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Big Rich

Playing in Church.

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1 hour ago, LukeFRC said:

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

Both the McMillans  (Mr and Mrs) are artists I would definitely say are in the “definitely worth checking out” category!

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Just going over the songs again for tomorrow evening's recording.  The bridge in Awake My Soul by Hillsong really goes a Steve Harris galloping bassline.  Don't know why they didn't do that instead of the crochets (Maybe that's as fast as the bassist can play?  He's their good bassist...  He know's 5 notes 😂).

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I was back in church today for the first time in nearly a year (since the first lock-down).  We have had On-Line services where we've recorded our musical parts onto our mobile 'phones and had them stitched together, but that is not the same as being together.  I was delighted to get back into the building and meet (socially distanced) friends who I've only been able to chat to via Zoom.

Our normal congregation averages at just over a hundred, with most of them being students and young families.  Due to the restrictions we could only accommodate 30 or so this morning and they had to wear masks and could not sing!  The band was pared back to just; keyboard, semi acoustic guitar, bass guitar (me) and my wife on vocals.  She was the only one allowed to sing!  It was surreal playing a couple of songs while the congregation stood in silence and swayed along to the tune!  As we had no drummer, I kept things very simple and hit the root note on the beat.  Not very spectacular but it was what was needed.  I did the occasional "fill" or chromatic run but other than that kept it straight to the point.

I pray for the day when we can all get back to normal and enjoy great worship and fellowship together.

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7th March - and my church band were back after two months in lockdown!

I was surprised at how quickly we got back into playing together, and everyone felt that we had improved a little.  Great fun.  I will share a video later, but for now, who else is back in a live church band?

 

 

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On 03/01/2020 at 07:39, lownote12 said:

When I were a lad fifty years ago my CoE church in Sussex had a strong band and choir, including bass, lead, rhythm guitar section and drums.  This wasn't an evangelical 'happy clappy' church of young people by any means, just yer average parish church. We did have our own service alongside the more traditional ones but we attracted just as many adults   It led to quite a few members going on into musical careers or otherwise taking their interest in music forward. 

It is interesting to see how some churches reach a "critical mass" of excellence and have a band that keeps on improving, and other churches just have a few musicians and never really develop a music ministry.

For me, I like the church because I liked the music - and because I like music I was already playing bass guitar in a band.   There are others in the church who likewise had a musical background but were not part of the band  - a semi-professional opera singer; worship leading multi-instrumentalists; two competent drummers.

My opinion is that, with a pool of talent in the church, it is easier to further refine the musical offering, which in turn attracts other musicians to the congregation.  Does that sound feasible, or am I simply wrong!?

             

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I think that's very valid.  If you are a musician then worship through is likely to be important to you, and you are more likely to be in a church with a strong musical element in the service. And therefore have the opportunity to join in leading. Thinking about our church, we have lost members from all our bands due to moving away, age, death etc., but they have been replaced,  through members of the youth band who have stayed local after university, new members joining the church and bringing their talents, or in one regrettable case the sound engineer taking up bass guitar.

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Our church is kinda stuck between the two. It’s got a large pool of players & singers, but only a few are good. The rest don’t seem to improve at all, which is a shame.

There’s a couple of decent singers (which are reluctant to go for singing lessons for some strange reason) & a load of shower singers, one being a WL (she can sing in tune, but her vocal tone is not good).

For me, playing in church is testing.  With the “here’s the setlist” 3-4 days before, no band rehearsal & last minute key changes, if it wasn’t for the glory of God, I’d be out. 

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1 hour ago, xgsjx said:

 

For me, playing in church is testing.  With the “here’s the setlist” 3-4 days before, no band rehearsal & last minute key changes, if it wasn’t for the glory of God, I’d be out. 

We normally get the set list on Saturday, or Friday at the earliest, with keys chords and words.  We meet around 8.45 for a 10.30 service start, so plenty of time for rehearsal, and some fellowship.  We use iPads while we are playing, so key changes aren’t a problem.

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2 minutes ago, Baxlin said:

We normally get the set list on Saturday, or Friday at the earliest, with keys chords and words.  We meet around 8.45 for a 10.30 service start, so plenty of time for rehearsal, and some fellowship.  We use iPads while we are playing, so key changes aren’t a problem.

This is probably why most worship music is very basic in the musician parts. So you can get given a chord chart at the last moment & all you’re doing is following them to a tempo (& probably why most of them don’t drop out when the MD says “breakdown”, lol).

Pre lockdown, most of the band would turn up at about 10 to set up & run over songs. Service started at 11:15, so by the time soundcheck was done, there’d be no time for any rehearsal. The recordings for online are totally unrehearsed & mixed by armitage shanks. 

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Pre lockdown we would always have a rehearsal during the week, and a run through before the service.  Evening services were a bit more relaxed, usually get there by 4:30 for a service starting at 6:30.

