You need to be able to play or sing your stuff well. That doesn’t mean you need to be a virtuoso, but you do need to be able to do your material justice. And that means you need to practice.
Here are 2 killer advantages to being well-rehearsed.
More brain-space for musicality
Research shows that multi-tasking stresses us out. And music is a highly multithreaded operation. We have to play in time, in tune and with emotional connection – it’s a whole-brain experience.
And that means, the more we can make the mechanics of playing like riding a bike – virtually unconscious – the more space that leaves us for the important bit – the emotion and musicality
More brain-space for for confidence
There’s nothing worse than a hesitant, tentative performance – and there’s nothing better than confidence and assurance. The weakest material can bring the house down when performed with power and conviction – I’m sure you can think of an example or two : )
And following on from the previous point, that same part of the brain that handles multi-tasking is also the part that can calm our nerves when we’re nervous or stressed – like, when we suddenly put a microphone in front of oursleves, and every tiny flaw in our performance is analysed in microscopic detail, just for example.
The solution ? Practice. The less our brains are thinking about the mechanics of performance, the more energy we can devote to playing and singing with confidence and conviction.
Here’s a list of rules for worship leaders and musicians…
1. Come PREPARED!
This is rehearsal, not practice. Practice at home on your own, and come knowing the material inside and out.
2. Have fun.
Your team is your family, so smile and laugh with them.
Giving God your best as a musician is good stewardship and an act of worship. Also, allow God to move in you as you go through the set.
4. Be excellent.
Excellent rehearsal makes for an excellent worship gathering. So stay focused and give 100%.
5. Ask questions.
If a part is difficult for you, or you need some help/direction, ASK! Your team will appreciate it.
6. Be professional.
Have your gear ready to go with any kinks worked out. Don’t play unless the band is running a song, you have been asked to play, or unless you ask for a minute to work a part by yourself. Nothing screams “I’m not prepared” or “I’m an amateur” like wailing away on your instrument during down times.
7. When you are done setting up / tearing down your gear, help a teammate.
Here’s my current list… what would you add?
Im starting to put up some loops, which can be found by clicking the banner below. Check them out and let me know what you think… I’ll be putting more up in the near future.
I came across this great post from Karl Verkade that is very worthy of being shared.
Here is a portion of the post, which refers to a worship team making a musical mistake:
Yes, no one noticed that things were wrong. But had they been right, I can almost guarantee you they would have noticed. Often times in performances (yes, I’m referring to church as a ‘performance’…there’s a stage, we do solo’s, and we create a production…), church and otherwise, we have a mindset of thinking that if we can get it good enough to where no one notices that it was wrong, then we’re okay. But is that really our goal? To be just not wrong enough to where people don’t notice? Because in reality, people probably are not going to notice enough to say something unless it’s a complete train wreck. All the stuff in between train wreck and amazing? More than likely, no one will ever notice enough to say that it was bad. But. If it was amazing? You can be sure that it would touch people. And that is the goal. Not to simply not have people think it’s wrong; but to touch people when it’s right!
I hear this all the time when it comes to tone. Statements like, ‘Come on…who’s gonna notice the difference between a Tim and an SD1?’ And the answer is, of course, no one. No one’s going to come up to you after you play an SD1 and say how bad your tone sounded. And after playing a Tim, no one’s going to come up to you and say how good your tone sounded. But after playing the Tim, they might come up to you and say how good the music overall sounded, although they won’t know why. (Nothing against the classic and lovely SD1.) That’s what we’re going for. Not ‘no one said it was bad’, but ‘people were moved.’
There is nothing wrong with times when the music or your tone is just simply, ‘Well, no one noticed it was wrong.’ Those times happen, and in a church situation, many times God still works in spite of us. But in giving our absolute best into everything we do, we cannot leave that thought that incomplete. We cannot be satisfied with ‘they didn’t notice it was wrong.’ Because when it’s right? They notice. They may not have noticed it was wrong…but they will notice when it’s right. When it touches them. When it takes them from indifference to impassioned.
They won’t notice when it’s wrong, but they will notice when it’s right.
This is great food for thought, for musicians on any instrument. If our goal as christian musicians is to touch/change people using music, then we always have to strive for nailing the material, not just getting through it. All of the small details and nuances do matter.
I just read this and thought it was an incredible way to explain the importance of worship rehearsals.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking rehearsal is just a time to get together and play through some songs. It’s not. That’s what a campfire is for. Rehearsals are for the congregation. So make them as efficient and effective as possible, for the sake of your congregation, the health of your team, and all for the glory of God.
There never has been and never will be anyone like you. But that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you absolutely unique.
All of creation is singing a worship chorus to God. And it’s not just the meadow lark with its 300 notes or the nightingale finchwith its 24 songs. According to the German physicist and pianist, Arnold Summerfield, a hydrogen atom emits 100 frequencies which makes it more complex musically than a grand piano which emits 88 frequencies.
For what its worth, Pythagoras said: “A stone is frozen music.” Very interesting in light of what Jesus said: “If you remain silentthe stones will cry out.”
My point? All of creation is singing a unique song to the Creator. And you are part of that universal chorus. No one can worship God FOR you or LIKE you. God has given you a unique voiceprint. There are millions of people praying and worshiping God in every language all the time. But your voiceprint is unique. Like a parent who knows His child’s unique cry or scream or laugh, God knows your voice. He hears your voice. The Heavenly Father loves your voice.
I came across this post earlier today explaining one of the many reasons behind why we do what we do.
It’s been years since I picked up an instrument, but I’m still convinced that there’s something inescapable about music. It transforms words into lyrics. It changes walls into bridges. It turns listening ears into listening hearts.
As a performer, as a listener, as a visitor who might end up in a most unexpected place on a Sunday morning, music has a transformational power. And it moves people in ways that even the best communicator cannot.
It’s not just songs. Or musicians. Or lights and equipment. Music is much more than that. Music is a doorway to worship.
And as a pastor, one of my greatest honors is to point to that doorway. To announce the band and then step out of the way while we as a church, as a community, as individuals, answer the call to worship. A call that music sends out like nothing else.
// Andy Stanley //