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We use song select, except for one BL who writes out bespoke lead sheets in Sibelius so that the flute ornamentation is exactly what he wants.

Where we have recordings of his songs I like trying to double up the flute ornaments on the bass. Done  properly it sounds great, but I have never dared do it in church as I am not that reliable!

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4 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

On song is good. Not so good when I'm the only one with it and have to make all my own chord charts! 

Thing is we use Open song for the presentation and words (it's awful btw) and the open song format can have chords and read natively by on song. I don't think I'll get wholesale move accross though 

The OnSong format is effectively a version of ChordPro and it can suck in a variety of file types. I found that once I got my eye in I could convert a chart pretty quickly - it did take a while to do all 200 odd songs in our repertoire!

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53 minutes ago, TrevorR said:

The OnSong format is effectively a version of ChordPro and it can suck in a variety of file types. I found that once I got my eye in I could convert a chart pretty quickly - it did take a while to do all 200 odd songs in our repertoire!

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Yeah and the built in editor on onsong seems to have shortcuts for adding chords too. 
 

my issue is that I’m the only one using it and some of the songs in the churches gdrive seem to have custom chords so it’s not even like I can search the net for OnSong charts others have uploaded.

i actually use OnSong on my phone live!

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32 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

Yeah and the built in editor on onsong seems to have shortcuts for adding chords too. 
 

my issue is that I’m the only one using it and some of the songs in the churches gdrive seem to have custom chords so it’s not even like I can search the net for OnSong charts others have uploaded.

i actually use OnSong on my phone live!

Yes, when you’re editing it and there’s a chord written it adds a button to that on the grey bar above the soft keyboard. 

Worship Together provides free official downloads of a lot of songs in ChordPro format if you sign up for free membership. Once you’ve pulled in the basic song I’ve found it easy it edit them to amend for home church custom chords - at least they’ve done a lot of the donkey work!

Edited by TrevorR

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I still don’t get why the Singists can’t just learn to sing in the original key to save all this bother?

Don’t the originals get written in a key that suits the congregation? 

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12 minutes ago, xgsjx said:

I still don’t get why the Singists can’t just learn to sing in the original key to save all this bother?

Don’t the originals get written in a key that suits the congregation? 

I think some of them get written in the key of whoever is singing it... which might or might not be any good for the average singer

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1 hour ago, xgsjx said:

I still don’t get why the Singists can’t just learn to sing in the original key to save all this bother?

Don’t the originals get written in a key that suits the congregation? 

In lots of cases, no. In a previous era I was responsible in a church for selecting songs, issuing the music and choosing the key. There are lots of factors that can make this difficult, including:

* Recording male worship artists usually have a much wider range than the average congregant, so write in keys that take the melody far too high for a Sunday. Contrary to popular belief this is even more of an issue for female congregants - 'high key good for female/low key good for male' is just not true.

* There is quite a small range of notes (approx Bb through an octave to D) that are comfortably in the range of both male and female voices. 

* Quite a few popular songs go beyond this range of an octave and a third

* The advent in the past decade of the 'octave leap' is a disaster for congregational singing as if the worship leader goes for it they will either be far too low to start with or not make the leap. The congregation have even less of change. Perhaps the greatest crime of Bethel music and Hillsong!

So, all in all I have sympathy with the need to change keys. What would be great is if it happened with good notice rather than on the morning, although the transpose features of SongSelect etc make even that more tolerable.

But I think the best strategy is to get on the front foot and advise the leader of the best key as soon as you can after they've sent round the songs - maximises practice time and they'll probably be grateful for your help!

Edited by joseb84
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45 minutes ago, joseb84 said:

Recording male worship artists usually have a much wider range than the average congregant, so write in keys that take the melody far too high for a Sunday

This! So many songs are written for performances and recording, rather than for congregational singing. I don't want a mass return to Wesleyan Hymns, but at least write things we can sing.

51 minutes ago, joseb84 said:

There is quite a small range of notes (approx Bb through an octave to D) that are comfortably in the range of both male and female voices. 

I didn't know that. Songs in D should be easy to sing then?

