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Playing for a church worship band #1266118
09/10/09 09:45 PM
09/10/09 09:45 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12
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SilverSunlight Offline OP
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SilverSunlight  Offline OP
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Does anyone have any experience playing with a church worship band? I am going to be playing at my church in a couple weeks and I've never done it before. Our church does a lot of upbeat type of songs, and I need some advice on how to play the keyboard for those types of songs. I usually play in a softer, calmer style, and I've never played with a band before. How does one go about this?!

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Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: SilverSunlight] #1266207
09/11/09 01:09 AM
09/11/09 01:09 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 552
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nitekatt2008z Offline
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Silver, here is a link which might guide you towards some links that might help put you in the right direction for playing in churches.

http://zone.hearandplay.com

http://www.hearandplay.com/gkministry.html

This site has the best DVDs and training methods to learn church/gospel piano/keyboard and organ styles, traditional and contemporary.

katt

Last edited by nitekatt2008z; 09/11/09 01:24 AM.
Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: nitekatt2008z] #1266847
09/12/09 03:00 AM
09/12/09 03:00 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 150
Saskatchewan, Canada
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Pianos_N_Cheezecake Offline
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Hi, SilverSunlight. I have played in church worship bands for years. I come from a pentecostal church where the music is definitly more contemporary and much more improvised then older styles. Can you maybe post up a list of say 10 songs that your church does on Sunday mornings? I am firmiliar with anything by Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, Tim Hughes, Vineyard, Darlene Zschech, etc. I would be better able to help you if I knew exactly what artists/tunes. Then I can use examples.

Cheeze...

Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: Pianos_N_Cheezecake] #1267657
09/13/09 06:01 PM
09/13/09 06:01 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12
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SilverSunlight Offline OP
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SilverSunlight  Offline OP
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Yes, a lot of the stuff we sing is more upbeat. Here are some of the songs we sing a lot:
We want to see Jesus lifted high.
Praise Adoni
Be Glorified
How Great is our God
My Redeemer lives
Grace like rain

And many others.

Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: SilverSunlight] #1268676
09/15/09 11:54 AM
09/15/09 11:54 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 15
South Africa
brucec Offline
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Hi Sunlight. What level is your playing at the moment? With no prior improvisation or non-classical experience (and my classical level is perhaps intermediate at best) I to volunteered to join the worhship team in January, and it's certainly been a big learning curve.

If you know your chords and have some good LH rythms, you'll you'll do well. I started with just getting the rythm going with LH octaves and RH chords, then later learnt to add some melodic content.
Initially it was a real challenge for me to find the chords and inversions at the upbeat tempos being used in our church, so I only played the root (in octaves) in the LH with 3rds or triads in the RH.
I still only do 1858 to keep 4:4 beat in the left hand to and [18]58 for 3:4 or similar, then try to play the melody with occasional chords in the RH.

The good news is that the band/worship team typically doesn't wait for you if you get things wrong (depends on the group I suppose), they keep the song/beat/rythm going - and you can catch on again... hopefully. (hopefully you have a strong lead / guitarist in the team).

For me - it's still a major learning curve, and the time I have to practice is really limited, so any further tips will be great.

Hope that helps (or in fact - I hope you're already past this stage - then you'll do great)

I also found the best music is fake-book style where the melody is provided with chord names written above - easier to sight-read once you get the chords under the belt.

Enjoy it - playing with a band is great!

smile
Bruce


"You think the piano is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!" Anton Rubenstein
Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: SilverSunlight] #1269029
09/15/09 11:01 PM
09/15/09 11:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
gryphon Offline
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Okemos, MI
Yep. I am the keyboardist for my church's praise/worship band. We also (usually, but not always, maybe 80% of the time) have a pianist. What do you want to know?

One of the first questions I will ask you is what instrumentation do you have? You will want to stay out of the guitarist's sonic range.

Will you be playing piano, Hammond, strings/pads (maybe synth leads occasionally?), pipe organ? All? I do them all, but primarily strings/pads. You will get to know all your chords and inversions very quickly! (At least maj, min, 7, 9, dim and a few altered thrown in for good measure) smile

Will you be playing off of lead sheets? I assume yes. You need to listen to your band, the song, and maybe play in the "dead" areas (half, whole notes). There will be a number of them. You can play counter-melody then if you wish.

