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Now I've done it! - playing at church next week

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by WRXbase, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. WRXbase


    Jan 14, 2009
    Clayton, NC
    I haven't played sheet music in a while and I've volunteered to play at church next week. I won't know what the music is till Next Sunday morning. (although I might try to get the list earlier in the week)

    I have a number of method and/or scale books. What should I look at/work on, specifically?

  2. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    Knowing where the root notes of simple chords are on your bass.

    I did the same thing for the first time this morning, and though I cant read actual music too quickly, or fluently, I know how to play the root note and tones within the given chord.

    The one was simply Eb Bb F. Thats it. Hit the root on the one, just like funk! :D
  3. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    Sometimes the rhytem guitar sheets are more helpful for me.

    Our WL usually just gives me a lyric sheet with the chords above the words. I convert these over to number charts, which are much easier for me.

    Good hunting!

  4. I bet some of the members could give you the fake chord sheet music on what they normally play. I would imagine they have 25 to 30 songs in their gig bag and play 5 or 6 each Sunday. Get one of their gig books and make yourself a cheat sheet - something like this.

    Name of the song..... Key..... Verse's Chord progression.... Riff to use
    First Song.............. F........ F, Bb, C, F....................... R-5
    Next Song.............. G........ G, Em, C, D, G.................. R-3-5-3
    Another one........... D........ D, G, A7, D...................... R-R-3-3-5-5-6-5
    Yet Another........... C........ C, F, G7, C...................... R-7-5-5

    I also bet they use music stands so prop up your cheat sheet.

    Watch the rhythm guitar's hands and change chords when he does.

    Good luck.
  5. bassman1987


    Dec 1, 2008
    Denver, CO
    These are all good suggestions for getting through a gig when you don't have much time to prepare, but the best advice I can give you: learn to read standard notation!!

    I know it's not realistic for you to learn to read music in time for this gig, but seriously it's one of the biggest things you can do to become a better bassist/musician. You will become much more confident, and if you get into another situation like this where you get a chart only hours or minutes before playing it, you will be able to play it much, much better than if you just "fake your way through it".

    Best of luck with the gig!
  6. I might be asking a really dumb question.... but coming from someone who's done the church bass player thing for a while, what do the "Riff to use" R-7-5-5 bits mean??

  7. More on topic.

    I was part of the worship team at my old church for quite a few years. We were by no means "professional" but did an ok job. We never read sheet music. I can read it to some extent but we did most of our playing off chord charts anyway. If you follow the chords, add in some arpeggios and walking basslines, and add more things as you learn them (you sound like someone who plays a bit?) you'll do a great job.

    If you dont normally use charts, what do you do? Play by ear or just learn the songs?

    To me, the most important thing is a chart that indicates chord changes by bar.

  8. tobie


    Nov 26, 2008
    Handy info, as it will most probably help you to easily get into the band's 'groove', for a lack of words. The way I interpret it:

    "Key F...Chords F, Bb, C, F...Riff R-5": play the Root & 5th notes of each chord. Thus when playing the F chord, play F-C, F-C. Then move to Bb-F, Bb-F etc. Your ears should of course tell you exactly when to move on to the next chord. Usually there's a pattern (4 beats F, then 4 beats Bb, 4 beats C, 4 beats F ... and repeat).

    Hope that helps.
  9. bobknowsbass


    Jul 27, 2009
    Monrovia, CA
    Learning to read standard notation is essential and there are many good books about the subject. I think the best thing in the world you can do is get a Real Book bass clef edition and read through some tunes. It preps you on reading notation and reading chord charts, which are very common. When I played at church a lot of the "music" was lyrics with chords written over certain words. If you have to read actual piano bass clef with no charts, good luck!
  10. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    Never miss the downbeat, pay attention to the drums (IME, he's not paying attention to you) and keep it straight, simple and complimentary. Don't overplay.

    At church, I 'like' to use passing tones and approach notes (more to help me know where I'm at/going than anything else - they frown on music stands so one can better engage the congregation), but leaders frown on that from me too. If you are using approach notes then the leader is committed (unless they aren't listening) to follow you and they may have other ideas.

    Play straight up, tight with the drums and simple lines.
  11. We used to practice the new material each Saturday mornings.. Now we all see the music for the first time when the singers arrive for their "run through" about 30 minutes prior to the Sunday service commencing. . . Not much fun, but boy does it make us stay on our toes... watching every nuance from the Praise Leader who is also the keyboardist. The 'lead sheets' he puts on the music stands at 8:30am for the 9:00am service also make the band all gel together fairly well..(90% of the time)

    Hang in there... these "sink or swim" situations are quite personally revealing... they can be helpful in bringing the best out of you musically. Do your best.. you'll be asking to do it again I'll bet.

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