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Playing in Church.


Sardonicus

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last week, a lot of the band were away, which meant that the very experienced worship leader needed to bring his own band in.

 

He asked if anyone from the church's own Gospel choir wanted to come along. 

 

One person who arrived was truly awful- flat, sharp, moving from one note to another using glissandos until she hit the right one. 

 

The very definition of Fretless Singing...

 

 

Let's see how they deal with this situation. 

 

I am told that the band and all the singers will be invited along for vocal training, and each person will be recorded individually, and allowed to listen to the results. 

 

The person will be directly told, even though we have a recording of the problem already. 

 

I think that we are going for kindness, and enabling. The leadership don't want people to feel hurt or excluded. 

 

As for me, I am comfortable enough with my ability to offer to step aside, if they want to  ....er...make space for new talents.

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Most wanna be singers take offence when someone suggests singing lessons.  We had a songwriting class a few months before covid hit.  Most of the worship team was at it & the chap leading the course said "Look at this guitarist's kit, He's got a Les Paul guitar and a Kemper, he's probably spent about £3k of his own money on those 2 things.  How many of you singers have your own mic?  though you don't have to, the church supplies them.  What you could do though, is spend some money on singing lessons.  No matter how good a singer you are, singing lessons are always a good investment".

 

It fell on deaf ears (& their singing abilities prove it).

 

Anyhoo, I'm happily no longer playing in the worship team & last week joined a Funk/Jazz/Electronica infused band.  Had one jam last week & had the most fun playing that I've had in years!  😎

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Anybody who’s serious about singing in church should be open to having lessons.  I took a couple of singing lessons off my own back and out of my own pocket recently, purely because I want to protect my voice and give the best of me to church.

Anybody that wants to sing but won’t have lessons and won’t listen to constructive criticism is driven by ego and not faith.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

I don't think this has already been posted, apologies if it has.  I do like Tim Hawkins' parodies, and his guitar playing on this is excellent. 

 

Probably not representative of any of our Sunday services though. 🙃

Edited by Richard R
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Confession time....

 

I rarely practice the songs for a Sunday service. 

 

Instead, I practice the bass.  That might involve playing the songs for a Sunday service by ear, or using the chord charts in one key, and a YouTube video in another key, and transposing the key on the fly.

 

More often, however, I will be playing basslines from ABBA songs, 70s disco, or rock songs. Anything to get my fingers moving and my mind working on new material. 

 

Then, when I arrive to play for the service,  and the singers decide that A is too high, and can we do it in Gb, I have already played something in that key* earlier in the week.

 

How do others practice for the rehearsal?

 

(Practice is personal  - what you do alone.

Rehearsal is relational - you do it with others).
 

 

* Girls just wanna have fun, most recently...

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2 minutes ago, bass_dinger said:

Confession time....

 

I rarely practice the songs for a Sunday service. 

 

Instead, I practice the bass.  That might involve playing the songs for a Sunday service by ear, or using the chord charts in one key, and a YouTube video in another key, and transposing the key on the fly.

 

More often, however, I will be playing basslines from ABBA songs, 70s disco, or rock songs. Anything to get my fingers moving and my mind working on new material. 

 

Then, when I arrive to play for the service,  and the singers decide that A is too high, and can we do it in Gb, I have already played something in that key* earlier in the week.

 

How do others practice for the rehearsal?

 

(Practice is personal  - what you do alone.

Rehearsal is relational - you do it with others).
 

 

* Girls just wanna have fun, most recently...

Easy. 
I quit the worship band & joined a jazz band.  😎

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8 hours ago, bass_dinger said:

How do others practice for the rehearsal?

 

When I first get the list of songs, I listen to them a few times to get the feel of the song, I then play along to them to familiarize myself with chord changes, vocal lines etc.  I'm singing and playing more acoustic guitar in church at the moment but I apply the same routine no matter what I'm playing. 

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10 hours ago, bass_dinger said:

How do others practice for the rehearsal?

I just play what I want through the week and have a half hour run through the songs beforehand- most of them are simple enough there’s not much that’s going to throw me. 
if being a dad time allows I might spend a bit more time nailing down a few options for more melodic stuff but you’re always at the mercy of drummer or lead guitarists changing the rhythm slightly and what I’ve come up with not fitting…


to be honest I don’t think the musical skills you need to get to an acceptable level playing at church are that high a level… the harder skills is dealing with last min changes, working as a team with a big range of skillsets and being in a place to worship yourself as you lead others in worship….

my tip, pick a more complentative song which the bass isn’t really adding too and choose to sit out most of it … what are you doing? Shuffling music? Pulling faces at the kids? picking you nose? Modelling how to worship to the rest of the meeting? Swigging coffee? Giving that WTF look at the drummer? 

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My practice process when I was playing in church would be to find a version of the songs in the Singist’s chosen key, preferably a minimalist version & play along with it, have a quick listen to the original to check for any identifiable bass hooks & that was it. In the end, I was spending very little time on practicing the songs as they were getting sent out on the Thursday before worship & more & more songs are just sounding the same, but with different words.  RHCPs new album has more variation than CCW does! 🤣

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On 11/06/2022 at 18:07, bass_dinger said:

 

One person who arrived was truly awful- flat, sharp, moving from one note to another using glissandos until she hit the right one. 

