Here is an interesting concept that some of us might have first learned in sports. "Practice like you play." Give 100% in practice because that is what you are gonna need on game day.

Of course we know that a lot of that has to do with attitude, but I actually wanted to break into the technical side on this post with a question: Do you feel that it is important to practice in similar conditions to those in which you will play? Same location? Same instruments? Same people? Same songs?

I would argue that all of those things (and more) should match as perfectly as possible between practice and service.

I, along with nearly full-time participation in our church worship team, have teamed up with some fellow students to ensure that our department (Aviation) at college has regular times of worship music throughout the week. I have taken on a 30 minute acoustic session every Tuesday, and some other students head up a full band every other Thursday, trading off with another program (PCAAT) here at PBI.

I just got asked to play the electric guitar this week for our aviation band, and we had a practice yesterday. For a full band, we were anticipating an acoustic guitarist, a drummer, bassist, electric guitar, and two vocalists. We had all but our 2nd vocalist and our acoustic player. On top of that, we practiced in a designated music room on campus. (As an aside, I have yet to find out why every school-based music room I have been in is so darn small, and the school insists on using it not only as a music room, but also for storage…) Granted, practicing in the same location all of the time is a hard thing to do, especially when you have multiple groups all vying for the same time slots.

I can already tell that being short on practice space in conditions very dissimilar to the ones we will be playing in will affect our ability to play well. We are actively looking for a solution, but in the meantime, we work with what we have, right?

Feel free to share your practice conditions, what you’d like to see change, and how you feel about "practicing like you play."