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18 minutes ago, Richard R said:

I don't want a mass return to Wesleyan Hymns,

How about we have an under played Wesleyan verse ... then drop out for a quiet chorus, another verse then a big chorus ... which is all a Wesleyan build up for that mammoth bridge which is the only bit anyone will Remember,  repeat For next ten min ...

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47 minutes ago, Richard R said:

I didn't know that. Songs in D should be easy to sing then?

For a number of songs yes, but it all depends on the top and (to a lesser extent in my view) the bottom notes. As while many songs the tonic will be the highest note in the melody (e.g. in Christ Alone), a great many others go to the third (e.g. Happy Day (Hughes)) or the fifth (e.g.great are you Lord - your breath), suggesting D, Bb and G as the respective optimal keys to avoid going beyond the top D (that said In Christ Alone is fine in the original key of Eb as the top note is a passing one, in contrast to happy day where you spend a lot of time at the top end in the chorus).

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Well seeing I’m not a singer (I can’t sing at all). 
Though the odd thing is, I’ve never had to change song key in any of the secular bands I’ve played in. 🤔

& I still don’t get why even the female led songs get a key change too when it’s females singing. 😂

Anyway.
Here’s someone making a very good point about worship bass in a rather humorous way...

 

Edited by xgsjx
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Excellent start to the day! Can I count it as my devotional?😇

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Funny video! This is the most complex bass I've ever played in church -

I had to practice for literal days to get that under my fingers

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That must have been fun @joseb84 ! Very lively, I wish we played more like that. Although it's the sort of song where you really don't want a last minute key change :)

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2 hours ago, Kevsy71 said:

That must have been fun @joseb84 ! Very lively, I wish we played more like that. Although it's the sort of song where you really don't want a last minute key change :)

Indeed! I would not have been amused :)

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Oddly enough, I was listening to that song last week, along with a few other Ron Kenoly tracks.

I don’t get how gospel has amazing musicians, but CCW has some of the lamest

To me, praising God should be bringing your best, not your least. 

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56 minutes ago, xgsjx said:

Oddly enough, I was listening to that song last week, along with a few other Ron Kenoly tracks.

I don’t get how gospel has amazing musicians, but CCW has some of the lamest

To me, praising God should be bringing your best, not your least. 

CCW = mainstream pop for over 30s. There is a reason bands who I would not choose to listen to shift WAY more product than I ever will. I do not doubt that the people who play CCW could rip it up with glee, but it is not that scene. Very few "normal" people want to listen to musicians giving it the max. The Gospel scene is incredibly niche in the way it encourages monster players giving it the max for "normal" people to react to. 

Edited by owen
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9 hours ago, owen said:

CCW = mainstream pop for over 30s. There is a reason bands who I would not choose to listen to shift WAY more product than I ever will. I do not doubt that the people who play CCW could rip it up with glee, but it is not that scene. Very few "normal" people want to listen to musicians giving it the max. The Gospel scene is incredibly niche in the way it encourages monster players giving it the max for "normal" people to react to. 

I get that CCW is church pop music, but it’s still no excuse. 

Pop music can have good music & even break away from a derivative of 1, 4, 5, 6.

Theres a lot of great CCW (Elevation have a lot of great stuff), but at the same time, there’s a lot of cookie cutter guff that I dare say much of the congregation don’t particularly like either. Sing his praise again by hillsong is a prime example of this nonsense. 
 

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Some lovely videos peeps have posted here, it does my head in how people put these things together. 

CCW industry is exactly that, it’s no different from mainstream industry, in that it’s about shifting a product and creating a desire for more of the same. I was involved in CCW in the 80’s-90’s and saw a huge change in direction from considered and skilled songwriting, to the emphasis on production, to sell a product. 
I haven’t been to a church meeting/service for years now, not because of a falling out with anyone, just a shift in my belief system. But I wish church musicians were encouraged to study the great writers like Lennon/McCartney, C Porter, Paul Simon, H Carmichael, etc who could write a song with prosody and arrangement that was challenging for the musician to play, but appealed to the masses who could sing along. 
Anyway, sorry to derail what is an encouraging thread for church bassists. Ignore me,  

 

 

who? 😊

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Sad to hear you're not going to church @oldslapper - you do realise of course that most* of the people on this thread will now start earnestly** praying for you?

