Jump to content
Richard R

Smuggling bass lines into worship songs (or any other songs for that matter)

Recommended Posts

I once decided to have a 'black knight' evening at a function gig. It's surprising what that riff will fit into.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, BassTractor said:

As an organ player, I stopped smuggling popular tunes into my improvisations during services at one specific point: a little child loudly sang along with the popular kids tune that was my contraband that day.

Are you telling us that you, the Organ(ist), Stop(ped) passing wind? 

If so, it must have been a relief all round.  :D

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/05/2019 at 15:16, Richard R said:

 

Likewise. Fortunately we also have a CCLI Song Select subscription so can download lead sheets too. If  I've never played the song before (even if I've sung it loads) I look at that to figure out what beat the chord change is supposed to be on 🙂

I hasten to add, we have CCLI licence/subscription/membership or whatever!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find a lot of time is spent moving between the I and IV chords behind someone speaking. Walk on the Wild Side works well in this context. 

Another favourite bass line to insert is Black Coffee in Bed by Squeeze. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went a bit disco octaves this morning and instantly regretted it, but I had to keep going because you cannot commit to a line and then change it halfway through the second bar. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the 20th anniversary of his death, I sneaked Jaco's melody from "A Remark You Made" into "Fight For Your Right To Party" at a pub gig in Swindon. Dozens of people noticed and came up to tell me afterwards. Part of this is a lie.

Edited by arthurhenry
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a bit in the Proclaimer's "500 Miles" where there is a stop for 2 bars before we go into the final choruses so I use it to add in whatever tunes I've been listening to or just for the hell of it. They range from Popeye to Enter Sandman but last night I decided to play a section of the big run on the Chili's "Johnny Kick a Hole in the Sky"

The look on our singer's face was priceless. I don't think she knew what to make of it so I'll be having a think about next week's musical interlude.

There was another band I used to dep with and part of a medley they did was Sex Machine by James Brown. One night the drummer came in with a slightly different pattern to normal so I ended up playing What is Hip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 09/05/2019 at 12:55, Richard R said:

Some of the church bassists on this site will know the song "Lord I lift your name on high" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COQ6cni_TG8 ) .
We sing it a bit quicker than that YouTube version (which isn't great, sorry) , and frequently with the bass line to "Summer Nights" from "Grease" running through. I'm sure I've heard Johnny B Goode in the past, 

This is utterly sacrilegious! Any devout, self respecting Christian bass player should know that the bass line to The Steve Miller Band’s The Joker should be played under the verse of Lord I Lift Your Name On High.

and Paul Oakley’s Because Of You (There’s a place where the streets shine) works perfectly as a pastiche of Alright Now by Free!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 09/05/2019 at 17:11, operative451 said:

As a totally non-religiony person it totally throws me when i see some complex pedalboard setup on instagram tagged with #worshipchurch or something...! When did churches go metal?! :D

A brief history of modern worship music...

  • In the 1970s the evangelical wing of the church got into folk and folk rock (but not the good stuff)
  • In the 80s they got into schmaltzy MOR
  • In the 90s they got into Joshua Tree era U2
  • In the 2000s they got into Coldplay
  • In the 2010s they mixed it up a bit with different ones getting into indie rock, shoegaze, EDM, Mumford & Sons (or whatever retro “Best Of” someone got for Christmas).

There are a few tunes that they play at the end of church while we have coffee that always make me double take and say, “Oh, is that a track by...”

Mike and the Mechanics?

Tears for Fears?

The Mumfords

Sash!?

And there’s one that’s a dead ringer for So era Peter Gabriel but I just can’t recall it now...

 

Edited by TrevorR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eek.... :D Think i'll stick with the Manson stuff.. :D Again, not to derail and with care for the 'no religion' clause, Hillsong are not known for being down with the gayage! Which is kind of ironic because they all sound like Eurovision entries (aka the LGBTQWhateverWeAreThisWeekIForget olympics).. ;D

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

End of the second page and no mention of Stryper yet? I saw them at Santa Monica Civic Audiorium back in 1987 and narrowly missed catching a bible. :)

But, for Christian rock you canna beat King's X. Their deity is strongly in evidence if you listen with a churchy ear - but he keeps his head down, allowing heathens like myself to enjoy the music too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/05/2019 at 16:34, operative451 said:

My school choir (damn my descant was awesome..!) once spontaneously dropped the bassline to 'Hit the road jack' into 'God rest ye merry Gentlemen', going 'Joy, joy joy joy' after 'tidings of comfort and joy' bit. It became the official version.. :D

 

Ok, here's a dare - drop in something by Marilyn Manson (rules: none of the covers or stuff off of Mechanical Animals that's blatantly ripping off Bowie) and i will donate a tenner to the charity of your choice. Video evidence needed, obvs...

 

@operative451 having been to many Marilyn Manson gigs back in the 90s I was strongly convinced that he had ripped off his sound from Swedish punk legend Thåström who I was also priviledged to have seen somewhere late 90's / early 2k.  Anyway he's not that out of place in church as Alice Cooper is a devout Christian and Marilyn and Alice have the same thing going in principles of their image and name etc as well as touring together and being friends etc...  I don't see the sound of Marilyn being out of place, just some of the presentation on stage might not fit - Marilyn mooning everyone at a gig in Milton Keynes that I saw once comes to mind.  Maybe you should up your dare?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The original bet still stands as far as I am concerned,  though I think the chances of me playing in church this year are getting pretty slim.

