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Anyone Play With A Choir?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mickeyw3340, Oct 20, 2002.

  1. Just found this forum. Is there anyone frequenting here that plays with a church choir. We are moving toward a complete set of instruments with the choir. I am planning on purchasing a bass, after being away from it for several years. Played full time for many years, country and rock. Yes I know, quiet a change to move to a full church choir. Would like to make contact with anyone else into this type music. Thanks in adavnce.
  2. extreme


    Mar 20, 2000
    Yeah, my church has a couple different choirs, so I play with a choir quite regularly on Sunday mornings.
  3. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I don't play with a full choir, only four or five singers. This is just me, but if I had to go out and buy a bass right now that I could only use for church, it would probably be a Precision. I usually end up making my tone as close to that as possible, as that's what works best in MY situation. YMMV.
  4. I'm a bit apprehensive about this. but really want to do it. Besides having been away from the bass for quite a few years, my previous experiance is country and 1960s rock, Beatles, Stones, etc. Did work with a piano player for a while in a small bar. I have been singing with the choir (melody) for some time. Won't take me long to relearn the fret board. Me first efforts would certainly be nothing fancy, single notes following a chord chart. What would you recommend for a newbie at this type of music. I thought about taping rehearsals, so I could work at home also. Any recommendations will be appreciated.
  5. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    i don't play for a church choir but i do play for a high school show choir. here's a link to our page

    www.firsteditionchoir.org I play my DeArmond Pilot Plus 5, i like it for show choir since i can dial in more tones twiddleing a few knobs and adjusting my attack than i can on my Jazz 4. thats all
  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Any rehearsals are good. The problem (or challenge, depending on how you look at it) is that for a while, every week you'll be playing "new" music that you have no idea on. After a few weeks and months, you'll begin seeing the same songs again, and then you'll be on comfortable ground. Unfortunatly, I usually end up having to go in on Sunday morning, and only get to run through the songs once, and it's time for the service to start. Even if you know the vocals to all the songs, playing with the changes will be a little different. It's no big deal. After your first service, you'll feel be fine. And everyone is so supportive, it's hard not to feel like you did a good job.

    And, I'm not sure what kind of music you'll be playing, but where I'm at, every other song is in G. No problemo.
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    That's practically my bass! (Pilot Pro- look out. :cool: )
  8. Benbass


    Jan 28, 2002
    Hey welcome back to the world of bass. Sounds like you've got a great opportunity to learn to play again. I play at my church, though not with a full choir. You can learn a lot here and there is another site that you may be interested in that's called churchbass. the address is - http://www.ccad.uiowa.edu/~timv/churchbass/
  9. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    You might get some insights from visiting my page. I took about 10 years "off" until we fired up a worship ministry at our church. You'll get your chops back quick. I suggest a "hi fi" bass that can get the most modern compressed tones. My favorite for that would be a Cirrus 4 or 5.
  10. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    I play in a pretty large church, so we have three choirs. I play in the worship band (and also lead worship on a regular rotation). Playing with choirs, even with our really contemporary music, is enjoyable. They add some extra energy to the mix.
  11. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    Rickreyn, great website.

  12. I play in a worship band and I play with a full choir from time to time. I'm no pro but a few things that I've figured out over time are:
    1. Be on time... chances are you'll only get one shot to go through the tune before you do it live.
    2. Be in tune... if you're out of tune the whole choir will sound bad, and nobody likes to sound bad.
    3. Smile... this is really important in church. Religious music is meant to be uplifting.
    4. Play it like you mean it... you need to be heard, even if you're not sure of every note. It'll help you get "in the pocket".
    5. Don't worry... I've said it before, one of the best things about playing in church is that know matter how bad you mess up nobody is gonna stand up and shout "Hey man, you suck!" :D