 

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Seems like such a long time ago (because it was, a year to be precise!) but we’d get a songlist with keys (provisional of course!) and notes/comments on a Tuesday or Wednesday, evening rehearsal on Thursday 8-10 then musos set up and line check 8:30 to 9:00 on a Sunday, preservice rehearsal 9-between 9:45-10:00 for a 10:30 service. We’d get up at 10:20-25ish and quietly play a pre-service song or two as folks were arriving.

Here is a typical song list from way back I happened to find on my iPad...

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On 02/01/2020 at 00:45, Big Rich said:

An opportunity to play in my church band arose last week and so I jumped at the chance.

Obviously I plan to lock in with both the drummer's kick and the pianist's left hand but are there any other pointers that any church bassists can give me?

"Praise Him with strings" - Psalms 150:4

Chill. Worship music is about the lyrics. Vocals and piano rule. And the worship leader will make that very clear time and time again :) we just do our jobs. Hold it down. Nothing fancy unless it calls for it. Know what I mean? 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Baxlin said:

We normally get the set list on Saturday, or Friday at the earliest, with keys chords and words.  We meet around 8.45 for a 10.30 service start, so plenty of time for rehearsal, and some fellowship.  We use iPads while we are playing, so key changes aren’t a problem.

Yup, pretty much. Except with us, we get handed a three to four song list, with lyrics and chords, at 930ish on Sunday morning,, and quickly run through them once before service at 10. No heads up, no practice, no big deals.

Edited by JeezyMcNuggles

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I always felt the amount of time church musicians/PA peeps give each week is not understood. My experience back in the day was arrive at 08:30 leave at 13:30 and a similar amount in the evening. Add a couple of hours rehearsal during the week, plus preparation throughout the week, if you’re “leading” along with personal practice. Add any special services/conferences. 
It always made me laugh/sigh when a speaker would turn round and say at the end of their preach “I’d like to sing (insert some random song I’d never heard of)” without any pre warning or contact during week. “Go ahead” would be my reply, I’m not stopping you”😂

I will say however that I learned a lot about improv and listening to an MD when I started playing in church, so I always encouraged youngsters to get involved to develop their aural skills. 

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13 hours ago, xgsjx said:

The recordings for online are totally unrehearsed & mixed by armitage shanks. 

It took me a while to get that, but when I did, the idea of a mixer tap piping the music made me smile!

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6 hours ago, oldslapper said:

It always made me laugh/sigh when a speaker would turn round and say at the end of their preach “I’d like to sing (insert some random song I’d never heard of)” without any pre warning or contact during week. “Go ahead” would be my reply, I’m not stopping you”😂

Brilliant!!!!

6 hours ago, oldslapper said:

I will say however that I learned a lot about improv and listening to an MD when I started playing in church, so I always encouraged youngsters to get involved to develop their aural skills. 

It's one heck of an education, isn't it!!!

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7 hours ago, oldslapper said:

It always made me laugh/sigh when a speaker would turn round and say at the end of their preach “I’d like to sing (insert some random song I’d never heard of)” without any pre warning or contact during week. “Go ahead” would be my reply, I’m not stopping you”😂

were you in front of a live mic when you said that? 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

were you in front of a live mic when you said that? 

Or did oldslapper just think about saying it . . . . ?
 

 

I like the idea of a church band that requires a knowledge of songs and standards that rival a jazz combo, and a range of talent found in a primary school recorder recital. 
 

Edited by bass_dinger
more words ...
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2 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

were you in front of a live mic when you said that? 

It would depend on the speaker. Visiting ones would get the “I don’t know that one, but I’m sure if there’s someone here who does we can play along” into the mic, hoping that someone would start it from the congregation, or another musician over 80 would know it. 
I would say the same to “In house” preachers, but with a “you have my number, why didn’t you call to say what was on your mind before” look. 

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Just now, oldslapper said:

I have no filters in those situations. 

Our only hope is that the sound engineer forgot to fade up your microphone . . . 

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1 minute ago, bass_dinger said:

Our only hope is that the sound engineer forgot to fade up your microphone . . . 

It’s ok, I wasn’t rude or anything. I stopped a few years back. I’m not cut out for it. 😊 my wife says I’m too grumpy 😂

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Looking back at my contributions to this thread, they are pretty negative. I’m sorry, I’ve kind of derailed what should be (and is) an encouraging place. 
P&L 

John 
👍🏻

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17 minutes ago, oldslapper said:

Looking back at my contributions to this thread, they are pretty negative. I’m sorry, I’ve kind of derailed what should be (and is) an encouraging place. 
P&L 

John 
👍🏻

Thats ok. Part of being an encouraging place is also having space to listen to grumpy folk :D 

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18 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

Thats ok. Part of being an encouraging place is also having space to listen to grumpy folk :D 

BC = BassConfessional

So bless you my son, say three Hail Jacos and practice Dm arpeggios as penance. 

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