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.

Better Band Preparation: Defining Sound Check, Rehearsal
Drums, bass, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, keyboard and several vocalists are what make up the most common contemporary ensembles for church services these days.
Better Band Preparation: Defining Sound Check, Rehearsal
Drums, bass, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, keyboard and several vocalists are what make up the most common contemporary ensembles for church services these days.

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Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.
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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!

Preparation time is often a messy, hodgepodge of setting up, jamming, practicing, sound checking and rehearsing.

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:
1) Jam
2) Practice
3) Sound Check
4) Rehearse
5) Implement

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!


More About Grant Norsworthy
A Grammy-nominated, Dove Award-winning musician, Grant Norsworthy is also the founder, owner, content developer and principal instructor of More Than Music Mentor, helping to equip church singers, instrumentalists and technicians for artistic excellence and authentic worship.
Get in Touch: me@grantnorsworthy.com    More by Grant Norsworthy

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.


Article Topics

Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Volunteers · Band Members · Efficiency · Instruments · Jamming · Musical Director · Practicing · All Topics

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