This is not a small subject, but a very useful one. I wish you the best. Here is my setup:

[Linked Image]

Last edited by gryphon; 09/15/09 11:05 PM.

"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels
Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: gryphon] #1269044
09/15/09 11:32 PM
09/15/09 11:32 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12
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SilverSunlight Offline OP
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SilverSunlight  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12
brucec, I think I'm about the same level that you are playing.
I will be playing keyboard and maybe some strings/pad. I would like some tips about how to create counter melodies and not interfere with what the guitarist is playing. When I play by ear I usually use similar arpeggios for the more meditative songs and similar rhythms for the more upbeat ones. I would like some advice on how to spice up my playing and make it sound more interesting.

Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: gryphon] #1269046
09/15/09 11:33 PM
09/15/09 11:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 15
South Africa
brucec Offline
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brucec  Offline
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Posts: 15
South Africa
Hey gryphon - great looking setup. I'm curious about the organ pedals accessories? (what make, where'd you get them and how do they plug into your system?) I sometimes accompany the piano on the Yamaha digital organ, but am always to busy with my hands to try figure out what to do with my feet. I also sometimes play the piano, an on Sunday evening services I bring my keyboard (Yamaha CP300) to the hall for the more informal type of service.

I really like the look of your setup - is this at home and for the church (or both)? It's a lot of kit to haul around.
smile


"You think the piano is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!" Anton Rubenstein
Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: SilverSunlight] #1269052
09/15/09 11:42 PM
09/15/09 11:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 15
South Africa
brucec Offline
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brucec  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 15
South Africa
Hey Sunlight. You and me both - I'm also looking for ways to fill out the music and add some spice. I've recently started adding the occasional glissando, arpeggio, scale or short counter melody where the music allows, which really does add quit a bit - but it takes some practice - so that you know when to add what...
I'm also (slowly) working through Tim Richards' Improvising Blues Piano - which is a good source for learning some improvisation skills - albeit for blues, many of the same principles apply.



"You think the piano is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!" Anton Rubenstein
Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: brucec] #1269076
09/16/09 12:49 AM
09/16/09 12:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
gryphon Offline
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gryphon  Offline
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Okemos, MI
Originally Posted by brucec
Hey gryphon - great looking setup. I'm curious about the organ pedals accessories? (what make, where'd you get them and how do they plug into your system?)
The pedals are Roland PK-5A midi pedals. They can trigger any midi event (loops, gunshots, whatever) although I use them as bass organ pedals (I have them set to the lowest pipe organ octave). The 88 keyboard is a simple Yamaha P90 and the synth is a Korg Trinity.
Quote
I really like the look of your setup - is this at home and for the church (or both)? It's a lot of kit to haul around.
This is set up at the church. I have a real piano at home. When I first began I set everything up and took everything down (and took it home) every week. After a while, due to two reasons, one being me, I did not take it down any more (on a regular basis). But when I started out I did. I wanted to make sure I was prepared for Sunday. I've been playing for a year (in church) now. I'd say the first six months are the roughest. You'll see many mistakes in yourself that no one else notices. I remember one time when I played for communion. Solo piano. I had two songs picked out, and I knew them cold (lead sheet stuff, I don't memorize specific notes). I had a brain fart during part of it but I muddled my way through it and supposedly no one noticed.

Now I don't believe that is true, but even if it is incorrect, it illustrates one basic point: everyone is on your side.


"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels
Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: gryphon] #1269721
09/17/09 02:04 AM
09/17/09 02:04 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 323
Vancouver
birchy Offline
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birchy  Offline
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Posts: 323
Vancouver
Check out Ed Kerr at http://www.kerrtunes.com

Lots of knowledge, all delivered with the right attitude. Highly recommended.

Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: gryphon] #1270815
09/18/09 11:46 PM
09/18/09 11:46 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 552
N
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 552
Being a good and prepared church keyboard/piano player in the present day requires a more sophisticated approach to the type of music that is performed. Arrangements and instrumentation are more complex and many sites are popping up with instructional DVDs to help keyboards get acquainted with chords and scales common to the contemporary sound. I posted a similar topic here months ago and got a good response on what to do to get the proper training to possibly get a job in a church band.

There is some great music coming from churches, very uplifting with a contemporary sound and style. Keyboards add a very important element to the sound and there are many possibilities of directions to follow as well.

