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Old March 26th, 2012, 04:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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They like my drumming more than my guitar playing? *gasp*

Yesterday, for the morning and evening service my WL had me play drums. We have a regular drummer, but she is away for a few weeks, and I was asked to fill in for her.

I thought overall I did OK. Mainly I think I kept good time and had good grooves for the songs we did. My drumming style (when I played a long time ago) used to be playing with just as much energy and drive as I could get away with, without getting too loud or overwhelming the music. I guess I was able to remember some of that and apply it yesterday. There was lots of positive feedback after the services.

The WL seemed to indicate he is considering a change. The regular drummer actually wants a break to do more singing. I think I am going to be asked to set aside the guitar and play drums. I will agree for sure, but a part of me is kinda sad. I really enjoy playing lead guitar . I don't really enjoy drums. But what's best for the team and supports the WL the most... If I was him I would want the same support.

Anyone else playing their second (or third?) choice instrument? Drums would be my third choice, following guitar, then bass.

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Old March 26th, 2012, 05:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I play guitar, bass, and drums for our church. We have a pretty big team so I play each once a month and have one week off.

I will suggest you really consider all sides of the drum situation. If you really don't want to play drums you may end up resenting being stuck there, and you will be stuck because the more you play the better you will get. But... you may find the more you play that you enjoy the drums more than you think. You should talk with the WL and be very clear that you still want to play guitar often and you are concerned with becoming the primary drummer.

For myself I have two bands outside church so I have plenty of guitar playing in my life. For some of my worship mates the church band is their only music group so giving up their primary instrument is much bigger deal.

Something else to consider is if you really don't want to play drums, and don't fill in, you are actually opening a door for someone else who does want to, but they never step up because the chair is always filled. God will fill the seat.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 06:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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programmed drum machine! both of you get what you want.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 11:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think sax has some good advice. I'd let the WL know you still want to play guitar some but are willing to help where needed.

I'm in a different situation. I'm first a bass player and I LOVE playing bass. But for about a year I was the only bassist at church. It started to get old. I'm not a great guitarist but I love to play. During this time I never got to play. Now we have 3 bassists and a tuba player who can play bass lines. Life is so much nicer now. I play bass about twice a month now and guitar maybe once a month. Much better schedule. But for that year, I had to do what I had to do.

Good luck.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 11:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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God will fill the seat.
That should sound pretty good.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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When I get a chance I'm gonna talk to our WL and let him know I would be happy to play drums part time, and play guitar other times. Maybe the current drummer will be OK with alternating. I have to admit it was pretty fun Sunday and I do like being versatile. Just need to work on my keyboards technique and then I have almost all the bases covered

But my passion is guitar... so thanks for the encouragement, I'll definitely let the WL know that. He is cool, and a good friend too so I am sure we'll work it out.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 06:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I play acoustic guitar, electric guitar (lead or rhythm) and bass, as well as singing - it varies from month to month which is my favourite. I end up playing whichever instrument we have the greatest shortage of. That means that over the next 13 weeks I'm playing bass three times, acoustic twice, lead three times, just vocals once and four weeks off (although there's a good chance I may be needed for one or more of those weeks, and that I may be needed to cover for bass at other times).
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Old March 27th, 2012, 06:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you're not enjoying it don't do it. If you're just playing an instrument because you think you should then you're not really helping the band in the long run.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 03:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Nope, I play one instrument and stick to one instrument.
Playing about just increases chances for things to go wrong...as the OP's post displays.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 05:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I went from electric, acoustic or bass and never knowing which until the week before, to only electric guitar when I moved and changed churches. I kind of miss bass, but there are about eight bass players at my new church and I actually like being able to really concentrate my practice effort into one instrument. I think church musicians should be available and allow themselves to be used wherever they are needed.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 05:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've been our only bass player for several years. When I started it was out of a desparate need and I hadn't played bass in a really long time and never very seriously.

It took about a year for me to begin to really embrace being a bass player. I'm still a better guitarist, but I am filling the biggest need and I am enjoying the process of improving as a bass player to the point where I really think I'm doing a pretty good job and I wouldn't hesitate to play bass in any setting now.

