Praise & Worship: How many songs per set?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bassbrock, Feb 19, 2008.


  1. bassbrock

    bassbrock

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    Callahan, FL
    Hey praise & worship bassists,

    Couple of questions...

    1. How many songs per set do you guys and gals do for a Sunday morning service and/or Wednesday evening service?

    2. Do you mix up contemporary and traditional? (hymns and Hillsong for example?)

    3. Do you just play a complete set of however many songs without interruption, or do you pause the worship for a spoken psalm or a word of the spirit from the congregation?

    4. When you sing/play a song, do you perform the entire song, or do you sometimes just jump to the chorus and do a medley of choruses together for impact?

    The reason I ask is our praise & worship team has hit a rut for the past year or so. We've gotten stuck to doing only three songs (seems short to me) and the songs are in a pattern. The first song is uptempo, the second song is medium tempo and then the third is a slow tempo worship tune. Often before the third song, one of the singers will speak an inspirational message, statement or psalm to gather the congregation to move into the worship phase of the music. Then its over and the pastor moves on stage to pray and then begin his sermon.

    So we started talking at the past couple of rehearsals about changing it up from week to week. Doing more songs, doing less, changing up how we sing the songs (chorus only, etc). Trying to remain fluid but also making sure that we are following the lead of the Holy Spirit.

    I'm really interested in hearing how some of you guys out there are doing it already and any suggestions anyone might have.

    Thanks!
  2. livingstone

    livingstone

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Oneonta NY
    Ask for more time. I don't know how you would implement anything suggested when you are hobbled so for time.
  3. iamoldschool

    iamoldschool Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Location:
    Morristown, TN
    It depends on the service. At the traditional service, we have one P&W song just before the offertory hymn and that's it. At the contemporary service, we start the service with a 4-song set that includes both up-tempo and slower tempo tunes. We do, however, normally finish up with a song that is intended to put the congregation into the mood to receive the message, whether it be fast or slow.
  4. bassbrock

    bassbrock

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    Callahan, FL
    Thanks for your input Dan. This is actually being discussed.

    How long is your typical praise and worship session or set of songs, timewise?
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. groov'ster

    groov'ster

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Location:
    Lake Charles, LA
    I agree with livingstone for more time, if it is needed. The Spirit has his own time and does not need to be placed in a time regimend as we all tend to do sometimes.

    We normally average 6 songs, sometimes more or less depending on the Spirit. At times the Spirit entered on the first song and we didn't even have a sermon. At other times the pastor felt the move to only have one song because the message needed to be delivered.

    A good mixture of contemporary, modern gospel, etc.

    I know for us prayer is of the utmost importance BEFORE service or even practice begins. This is for the P&W team. We are full (Spirit) before service begins and intend to convey our praise to Him, invite others to worship, and so on.

    Often there are spoken words, testimonies, in between the songs.

    On the musician standpoint we recently added a set of congos, extra cymbals, I guess you could say percussion. This has added another element to the music. We now have a different vibe and feel for the music because of this.
  7. livingstone

    livingstone

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Oneonta NY
    We have 40 to 45 minutes straight normally then communion. But then that's out of a two hour service. (Our pastor is provided with a full hour for the sermon.) So it can be six or more songs, plus one 'nice' one during communion. With that, we don't really have to fit into the fast, slower, then worship model but are afforded a nice versatility/flow of the Spirit. We often get interrupted, however, when one or more of the elders have something to say and then individuals in the congregation start thinking about what they think God wants to say to everyone. :)
  8. beaner

    beaner

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Location:
    Monmouth,IL
    6 or 7 songs
    usually a mix,depends on the leader
    play entire song
    3 or 4,than message
  9. bassbrock

    bassbrock

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    Callahan, FL
    LOL!

    Our pastor typically gives a 45-60 minute long sermon.
  10. OtterOnBass

    OtterOnBass

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    I was part of a contemporary service that is on hold until this fall for a revamp and new leadership. We played Crowder, Hall, Tomlin, Hillsong with a hymn once in a while. Our set was 5-6 songs, and went like this:
    Welcome/Energy song
    Actual welcome and announcements
    2-3 more songs, faster/slower
    Bible reading, short message, prayer time
    slow song
    Sermon
    if time, final song with BIG ending.

    This fall the new service will have the sermon in the beginning and go like this:
    walk-in BG music
    1 Song
    Sermon
    Lots of music/participatory worship activities
    walk-out BG music
  11. Illbay

    Illbay

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Depends. If you're worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ, as much or as little as you want will be acceptable to him.

    Now, if you're worshipping Cthulu, dang, that demonic Great Old One from the nether regions of the universe demands that you play and dance until you collapse and die! :bassist:

    So it's a situational thing.
  12. bassbrock

    bassbrock

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    Callahan, FL
    Good point Illbay, I should have clarified that my question was to Christian praise and worship bassists.

    And I do know that we always need to remain flexible and accompdating to the Holy Spirit l, as I stated on my OP. However part of that flexibility dictates that we deviate from our recent pattern of worship. I like everyones input so far, especially OtterOnBass.

