Generally speaking, rehearsals are the creative equivalent of singing naked in front of the mirror. It’s that private place and time where you try on different styles to accentuate what it is you want to project or evoke in others.
It’s also a time when you work out some kinks, ditch your doubts, push the envelope for extra special delivery. It gives you the opportunity to experiment with ideas, harmonies, sounds, and routines.
You Need An Audience
Obviously the missing element is the audience. You can bounce ideas off of your internal self for only so long. You still need the outside, objective party before what’s going on inside has a full life. The same is true when you’re in a band. The members are still part of something exclusive and “internal” because the intended receiver is not present and is not included in the creative birthing process.
Granted the ultimate test of whether or not something resonates and takes flight will come with the gig at the corner pub or coffee house, the late Saturday night shot at a nearby roadhouse, or even the one-on-one time a listener has as they pop in your demo CD and drink it all in.
But there are times when having some objective ears can be a good thing, even if it’s just to get a little feedback, like taking your temperature or pulse to see if it’s rising or racing the way you want.
Invite Some Feedback
Set aside one rehearsal every six to eight weeks to get a read on how you are being perceived. Even if you’re not in a band or you’re not a songwriter, testing new material, opening up a rehearsal will give you a better sense of what people hear, feel, and see, as well as what they’d like to see more of.
You don’t have to do a full performance for them. You want to simply have an extra set of eyes and ears handy to observe the process.
This should be a handful of people you trust. If you can get an industry person in, that’s great. But it’s also important to identify some people that you feel represent your target audience, the reason being that you want to find out if they get what you’re doing. These people can provide food for thought for nothing else, and that feeds the creative process and can nourish the soul.
It can also help you better define your goals if challenged by those who give feedback. For example, somebody might not like something about your voice or a song set. You can find out what it is they don’t like, and then make your case for why you’re making the choices you make.
Strengthen Your Voice And Image
This can then trigger a dialogue that may help you refine or better define what you’re doing. Again, this is another way to gain support, strengthen your literal and figurative voices, and sharpen your communication skills.
An open rehearsal can also breathe new life and excitement into your work. The rehearsals can serve as markers to make sure you are heading in the right direction and making progress along the road to your singing success.