 

 

 

I spoke with the singer on Sunday. 

 

"You were singing the other Sunday."

"Yes! I enjoyed it! I can't wait to do it again."

"Did you manage to..... listen.... to the service?"

"Yes I did!"

"How was it?"

"Very good!!"

 

Clearly, she can't hear herself. 

 

Truly awful singing and no self awareness. 

 

 

Someone needs to tell her, because if I do, it won't be pretty. 

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I’ve never known that conversation go well, in or out of church.

Once someone has “enjoyed” themselves with a mic for any length of time (without an intervention), that ship has sailed, the bridge has been crossed, the rubicon has been leapt, reason has left the building, and so on…. 

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12 hours ago, Richard R said:

You started this thread in Jan 2020, I bet you never expected then to wait nearly 18 months before playing live with the band!

 

@Richard R It feels like I've been playing for a lifetime.  In my short tenure, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that somewhere, there is a list of golden rules that everyone apart from me, must abide by. 

 

Other members of the Worship Team must;

  • Never learn the songs.
  • Never answer a text.
  • Never arrive on time.
  • Never give a f**k.

If I started listing everything that's happened over the past 12 months to cause me to nearly leave, it would be pages and pages long.

 

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13 hours ago, bass_dinger said:

 

I spoke with the singer on Sunday. 

 

"You were singing the other Sunday."

"Yes! I enjoyed it! I can't wait to do it again."

"Did you manage to..... listen.... to the service?"

"Yes I did!"

"How was it?"

"Very good!!"

 

Clearly, she can't hear herself. 

 

Truly awful singing and no self awareness. 

 

 

Someone needs to tell her, because if I do, it won't be pretty. 

Make the conversation about her foldback and in ears - I'm really sorry you seem to be singing flat, it must be your fold back - next time we need to spend some time making sure you can hear yourself ...have you set your in-ears correctly? It really is important for making sure you're in tune - like last week you probably didn't even realise ... 

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It is annoying. There is something peculiar about church bands that seems to provide fertile ground for seeds of discord and anger.

I wrote an email last night about the stage layout and activities comming up in the next month. Knowing how this pushes people's buttons and causes grief in our church I signed off with "Please consider the problem and pray before you reply."

Hopefully we get to a harmonious decision quickly. 

 

 

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Just now, LukeFRC said:

Make the conversation about her foldback and in ears - I'm really sorry you seem to be singing flat, it must be your fold back - next time we need to spend some time making sure you can hear yourself ...have you set your in-ears correctly? It really is important for making sure you're in tune - like last week you probably didn't even realise ... 

Very tactful! Like that approach 👌 

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35 minutes ago, Sardonicus said:

 

@Richard R It feels like I've been playing for a lifetime.  In my short tenure, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that somewhere, there is a list of golden rules that everyone apart from me, must abide by. 

 

Other members of the Worship Team must;

  • Never learn the songs.
  • Never answer a text.
  • Never arrive on time.
  • Never give a f**k.

If I started listing everything that's happened over the past 12 months to cause me to nearly leave, it would be pages and pages long.

 


Hi guys, I follow this thread. However, I haven’t commented yet because a couple of years ago I retired from the church music group I played with. So, I didn’t feel I had much to add. 
The last couple of post, particularly the one above, bring back shudders 😉

Over the period I served we had singers, and occasionally instrumentalists, who thought it ‘un-Godly’ or ‘too professional and slick’ (their words) to try and improve or even rehearse.

It’s a tough gig, hats off to all you who persevere. 

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16 minutes ago, Len_derby said:


Hi guys, I follow this thread. However, I haven’t commented yet because a couple of years ago I retired from the church music group I played with. So, I didn’t feel I had much to add. 
The last couple of post, particularly the one above, bring back shudders 😉

Over the period I served we had singers, and occasionally instrumentalists, who thought it ‘un-Godly’ or ‘too professional and slick’ (their words) to try and improve or even rehearse.

It’s a tough gig, hats off to all you who persevere. 

 

"Uncle Len, tell us the story again, about how you served in the War...."  And in so doing, teach me how to serve better. 

 

Yours expectantly, but Puffed Up with Pride and Impatience.

 

Bass_Dinger 

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Most church music groups consist of volunteers. It’s set up to remove any need to improve, as they’re doing everyone a favour by serving. Very difficult to mange expectations. 

I got out of dodge a few years ago, stuck myself in the sanctuary with a guitar, looper pedal and book of psalms and ancient prayers. Never felt more at home and free from politics. 
 

 

Edited by oldslapper
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1 hour ago, Sardonicus said:

 

@Richard R It feels like I've been playing for a lifetime.  In my short tenure, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that somewhere, there is a list of golden rules that everyone apart from me, must abide by. 

 

Other members of the Worship Team must;

  • Never learn the songs.
  • Never answer a text.
  • Never arrive on time.
  • Never give a f**k.

If I started listing everything that's happened over the past 12 months to cause me to nearly leave, it would be pages and pages long.

 


My church must have the same list.

Roll call is for 8:45 on a Sunday, most would turn up the back of 9, some after 9:30. 
considering you’ve to clear the stage for 9:45, that leaves little time to soundcheck & rehearse. 

One of the many reasons that finally made me leave. 

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