the band if you donʼt know your parts. This applies more to cover bands, but can also apply to bands that play their own music as well. Usually the songwriter will record at least a rough demo before the band gets together to work it out. If you work out the changes and get an idea of where the song is going beforehand, there'll be a lot more time to experiment so you can perfect playing with the other musicians during rehearsal.

3) Concentrated on the details. It's not just the changes that make the song, it's all the other things that take it to the next level. Learning to play dynamically and concentrating on the turnarounds, builds, attacks and releases make all the difference in the world in how the song finally sounds.

4) Stop immediately when thereʼs a trainwreck. Address the problem while itʼs fresh. Don't let a mistake go by, especially if the player or players making it aren't aware of what they're doing. Remember the golden words, "How are your playing it?"

5) Work on the most difficult part first. Start as close to the part that's giving you trouble as you can and donʼt stop playing it until it works. Repeat until you get it, even if you have to play it slower at first, or softly so you can hear yourselves better.

6) Donʼt rehearse a song to death. Give it a break and come back later. One of the worst things that a band with their own music does is play the same songs every rehearsal. Give them a rest, especially if you've been playing them for a long time or out on gigs. Don't worry, you won't forget how to play them.

7) Rehearse your show. Before you play a gig, rehearse the entire show, including what youʼll say in- between songs, sound and light cues, etc. This is what a major touring band does and that's why they can nail it from the first night of the tour onwards. The less you leave to chance, the better your show will be.

Just by following these simple techniques, you'll find that not only will your rehearsals be more productive, but your shows as well.

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1 comment:

Ben Zabbia said...

Great advice. I really want to start implementing these approaches into our next rehearsal.

Thanks

Ben

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