Not Practicing, it’s Rehearsal


in Learning Music

How much time do you put into practicing.

Scratch that concept. Practicing is not the right term. I have a new term that is a change of mindset.

My mentor gave me a new word today and its rehearsing the song. Rehearsing is a process of  studying and applying music theory and technique.

The Analogy Used Is:

vocal-group-5“They don't put on a Broadway play by learning a few lines and then jumping on stage to perform.”

They go through a lot of time moving around stage. Figuring out the interactions and knowing what is coming up. This is a process of study and implementation.

In learning a song it's the same kind of thing.

There is an amount of time spent on a very focused effort such as the key signature and  related chords, one phrase, a chord progression and rhythm to name a few of the music elements we have to consider.

My Experience

I've personally seen this attitude in action in my own playing. When I was sitting down to practice I was going through motions to say that I put in time.

However, when I stepped back and decided to study the music a transformation took place. What was happening was that I was seeing the music differently.

I was engaging in what they feel of the notes was trying to tell me. I was starting to be drawn into the song and the study process helped me understand the difference in just playing notes and engaging in the emotion of the song.

Strive For This End Result

Back to the performance issue. Have you every watched a play or a movie where you were drawn into the performance that you felt you were a part of the action or totally emotional involved?

Well that's what you are attempting to do with your music when you perform for someone else.

Take a piece of music you have played and go back and see what things you might do to make it more interesting.

Slow it down, emphasis a bass line at each major chord change, or start a phrase soft and really increase it as if you were starting a blood curtailing screen from deep with in your belly. (wow, there's a illustration of giving something meaning)

When you play think rehearsal not practice. Block your way through your song, see where it goes, explore the ideas, and put your own twist on it.

Amazing things are going to happen. Let us know how you make out.

Agatha Campbell June 26, 2009 at 2:36 pm

thanks for the info.

Brad_C June 26, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Your welcome Agatha, but tell us what how you think it might actually help you. I’d really like your thoughts on the idea of rehearsal vs practicing. It opened up a new approach to playing for me. what about the rest of you?

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