Perform without rehearsals: A Survival GuideIt’s a far from an ideal situation: performing with other musicians without the benefit of a rehearsal. Recently, we’ve begun performing again at low key events, even before rehearsing together in person. Here’s what we learned.
It’s a far from an ideal situation: performing with other musicians without the benefit of a rehearsal. Recently, we’ve begun performing again at low key events, even before rehearsing together in person. Here’s what we learned.
Stack the Deck. If given the choice, select songs that you and your bandmates know well. If you’re a current band coming back from a break, check your notes and select songs that are slam dunks.
Carry the Team. Hopefully, you’ll know the songs you’re playing well in advance and/or be drawing upon past experience. When you have the songs memorized, you’d have the mental bandwidth (pardon the pun) to play with confidence, cue the other musicians like a conductor, and deal with any mixing issues.
Set up properly. You won’t be at your best if you’re fussing with tuning or tone or the shoulder strap on your guitar or volume adjustments. Set the keyboard high enough to be under your elbow and comfortable. Drummers should bring breakables and things that easy to forget, such as carpet and a drum throne.
Don’t waste Green Room time. While you’re waiting on site to play, discuss the parts of the song that could be tricky. Key changes, drum breakdowns, a capella parts, outro choruses are fraught with danger, but can managed better when every has a head up.
Act out. In most cases, it’s ok to behave like a 19th-century actor and exaggerate the conducting motions to confirm the section changes and monitor the tempo. Remember to show that you’re into the music while on stage, as well.
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