If you have ever played in a band, you know that the soundcheck is one of the first things you will do at your rehearsal or at the service. Everyone in the band needs to make sure that they can hear what they need to hear in order to operate effectively. The soundcheck also plays an important role in how the rest of the rehearsal will go. If you have a frustrating soundcheck, there is a good chance the rest of your rehearsal may feel off. So here are some tips to help your soundchecks be fruitful instead of frustrating:
Be on time and timely
The best way to get your soundcheck off to the right start is to start on time. Along with this, you should set a time to be done with the soundcheck after a few minutes. Soundchecks shouldn’t be very long because things can be tweaked during rehearsal. Now, if there are some technical problems that delay things, you will have to be flexible; but hopefully that will not happen often.
Play individually and together
When you begin soundchecking, take turns having each person play their instrument. The goal of this is to make sure each person is present in the monitor mix. After everyone has gone individually, play something as a band so that you can hear how things will sound as a whole.
Get only what you absolutely need
When you are trying to decide what is in your monitor, ask yourself this question: What do I absolutely NEED to hear. If you are a vocalist, you probably want to hear the other vocalists. If you are the drummer, you probably want to hear the bass and rhythm guitars. Try to have as little as you need in your monitor, so that the stage volume will not be overwhelming.
Play like you mean it
Whether you are strumming, plucking, hitting, or singing, do it with the same intensity and volume you will have during the rehearsal. If you play or sing quieter than you are intending to play during the soundcheck, you will be booming during the rehearsal. This in turn will take up more time when you have to go back and re-soundcheck. A good rule of thumb when soundchecking is to play or sing through the loudest part of the song, such as a bridge or chorus.
Use gestures instead of words
Don’t just shout back and forth to your sound person explaining what you need. If something needs to be said, appoint one person to say it, preferably someone with a microphone. Another great practice to implement while people are playing individually is to have everyone else raise their hand if they need something in their monitor. Once they have what they need, they will put their hand down, letting the sound person know that they are good to go.
Communicate in love
The best way to have a successful soundcheck is to communicate with each other in love. If you feel something is too loud, gently let the team know in a kind and gracious manner. It can be easy to point fingers at people, but if we want to have a healthy soundcheck, we need to communicate well with one another.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- In your time on worship teams, describe how soundchecks have been done.
- What has been the most challenging part of doing soundchecks? Explain.
- Out of the six tips listed, which one jumped out at you the most? Why?
- In your own words, how would you ask someone to turn down?
- Would you add any tips to this list?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.