Friday, August 25, 2006

BAND STUFF: being part of the band

Yesterday I jotted down a couple of thoughts about being a worship leader, and so I was thinking it might be good to write a little about being part of the band - when you're not the leader... what is your role?
Again, I honestly think that the way you choose to live your life is way more important than the gifts you bring to the table. Brian Doerksen always used to tell us that 'gifting gets you places, but character keeps you there' - that's a sound piece of advise.

We are servants - everything we do, from the way we turn up to rehearsals, to the musical excellence we strive for, to the actual leading of congregations in worship - everything is service. With that in mind, it's good to remember that we have to make the way we play all about people being able to connect with God. Sometimes we have creative ideas to make a song super fresh, but it doesn't really help people to connect - maybe because it's just too different, or maybe because it's just too flashy :) I think if an idea helps to make a song 'sing' again, but doesn't draw so much attention to the music that we miss Jesus, then it's probably a goer!

When we are playing together in bands, even though the worship leader is the boss, we are all in the same team, and so there is lots of room for us to bring our ideas and suggestions. Band members are key in making the whole thing work!!!

I've enjoyed playing in lots of bands over the last 15 or 16 years - it's something I got involved in long before I learned how to lead - and yet, even though I didn't think it at the time - I was 'worship leading' when I was playing piano or singing backing vocals. Whatever your part is in the band, the same is true for you!


Anonymous Neil Young said...

Hey Kathryn, I'm enjoying reading your thoughts on worship, worship leading and all that stuff. Its really helpful and very interesting.

I think a big part about playing in a worship band is your mental attitude. Of course your character and ability are pre-runners but you need to have a mental and spiritual realisation of what you are there to do. You need to see where you fit on the team and then carry out that task to the best of your ability and give it back to God.

A good illustration of this is the bass, its what I know best so I will stick to it!! The bass player's role is to provide the platform along with the drums that all the other instruments can work off. They tie the whole thing together. Now it can be a very effective instrument for playing a nice riff or coming up front now and again but unless it continues to form the platform then it loses its purpose.

When you are first starting to play your instrument in worship bands it is so important to learn your role. Initially as a younger player we all want to be noticed (maybe that was just me) and therefore we wanted to be louder or play the coolest part but we know that isnt the heart God wants nor does it make for good band dynamics.

Once you have defined your role on your instrument it is such a fulfilling feeling to know you are playing your part on the team.

I think that all makes sense

28 August, 2006 06:29  
Blogger ian irwin smyth said...

hey Kathryn

Just reading Neils comments there and echo them wholeheartedly. When i eventually learned the role that i needed to play, i actually found a lot of freedom and release in that - not freedom to do what i want, not at all, but freedom just to sit in the groove along with the kick and either drive the song along or leave that space where needed. For me, that means i can worship through playing a whole lot more easily!

I also realised that rehearsals are essentially safe places - if the worship leader thinks that an idea doesnt work, or they prefer a different (in my case) bassline, that doesnt mean that what your doing is terrible, its just that for the greater good, something else works better and the overall is so much more glorifying because of it.

Im really enjoying your thoughts and comments here, so please keep them coming!

God bless

28 August, 2006 08:58  
Anonymous Charis said...

Hi Kathryn,
Just want to say thanks for your blog...when you showed it to me the first time i thought...this is going to be great!!! Getting into your head from the other side of the world! And i'm so glad you're keeping it up! What a blessing to the rest of us!
I'm loving what Neil and Ian have commented on about being in a band situation...i've been getting a chance to play keys and do bv's on the weeks i'm not leading and it's been so great to just try out new ideas, and match fun riffs the guitar is doing...or make up my own! It's amazing how just adding your bit enhances the whole sound...instead of pushing your instrument in every song!!
I'm LOVING it!!
Ooh...maybe blog something on choosing new band members...the process etc?!

29 August, 2006 12:02  
Blogger Kathryn Scott said...

Hi Charis,

there's a post on this very thing called 'BAND STUFF: teaming up' - I hope it's of some use.


30 August, 2006 12:48  

Post a Comment

<< Home