4 TIPS FOR REHEARSING GREAT WORSHIP SONG INTROS
How do we rehearse worship song intros in a band rehearsal?
Having a strong intro to a worship song builds the foundation not only for that song, but also for your entire set.
A group of songs well introduced, and well completed, give a set flow and strength.
Use these four foolproof tips to help your team rehearse intros that really work.
1. Listen to an MP3.
2. Establish your version.
3. Let the drummer count in.
4. Loop it ’til it’s solid.
TIP 1 – LISTEN TO AN MP3
Listen to an mp3.
First, you will want to send an mp3 or recording of the song (or use software like WorshipTeam.com) for all your band members to listen to prior to rehearsal.
Whatever tool, software, or platform you use, listening to an mp3 will give your band a sense of how the recorded intro goes, and how similar that intro might be to the one you want to create. This all happens before the band even gets to the rehearsal.
If you get to the rehearsal and most of your players have not heard the recording, either play the recording if it is what you want, or play them something on your instrument that approximates how you would like to get into that song in the worship set.
It’s important for people to hear something to get a frame of reference; it is easier from that foundation to change, move, and shape things the way you would like.
TIP 2 – ESTABLISH YOUR VERSION
Establish your version.
In other words, talk your band through how you would like to ‘get into’ the song – what you think the texture will be as you move into that song.
Is it a straight count in, then everyone starts at once? Is it a count in and just your voice and acoustic guitar are heard? Is it a count in and just the pads begin on a keyboard with a light hi-hat?
Think about these details before rehearsal so you can confidently bring some direction to the band.
TIP 3 – LET THE DRUMMER COUNT
Let the drummer count in.
Though you don’t always have to let the drummer count in, its a good ideas so that they can concentrate on keeping the tempo they have begun.
They “own” it. Some churches use technology that allows the drummer to have a click track in their ear.
As the worship leader you are focused on many different things, and therefore it is easy for you to fluctuate in your sense of the tempo of the song.
Many worship leaders like when the drummer takes charge musically; you can say “Count us in” and keep your mind on other elements of the song as they are continually keeping the tempo you’ve all been rehearsing in their head.
Every drummer should also, at the very least, have a tap tempo metronome app from which they derive and remember tempos.
TIP 4 – LOOP IT ’TIL IT’S SOLID
Loop it ’til it’s solid.
If you know you’re going to have a four bar intro, meaning four measures, have the drummer count in and then continue to loop those four bars – over and over.
Continue to do this until you think all the band members are secure in what their instruments should be doing – in how they are playing together, creating space for one another, etc.
In rehearsal, consider turning your mic and monitor to face the band so they can see your eyes and gestures.
This way you can watch everyone, and communicate verbally and non-verbally if you want a little less of this, or a little more of that, as you continue to loop the section.
- Try at least one idea for the next time you meet.
- When you’re rehearsing worship song intros, listen to an mp3, and establish your version of it, articulating what you want.
- Talk about it together, until you feel like the band understands what you are after.
- Let the drummer count the band in on a regular basis, if you can.
- Keep looping that song intro until it’s solid!
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