Are you bored with the sound of your sound? Are you tired of going from Sunday to Sunday, yet you feel like things are not moving anywhere? It’s time to change it up and it begins with how you practice. Break free from the practice prison in these three easy steps.
Make a plan to develop skill
Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
Establish easy and measurable goals. Ask yourself these questions about your band and formulate them into a plan: Can each person in the band devote themselves to practice at least 10 minutes per day? Can each member play their own part well among others – in the mix? Can each member implement these changes during the time of worship, and not just react like a deer-in-the-headlights, and revert back to the same playing habits?
Lastly, from the questions you just read, how can you apply them to your own practice time at home?
Develop your skill, but don’t just practice the song.
It’s one thing to know the song; it’s another to know your music. Do you really know all the notes/lyrics, all the dynamics, all the sequences, the chord changes, the sectional parts, and the transitional parts?
It’s one thing to know the song; it’s another to know your music.
You may amaze yourself with your practice time if you actually zero in on the points above. Rather than just going through the motions, look at the songs you practice as mini exercises. Find the tough spots and play/practice them in a loop. Play the piece of music using different dynamic levels: soft, medium, and loud. Try playing at different tempos: slow and fast.
Learn to keep time by playing to a click. Stretch yourself and try to play the song with fewer notes and chords; learn to trim down the music and make it simple.
As you work with your team, make note of how each person is playing. Think about the overall volume in the room. Listen to your volume in comparison to others. Begin implementing the skills you practiced at home: dynamics, simplifying notes, and keeping good time.
Implement your skill
Don’t just stand there, do something! Just make sure it’s not playing through the same-ole-same-ole music and making the same mistakes. It’s funny, but we are creatures of habit. We learn something new, yet walk away from the mirror forgetting what we learn. (James 1.23).
Implementation of the team is one of the toughest hurdles for the band, but it doesn’t have to be. What can you do?
Write reminder notes on your music. Make small snippet recordings on your phone. Video yourself playing.
These are small no-brainer things you can do to help you remember. Look at these notes and files during the week to keep them fresh in your memory. When the moment comes to lead worship with the band, you have an arsenal of tools to kick those insecurities.
There you have it, a few more steps and a few more tools to jail break your practice. The more you step out on the wisdom of God, the further you step away from the fear of man. As the Body, join in the congregation and your team to give Him praise. Glorify the Lord with your skill and give thanks to the One who freely blessed you with the talent.