10 Essentials to Leading Great Rehearsals

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Band Practice

Great rehearsals don’t happen on their own.  They start with great preparation and planning.  Great rehearsals don’t just help us prepare our material for Sunday.  They are fun, encouraging, help us grow in our gifting and our faith.  Accomplishing those things requires leadership.  Here are # essentials to leading great rehearsals.

  1. Start on Time: There is a temptation to wait until everyone has arrived.  Make every effort to start with who you have.  Waiting for the latecomers enables their behaviour and disrespects those who made the effort to start on time.
  2. Begin with a Devotional:  It doesn’t have to long, but it is so important that we get our hearts on minds set on Jesus.  It reminds us all of what really matters and gives us the right perspective on our role as worship leaders.
  3. Use a Standard Sound Check Song.  This is a tip that one my volunteers brought back from her time at Hillsong College.  It really is helpful to warm up with a song everyone knows and is confident to sing and play.  It’s much easier for the sound team to get levels set with a song they’re familiar with.
  4. Watch the Clock:  It’s easy to get bogged down in one song and use up half of your rehearsal time. Then you have to rush through the rest of the set.  Keep an eye on the clock and keep things moving.
  5. Give Clear Direction:  Let your team know clearly what you’re looking for.  Give people the roadmap of the song.  When your team is guessing what you want, they’ll play tentatively.
  6. Be Open to New Ideas:  If someone starts trying something new on a song and it sounds good, go with it!  Even if it wasn’t part of your original plan for the song.  Harness the collective creativity of the team.  You’ll be amazed at what they might come up with!
  7. Use Direct Language when Praising:  If someone plays something that sounds great, tell them! And be direct.  “John, that sounded great. I loved what you did there on the bridge.”
  8. Use Indirect Language when Addressing Problems:  If your people are afraid of being called out if they make a mistake, they’ll play tentatively.  So be indirect when addressing problems.  “Hey, I think I heard some note issues in verse 2.  Any idea what’s going on there?”  Usually, someone having problems will own up to it and you can address it without embarrassing them.
  9. Don’t Forget to Worship:  Even though it is “just a rehearsal,” make it a point to worship.  It is a discipline to set our hearts in a worshipful posture.  The more often we do it, the easier and quicker it gets.
  10. End on time:  Respect your team by ending the rehearsal on time. Rehearsals that run long over time are usually counterproductive anyway.  As the night wears on, or as people become fatigued, additional rehearsing just gets people more tired and upset.