Depending on the duration of the show and the time allotted for rehearsal, I typically follow a run-through/detail/run-through sandwich for rehearsal.
A Breakdown of the Run-Through, Detail, Run-Through
For instance, if the group already knows a certain amount of the content or has a long rehearsal for a short show, that is significantly different from the most common scenario.
Typically, the team has a short amount of time for a complex show. If you have an opportunity for more rehearsal for a shorter performance, then plan it!
First, rehearsal begins on time with everyone tuned and ready for downbeat at the time planned for rehearsal to start. That’s pro and expected. I like to begin with a run-through of the show from top to bottom in real time with as best performance together cold as we can muster.
Unless there are egregious errors, we take notes on run-through and get ready to hit pieces of the show where there are difficulties. My most common experience is that there ARE serious issues with each song, which requires the team to run-through 2-3 times, as sparingly with sections as possible, before moving on.
This is not ideal, so individual practice ahead of every rehearsal makes a huge difference!
Either way, a general run-through could show where there is more preparation and we could shortcut further work on some songs. A first run-through with as few repeats as possible is ideal and a good idea of what we would present to an audience without further rehearsal.
Notes are taken, tempos discussed, set list tweaked, and a few songs pulled apart for the detail part of rehearsal. Here we would run sections of certain songs slower or:
- iron out rhythmic or melodic differences
- look at charts
- make up workarounds or changes
- execute one through before moving on
The final section is the final run-through.
By now, we should have a group dynamic that predicts a close version of the show that will be presented. During the final run-through, everyone should:
- Write down changes
- Incorporate show elements
- Avoid depending on visually seeing everyone’s face (rehearse like it is a show on a stage facing the audience)
- Give an energetic version of what the audience will see
Finally, a few last minute tweaks, notes, encouragements, and rehearsal ends with a reminder of call times, locations, details, and equipment discussion.
Sounds like there will be a great show!
Check out Music Gateway’s complete guide for rehearsals as part of a full band which includes tips for remote rehearsals.