The hardest part of sitting in "as a guest" with a church band?

GoldieLocks

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My friends from my former Church asked me to come sit in with them at their New church. fun ~ Since I haven't played in a church in a year and half: of course I said yes.

The big question: Do I just show up and keep my mouth shut?

Or do I bring my 30 years of experience and education to the mix? (with an open mouth)


What say you all? I love showing up and saying nothing ~ just pickin'. But often that leads to horrendous trainwrecks and simply BAD music. In my experience: there's almost always a simple solution and quick adjustments to be made during rehearsal. But there' s also fragile egos and lazy organization that doesn't like being called out. Not necessarily my problem.

I'll start:
"Sir, your amps too loud".
"Actually, your band is too quiet for the type of music you're trying to make".
`
 

GoldieLocks

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Here's the latest problem i've seen in a few churches: that has an easy fix

"Your drummer is playing like an alley cat running across garbage can lids"

fix: Throw the hotrod sticks in the garbage. Pick one part of your drumkit to stand out loud and clear and simple. Snare - Ride - Hi hats - floor tom... seldom does the kick work in church. Maybe...
 

Deeve

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A thought exercise - other than the pal who invited you, how many in the currently established band know who you are, and how valuable your wisdom could be?
1/ How will they react to a guest player who arrives on time, in tune and ready to serve?
2/How will they respond to a guest player who arrives on time, in tune and willing to share how others are doing things wrong?
There are no wrong answers. . . ;)
Peace - Deeve
 

GoldieLocks

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how many in the currently established band know who you are, and how valuable your wisdom could be?

Who cares who YOU are? - I agree, it's all about the HEAR and NOW. A good idea is a good idea.

If the 9 year old behind the drumkit has a valid idea and solution: embrace it.
 

Danjabellza

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For me the hard part even just being on a worship team is how different the arrangements are compared to the recordings. I’ll practice with the recordings, and then it feels like I have to completely relearn everything at rehearsal.
 

GoldieLocks

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I've played in some worship bands where:

You quickly realize there's NO SOLUTION to any of their musicial problems. (often this is because there's a stage full of 60 year olds who have been playing the same style of music for 40 years and have zero hope of changing or rethinking anything that's placed in front of them - even if their notes are wrong, their rhythm is wrong, and they play the wrong sections of the tune often. Don't even think about being in tune...).

In that case: just hang on and try to have some whacky fun.

On the other hand: i've worked with young musicians who assume they sound like LED ZEPPELIN because... but they simply haven't put in the time. But some things you simply can't fix in an hour. Other than to get everyone to be SIMPLE and CORRECT as possible. Any progress is good progress.
 

GoldieLocks

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is how different the arrangements are compared to the recordings.

Yep. I generally hate when MOST people give me a recording. Because seldom do they really (really) listen to them. And that's okay - if they are honest about it.
I've had a few times where people gave me recordings: and they didn't notice there was ZERO guitar played on it. OR worse ~ 5 differing guitar parts going at once. I've even had times where I showed up and blasted out the guitar part, and the band stood shocked and said, "we can't do that in church - is there a campfire version we can try?".
I'd rather somebody just gave me a Piano/keyboard arrangement with a vocal and chords.

I've even tried to get people to insist I just bring my acoustic guitar. I've been burned by folks who proudly say, "NO, Bring your BIG amp and let's rock out and really get people excited.". Of course, Sunday morning comes... "Ummh, do you have your acoustic in the car? The Pastor just had a word with me about..."
 

GoldieLocks

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Believe me:
i'm not really complaining. Anytime my AMP leaves the house it's generally pretty fun.

I just thought things were getting slow around here and this is an enlightening and passionate topic many could comment on.
Hint: this isn't really about me (i'm excited to play with my ol' buddy who's a great piano player and singer. And she loves my guitar playing. So she says. She could be lying to fill up the empty space on the other side of the stage. I'm okay with that.) :twisted:
 

black_doug

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My approach in a new church is to keep my opinions to myself unless asked.

I played electric last Sunday with the Pastors acoustic, a keyboard, a bass and drums. This was just my second time playing there since I joined the church this year. The first time was in August when the Pastor knew I have a Martin and asked me to bring it. He has a couple of them himself.

