Now that we find ourselves in a position where venues are slowly reopening their doors and the idea of performing live is no longer a distant memory, we can start preparing ourselves for what comes next.

This article has been written for Rockschool on behalf of by Leigh Fuge

If you’re just putting your first band together, or you’re blowing off the cobwebs after this extended hiatus, here are some best practises to help you get the most out of your time in the rehearsal room and prepare you for the stage!

Plan Your Setlist

Before you even step foot in the room, you should get your plan together. Set up a group chat and bounce ideas around to plan your perfect setlist. This will give everyone a focus point and ensures that everyone enters the room ready to rock with the right songs learnt.

Use your time ahead of the session to plan. Don’t enter the room without a plan, otherwise the practise session becomes very counterproductive.

Practise Means Practise

If you’re prepping for a gig, you have to have that mentality in the room. These sessions are not the sessions for jamming new riffs or sharing pictures of your weekend away. Time is money in the rehearsal space so you want to make the most of every minute you have in the room.

Practise your songs and your setlist as if your life depends on it.

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Setup Gear in Stage Formation

Most bands set up in a circle in the rehearsal room, and this is usually down to space constraints.

If your practise space allows, set up as if you’re on stage with you all facing one way with the amps next to the drums.

When you perform on stage, all the sound comes from behind you, so it’s useful to get used to hearing it this way. You get a very different picture of how the band sounds when you’re set up in this way. If everyone is set up facing the centre of the room, the centre of the room becomes a melting pot of different sounds.

Run Your Set Front to Back

Play through the setlist in setlist order. If you have songs that run into each other with no breaks, practise them this way. That way, when you get to the gig, you’re fully prepared and the setlist is flowing perfectly.

Some singers even like to practise what they might say between songs. If there are things you want to script, this is the time to test them out between songs.

Plan things like tuning breaks, water breaks and instrument changeovers. You don’t want to find your guitarist needs to switch guitars in between two songs you’re running with no break. Build your setlist around what you need and think about the dynamic of how each song sits next to others.

Perform Like You’re Playing Wembley

When you hit the stage, the people want to see a show, so practise your showmanship. If you want to have synchronized high kicks and guitar swings, now is the time to nail it!

If you want to plan your stage show you can use your rehearsal time to figure it out. You may not be rehearsing in a space the same size as most stages, but you can at least plan things you may want to happen.

Have Fun

The most important thing you can do in all of this is have fun. Take your practise time serious and get the work done but enjoy it! You are about to hit the stage with your best friends. Smile, have fun and make great music!

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About the Author:

This article has been written for Rockschool on behalf of by Leigh Fuge, an experienced guitarist, tutor and journalist from Wales. Leigh is part of a community of professional guitar teachers offering guitar lessons to students around the world. Read more of Leigh's pieces relating to Rockschool here...