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Worship Practice 'etiquette'

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  • Worship Practice 'etiquette'

    I am trying to get back into blogging. Found a draft from awhile ago and wanted to post it. Thought I'd get some insights from all you very smart and experienced leaders first because I will definitely miss some things on my own.

    I found an orchestra rehearsal etiquette blog post and revised it to be about worship team practice etiquette. Am I missing anything?

    Can't decide if I want to focus only on the practical side of things or include all the spiritual side of it, too. I'm interested in all your thoughts.

    1. Be prepared to help teammates know when to play or not play; try to have an idea of what each instrument is doing in the song so you can help guide them.
    2. Be honest and encouraging. If someone needs help to improve, graciously offer what you can. Do not gossip about anyone's lack of talent. Talk to the team leader if you feel uncomfortable talking to someone about their skill level.
    3. Be aware and sensitive to others’ lines of sight to the team leader.
    4. Be consistent in making your own notes on your own music sheets. Don't slow up practice time by having to ask about something that's already been covered.
    5. Keep perfume and cologne to a minimum - many will appreciate none at all.
    6. Have your sheets/music ready to shift around as quietly as possible.
    7. Your non-musical accessories (phone, keys, etc.) belong away from you so they provide no opportunity for distraction.
    8. Show up early enough to practice to get your instrument together.
    9. Be direct and friendly about fixing notes, rhythm, arrangement, etc. Do not be manipulative about your words.
    10. Have good hygiene, keep your shoes on, wear appropriate clothing, etc.
    11. Do not pack up before the end of rehearsal…. you still might have more to play.
    12. Be as musically prepared as you can be for practice. If the songs are unknown until you arrive, look through it as soon as you get it and perhaps ask to listen to it before practice starts.

    What am I missing?

  • #2
    I love 3.
    I would change the first sentence of 4 to "bring a pencil."

    13. Musicians: When the vocalists are working out harmonies, play quietly (if at all). Be ready to play.
    14. Vocalists: When the musicians are clarifying if it's an Asus or an A2, practice your part quietly. Be ready to sing.


    • #3
      A lot of that depends on the team- if they are mature enough to have those discussions or not. This is a volunteer (usually worship team, not a professionally trained orchestra- completely different dynamic.

      Personally, I think most of the time coaching needs to come from one place- the leader. That's why they are the leader. Or, if it's a 'senior' guitar player coaching a 'junior' guitar player, that might work. The harmony singer shouldn't be telling the drummer what to fix. Not their forte. Drummer shouldn't be telling guitar player what to play. The punch line is that it can create a spirit of confusion on the team, and a feeling of 'too many cooks in the kitchen'.

      My list-

      #1- Time is valuable- you cannot get it back. BE ON TIME, BE READY TO CONTRIBUTE, BE PREPARED. This means YOU, leaders- don't make the team wait around for 20 minutes while you pull music, etc. Respect each other's time. It's not free.

      #2- Have a good attitude. If your day went awful, don't carry it into rehearsal. We all have bad days. On your way to practice, give it to God. Don't be the Eeyore.

      #3- Make it enjoyable! Yes it's spiritual, serious, and important- but have fun with it, too. Be relaxed- make it fun, enjoyable, and STILL be productive- it's called PLAYING music for a reason...

      #4- Casual is not 'too' casual. Underwear still needs to be 'under', guys & gals. Don't be a distraction because of your wardrobe (or lack of it)

      #5- #13 & 14 above
      If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.


      • #4
        I guess my "perfect" list is not too different. I say "perfect" because it's what I would like everyone to do, not that they'll necessarily do it.

        1. You're only as good as you're PREPARED to be. Take advantage of the information sent to you earlier in the week. Go over it, listen to the recordings, and practice it on your own so you know what you need to play once you get to practice.

        2. Listen to how you are blending with everyone else. If your instrument is sticking out or too prominent, adjust the volume or playing style to blend in with everyone else.

        3. Be patient. Not everyone learns at the same pace.

        4. Less is very often more. The song is the important thing, not the musicians/singers who are performing it. ALWAYS do what is best for the song.

        5. Be supportive of each other. We are not just a band. We are a ministry and a fellowship. Our attitudes toward each other is how we represent to the rest of the world and the congregation what these things mean.
        The Posse Band live performance tracks can be heard by CLICKING HERE


        • #5
          Good thoughts--I would add:
          1) Know what the start time means...in the orchestra world you referenced, a 7 PM start time means a musician is loaded in, tuned, plugged in, soundchecked, and ready to start the first notes right at 7. I have since learned that to some players it means show up at 7. Or be almost plugged in at 7, etc etc. Good to be clear about the expectation for your own community.

          2) Don't play during someone else's sound/monitor check. ever....