    As you all probably know, this is a touchy subject with most praise teams. We all have the same goal but we all aren't blessed with the ability to communicate it as effectively as some.
  13. bassbrock

    bassbrock

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    Callahan, FL
    Bump! Anymore input from the 100+ Praise & Worship Bassist club members here on Talkbass? Thanks! :)
  14. Fazed

    Fazed

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Location:
    Nicholasville, Kentucky
    Our services are a very fluid thing. Sometimes 1-3 worship songs ala crowder/hillsong/brewster/fee/etc. A Drama. A movie clip or two that set up the sermon, a special music or two (sometimes CCM, sometimes secular depending on the theme (we've done everything from Eminem to Linkin Park to Kelly Clarkson), the sermon, sometimes a closer depending on time. It seems that what is set in programming is often not what is offered on Sat night/Sun morning. As the spirit leads, and time permits.

    Matt
  15. ThunderLizard

    ThunderLizard

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Edwardsville, IL
    bassrock-
    Here's our format for a 45 minute service:
    one or two opening songs (never congregational sing alongs)
    Welcome/Hello
    two congregational sing alongs
    one Offeratory song (never a sing along)
    Message 15-20 minutes
    one congregational sing along
    Benediction
    usually vamp on one of the uptempo songs as the congregation exits.
    We sometimes use a traditional hymn that's been updated for the sing along.
    We do this back-to-back for two services every Sunday.

    If you're playing an evening concert with no message...I'd suggest keeping it in the 45-60 minute range unless it's some special once-a-year type event (then 90 minutes max). And do a 'stand up and stretch' about 25 minutes into the concert.
  16. thesteve

    thesteve

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I think the worship team I am on averages something like 7 or 8 songs a week.

    this is how it's usually broken down
    2 songs (usually very upbeat)
    meet and greet and announcements
    3 songs (usually getting slower with each song)
    sermon
    3 songs (invitational, offeratory and ending song)
    band (no vocals) will usually vamp on the ending song as everyone leaves.

    all in all the service typically lasts about 75-90 minutes. The music is mostly contemporary (with an occasional modernized hymn, like Crowder's "All Creatures of Our God and King" thrown in)
  17. Bassman7PM

    Bassman7PM

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Location:
    South Suburbs Chicago, IL
    We do one Saturay evening Service and three back to back Sunday services all formatted the same.

    ~We normally open with Praying for our Soldiers where the band plays God Bless America. This normally takes about 2-3 minutes tops.

    ~ Worship set jumps into 3 songs, could be all fast, could be all slow depending on where the Spirit of the Lord has led the pastor. We're Very forunate that he knows what he wants and is very in tuned with the music ministry.

    ~ We do whats called a "Cell Phone Prayer" where the congregation acually gets out their cell phones and call a friend or loved one in need of prayer. Also, people are invited to come to the altar for prayer. The band plays softly while this is going on. At the end of this segment we jump into a fast paced praise song while folks are returning to their seats.

    ~ During the Offering we hit another song and again it depends upon where the service is headed it could be fast or slow. Mostly uptempo though.

    ~ Our final number is done during dismissal or Postlude. This is the only song that's unplanned as we take our cues from the pastor or as the Spirit leads. Last night as the Praise team and band were finishing the postlude song, the pastor requested another song, no problem.

    We do everything from Planetshakers, Israel and New Breed, Kirk Franklin, Original material from our CD, Hillsong, Matt Redman, occasionally spoffed up hymns and many others.
  18. thehurlatron

    thehurlatron

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Holland, Michigan
    This is how our "typical" Sunday goes...


    Inst. Jam (give people a signal to start heading in to find a seat. sometimes a P/W tune, sometimes a secular tune)

    welcome
    2-4 P/W tunes
    every few weeks we throw in a "performance" song. (a Mainstream Christian tune, or secular tune that fits, or makes a point to the message)

    Message

    1 song after the message

    exit to CD



    I wish we had more upfront P/W tunes. And my church is in the rut you are. We start out rippin', then taper off to the message.
    Our song after the message is usually a somber one. I wish it was an upbeat tune to get people fired up when they leave.
  19. bassbrock

    bassbrock

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    Callahan, FL
    Wow... interesting. Very different responses. I imagine that is to be expected considering the varying difference in churches out there. Keep 'em coming! Thanks everyone so far for your input, this is helping.

    While I don't want to go to our rehearsal and say "This is what I found on Talkbass, we should do it like they do it" - I have found that when we have these types of group discussions it helps when someone in the group can reference what other members of the Body of Christ are doing.

    I don't church hop as I play at the same church each week so I of course don't get to see the way others do it. Our number one priority remains to be fluid with the Spirit and make sure we are being accommodating at all times. Our pattern has worked so far but we feel the urging of the Spirit to be a little more un-patterned in the coming weeks. Or so this is how our pastor tells it to us :)
  20. Fazed

    Fazed

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Location:
    Nicholasville, Kentucky
    You can catch our services archived online for a referece if you are so inclined... Quest Community Church

    Matt
  21. dmilt23451

    dmilt23451

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2007
    Location:
    Madison Wi
    Bassbrock, just a word of encouragement and a little info on why somethings go on the way they do in a church, I have alot of experience within the leadership of churches and I want to just head a bit of a warning to you that there is probably a reason why your church has fallen into a pattern, whether that is good or bad. You need to be cautious about how much of a change you may try to impliment because the fact is congregations typically do not like drastic change and often times react negatively to it.

    Perhaps a good aproach is seeing if there is opportunity to start a seperate weekly service that is more worship in influence, and if that gets going and more people are coming to that it is a good way to show the leadership of the church that this is what the church is desiring for their worship time...

    All IMO of course

Share This Page