Vacaville CA Guitar Lesson
Last week I was teaching a guitar student in Vacaville California who asked me what the difference is between rehearsals and practicing. What a great question from a guitar student! This is why enjoy teaching because students keep you on your toes.
Practicing should involve a weekly schedule of at least five days per week and a minimum of 60 minutes per day. If you can, you should try to set a certain time every day for you to be alone with your guitar and a metronome.
I break my practice sessions down to three basic phases.
- Finger stretches and scales
- Chord vocabulary
- Rehearsing songs for performing including chord progressions, riffs and solos.
Work on songs using a pick and some with no pick just using finger picking. I highly recommend working with a professional guitar instructor who reads music and can show you the techniques to help you understand the notes on the fret board and how to read charts.
Now, the difference in rehearsing versus practicing is that rehearsals are primarily focused on bringing all the various parts together (instruments & vocals) and refining the orchestration and quality of the performance. This will include things like timing, dynamics, harmonies, intros, outros, solos, etc.
Typically, when rehearsing for a performance like a concert or gig you should set up rehearsals from 3 to 12 months in advanced and set up specific rehearsal dates with at least one per week. If you are fortunate and good enough to work as a studio musician or selected to rehearse and perform with other professionals, typically the musical director will assign you a set list and music charts and/or recordings of songs to practice with.
You should be prepared by the first rehearsal and have all your parts down before you show up, and you should show up early. Don’t be unprepared because this makes the rest of the band have to wait while the musical director or band leader works with the musician who is unprepared, which in turn makes rehearsals drag on and it reflects on the reputation of the musician holding things up.
Hopefully this will give you some insight to preparing to play as a professional. One of my first professional “big opportunities” was playing with The Jackson Five and it was because of being prepared and having the ability to sight read charts that got me the job and kicked my career into a whole new level.