gospel bass.......suggestions?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by okieblues, Jul 6, 2003.

  1. okieblues


    Mar 29, 2003
    ada, oklahoma
    hello fellow talkbassers....first of all rest assured im not trying to push my ideals or morals on anybody within this forum...just have a few observations and questions for my fellow bassists. after many years of playing bars and other such gigs ..ive been feeling really pulled towards using my god given talent...meager as it may be...for god. and am looking into playing gospel bass for a local church. my quandry is...coming from a blues / classic rock backround..i have no idea how to approach playing bass in a church setting...nor am i familier with any tunes in that genre. some of my favorite gospel music i have heard is very jump/swing/blues sounding in nature so im sure it wont be that big a leap to make the change but i was hoping some of my fellow talkbassers who may be playing in church could give me some pointers and ideas on how to approach this change...thanks in advance
  2. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    As long as it is a joyful noise God won't care what feel it has.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    It depends on the church and the worship leader.

    How is the music where you are going to church now?

    At my church, 70% of our music is similar to Christian contemporary. Our worship leader has modern influences.

    We also do about 20% traditional hymns, but do those in a modern style most of the time, unless our pastor is leading the service. He leads them with a more 'southern gospel' feel.

    And then there are the horn(sax) numbers we do a few times a year. These range from a jazz style to a rock style, even fusion on some numbers.

    So, in my situation, it is necessary to be a chameleon. I need to be able to perform in all of these styles, as well as others that are thrown at me from time to time.
  4. Kelvin


    Apr 30, 2000
    Playing in a church setting can be challenging, given that our own music training is so diverse. From funk influenced bassists to classically trained pianists. And somehow, we get it all to work!

    The most important aspect for me is learning to be sensitive to the Spirit. In other words, letting the ego and personal musical agenda take a back seat. 14 years of playing in church and I'm still struggling with this.

    Also, consider getting a fretless. You'll find that it is the single most expressive instrument in a worship band.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Also, get a Ken Smith, the ultimate gospel bass! :)
  6. Kelvin


    Apr 30, 2000
    Hi Woodchuck,

    ... and I was about to get that elusive MTD.

    Seriously though, I play in a fairly large church in Singapore. We're blessed to have a number of bands who meet up regularly to exchange ideas. We've seen some nice basses pass through the teams: a sadowsky, few warwicks, a lakland, a zon, a warrior etc. Anyway, it was once while worshipping in the congregation that I noticed that I could hardly identify anything distinctive about the bass!

    Our sound systems are the great levellers, able to make a $3000 bass sound like a $300 instrument. I've found that hooking up my Alembic preamp helps, but only goes that far. Let me tell you that my GAS has been kept at bay since this incident.