It was left up to me what parts to play on Sunday so I learned just one of the riffs that repeat throughout a song. And I had a chat with the soundman two weeks ago about bringing the amp in my avatar, which has a 5W setting. He said yes.

Afterwards the Pastor asked me if I prefer electric or acoustic, in case any other WL needs someone.

I couldn't be happier.
 

Lowerleftcoast

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Obviously... not your god-given gift...

Read some Proverbs then some Psalms and finish off with some Ecclesiastes before rehearsal. That should put you in the spirit.

I identify with being the drummer. I am ready to vote you off the island already. hah.

"seldom does the kick work in church" Pshaw!

Set your amp next to the drummer. The fragile ego singers aren't gonna take the criticism well and I don't want to miss when I throw my hotrod sticks at you. (I don't use them at church anyway. May as well get some use out of them.)

No, seriously have a good time with the band. If you want to be asked back, take it easy on them.
 

GoldieLocks

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I hear ya. James 3:4 then.

Ummh, James 3:1-12

4Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.

Are you trying to say that i'm the pilot? Did God possibly place me there "by the Spirit" for such a time as this...Probably not. Who gets to be this pilot exactly? I just want to pick my guitar for Jesus.
You guys are taking this discussion way too seriously. (But I knew you would... as long as we're chatting - all is well.) This is about how to have options when appearing as a guest. We aren't writing another Sacred text here folks. Sheeesh!
 

tubejockey

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I would always start with the assumption that any changes to be made need to be made slowly. People don't change overnight. I always like to show up ready and willing to work with whoever is there. Be willing to be a team player, and most of all be sure you are speaking the truth in love.
 

tubejockey

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I have come to the realization that most Church bands are not that good. And it's usually because they don't know how to be good. Sometimes a little careful direction from a knowledgeable person can make a big difference.
 

CapnCrunch

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You're visiting, and a guest, so be gracious but be yourself and play like yourself. Use your instrument and chops as your voice and see if anyone picks up what you're laying down and goes with you. On the other hand, listen to the folks you are sitting in with, and go with them if you hear them doing something that moves you. Music is a universal language and a fun one if people listen to one another.
 

CapnCrunch

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My friends from my former Church asked me to come sit in with them at their New church. fun ~ Since I haven't played in a church in a year and half: of course I said yes.

Goldie, this is timely for me too. My family and I visited the church that my wife and I used to attend when we were just married. It's in another town but only about 15 minutes away. The WL there is a phenomenal musician and we used to play together on the worship band there and fairly regularly out doing cover music. We haven't played together in about 20 years. The Pdemic has caused us to evaluate where we are attending and we've decided to start going back to this church.

Long story tolerable, my friend has asked me if I would be interested in playing from time to time at church. I haven't played with a group in about 3 years now, so I'm feeling really rusty, but very excited to play with an old friend. All that said, enjoy the opportunity to make music, to have fun, and most importantly to Worship with an old friend, and maybe some new friends that you don't know yet.......
 

Grenville

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Example one:
Pastor: would you bring your guitar next week?
Me: (brings electric guitar & plays during meeting)
Pastor after meeting: would you bring your acoustical guitar next week?
Me: brings acoustic & plays it
Me: brings electric again the following week
Then the trouble begins about bringing drums and someone to play them...

Example two:
I'd left my long term praise band gig months ago, and was asked by another church to join their team for their Christmas production.
Them: "We want you to bring your own character as a musician to these gigs, play like your true self."
Rehearsals start. It becomes clear they wanted someone to photocopy their demo recordings and not bring any actual creative flair or have their own sonic identity.
Side note: we tried to have a jam at the start of rehearsal one night; have you ever noticed how hard it is to have a vibrant, earthy jam when everyone is on in-ears?
 

Deeve

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. . .
Them: "We want you to bring your own character as a musician to these gigs, play like your true self."
Rehearsals start. It becomes clear they wanted someone to photocopy their demo recordings and not bring any actual creative flair or have their own sonic identity.
Side note: . . .
Note to self - don't believe it when somebody I don't know says "be You..."
If they know me, then fair warning. . .
:eek:
Peace - Deeve
 




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