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Big Rich

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I said in jest to a guitarist “you could 2 hand tap a solo in there”. He looked at me puzzled & said “I’ve no idea what that is”. So I showed him a little & he’d never seen it before.

He’s 26 & played for over 10 years!

So I mentioned tapping harmonics, only 1 person knew what I was talking about. Played a little of the opening for Van Haley’s Women in Love. They all said “Oh, I didn’t know you could do that”. 
 

It puzzles me as to why they don’t try to better themselves for God. 

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25 minutes ago, xgsjx said:

 

It puzzles me as to why they don’t try to better themselves for God. 

Are you suggesting two handed tap solos and tapped harmonics should be part of every believer’s discipleship? 

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4 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

Are you suggesting two handed tap solos and tapped harmonics should be part of every believer’s discipleship? 

No, but they could learn to play better than a mundane strum & learn chord progressions that are not set in 1, 4, 5, 6.

I've been given 3 new songs to learn.  I listened to each of them once & that's enough.
 

There's nothing our God can't do - Verse 1, 4.  Chorus 1, 4, 6, 5.

Breathe Miracles - Verse 1, 4, 5, 6, 4, 1, 5.  Chorus 1, 6, 4, 1.

His Name is Jesus - Verse 1, 4, 6, 5.  Chorus 4, 6, 1, 5.

 

It wouldn't be so bad if the instruments played something decent, but they just do the minimal & every song ends up sounding the same.

I blame the likes of Hillsong & Passion for this nonsense!  🤣

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37 minutes ago, xgsjx said:

It wouldn't be so bad if the instruments played something decent, but they just do the minimal & every song ends up sounding the same.

See I don’t mind simple song structures, as a lot of good pop music is often based on simple structures. The bland wall of worship sound on recorded stuff does my nut in. Not only as it’s dull and repetitive but then people who sometimes don’t listen to much music end up thinking that it’s particularly good :( or “how worship music should sound” ... which of course listening to almost anything else outside a very narrow genre shows you that that it need not sound that way... 

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Our new (employed) worship leader has received a couple of comments from older folks that she doesn’t include enough older songs and hymns.  She’s on holiday this week, so 3 out of the 4 songs for Sunday morning are from the 80s...

 

 On another subject,  I was in the congregation yesterday, and it was really good to be able to sing again, albeit wearing a mask.

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On 26/07/2021 at 07:53, Big Rich said:

On Sunday, the beginner bassist pointed to their bass  ,. , ,  ,

 

They then stood in front of the bass combo  . . . . and asked if the guitar lead goes into the input jack on the amp....they've been playing for 2 years.

 

During one song they said to me that they weren't sure what notes to play  . . .  no bass for at least 2 minutes of the song . . . 3 of the 4 notes can be played on open strings FFS.

If it has taken two years to get to that level, maybe the bass (or music, or indeed, clapping their hands while counting to 4) is not for them?  A two-year audition and training programme is generous by anyone's standards, so perhaps the leadership might decide that they won't be using certain musicians and singers going forward.

 

I get that different churches use the music team for different purposes - some make it their shop window, and one of the draws to the services ("come and hear and sing along to a wonderful live band!"); others use it as a form of service and involvement, and one of the draws to the services ("come along and take part in a live band!").

 

If the congregation and leadership are happy with a lower level of competency (but greater involvement), then I applaud their decision.   However, it seems odd that the better musicians in the congregation are having to humbly take a back seat while trainees with no real skill are involved, often for years, yet showing no improvement.

 

Could churches that uses a range of abilities, take three or four of the better musicians, and play a set for the leaders?  That will allow them to see and hear what is possible when the right people are in the team.  Of course, they would also need to be willing to remove most of the existing team from the rota, which is a big step.  Maybe we can show the leaders that the local church can play well and that the problem is too many beginners.   

 

In general, I mentioned this predicament to my wife.  She said that, if she wanted to join a Mercy Ship, and travel the world performing surgery, there would be an expectation that she would be medically qualified, and not learn on the job (and still be getting it wrong 2 years later...).   

 

Church music does not have to be rubbish (but it often is).  So, finally, just for fun, here is a 1 4 5 6 song, to show what can be done with passionate involvement, musicianship, great sound guys, 50 singers, a fat bassline, and a few key changes!  So good, that it makes me cry...