Agree completely on the songwriting front. It's hard work! I have written a few worship songs, but only two were in my view good enough to record. All of the others at some point either fell into clichéd rhyme or phrase, and if I couldn't replace it I ditched the song. They were no worse than things I had sung, but no better. Thankfully I don't earn a living from shifting music, so I didn't have to put them out.

 

 

 

*well maybe some. I have no actual idea on the percentage 😇

** also I have no idea how many people on this thread are called Ernest. 

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1 hour ago, oldslapper said:

Some lovely videos peeps have posted here, it does my head in how people put these things together. 

CCW industry is exactly that, it’s no different from mainstream industry, in that it’s about shifting a product and creating a desire for more of the same. I was involved in CCW in the 80’s-90’s and saw a huge change in direction from considered and skilled songwriting, to the emphasis on production, to sell a product. 
I haven’t been to a church meeting/service for years now, not because of a falling out with anyone, just a shift in my belief system. But I wish church musicians were encouraged to study the great writers like Lennon/McCartney, C Porter, Paul Simon, H Carmichael, etc who could write a song with prosody and arrangement that was challenging for the musician to play, but appealed to the masses who could sing along. 
Anyway, sorry to derail what is an encouraging thread for church bassists. Ignore me,  

 

 

who? 😊

It seems sadly true, though. What starts off as churches who happen to have gifted writers producing new music for their churches to use and sharing it (for a return, of course) gets commoditised and becomes industry output. Presumably there, at that point, becomes pressure to continue creating product for the market (and sustaining revenue and turnover). At that point production rates increase and quality declines - doubly so since music isn’t something that can have simple economies of scale applied to it.

It happened to Vineyard through the late 80s/early 90s, to Hillsong through the 2000s and to many others. The drive for the annual hit worship album (even more frequently with the early 90s “Touching The Father’s Heart” series - so much filler every 2-3 months!). So many big event worship albums with one, maybe two, decent songs on there. To be honest, these days I’d very rarely buy a worship album, just download the odd song I want, like or need. There are a few good more indie worship artists out there but they take a bit of searching out and some of the likes of Elevation and Planetshakers seem to be maintaining quality (within their own fairly constrained genres).

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44 minutes ago, TrevorR said:

It seems sadly true, though. What starts off as churches who happen to have gifted writers producing new music for their churches to use and sharing it (for a return, of course) gets commoditised and becomes industry output. Presumably there, at that point, becomes pressure to continue creating product for the market (and sustaining revenue and turnover). At that point production rates increase and quality declines - doubly so since music isn’t something that can have simple economies of scale applied to it.

It happened to Vineyard through the late 80s/early 90s, to Hillsong through the 2000s and to many others. The drive for the annual hit worship album (even more frequently with the early 90s “Touching The Father’s Heart” series - so much filler every 2-3 months!). So many big event worship albums with one, maybe two, decent songs on there. To be honest, these days I’d very rarely buy a worship album, just download the odd song I want, like or need. There are a few good more indie worship artists out there but they take a bit of searching out and some of the likes of Elevation and Planetshakers seem to be maintaining quality (within their own fairly constrained genres).

On top of that think about regular Pop music - for every Ed Sheeran or Dua  Lipa theres about two dozen artists who copy the production and kinda sound the same but not as good - or you get probably good songs hidden behind whatever formulaic sound or production is in vogue that month- I think it takes skill And confidence for someone to punch through the noise With something that sounds original... and that’s in mainstream pop- CCM the budget and talent just isn’t there I think- and the whole structure of church worship music in some ways discourages taking risks.

reading reviews of John MArk McMillians album last year was interesting- there were a few reviews In the sorta Christian press/blogs that just didn’t get why bits sounded like it did. By the way “the road, the rocks, the weeds” off that album is a cracking song IMO reguardless of genre and content

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