Some churches have a music director and have the band parts charted, others do things mainly by ear and feel. Depends on the church of course. The other issue you have to consider is, are you looking to be a paid, regular committed member of a church group or are you looking to work on a unpaid or volunteered position? There are opportunities for each position. I have seen church newsletters that are looking for pro keyboardists and offered a salary for those who are qualified and available to work the job.

Some musicians don't feel churches should pay band members for their work, however, no qualified musician should feel guilty in asking for a paid position either. It can be a unique job like any other in the world. Churches have bills to pay like any other organization and budget for music ministries.

But let us know here how it's going.

katt

Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: nitekatt2008z] #1270889
09/19/09 04:12 AM
09/19/09 04:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
gryphon Offline
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gryphon  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
Originally Posted by nitekatt2008z
Being a good and prepared church keyboard/piano player in the present day requires a more sophisticated approach to the type of music that is performed. Arrangements and instrumentation are more complex and many sites are popping up with instructional DVDs to help keyboards get acquainted with chords and scales common to the contemporary sound.
Anything you can recommend here? I am always looking to improve, and I use a controller and a synth.
Quote
Keyboards add a very important element to the sound and there are many possibilities of directions to follow as well.
I agree.
Quote
Some churches have a music director and have the band parts charted
Wow, that would be helpful! laugh
Quote
others do things mainly by ear and feel.
Yep, that's us. Flying by the seat of our pants. But we still have our pants on!


"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels
Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: brucec] #1270891
09/19/09 04:19 AM
09/19/09 04:19 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
gryphon Offline
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gryphon  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
Originally Posted by brucec
Hey gryphon - great looking setup.

It's a lot of kit to haul around.
Not really. I neglected to mention this the first time around (because I forgot) but all this (with cases) can easily fit inside a Corvette. Including a guitar and case (not shown).


"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels
Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: gryphon] #1271103
09/19/09 02:51 PM
09/19/09 02:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 552
N
nitekatt2008z Offline
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nitekatt2008z  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 552
Originally Posted by gryphon
Originally Posted by nitekatt2008z
Being a good and prepared church keyboard/piano player in the present day requires a more sophisticated approach to the type of music that is performed. Arrangements and instrumentation are more complex and many sites are popping up with instructional DVDs to help keyboards get acquainted with chords and scales common to the contemporary sound.
Anything you can recommend here? I am always looking to improve, and I use a controller and a synth.
Quote
Keyboards add a very important element to the sound and there are many possibilities of directions to follow as well.
I agree.
Quote
Some churches have a music director and have the band parts charted
Wow, that would be helpful! laugh
Quote
others do things mainly by ear and feel.
Yep, that's us. Flying by the seat of our pants. But we still have our pants on!


I really like this site and joined to get there newletters and free lessons
http://www.youtube.com/user/GospelSkillz

There are others out there. BTW, I am not selling or affiliated with any of these sites, just found them to have good sources, lessons and support in teaching gospel keyboard styles. Contact them, get on their mailing list and that might open some doors. They also have forums you can join to get in touch with other gospel keyboardists.

katt

Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: nitekatt2008z] #1272490
09/22/09 05:04 AM
09/22/09 05:04 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 15
South Africa
brucec Offline
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brucec  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 15
South Africa
Hey gryphon, I'm impressed - but I'm not sure if it's with the Corvette or your packing skills! wink

I'm definitely going to check out the Roland PK-5A midi organ-type pedals - are you using them with the AUX input on the P90? (I have a Yamaha CP300 on which I'd like to do the same)

smile
Thanks for the feedback
Bruce


"You think the piano is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!" Anton Rubenstein
Re: Playing for a church worship band [Re: brucec] #1275175
09/25/09 08:37 PM
09/25/09 08:37 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
gryphon Offline
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gryphon  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
Originally Posted by brucec
Hey gryphon, I'm impressed - but I'm not sure if it's with the Corvette or your packing skills! wink
Well, it's hard to carry a passenger with it loaded up, that's for sure! laugh
Quote
I'm definitely going to check out the Roland PK-5A midi organ-type pedals - are you using them with the AUX input on the P90?
No, MIDI in. It is a MIDI pedal, it's not like the old Moog Taurus pedals. You can set it to use any MIDI channel, so you can play one voice with the pedals while playing a different voice with the keyboards.

Last edited by gryphon; 09/25/09 08:39 PM.

"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels

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