I would like to play more guitar, but for now I am satisfied to be able to contribute where I'm needed. On the plus side also I only have to take my bass because there's a sansamp there that I use. If I played guitar I'd want to take a guitar, pedalboard and amp and that gets old every week.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 01:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm in the opposite situation. I love playing guitar, but I love drums too. I played some drums at worship practice the other night because our drummer didn't show up. I think it's so much fun to play to play drums. Sadly I can't switch out with anyone. I'm the only guitarist, so I have to cover lead, rythym, and stay at a good level where I'm not blowing people away. Being the only guitarist, I have to be commited to the church. I have to be there every sunday and any other time they want the band. They have two of every instrument (and a ton of singers), but they only have me to cover the guitar parts. I'm considering bringing my keyboard and playing guitar and some keys. Playing guitar over and over just gets boring. I can play every instrument on the stage (except sing), and I get stuck on the same thing every week.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 01:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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God will fill the seat.


??? Clapton's going to sit in?
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Old March 28th, 2012, 01:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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??? Clapton's going to sit in?
I was imagining Neil Peart
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Old March 28th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mrboson View Post
Yesterday, for the morning and evening service my WL had me play drums. We have a regular drummer, but she is away for a few weeks, and I was asked to fill in for her.

I thought overall I did OK. Mainly I think I kept good time and had good grooves for the songs we did. My drumming style (when I played a long time ago) used to be playing with just as much energy and drive as I could get away with, without getting too loud or overwhelming the music. I guess I was able to remember some of that and apply it yesterday. There was lots of positive feedback after the services.

The WL seemed to indicate he is considering a change. The regular drummer actually wants a break to do more singing. I think I am going to be asked to set aside the guitar and play drums. I will agree for sure, but a part of me is kinda sad. I really enjoy playing lead guitar . I don't really enjoy drums. But what's best for the team and supports the WL the most... If I was him I would want the same support.

Anyone else playing their second (or third?) choice instrument? Drums would be my third choice, following guitar, then bass.
I say do it gladly. Look at the big picture: What and who is it for?

Did the disciples choose what they would do and where they would go? Sure, those 12 were high profile and their work was key, but so is yours. All work is honorable.

Even in a secular setting, if that's what you do best and what you can contribute most as for the band (drums) then do it. What if Eddie Van Halen (loves drums and played before brother Alex) insisted on staying on drums in the band? My drummer is former guitarist with 25+ plus guitars and tons of amps and has played for 30 years but in his case he's a brilliant drummer (and restrained) but overplays lead (and typically out of tempo as many lead players are). Every time we play, people would tell me to dump him and I never had the heart to tell him his lead playing annoyed people. Is your playing doing that and get honest opinions. Even if my drummer were playing the best lead guitar out there, the fact is he is a drummer with perfect tempo and restraint and musicians like that are worth their weight in gold. I have only met a few drummers in my life who add to a band more than they take away from it. There are far fewer good drummers than there are good lead guitarists. Find out if you are a good enough guitarist and if you are, is that where you can also contribute the most to the band.

I for one would rather have a bad guitarist if that's where that person contributed the most at for the band. Part of it is being good enough, sure, but also a bigger part is if a person is willing to help the band the best he/she could. If they have the right heart but wrong notes, people will still see their zeal for God and that's what counts in the end. At the end of the day, you are worshiping and not trying out for a spot in a lucrative Nashville or Hollywood music studio. God sees one's heart and so does the parish.

Also, think of all the great drummers and lead guitarists without a band and who have no venue to play regardless of faith or lack of. I would trade places with you in a second. I too play drums as well as my primary instrument, guitar. You are basically blessed two times over. Don't blow that chance.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 03:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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^^^ This is great insight 63dot and I appreciate it. I started drumming when I was 12, and played all through school, including college. I was exposed to lots of drumming and percussion styles and techniques and probably became pretty good at it. Then I quit in my early 20's. Never picked up a stick again until this year (a 20 year span). I took up guitar in the meantime, and just love it. It seems to come easy, especially tempo and timing. I guess that is no surprise considering the percussion training. I can skip, chew gum, and clap my hands at the same too. But I guess in my mind I walked away from being a drummer a long time ago, and until recently didn't figure I would even remember how to play. Maybe I am just as surprised as everyone else that it is still there.

