Saturday, August 12, 2006

BAND STUFF: practice makes perfect

Once you've got the band together, and you've started working on arrangements, the next thing to take it all forward is practice!! This is true whether you're in a worship team, or putting a band together to do gigs - you've got to get used to playing with each other to make it sound great!

When I put a new band together I usually spend at least one full day practicing four or five songs to get us started. The arrangement part normally takes quite a while, and then you need to play it through another couple of times to make sure it's in the bag. Once you've settled on the arrangement, take a moment and have everyone in the band write down notes on their music so that they remember what they have to do, and when they have to do it! - that way, when you come to play that song again, you already have the main things in place.

After that initial time of intense practicing (we would usually go to two practices a week for about a month after the day's lock in - before going to once a week on the weeks we are playing in church) - keep your practices short. Two hours is plently of time to work up four songs (unless they are all new!). If your practices go on longer than this, people start to lose interest (and spouses waiting at home with kids get a little lonely :) Plus, it forces you as the leader to keep things focussed. Believe me, you can still have a lot of fun, but it's way more productive.


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