WorshipPageHelping Believers Worship In Spirit And in Truth

 1275854_10201190635826422_187478806_o   IMG_1653  IMG_1654    IMG_1661

Am I Ready To Be In The Worship Team?

“Sing unto Him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise.” Psalm 33:3

OK… let’s get honest!

As the years have progressed here we have had multiple conversations with different people that have led us to one main question: How do I know when I am ready to be on the worship team?

To complicate matters, there is this difficult tension we feel in these conversations. On one hand we want to be an inclusive band that invites new musicians in, and isn’t this crazy exclusive place that nobody can seem to break into. On the other hand we have had situations where people who were in a band we were part of, were clearly not ready to be playing up front with the band, and while it was hard to say “no,” we have felt it was best that we did. We run the risk of trying to be a band that is all about an elusive perfection that we can never attain or being a band that is so inclusive that we simply cannot improve what we do because the people we bring in are not serious about growing as musicians: they do not practice, and don’t really have the talent we need to stretch ourselves as a band to reach for our best… Needless to say:

It’s tough.

Some folks have even asked us, “Don’t you think you’re moving too slowly or being too selective? Why not just let anyone in? As long as their heart is in the right place everything else will fall in line.” While it’s true, someone who has a good heart is needed, we also need people who are serious about their growth as musicians and take this seriously. They don’t need to be perfect, but seeking to be excellent is needed. Renowned, and anointed worship leader/songwriter Paul Baloche created a training DVD for worship leaders all over the world. One of his main points was: “It’s best to go without a certain instrument in your band then to bring someone in that isn’t ready.” His point was, if you need a drummer but you don’t have a drummer who can keep time then go without a drummer. If you need a lead guitarist but don’t have a lead guitarist who can play well then go without a lead guitarist.

The Bible talks in several locations about playing skillfully unto the Lord. Psalm 33:3 is one such location and some translations will actually take the words: “Play skillfully” and translate them as “Play expertly.” We want to play expertly. We want to push for excellence and we need to guard this. As the leaders of this band, we’re not trying to be mean when we are slowly moving some people into the band. We are just trying to keep our band on a trajectory that keeps us moving towards excellence.

So, if you are desiring to be in the worship band here are some things that may help clarify if you are ready to be in the band.

  • Understand our direction: As a band we are seeking to widen and improve what we do- but the truth is- the bulk of what we do is cover songs. Now, these songs are worship songs but they are covers. Currently we play a great deal of music that is written by artists like: Hillsong, Elevation Worship, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Phil Wickham, Third Day, Paul Baloche, Rend Collective, David Crowder, and more. We typically learn these songs as they are written and produced and seek to play them as they are on the album. Please understand that as a musician in this band you will be asked to learn these songs and the instrumental parts. You will be asked to have a working knowledge of these songs. If you cannot play what these folks are doing, or at least get close, then now may not be the time for you to be in the worship band. It may mean you need to practice some more, and intentionally learn this stuff. If you want to know exact songs you can learn please contact Ryan or Evan and they can help you out.
  • Where we want to go in the future is to continue playing these artists works- but we also want to expand into the realms of jazz, Latin and gospel flavored music. The aim here is to create a wider more diverse expression of music we are doing. This is going to require all of us to grow as musicians. If you cannot play gospel or jazz, and do not foresee yourself having the time to learn how to do this- now may not be the time to join the band.
  • Individual instrument requirements: The following are good things each instrumentalist should be able to effectively do for them to know they are ready to be in the band on Sunday mornings:
  • Vocalists-
  • Desires to continue growing as a musician and devotes themselves to practice their instrument regularly.
  • Need to be able to sing in key.
  • Need to be able to sing in time with a metronome or drummer.
  • Need to be able to learn melodies.
  • They need to know how to find, learn and perform harmonies.
  • Need to be able to work with other vocalists.
  • A willingness to follow the direction of the worship band team leaders.

 

  • Guitarists-
  • Desires to continue growing as a musician and devotes themselves to practice their instrument regularly.
  • Need to be able to play each chord in three different ways on the guitar.
  • Need to be able to learn and play different strum patterns.
  • Need to know how to transpose chords quickly.
  • Need to have a working knowledge of their amps and effects so as to fit in with the other instrumentalists.
  • Need to be able to learn riffs and play triad chords.
  • Need to be able to play to a metronome.
  • Need to be able to work with other musicians and take instruction from worship band team leaders.
  • Keys-
  • A keyboard artist needs to be able to play in time with a metronome- and band.
  • They need to be able to play both piano and learn how to use synth/organ effects.
  • Keyboard needs to be able to transpose musical keys.
  • It would be helpful for a keyboardist to know how to play scaled and arpeggios with chords.
  • A willingness to follow the direction of the worship band team leaders.
  • Desires to continue growing as a musician and devotes themselves to practice their instrument regularly.

 

  • Drums-
  • A drummer must be able to keep and maintain time signatures, in particular 4/4 and 6/8 times signatures. On occasion we will play a song in ¾ but most of our songs are the former two.
  • A drummer needs to have an ability to learn and perform the beats that are played in these songs with a high level of accuracy. Perfection not required but we need a drummer to keep similar tempo.
  • Volume control is needed.
  • A willingness to follow the direction of the worship band team leaders.
  • Desires to continue growing as a musician and devotes themselves to practice their instrument regularly.

 

  • Bass-
  • Needs to be able to play our songs with high level of note accuracy and with a metronome.
  • Must be able to play with a drummer.
  • Needs to be able to have a working knowledge of the notes on the fretboard.
  • Needs to be able to transpose keys if needed.
  • Needs to be able to play in time.
  • A willingness to follow the direction of the worship band team leaders.
  • Desires to continue growing as a musician and devotes themselves to practice their instrument regularly.