Off tyhe "cuff" Worship with no set list and no charts?

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by Ascension, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    Anybody here find them self in this situation.
    Been playing with a band for a while as part of a particular team and it's been an adventure.
    They want me as the guitarist at their home church so last Sunday I sat in. Had not a CLUE what we were playing till the worship leader called the key we counted off the song.
    Anybody else here play in an environment like this?
    Here is a clip of the first song from Sunday never played this with these guys but luckily I somewhat knew the song.

    PS I'm running a 120 watt Peavey Ultra + on full power through a WGS loaded old Fender 2/12 and still having trouble hearing myself running the master on 4!!! YES I am wearing PLUGS here!!!
     
  2. Snowwizard

    Snowwizard Tele-Holic

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    Ascension,

    The YouTube vid is set to private so I couldn't watch it but I can imagine the set up.

    Did you know it was going to be like that before you showed up?
     
  3. rokdog49

    rokdog49 Friend of Leo's

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    Oh my.
     
  4. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    We in the actual band are the rhythm section for another group and will stray off the map at times. However we normally use a basic set list and have some practice.
    The leader and I have played together many many years off and on so it was not a shock but wow stretched the heck out of me yesterday!

    The 1st song was an old Sion Alford tune I have played a good bit over the years just not played it in several years so I had to engage brain quickly on the changes. Never played it with these guys till Sunday though LOL.
    Firefox suddenly has started crashing often on uploads over the last week or so and will set the video to private if it crashes after the upload but while the video is still processing. I did not know that one was set to private and just set it back to "public" so it's viewable now.
     
  5. Phylian

    Phylian TDPRI Member

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    I don't allow my worship team to use sheet music. But I do make sure they all know what songs/key/version we are doing at least 2 weeks prior to playing. I like to have them memorize the music so that if the spirit leads us we do have the ability to improvise a bit. Although I try to figure out any changes that will be made (extended chorus, chorus/bridge from a different song, moment of praise, speaking) during the practice so it's not a total surprise for the worship team. The goal is to be ready for change but not to go into it completely unaware.

    If your worship leader is not making it clear to you what songs you are playing and what key you are in before you get there then you need to have a talk with them.
     
  6. Tele-Caster

    Tele-Caster Tele-Holic

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    No "Off The Cuff" here...

    We don't do "off the cuff" for reasons including, but not limited to:

    1) I like to confab with the senior pastor so that worship is integral with the message of his sermon to some degree.

    2) I've got to have a list of music played submitted to the church secretary for CCLI purposes. She reports to CCLI what was played as we're required to do under our CCLI license.

    3) In my current situation with respect to P&W, I'm blessed to play with very enthusiastic folks with servant's hearts and a desire to offer up their best effort during worship time. They're a joy to play with but they aren't the seasoned professional musicians I perform CCM outside of my home church with, either. We all put a lot of time in to rehersals and in practice we do individually in preparation for rehersal, so in the interest of effeciency and being good stewards over that time, as the P&W leader, I think an organized approach is the best method of achieving this.

    The only time I do "off the cuff" is when I'm performing CCM outside of church, playing from my own catalog of material that I own the copyrights to, and playing with seasoned, professional musicians.
     
  7. Special Tom

    Special Tom Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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  8. Jhengsman

    Jhengsman Tele-Holic

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    We have never done a full set off the cuff. at times an elder would stand and start a hymn or contemporary chorus and often during meet and greet or the offering the music director will lay an improvised groove or an actual song on the piano and motion for us to step in. A few months ago they moved me, I'm on bass the junior member experience wise, so I can glance over and see his hands as a start point. Our guitarist doesn't need that crutch.
     
  9. Special Tom

    Special Tom Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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  10. TwangBilly

    TwangBilly Tele-Afflicted

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    I got the video loaded but no sound, I wanted to hear that, y'all looked happy! I play off the cuff all the time, almost exclusively. When I play at church they will have song sheets with the chord progressions, but any changes like inserting a lead, doing a chorus again etc are off the cuff.
    I don't read music anyways and I play by ear so it works fine for me.
    I prefer that freedom over tight structure myself. Not only am I more comfortable as a musician that way, but I feel I can express myself more and the spirit is more free to flow. Everyone is more connected to each other and the leading of the spirit. I will balance that with saying that we do practice an hour before service, and I do believe in doing things to excellence.
    I think it's whatever works best for your group. But besides church, when I play anywhere else, out at other churches, revivals, camp meetings, gospel sings, it's often a mixed group of musicians, "pickup" bands, some I've played with before, some not, sometimes I'm the only sit-in with another group. But when you have a good group of players it's good music regardless. The best group I play with is at my family's annual outdoor gospel sing, and for two days we have the best house band for country/bluegrass/rockabilly gospel that you'll find anywhere!
    Guys from all over the country who only play together those two days a year and back up most of the 150 to sometimes over 200 groups that show up.
    I love it! It's off the cuff to the extreme, and people think we just flew in from Nashville haha!
     
  11. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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  12. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    Pretty much where we are with this particular band.
    Never know where we are going many times playing out but this was the 1st time playing with the rest at the home church for the bass player, keyboard/ worship leader and drummer.
    This is pretty much the norm at times for conferences and such we do but I kinda expected the normal home services to have SOME structure LOL.
    This is what we do in the conferences>
     
  13. Special Tom

    Special Tom Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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  14. Tele-Caster

    Tele-Caster Tele-Holic

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    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  15. TelecasterSam

    TelecasterSam Tele-Afflicted

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    I very seldom use sheet music or chord sheets. Most of the rest of the band does for lyrics and chords both. I find that, since about all the songs are 1,4,5, and the 2 or 6 minor, I can hear the changes coming. The paper only increases my chances of getting lost as I look around or do some lead licks. But if all the members had to memorize each song, it would never work for us. Not enough time for practice, not enough experience, would make them nervous about forgetting, etc.
     
  16. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  17. BoB/335

    BoB/335 Tele-Holic

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  18. Special Tom

    Special Tom Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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  19. Phylian

    Phylian TDPRI Member

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    Ahhh it sounds like you're in a slightly different boat that I am. While although occasionally I help with worship for the main church service I am highly devoted to working with the high school youth ministry So we tend to do more contemporary style worship. We have it easy with the 4 or 5 chord song arrangements. But a key factor is that we try to recycle a lot. How I have it set up right now is that we have 3 rotating worship teams. Each team has a compilation of songs they've played together before multiple times. So they try to pull from that list as well as adding something new. That way rather than learning 4 new songs they are just learning 1 or 2 new songs. But as I stated earlier, it would be a different story if we were doing much more difficult songs.
     
  20. Special Tom

    Special Tom Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    We have a Youth group also, but I have never heard them play. They are playing at the same time we play in the main church. The idea of having several groups is really a good approach. We play to about 400- 600 in 2 services and they have about 200 in the youth services. I wish we had more musicians willing to commit. Since the WL came we have learned about 50 songs, (some new, some old) but he changes the arrangements quite a bit--not to mention the times when he strays from the written or adds/subtracts a measure, or a chorus. So even the ones we should nail every time get to be a little rough. The horns have it more difficult because the keys change and their parts change. Definitely keeps us all on our toes
     
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