Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Running an Effective Sunday Morning Rehearsal

So, I didn't get any takers yet on my request for suggestions on the seminar "A Gospel-Centered Approach to Creative Media." I must admit that was a tough warm-up question.

How about this one:

What would you include in a seminar called "Running an Effective Sunday Morning Rehearsal"?

I will be teaching this seminar with Covenant Life's music director, Ken, so we'll be covering both musical and technical aspects of a fruitful rehearsal time. What do you want us not to forget?

Tell us here.


Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,

I think the checklists you've recently implemented are a great idea, and you could get quite a few things from them.

Here are a few of my thoughts:

How long before rehearsal starts should the tech folks arrive, and why.

What would be a usual/normal order of events? How important are each of these steps, and why?

What is the purpose of and should be accomplished during this rehearsal? How to work through the potential differences in expectations between the lead worshiper and the tech folks.

Who "runs" the rehearsal? Is it the lead worshiper, the FOH mixer, the stage hands, the all powerful monitor board folks? How is all this worked out? How much authority/influence does each person involved have?

One of the things I know it took me many years to "get it right" (not that I always have it right) is why we are doing what we're doing? Is it so people can hear great sound? Is is so all the musicians are happy? Is it to put on a great show? Is it simply to do what those in charge tell us to do, because we are to humbly submit to them?

Hope some of this helps.

I'm looking forward to being at WorshipGod 08, and seeing all my old CLC friends.

Steve S in Charlotte, NC

Unknown said...

Hey Dave,

I was actually very excited to see you asking for input, but didn't get the chance to respond until now.

I think that the biggest way to have an effective band practice is to have good communication between the worship leader and sound team as well as between the worship leader and the rest of the band.

Nothing bothers a worship leader more than waiting for the sound team only to find that the sound team has been ready for the last ten minutes and nothing bothers a sound guy more than having a worship leader neglect the vocalists and only having the band play for 20 seconds at a time. If the FOH mixer and worship leader have a good understand of what they both need, the practice will go smoother.

The other issue which must be addressed is what the responsibility is of the sound team and the worship leader. The sound team gets all the gear up and running and ensures the band has good monitors. The responsibility of the worship leader is to ensure the band works together and gives the FOH the best sounding music for him to mix. In my opinion, a lot of the responsibility rests on the worship leader to not waste time and ensure the band sounds as good as possible. There is no knob on the board which makes the band more tight. We, as technicians, are available to help the leader with whatever he needs to make the practice go smoothly.

I hope some of this helps. I look forward to the Worship God conference this year, especially with you and Darryl giving some seminars. See you there!

Covenant Fellowship Church

stephen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stephen said...


Steve S. said something about checklists... are those on your blog? can I get them?

oh, how I want to be at WorshipGod08, but I am a poor seminary student pouring latte's for a living.

Your help in this specific area ("Running an effective sunday morning rehearsal") will be VITAL information for me to pass along to the other worship leaders and sound/tech guys at our church.

Stephen Farrior

W. Harris said...

Dave -

first a you mean a rehearsal that happens on Sunday morning...or one that happens on another day for Sunday morning?

One of my favorite things from Covey's seven habits is 'begin with the end in mind.'

What is the purpose of the rehearsal? Is it for the band (working through music/transitions) or is it for the techs. I would contend that these sit at opposite ends of a continuum. it is tough for a rehearsal to be both at the same time.

(Example...the stopping and starting of a normal band/vocal rehearsal doesn't help FOH lock in a mix)

It would be ideal to have time set aside for each purpose...but I am sure that doesn't always happen. I know it doesn't at my current church. In fact our Saturday night service ends up being a 'practice' service for our techs.

I can't agree with Josh more..Communication is a must between video/lighting/audio and whomever is the point person from the stage.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,

Since I'll be at the conference and have registered for this workshop, I'll simply tell you some of the issues we have with our rehearsals.

First, not enough time. If you can't get everyone there for an "other than Sunday before Bible study" rehearsal, how can you get everything accomplished in a short "one shot" time period.

Some of our team members are on other teams or have young children making it difficult for them to be on time or they have to leave early for a meeting. Sometimes this really hurts the groove on less familiar songs or new arrangements.

How do you plan a strong rehearsal with these obstacles in mind?

I look forward to your answers at the workshop. Until then, we'll keep doing our best. Somehow God keeps using our efforts.