    Good Luck!!!
  13. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
  14. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    Very wise advice!! ;)
  15. We actually have three Worship teams at our church. Two that alternate Sundays and the third is the youth group. I play regularly on one of the Sunday worship teams, sub occasionally on the other Sunday team, and recently have played with the youth group (I'm age 53). The youth bass player moved away and they needed someone to fill his place. My age didn't seem to matter. I guess this is what keeps me young. I really don't think there is any special "worship" bass that you need to look for. Just find one that feels right for you. Until three months ago, I played a Gibson Ripper (4-string), but now play an Ibanez BTB405 (5-string). The bass player on the other team plays a Peavey Milestone (4-string). There is quite a range of styles of Worship music that is used in churches, anywhere from subdued and/or modified old hymns to many that really rock (especially with the youth group). This has been giving me great joy to participate in music ministry. I hope it will for you too. You've been given some good advice in the earlier posts. I believe there was a post in another thread that said something like this: "Fifteen minutes early is a half hour late". I have always found it very useful to arrive at least 1/2 hour early for practice and recommend the policy to others. You'll need that time for set up and for tune up to be able to start rehearsal on time. You may indeed only have one hour group practice before "showtime". Sorry for using the word "showtime" for worship, but I think you understand what I mean. Take note. How many bass players do you see that actually smile? Well I'm very typical myself. Even when I'm ecstatic, I never seem to offer that broad smile that everyone expects. I really enjoy playing bass at church and, on several occasions, the Pastor has looked directly at me, put his thumb and finger to the corners of his mouth and made a smile on his face to indicate to me that I should smile. I just grin back at him. I've taken note over the years that most bass players seem to not have that broad smile. Must be something about our personalities and we are drawn to the bass. ?????? I do make a conscious effort now to try smiling and suggest others do likewise. And I too never have had anyone say "Hey man, you suck!!". They seem to really appreciate my efforts.
  16. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    Mickey, all of the above is good advice. About the smiling, that just is our nature huh? And so how many of you also carry around a few extra pounds? Not all that attractive either?? Maybe it's just me. Also, no one has even stood up and said "You Suck!" to me either. They wait until after the service. Just kidding. You've probably noticed how the "Church" music has changed in the last 5-10 years, Thanks Lindell Cooley(I'm still not sure that boy is really white). Your country and rock background should fit right in. Be sure to tune. Leaving my tuner at how caused a funny story this morning, I forgot I was tuned half-step flat until I started a song. I looked at my bass, the music, and then the drummer, who reminded me I had de-tuned at practice the otherday. He's a bass player also, except really good.

    Where's Malthumb? He should be jumping right in about now.

    Dive in, you should know what kind of bass to grab, you've done this before. A five would be good though, many songs just beg for that low C.
    If you haven't heard any good church players lately, check out Gary Lund and Bennie Johnson.
    Anyhow, have fun.
  17. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    That's my main gig - and I love it! We have 3 bands - 2 main bands that alternate weeks (3 services each week) and one who plays once a month at a mid-week service. I am fortunate to play with some very skilled players and the music is often very challenging. The best part is I'm not out late, my rig doesn't smell like smoke or beer and you can have better gear because there's a much lower chance it will be stolen! :)

    We typically have 6 main vocalists and sometimes a backup chior. The band consists of 2-3 guitarists, 1-2 keyboardists, bassist, drummer, percussion and horn section. Occasionally, we add strings. I have both a direct line to the board (thru a Sans Amp) and my cabinet is miked.

    You've already received some great advice. I would just add to keep a great attitude and be positive. A volunteer band is a challenge to grow. It's easy to accept "that was good enough". I wouldn't be surprised if you find this is your most challenging and rewarding gig... ever.

    Good luck!

    Also - rickreyn, great site!
  18. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    Thanks Jeff.:)
  19. I rally never expected so many responses to my inquiry. Thanks to all of you. You've really got me lifted up about this. I'll start hitting the music stores at lunch today.
  20. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    Also try the classifieds here and bassgear.com. You might find a real bargain.

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