Better Band Preparation: Defining Sound Check, Rehearsal
There are some simple changes you can make that will bring dramatic gains to the efficiency and effectiveness of your available preparation time.
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The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.
Ask just about any Musical Director of a church ensemble (band, choir, orchestra, whatever) and they’ll probably tell you that it’s the commodity of time that is in the shortest supply. There never seems to be enough time to prepare to the level that we want!
Maybe you get your team together for only 30 minutes right before the Sunday morning service. Perhaps you have three hours on a weeknight and another hour on Sunday morning. Something in between? Whatever your situation, there are some simple changes you can make that will bring dramatic gains to the efficiency and effectiveness of your available preparation time.
The results will surprise you.
The biggest gains will come in two main areas:
A. Stronger, better leadership from the Musical Director
B. Maintaining a team culture that has clearly understood terms and goals
Drums, bass, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, keyboard and several vocalists are what make up the most common contemporary ensembles for church services these days. That’s the ensemble that I am most experienced with, so I’ll be using that contemporary band in my examples from here. But these principles apply for other types of ensembles as well.
After set up, there are five things you can do with a band:
3) Sound Check
One of the main problems I observe as bands prepare music for a service is that each of these five terms is not well understood by the band members. Often the Musical Director has only hazy definitions too! Certainly the distinction between these, and the correct time and place for each are poorly communicated by the leader.
As a result, preparation time is often a messy, hodgepodge of setting up, jamming, practicing, sound checking and rehearsing.
Frequently, I see teams trying to do two or more simultaneously!
Predictably, each is done poorly and inefficiently. Huge chunks of our precious preparation time slip through the cracks as a result.
Does this scene sound at all familiar to you?
We were supposed to start rehearsal at 7. But even though it’s now 7:20 ...
• The bassist has headphones on listening to the songs (for the first time) from his phone and fumbling through the arrangements as best he can.
• The electric guitarist is ripping out Van Halen’s “Eruption” at full volume - just because he can!
Latest ResourceWorship Facilities Magazine, November-December 2017
The November-December 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a review of the 49 New Product Award entries this year, as well as those entries up for Solomon Awards in 2017.