Rehearsals are incredibly important for making your live shows sound good. If you don’t sound tight and rehearsed in the privacy of your practice space, how on earth are you going to impress your potential fans when you finally land that first gig?
To help keep you on task and productive I’ve put together 5 tips to stick to whenever you find yourself rehearsing for your next big show.
1. Keep the Chatter to a Minimum
I love band practice. But I also look at it as work.
I want to get things done and run through as many songs as I can. I love music much more than chit-chatting so unnecessary chatter between songs is annoying to me.
More time for playing, less time chatting.
2. Go Through the Set List
I’m assuming that you practice because you want to play a gig somewhere right?
When practicing you not only need to practice individual songs but also need to practice the “negative space” between songs.
You need to be able to go from one song to the next without any serious hiccups. That means no 2 minute tunings, amp checking or boring banter.
A good thing to practice is knowing how one song can flow into another. Being able to go from one song to another without stopping shows professionalism and that you’ve thought the set list through. It also sounds super cool when you let the last chord of the first song die out while the drummer kicks of the drum beat of the second song. It’s impressive to the audience. Be impressive to the audience.
Banter is also important, and having great stories on hand is important while people are tuning or if you need to fill out a 30 minute set if you only have 4 songs. But if you’re the band leader I suggest you do that on your own time, respecting everybody else’s time who came there to practice the songs, not listen to your stories.
3. Work on Specific Parts Separately
If you are having serious trouble with a part of the song, then just play that part over and over again.
There is no point in playing the verse and bridge parts if the chorus isn’t clicking. You could play 8 or more choruses in the same time that it takes you to play a song through once.
4. Don’t Stop the Song Because of One Stupid Mistake
If somebody makes a mistake, a wrong drum fill or a lousy solo DON’T stop the song just to have a discussion about it.
Continue the song and figure it out later. If it was just a random error then you don’t have nothing to worry about. But stopping the song to talk about it is just a waste of time.
5. Record the Songs and Practice at Home
I use a simple portable recorder, like my iPhone or my USB mic to record every new song we do. It’s really handy in order to remember parts and arrangements.
Also, listening to a recording of your songs while you are not playing them frees your brain up to listen to the songs at a different level.
What work ethic do you adhere to at practices? Any tips you want to pass along?