No matter the scenario these 8 things will help make rehearsing SOOOO much easier!
STEP 1: Set a goal for your rehearsal
Outline how long your set is and break it up into manageable rehearsal sessions.
Ask yourself, what do I want to accomplish today?
STEP 2: Find somewhere quiet & keep your supplies nearby.
I have my music room and I keep my door open with my music stand, microphone, speakers/mixer, guitar and piano in view as a visual cue to not only follow my regular regimen but to remind me to rehearse for upcoming gigs.
It’s quiet and its on the other side of the house. I try my best not to do anything else in the room unless it’s related to music. Be it teaching, creating, or rehearsing…it’s all about music.
I eat, watch tv, sleep, and relax in other areas of the house. So, when I step in the room. I know it means business!
STEP 3: Use your resources.
Use lyric and chord charts on your iPad, metronomes, and anything that will help make rehearsing easier for you. Make your resources easily accessible. I like to put my guitar in the center of the room and leave my door open — so I see it everytime I walk by the room. It triggers me to think about going in the room and working on music. Even if it’s not guitar specifically, it gets me in the room.
STEP 4: Structure your rehearsal.
Start with a warm up (you don’t necessarily need to do your whole regimen right before rehearsing or anything). The goal is to prepare your voice.
Then tackle the ‘hardest’ songs and gradually move to easier ones. This ensures that your most challenging areas get enough attention.
Cool down by improvising or working on music you already know well. Followed by an actual vocal cool down — mentioned in the vocal regimen episode.
STEP 5: Practice smarter not harder.
Break down your trouble spots as small as you can until you can master each section of your ‘trouble spot’ then zoom back out and put it all together. If you still find it difficult to do. Make a note to revisit and start with it the next day. It will get easier and easier.
…if you challenge yourself physically while working on something that’s mentally challenging, it makes your brain have an easier time creating new neural pathways — so when you stop (like, jumping up and down or running/and singing) and just sing normally, it suddenly becomes easier for you to do! I tried this a while back to increase my breath capacity during high energy songs so I wouldn’t be out of breath while I was jumping on stage and stuff. I can tell you…this REALLY works.
I personally had issues with stamina when I transitioned from singing ballads to more upbeat songs that had me really moving around on stage. So, I started running and singing at the same time. Not only did it improve my stamina, but it helped me memorize my songs a lot quicker. How cool is that!
STEP 6: Don’t always start at the beginning.
It can lead to you always starting strong and getting weak at the end (because it’s least rehearsed). Mix it up. This works for the entire set and sections within particular songs.
STEP 7: Practice outside of your environment
and away from your microphone/instruments etc. Get it in your body. You can visualize the lyrics in your head. Hum the song or if your playing an instrument you can visualize the chords.
It’s also a great time to modify the song and add your own flavor. Because, by the time you get to step 7 — you’ve got the fundamentals of the song down already.
STEP 8: Reward your hard work in positive ways.
Do something for yourself as a healthy treat when you rehearse. This is something I’ve struggled with, actually. You see, when you’re in rehearsal mode it’s really easy to get completely swept up in striving for perfection. Sometimes I’m super hard on myself for not getting it perfect, when I should reward myself for working through it. Yes…it’s instantly rewarding when you get it right — but you need to reward yourself for being committed to the process. Why? Because you will start training your brain to enjoy the challenge and will keep you going back for more the next day! Just make sure it’s a healthy reward and not something that will limit your performance…I like bubble baths!
1: Set a goal
2: Find somewhere quiet
3: Use your resources
4: Structure your rehearsal
5: Practice smarter not harder
6: Don’t always start at the beginning
7: Practice outside of your environment
8: Reward yourself for your hard work
Remember, luck is preparation meeting opportunity. You never know when you’ll get that perfect opportunity! I remember the day I got the call to open for Lauryn Hill. They wanted to book me THE SAME DAY! I was ready because I made a habit of staying ready.
Even if you’re not already prepared, learning how to rehearse efficiently will help you be able to learn quickly so you can accept more opportunities as they come up!
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Well you guys, until next time…have a great day!