You only get two hours at a typical midweek rehearsal, and it’s never enough, right?   Don’t let things like this bring your rehearsal to a grinding halt:

  • Guitar player broke a string, doesn’t have a replacement
  • The drummer’s snare head broke
  • People need pencils
  • The PA is not set up
  • A cable is shorting out

Here’s a short list of things to buy, put in a box, and keep in your rehearsal room:

  • Guitar picks
  • Drumsticks–7A
  • 14″ Snare head
  • Acoustic guitar strings, light gauge
  • Single string–wound ‘G’ for acoustic.  Always the first string to break
  • Electric guitar strings, light gauge
  • Guitar cable–10′
  • Pencils with erasers
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Markers
  • Binder clips
  • Scotch tape

Also, make sure the PA is on, mics tested, pencils on stands, etc.  That ten minutes might allow you to run through a song two more times, pray for someone, try a cool idea, etc.  I know you’re a musician, and you just want to ‘let it flow’.  Hold that feeling back for a couple of minutes and make your life easier by doing these simple things.

And now, a little story, entitled:

How I Let A Cup Of Coffee Rob Me of 15 Minutes And A Lot Of Pride:

By the time I’d been Director of Instrumental Music for ‘the big church’ for seven or eight years, I had a pretty good horn section.   Eight or ten players sort of orbited around and through it, and I was always on the lookout for new ones.  Somebody worked with somebody who knew somebody named Amanda, who was supposed to blow a pretty mean alto, and I’d finally contacted her and scheduled her to play.

Our rehearsal room was in a portable classroom next to the church building, and on this particular night the wind was blowing hard–like maybe a steady 25 or 30mph.  Always in a rush, I grabbed the horn charts (a pretty big stack), and coffee in a styrofoam cup.  Hot coffee.  The wind practically ripped the papers out of my hands, as I hurried down the walkway toward the portable.  The next 15 seconds went like this:

I held the coffee cup in my teeth, opened the door and held it with my foot, grabbed the coffee again with my right hand, kicked the door open hard and stuck my elbow out to catch it.  The elbow with coffee.  The door came back like a giant fly swatter, hit my elbow, and the coffee ended up down the entire front of me, from head to belt.  It was dripping from my glasses and soaking through my shirt as I stepped inside, and the horn charts were…a mess.  I saw a woman I didn’t recognize, and said, “You must be Amanda.  Hi.  I’m Ed.”

Fortunately, she had a sense of humor.

I then spent the next 15 minutes changing my shirt and reprinting all the horn charts.