But deeper than that, I need to come to terms with the reasons I walked away from drums in the first place. You are right, it is a gift, and it would be a shame to let stupid mistakes 20 years ago rob me of that.

But guitar will be my primary musical outlet the rest of my life! I absolutely love what a tasteful lick played well at the right moment does to a song. Especially in a worship music format. I know God digs the melody of "I Love You Lord" played on a tele with hot pickups through an over-driven tube amp.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 07:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
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^^^ This is great insight 63dot and I appreciate it. I started drumming when I was 12, and played all through school, including college. I was exposed to lots of drumming and percussion styles and techniques and probably became pretty good at it. Then I quit in my early 20's. Never picked up a stick again until this year (a 20 year span). I took up guitar in the meantime, and just love it. It seems to come easy, especially tempo and timing. I guess that is no surprise considering the percussion training. I can skip, chew gum, and clap my hands at the same too. But I guess in my mind I walked away from being a drummer a long time ago, and until recently didn't figure I would even remember how to play. Maybe I am just as surprised as everyone else that it is still there.

But deeper than that, I need to come to terms with the reasons I walked away from drums in the first place. You are right, it is a gift, and it would be a shame to let stupid mistakes 20 years ago rob me of that.

But guitar will be my primary musical outlet the rest of my life! I absolutely love what a tasteful lick played well at the right moment does to a song. Especially in a worship music format. I know God digs the melody of "I Love You Lord" played on a tele with hot pickups through an over-driven tube amp.
This reminds me of a story about a young man who played sax in school bands as a child but then took up his love, the guitar. He was acceptable as a guitarist in every way but the ritzy tourists here wanted a high end alto sax player for the clubs and tawny parties. He went back to sax after having never been seen with one for years and now he has Grammy winners lining up to play with him for his sax work.

You never know where music will take you. Harry Connick Jr. was a great jazz comp/background musician worthy of getting gigs as the consummate sideman but he took the unseen path as frontman/singer and then actor/celebrity and the rest is history. Anyway, a flexible approach may sometimes yield many times what one can get from what they want to do. And that guy Jesus, well, he was at one point a carpenter as a primary profession. ;)

While I love guitar, I actually find these forums and internet related reviews as my main outlet. Guitar is a great hobby for now and I am so glad I still love it unlike a few people I know who took it so far (gold and platinum records) that it really became another awful and stressful day at the office.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 10:47 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I play bass all the time. I've only played guitar once. I would prefer to play guitar, but enjoy bass well enough, and am thankful for the opportunity to play so I'll stick with the bass as long as they need me there.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 12:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I started out a few years back playing guitar, then one of the worship teams asked me as a last resort if I could play bass with them (never touched one before this...) So I did. It taught me so much about playing in a band and i got "noticed" and asked to play guitar on one of our other teams. So now I play on two teams and alternate depending on the schedule between bass and guitar. I prefer guitar, but find I really enjoy playing bass as well. I feel less pressure on bass and can enjoy myself more. I go where He needs me. I feel blessed whatever I play.

Also, playing bass has helped me learn the fretboard and that helps with my guitar.
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 10:06 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I dunno, I auditioned for a christian band that was looking for a guitarist.
When I showed up, the owner/leader of the band asked me if I could play bass. I said that I could probably figure it out if I had to...but I am a lead guitarist. Well, that didn't go over well because HE wanted to be the lead guitarist. So I wound up learning to play bass but it still didn't work out.

Prior to my arrival, the owner/leader of the band was originally the bassist and a darn good one too! He pretty much taught me how to play the bass on the fly, but unfortunately, he wanted me to play the bass exactly like him and I just wasn't that good yet.

They wound up letting me go, but I wasn't upset about it anyway. Number one: I originally wanted to play guitar, Number two: I learned how to play bass for free, Number three: the guy sold me some awesome gear and let me try all of his stuff, Number four: the band members were just great people, Number five: I FINALLY got to play in a REAL BAND!

There is just nothing like being on the stage and performing in front of people and seeing them get into it and they're happy and dancing and praising the Lord. That's something you can really be proud of.

Now if I can only find a Christian band that is REALLY looking for a guitarist....lol

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