Final Rehearsal for Patrick Concert – Monday 14th July

Hi all,

For various reasons, last night’s rehearsal wasn’t our best.  Specifically, there were very few tunes that we could play through from start to finish without having to stop and correct issues.  Additionally, whereas I’d planned that we would run through the whole Patrick playlist from start to end, this had to be abandoned as we didn’t have enough players to cover the parts on some tunes.

We need to feel confident in playing our tunes straight off the start line, so … this puts a great deal of emphasis on Monday’s final rehearsal – which will be held at the Trinity Church in Patrick – starting promptly at 7pm … and we need a full team !


The issues we had in last night’s rehearsal are not new to us, and they’re fairly easy to fix with a little background prep.

1   Volume

Our accompaniment level is generally too loud, and yet from time to time those who are leading play too quietly.

The fix for this is obvious.  Make sure that you know where you are leading, and maybe mark your parts accordingly.

Everywhere else, please err on the side of caution, playing accompanying parts (esp. long notes / chords) sensitively so as to support the lead.

You can only really achieve this effectively if you are actively listening to the lead as you play !

Finally, where you have interesting phrases, particularly where these join sections of the tune, bring them out confidently.

2   Uncertainty / fluffed notes

The general fix for this is also pretty clear – if you have phrases that you can’t pay confidently (either the notes or timing), you need to practice them until they’re right.  Where timing is the issue, MIDI files can help greatly – just play along with the tune until you’re sure you’re in the right place.

If you’ve practiced extensively but simply can’t get a phrase or section right, let me know before the final rehearsal.  I can make adjustments to cover key phrases, but only if I know ahead of time.

3   Pre-Play Preparation / Concentration

On quite a few occasions last night, we had some duff notes at the beginning of pieces as folk were still playing in the key of the last piece.

Please make a point of quickly reviewing key statistics before you play any piece – key, time signature, repeats – to avoid any confusion as we play.

4   Communication

At various points we started to drift in terms of tempo, or worse simply started at a pace that was different from my count-in.   This will always happen to a certain extent, but it can be corrected if we use our communication skills as we play.

The first is to make sure that you can see me whilst you play, so that I can connect with you and make adjustments to volume, tempo etc.

The second is to listen actively, as I often try to adjust our tempo by playing at the correct speed and emphasising my notes.

… and the key to communication is of course to free up your concentration by being totally familiar with the music 🙂


If you’re at all unsure over any part of our playlist and need my help, just ask.  I’m happy to make the time to meet up with you to help you feel confident on the night.

See you on Monday,

Cheers Jem













With all of us present (except Matt), we’ll run through the tunes in order.


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