Church Band Setting

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I have played on various worship teams for over 30 years. I am so grateful for the band experiences I have gained over the years. Plus, the wonderful friendships of so many talented musicians. I am always excited to discover reading material on how to jam with a band. I came across this post that I had saved from a friend and zone member over at HearandPlay.com One of the moderators, Hammondman wrote a neat post from his own experiences. Here it is... enjoy! (written May 7, 05)


"Getting your church band in total harmony with each other will take time, practice and dedication. There’s rules to apply for a setting like this…
one: you can not play like you’re the only one around! You have other musicians to consider. You have a pianist, organist, bass player, guitar player, keyboard, (synth) player, and drummer. Each has a part to do.

You have the drummer… that’s your time keeper… the most important cog in the band. He’s what keeps it together. DON’T DIS THE DRUMMER! The drummer should keep his/her beats to the basics until the group can get it all together.

The bass player is the second cog in the machine. They hold the bottom down for you, give you a rhythmic pattern for you to follow. That bottom provides the foundation for you to flesh out your chords.

The piano will be the melody instrument, it’s timbre is pretty high, especially if miced. The piano will be used more during a melodious song and maybe quiet music, all depends on the setting. The keyboard/synthesizer is the special effects maker. It’ll supply the horns, bells and whistles, strings..etc.
(**THE KEYBOARDIST SHOULD KNOW THE SONG AS GOOD AS THE PANIST/ORGANIST**)

The organist, he/she will be the pad king/queen. They supply the body to the song, putting it all together… sometimes barely even heard except for the high end part of
a song or intros and endings. The two or three keyboardists should not “step” on each
other, or always play the same things… and PLEASE don’t radically play different
chords. Remember the organ can play the full chord. The piano will play around the full chord and the synth will play the solos and flavorings around both, at certain points in the melody/chords.

Remember, this can apply to devotional, choir songs, and solos. The church setting is a “on the seat of your pants” type of thing especially during praise service when people will sing anything at any given time… if the pianist or organist can find
the key first, let everyone else know!!! Remember.. be on one accord!

Preaching chords and “house raising’ chords are usually done with the organ… they should have it…. The bass player and drummer usually comes in also, then the synth... all depends on the church. The band should practice all forms of music too, different
breaks, shout patterns, things of that nature, remember, you
must be together at all times… all four or five of you are one!

Now if you desire… if you want to dress similar to each other, that’s o.k. Matching tops and bottoms look nice and professional, something that will accommodate both male and female musicians. Please, no matter how good you get as a church musician…
your gift is on loan from God and share it to any and all who
are interested... remember, somebody shared their gift with you at one time also. Freely given, freely received!"

Thanks so much Hammondman for these great treasures here. Being a keyboard player, I have often been called "the carpet" or "pad queen" during certain 'string" or "air pad" patches on my Yamaha Motif keyboard! lol

All the best,
~ LadyD




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