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How to Avoid Rehearsal Nightmares

 Most of us have a few horror stories involving raised voices, fallen tears, or temper tantrums. There was a time when I thought bad rehearsals were just one of the growing pains every band has to go through — as though a group wasn’t legit until someone kicked over a music stand. Thankfully, I have since had the opportunity to rehearse with some bandleaders who knew what they were doing, including bassist, Carter Lee.

In the video lesson above, “Pre-Rehearsal,” Carter outlines a few things a good bandleader should take in to consideration ahead of time in order to create a stress-free and efficient practice environment. Here’s a couple of them (watch the video for the full list of tips).

+ Learn more: For more tips and strategies for stress-free rehearsing, check out the the rest of our course, Building a Better Band.

1. The Space

A rehearsal space should be comfortable and convenient for every member of the band. Take the size of the group as well as the instrumentation in to consideration. Additionally, it’s best to find a place before trying to schedule the group. Have a spot in mind (maybe even booked), and then start shuffling schedules.

2. The Gear

Make sure you there are no miscommunications regarding gear. If someone has to run back home to grab an amp, it’ll eat in to your rehearsal time and add stress to the situation. Try to show up early so you can have things set up and in working order by the time everyone else gets there.

3. The Music

Asking people to practice or at least check out the music on their own ahead of time is a a good call. If they already know the music when they show up, you won’t have to wait for everyone to learn it during rehearsal. Send charts and recordings whenever possible, and make things simple and clear. Communication is key.

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Mahea Lee

Mahea Lee is a classically trained pianist and composer who has a degree from a jazz school and leads an electro-pop band. Her greatest musical passion is lyrical songwriting, but she's been known to write the occasional fugue. She graduated from Berklee College of Music, where she majored in Contemporary Writing and Production and minored in Music Theory. For more Mahea, check out Soundlfly's course, The Improviser's Toolkit.