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?”