How to get into / audition for Praise and Worship band?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Big Hoss, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Okay folks, my ultimate goal here is to be able to play Praise and Worship music for church services, but my current church is if anything, overstaffed on the P&W band / team. So I need to look around to see where I can fill in...

    I admit I am a terrible player, but as is said, I "make a joyful noise" and can at least hold the root on time locked in with a metronome or drummer just fine, transitions fine, just a long way off of being able to show Geddy Lee a thing or two. (yeah like that's ever going to happen!).

    So for all you Christian bass players here on TB (I've seen you, I know you are here!), can you give me some tips... It's been a very long time since I played with a P&W team, and I more or less got volunteered back then...

    FWIW, I'm sitting in the old farts seats, I would be more than happy to play for the kids / teens, but I somewhat doubt they will want to hear me...
  2. Boom762

    Boom762 I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Alpine, TX
    I would think the pastor would only allow a member of the church to play music for services which would eliminate seeking other churches. I think the best option would be to speak with the music director for the church as well as the other bass player and see about getting to witch out with him some services.
  3. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Yeah, the problem is bass player(s)... Multiple... I have literally seen 4 different guys playing in the last month.
  4. Boom762

    Boom762 I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Alpine, TX
    Ouch. I'm at a loss then for playing in services. Perhaps look to play outside of services if that is your thing, or maybe do a special for the church and pick who you play with.

    I got fired up and told my pastor I wanted to play bass in the services but he said it wouldnt be a good idea. Was looking more for an acoustic guitar if anything. We only have a pianist right now. I hit up our church for musicians and we have only the 2 that play piano lol.

    I really want to put a death metal gospel band together but most christians are against the instrumentals and the lost are against the words. Stuck in the middle I am.
  5. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Not a big fan of the Death Metal Genre, but I can see where it can fit... At least as long as some of the themeing is reworked, heavily...

    My current church isn't huge, but isn't tiny either. We have 3 services Sunday morning with a capacity of around 500.

    Honestly, been looking for a different church recently for several reasons... A place where I have an opportunity to serve by playing would be good!
  6. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    Step 1: Talk to the worship leader.
  7. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    This isn't necessarily true in my experience. I've played in two chruch P&W teams in the past ten years where I was a regular player but not a church member starting out. In the first case I played for over two years and never became a member. After that, I played in my present church for about 6 months before becoming a member. Around here, smaller churches are often desparate for bass players. CL ads for all kinds of worship team musicians are pretty common.

    The OP mentioned he might be looking for a new church for several reasons, including being able to play more. My advice here would be to NOT make music the first priority. It's much more important to find a church that is compatible with your views on theology, social issues, etc. Hopefully he'll find that along with a good music program that appreciates his contribution.
    Plucky The Bassist likes this.
  8. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Good point, and I don't want it to sound like I am wanting to jump churches for something so superficial... The ability to serve in the music ministry is just icing on the cake as it were. A bit of background...

    I left my prior church in '04 when my ex split so she and her boyfriend could attend. Long, ugly story, not going back there for sure. Shopped churches for a few years, lots of small ones near me, and had trouble finding one where I felt I belonged, I mean there were a couple that were okay, 2 in particular that were spot on if it weren't for the pastor sounding like The Simpsons Reverend Lovejoy... that is until a friend invited me to this one. Like the pastor, like the teaching style, some friends from the old church bailed out there and ended up here.

    All is good, except it is a considerable drive for me, and there have been some recent issues, or at least perceived issues with the pastor, that I honestly want to talk with him before I let my backside be the last thing that door sees... Long story that does not need to be aired out here. It's a social issue / theology deal that I am not certain the pastor / leadership is where I thought they were...

    So assuming the church I am at is where we stay... I still want to play. And I'd be perfectly happy playing with a band for the kids if that's what I can do... I just figure the adults would get more out of my playing that kids would is all...

    Okay dumb question. Where on Craigslist would I find churches looking for musicians?
  9. Boom762

    Boom762 I AM the one who Booms! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Alpine, TX
    Community box, MUSICIANS box. People post in there usually.
  10. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    AWESOME. Thanks!
  11. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    It's up to your church, of course, but I'll comment that there have been several times when our "worship team" was me, a piano, and a couple of singers (we're a very small congregation, maybe 40 or 50 people total). It can work just fine. I usually play an ABG and keep it mellow.