  

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On the flip side, I've been involved in a situation the other way around too, 3-4 different bands, all quite good and musically practiced.... wanted to double the amount of services... in hindsight the best way to do it would have been to explain that the quality would drop a wee bit musically. What ended up happening is that the musicicins spent all day on a Sunday playing both services and lots of people just dropped out the rota as it was too much.
Sometimes you cut according to the cloth you have. 

Also what you're aiming for depends on where you are at as a church. In some cases a stripped back simple but honest approach of 2-3 musicians doing acoustic type set well would be better and more authentic than trying to recreate a hillsongs conference in the suburbs every Sunday. 

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On 26/07/2021 at 19:26, Baxlin said:

Our new (employed) worship leader has received a couple of comments from older folks that she doesn’t include enough older songs and hymns.  She’s on holiday this week, so 3 out of the 4 songs for Sunday morning are from the 80s...

 

 On another subject,  I was in the congregation yesterday, and it was really good to be able to sing again, albeit wearing a mask.

I can't work out if this is an example of your church playing lots of old songs, or lots of new ones. . . . 

 

As for masked singing, I too got the chance to sing - a previous bassist wanted the fun of playing with the previous worship leader for half of the set, so I was part of the pew-ballast for the day!  Great fun.   

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2 hours ago, bass_dinger said:

I can't work out if this is an example of your church playing lots of old songs, or lots of new ones. . . . 

 

As for masked singing, I too got the chance to sing - a previous bassist wanted the fun of playing with the previous worship leader for half of the set, so I was part of the pew-ballast for the day!  Great fun.   

I suppose I should have said ‘songs....from the 80s that everyone knows - rather than new-to-us songs she’s brought with her’.  (No reflection on her, by the way, she is brilliant)

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Re the 80s songs - we closed yesterday’s morning service with a really upbeat celebration song by John Gibson - including one chorus ‘drums only’ - real nostalgia stuff.   Almost dancing in the aisles...🤫

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The band I usually do sound for is playing on the 15th August as a full band and the BL asked if I want to play. The guy he asked to do FOH has been away from the desk for a few years as he has a young family,  but is absolutely superb.

Better start practicing! 😇

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On 28/07/2021 at 13:59, bass_dinger said:

If it has taken two years to get to that level, maybe the bass (or music, or indeed, clapping their hands while counting to 4) is not for them?  A two-year audition and training programme is generous by anyone's standards, so perhaps the leadership might decide that they won't be using certain musicians and singers going forward.

 

I get that different churches use the music team for different purposes - some make it their shop window, and one of the draws to the services ("come and hear and sing along to a wonderful live band!"); others use it as a form of service and involvement, and one of the draws to the services ("come along and take part in a live band!").

 

If the congregation and leadership are happy with a lower level of competency (but greater involvement), then I applaud their decision.   However, it seems odd that the better musicians in the congregation are having to humbly take a back seat while trainees with no real skill are involved, often for years, yet showing no improvement.

 

Could churches that uses a range of abilities, take three or four of the better musicians, and play a set for the leaders?  That will allow them to see and hear what is possible when the right people are in the team.  Of course, they would also need to be willing to remove most of the existing team from the rota, which is a big step.  Maybe we can show the leaders that the local church can play well and that the problem is too many beginners.   

 

In general, I mentioned this predicament to my wife.  She said that, if she wanted to join a Mercy Ship, and travel the world performing surgery, there would be an expectation that she would be medically qualified, and not learn on the job (and still be getting it wrong 2 years later...).   

 

Church music does not have to be rubbish (but it often is).  So, finally, just for fun, here is a 1 4 5 6 song, to show what can be done with passionate involvement, musicianship, great sound guys, 50 singers, a fat bassline, and a few key changes!  So good, that it makes me cry...

  

The problem with these videos of 'Mega Church concerts' is they have more people on stage than most British churches have in their congregations.  When you have a huge gospel choir and, in some cases, professional musicians, you can make any worship song sound great.  Transfer that song to a small church with a handful of part time musicians who only get to run through the songs about 45 minutes before the service begins and it will sound very different.

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9 hours ago, LeftyP said:

Transfer that song to a small church with a handful of part time musicians who only get to run through the songs about 45 minutes before the service begins and it will sound very different.

 

Sometimes a lot better.  I listened to the Hillsong originals of a couple of songs we do and thought "what  dirges!' 

