At this point we all know that practice makes perfect, and, if you want your band to have a really polished sound, you are going to have to practice a lot. What some people may not realize, though, is that there is a right and wrong way to go about band rehearsal. Here are just a few tips that everyone should be thinking about whenever they are setting up their next rehearsal.
Have A Plan
One of the worst things you can do going into a rehearsal is being completely blind about what you are going to be doing during that time. One of the ways you can accomplish this is by establishing some roles within your band. Who is going to be the one scheduling practice? Who will secure a location? Also, who will be the leader?
Now, you may be wary about establishing a leader in your band, but it is important to designate one person to be the one that says, “We really need to try that song again” or “Alright, let’s really crack down on this now.” It’s easy sometimes for practice to get derailed; having a leader can really help keep the practice progressing.
You should also have your songs planned out ahead of time. No one needs to come into practice without the slightest idea of what you are about to be doing. Get together and settle on the songs ahead of time, or designate a person to do this. In a band that I was in previously, our band leader would copy all the songs that we were going to do that week onto CDs for everyone to take home and practice with.
Set some goals for your practices as well like how many songs you want to work on or what plans you need to finalize. Make sure that you can check all your goals off by the end of rehearsal to keep your band moving forward.
Have Already Practiced Your Part A Lot
If you haven’t practiced your part of the songs about a thousand times before you get to rehearsal then you are doing something wrong. Everyone needs to have spent a lot of time on their individual parts before attempting them all together. Often times band members will assume that rehearsal is for practicing your parts, but it’s to bring together the already mastered parts of the songs into a complete work.
Create A Good Environment
Your living room isn’t good enough unless you’ve completely emptied it out. It’s really important to set up an environment that you can really focus in and be productive. It should be free of distractions, and should be a space where you aren’t concerned with being too loud.
Record Your Practice
You wouldn’t believe how helpful this can be. I’m sure you’ve experienced a practice where you know something is off ,but you can’t quite figure out what it is. Recording your practices can really help with this. You’ll be able to listen back on your sessions and pick it apart until you find out exactly where the problem is. You can also use these recordings to track the progress your band is making, which is always a confidence booster.
This may sound cheesy or obvious (or both), but it is easy to lose track of having fun when you are redoing the same song for the tenth time. Take a breather every now and then to ease the tension and remember that you are doing something that everyone in your band loves.