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Worship Rehearsal 101

I can make you one guarantee about your worship team – there is one member of your team each week that does not practice his/her instrument at home at all before rehearsal.  In fact, despite the number of times you have admonished your team following rehearsal to “go home and work out any kinks in the songs before Sunday”, this person simply does not follow the instructions.

No, it doesn’t matter how early you get your music and information to your team – this individual is simply never going to practice their instrument at home…unless, of course, they happen to have a complete soundboard, amps, speakers…and the entire praise band at his or her disposal in their living room.  Yes, we are referring to the sound/FOH person.

When we come together for rehearsals, we expect that the band has rehearsed their instruments properly and have come fully prepared to play.  The sound-person doesn’t have the same luxury.  Their “practice” for the rehearsal is during the rehearsal.

So why is it, then, that we tend to expect to take an hour rehearsal and only give our sound guy/gal only five rushed minutes before the dreaded “ok…you got what you need so we can get started?” gets sounded from the stage?

Let me make a few suggestions to help make your rehearsals much smoother:

1.  Sit down sometime with your sound person and ask them what they need for time and what will help them with their instrument. Believe me – these guys want their instrument to sound as good as possible.  If they don’t get the time to work out any bugs, it often becomes “garbage in…louder garbage out.”  Ask them what they need from you each week to aide in their practice time.  If it requires 15 minutes of your practice time to make the remaining 45 minutes go as smoothly as possible…then allow it.  The end result may be well worth it.

2.  Step into their shoes. Got a week when you aren’t leading?  Take a break and see and hear the world through your sound person’s eyes.  You never know what you might learn – and you may learn to better appreciate why they’ve asked you to play your guitar for sixty seconds straight to sweep a bad EQ unbeknownst to you – lost in your world of personal in-ear monitors.

3.  Leave the lines of communication open: Before rehearsal, during rehearsal, after rehearsal, and after services…debrief and find out from your sound person what worked and what didn’t.  What were the wins?  What were the areas to improve on?  What does he hear from his vantage point that you may not understand?  Good communication will do wonders for sound.

What tips do you have?  FOH gurus….it is your turn to shine.  Speak your mind!  Leave us a comment or your best practices below.

Jason Whitehorn

Owner, Chief Visionary at got worship? Media
Jason Whitehorn is a worship leader/pastor, Christian songwriter, mentor, public speaker and Christian music promoter/publicist. Jason's articles have been published in both online and National publications and has broadcast in both radio and television - reporting and anchoring for affiliates such as ABC, CNN, and CNN Headline News. Jason is the Redemptive Arts Pastor at Grace Church in the Indianapolis-Metro area.

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