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I guess the main problem is that creating that "big production" is a feat in itself. It will be orchestrated, it will have musicians who know when not to play or parts which tell them not to. These are disciplines which are not necessarily available in our normal settings. Sadly, musicians or singers who only play in church are often the hardest to work with with regard to getting quick arrangements happening so the process is more laborious to get over the line. Even having a social evening where the musicians play a set of motown covers or whatever is super useful. It is an opportunity to move them into a space where they are listening to the arrangement not just focusing on the words. Obv in worship the words are central, but serving the words with a well crafted accompaniment is everything. Having a crisp but minimal band is way better than an orchestra playing tutti blancmange and all the singers going full blam all the time. 

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1 hour ago, owen said:

Having a crisp but minimal band is way better than an orchestra playing tutti blancmange and all the singers going full blam all the time. 

I agree totally.

I find the issue is often people who can’t listen to others, so go blam the whole time. Either because they aren’t good enough musicians to listen, or because they are very good but think the music is so simple they don’t listen to the other musicians ....

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The problem with most megachurch productions is it is very musically drab.

All the instrument parts to every song is basic. Now & again an exception appears, but they’re very few & far between.

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9 hours ago, Richard R said:

 

Sometimes a lot better.  I listened to the Hillsong originals of a couple of songs we do and thought "what  dirges!' 

There’s also the question of ‘is it a performance, or is the band leading the congregation in worship?’  
 

Obviously we must always give of our best, but equally not lose sight of (as I have said before) who it is we are singing about, to, and for.

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3 hours ago, Baxlin said:

There’s also the question of ‘is it a performance, or is the band leading the congregation in worship?’  
 

Obviously we must always give of our best, but equally not lose sight of (as I have said before) who it is we are singing about, to, and for.

Totally agree.  But we should be singing & playing our best for the Lord, not mediocre.  To think, Hillsong had music like My Redeemer Lives.  They've let things slip a lot.

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3 hours ago, Baxlin said:

There’s also the question of ‘is it a performance, or is the band leading the congregation in worship?’  
 

Obviously we must always give of our best, but equally not lose sight of (as I have said before) who it is we are singing about, to, and for.

Thing is there’s two different things here - attitudes to how average Joe at average church approaches worship and doesn’t make it a performance ego trip (though some churches go more or less on performance vs spontaneous) 

The second thing is dull wall of noise songs with little melody. (Personally I’m less fussed about it being interesting for musos.) The way I might  explain that Is: think of Radiohead’s the bends, it’s kinda indie sound but you can hum the melody’s - some delirious stuff back in the day had that Britpop influence melodic focus ... some of of the more recent stuff doesn’t have that and it’s dull flatness verse quiet chorus verse loud chorus before the inevitable MASSIVE bridge (which often is the only melody that sticks in the head) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Played in church for the first time since the weekend before lockdown. No drummer today, only piano, bass and guitar, so just keeping the pulse simple and steady. Good to hear the congregation singing too.

 

Screenshot_20210815-121218_YouTube.jpg

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@Richard R We had a similar setup ourselves yesterday, we only had a bass player, a singer and myself on acoustic guitar.  It was nice to work with a stripped down band and it gave us a chance to work on 3-part vocal harmonies.  It sounded great in church on the day but yet again, the livestream sound was APPALLING !!  For the entire livestream you couldn't hear a single note of the bass nor any of my vocals (this annoyed me because I sang the lead vocal on the last song).

 

The last song was "Lord, I Lift Your Name on High" and the singer went on drums, I sang the lead vocals and the bass player sang backing vocals, thanks to the livestream sound being awful, all that was transmitted was my guitar and the backing vocals....I bet it sounded terrible and really confusing 😂.

 

I don't bother making any constructive comments to the tech team anymore as last time I did, I got accused of bullying. 

 

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I know what you mean re live stream sound. Our’s is always dire, with one or 2 instruments dominating the sound & everything else muffled. 
 

Id say something to tech, but the worship pastor & most others say “Worship sounded brilliant”, so I recon I’m watching something else! 😂

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Our tech team are ace (and bass friendly :)but I've yet to hear a bass note come through on live stream, unless I'm using decent headphones and then only just. I enjoyed playing to even a reduced congregation last week as we could use the full PA with subs again!

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