You’ve committed to start practicing more for worship on weekends, but you’re still not seeing the results you’d like from your pre-worship prep. Here are 7 ways to give your worship prep a shot in the arm:
7. Listen. Listen to the entire setlist of music with the charts or chords in front of you. This will give you the bird’s eye view you need of the weekend’s set, and help you with the next step.
6. Re-chart it. You’ll know the music far better if you chart it yourself, and something about the process of charting helps you memorize. Don’t chart it using a lead sheet- use a faster method like the Nashville tablature system. You can find a great blog about how to do that here.
5. Take notes. If you don’t have the time or technical ability to chart the songs, go heavy on the note taking. This is your first line of defense for keeping track of the subtleties of the songs, and keep you on top of anything else not in the music like patch changes.
4. Ask questions. If you’re in doubt about a song or section, give your worship leader or music director a call and ask for guidance. It’s always better to ask, than to assume and work up the wrong part. They’ll be thrilled to hear you’re so thorough with your practicing.
3. Work it up, then program. I used to make the mistake of programming my patches before I worked up the song, which focused me more on the sounds than the song. Stick with basic stock sounds during practices, and don’t worry about tweaking your tone until you’re comfortable with the songs.
2. Ditch the sheet music. After you’ve practiced with the sheet music for awhile, get rid of it. It’ll make you more musically aware during worship and help you perform with more passion. If you feel uncomfortable, take the sheet music onstage and refer to it only if you’re really struggling to remember a section.
1. Use the “gap” method for practice. Don’t cram your practice times together at the end of the week. Plan on spending a few minutes several times during the week to go over the music, and you’ll be able to retain more and have fewer memory lapses.