Apart from CV19, and still needing to find another sound engineer so I can play in the band, the band leader's wife had a bass for her birthday in May and has plenty of time to practice playing with him on guitar. I may be out of a gig anyway. 

 

 

 

(What, she was muted the whole song? Really? I've no idea how that can have happened, someone must have changed the desk routing. 😉 )

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m another who pops a bit of disco octaves in some of the worship songs. I also used octave, dirt, LPF opening up over a 1/2 bar & chorus for a synth sound on Reckless Love. 

Most of the crop of worship songs have possibly the blandest bass lines since Coldplay. 😕

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was struggling writing lyrics for a worship song last night, and so got distracted by working out the bass line.

Realised just now that I had simply nicked the keboard riff from "Last train to London" by ELO.  

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even the authorised version can be ridiculous.  I was in a folk worship band in the early 70s and one of the solemn responses was written to the exact tune of 'Knick knack paddy wack give a dog a bone'. Something of a late Friday afternoon job by the CofE composers, whoever they were. 

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't done it myself but some friends of mine take this to a different level,

 

this is one of their Rock Mass services from a few years ago, thy still run these once a month (or do when there isn't a pandemic)

 

the gentleman playing lead guitar on the goldtop les paul is an ordained minister in the CofE, and the lady playing the Warwick thumb 5 NT and lead vocals is is wife, when they're not working their day jobs or rocking the church then they have another band playing rock covers in the pubs around Halifax and Leeds.

I hope i'm not breaking any rules posting these here.

 

Matt

Edited by Matt P
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been playing for church services for a while now.

I've managed to incorporate bits of the bass lines from 'Another Brick In The Wall' (Pink Floyd),  'Do It Again' (Steely Dan), and 'South Of The Border' (Doobie Brothers).

Generates grins from the other band members and positive comments from musically aware members of the congregation.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not worship but I play doublebass in an acoustic band and we do our own take on lots of different styles. In our version of Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've) in usually play the bassline from Salt'n'Pepper's Push It through the chorus. 

Also in another band (Mod/Northern Soul/Ska) our latest original has a Tin Soldier by Small Faces feel to it, not intentionally but that's how it's ended up. I added a little bridge leading into the chorus as we were writing it that everyone said "that sounds great, keep it in". It sounded familiar to me but I couldn't place it, then I realised it was the chorus vocal melody to Mel and Kim's Respectable. It makes me smile every time we play it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I played drums in a church band as a kid and was amazed that there was a song that started with the words "Give Thanks, to a graceful God" which I later found out was a blatant rip off of "Go West" by the Village People.  I realised when the Pet Shop Boys released their version of Go West and thought they had nicked it from church til I was put right!

Our bass player was a basic root note only basic player but my brother was the piano player and we used to try and mix things up a bit where we could.  Unfortunately we were backing a small group of well meaning and passionate but not very good singers (my mother was one of those!) so we couldn't get too experimental.   I'm sure other churches are a lot more advanced than we were!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Chezz55 said:

I've managed to incorporate bits of the bass lines from 'Another Brick In The Wall' (Pink Floyd),  'Do It Again' (Steely Dan), and 'South Of The Border' (Doobie Brothers).

There's a popular worship song we do (did?) called "Do It Again" (no relation) but in rehearsals me and the guitar player can never resist throwing in "So get back, Jack, do it again. Wheels turning round and round..." as a backing vocal. It's also easy throw some Doobies feel into some of the more up tempo tunes without ripping off a particular bass line.

We did a "Blues Night" once where all the songs in the service were done in a variety of blues and gospel-blues styles. We did a cracking version of Amazing Grace to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun" based on a Blind Boys of Alabama recording. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve managed to squeeze riffs from the trooper, the obligatory joker riff, another brick in the wall, montsegur ( iron maiden), doctor who, the monkees, Bon jovi, and more into worship songs at church. 
I was the leader of the team, so I didn’t get told off 😉

myself and the guitarist used to find ways of working these songs into the arrangement, and they always went down well with the congregation. 🤘🤘

ps. I have a stryper bible here 😉

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Huge Hands said:

I played drums in a church band as a kid and was amazed that there was a song that started with the words "Give Thanks, to a graceful God" which I later found out was a blatant rip off of "Go West" by the Village People.  I realised when the Pet Shop Boys released their version of Go West and thought they had nicked it from church til I was put right!

Our bass player was a basic root note only basic player but my brother was the piano player and we used to try and mix things up a bit where we could.  Unfortunately we were backing a small group of well meaning and passionate but not very good singers (my mother was one of those!) so we couldn't get too experimental.   I'm sure other churches are a lot more advanced than we were!

Actually, it's quite the opposite. The song was first written and recorded in 1978 by an American singer. The following year Village People released the original version of Go West.

The song came to prominence when a popular Christian singer called Don Moen recorded it for one of his albums in the mid 80s. The Pet Shop Boys had their huge hit with Go West in the early 1990s.

I've always just put it down to coincidence rather than any deliberate copying, though. And the melody sounds a lot like the old Soviet Union national anthem anyway...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, TrevorR said:

Actually, it's quite the opposite. The song was first written and recorded in 1978 by an American singer. The following year Village People released the original version of Go West.

The song came to prominence when a popular Christian singer called Don Moen recorded it for one of his albums in the mid 80s. The Pet Shop Boys had their huge hit with Go West in the early 1990s.

I've always just put it down to coincidence rather than any deliberate copying, though. And the melody sounds a lot like the old Soviet Union national anthem anyway...

Happy to be corrected @TrevorR - I always thought they were too similar to be a coincidence, but there you go.  I know what you mean by the Soviet anthem too! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...