    To the OP, I have seen craigslist ads from churches looking for musicians for worship teams from time to time. It's not really the way I think about it - I simply attend church and put my name in to play on the worship team when I'm available (basically meaning when I don't have a late gig the Saturday night before). Personally, I wouldn't go looking for a different church just to have the opportunity to play bass there. But that's how I see things.
  12. Kevan Campbell

    Kevan Campbell Bergantino Artist, Vibe9 IEM Artist Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    Some thoughts from a ex-church player (who may be getting back into it):

    -The talent level required at a church depends on the style. If you can play most U2 songs you'll be able to hack it with most Contemporary Christian Worship tunes, but the bar is set MUCH higher for Urban Gospel. In reality you should be woodshedding other songs than religious ones anyway since that'll improve your chops the fastest.

    -Your continued playing on a typical worship band is as much about your playing ability as your "hang", though in this circumstance that can sometimes include your willingness to serve as a volunteer (play for free), submit to the church's authority and follow direction.

    -Get comfortable playing with different people quickly. Sometimes you won't know who you're playing with until Sunday morning so the more flexible you are in playing with different players (drummers especially) the more you'll enjoy church gigs.

    -Learn to read music. Most places will use chord charts but occasionally I've been given sheet music or a sheet with numbers (Nashville Numbers System).

    -An extended-range bass will make transposing and changing keys much easier than a regular 4-string.

    Therese also a Praise & Worship Club here on Talkbass that you could check out for more advice. Best of luck to you!
    Plucky The Bassist likes this.
  13. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sounds like your present church is well stocked, perhaps some members can rehearse together and provide music missionary services to churches not as fortunate. Some places have formal auditions other hold shed/jam sessions as part of their fellowship and you just jump in until you are ask to play a service. Besides that going to a smaller church (assuming larger ones will already have a band in place) which needs musicians is the other option.

    While being in a band might not sound like it should be the primary reason to choose a church, being in a place able to use the gifts you are in a unique position to provide is. Non musical church workers are often assigned that way.
    TheBear likes this.
  14. SwitchGear


    Mar 23, 2005
    Sunny Beach
    You have been practicing with a metronome? Very good. Lets get you into the rotation.
  15. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Sorry if I left the impression I was ready to dive in RIGHT NOW. I'm not. I am playing with a metronome, playing along to mp3s, and jamming with friends, no drummer, just a drum track, a guitarist, and keys... I had done P&W music in the past before I put the bass down years ago, and am ready to take the next step into jamming with a full set, including drummer, I have made enormous progress and figure working with a team can be ready in short order for services...

    Simply put I want to play, but more family / faith friendly venues. I am not interested in the club / bar scene. More like the churches, coffee houses, restaurant, festival scene.

    Jhengsman has a good suggestion that could really work for me, where I am and where I want to go... I will check into that this weekend. I will be out this week as I am going to the Dr. here shortly and will be getting an outpatient thing done... I get to spend new years in bed yay me...
  16. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Just move to Alabama. CL is lousy with folks looking for people to form P&W bands.
  17. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    I think I'll pass on that one. Wrong direction for me... Long term goal is to end up back in the Pacific Northwest...
  18. As someone who plays bass in a small church, with no current backup.... sometimes looks can be deceiving. When I first attended mine there was one bassist there every week, he was good friends with the rest of the band. My line of thought was "oh he is always here having a good time, I would be taking his playing time to volunteer". In reality, which I found out once he left abruptly, was that the guy was getting burnt out. Also that historically they had had trouble keeping a bassist so were surprised I was willing to show up every week once I got rolling with them.
    A prior church of mine in another state did not have multiple bassists but i noticed seemingly countless guitarists rotating in and out every week when there was only one Sunday service. I was told in confidence that most were only up for playing infrequently or could not be relied upon to play in a lead capacity. So they played when they felt like it essentially and it worked for the most part, however I am sure they would have liked fewer players that could commit to playing more frequently and consistently.
    I second everyone here who has already suggested talking to the music leader. Their response will tell you far more than you can assume or speculate.
  19. You should check with those in charge. A few of people playing bass at my church are actually guitar players recruited to play bass since no bass players were available...ask about getting in the rotation, you never know, maybe a few of those guys would rather be playing guitar?
    TheBear and Anthonyfranklin9000 like this.
  20. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    That sounds fair to me... Pastor is out until after the new year. I'd like to iron out the issues there before moving forward, but assuming all is indeed well... I will be talking to the music minister shortly afterward and feeling out where I can fit in...

    The main bassist that had been playing our church seems to be out for the last month, and we have had a new guy each week. But we seem to have different players for the different services on Sunday. One guy does the first two services, the other does third service and evening...