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Praise music - little help needed.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MalcolmAmos, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. I asked a question about Praise music awhile back and was amazed at the number of TB response I got. Thanks, guys. Couple more questions:

    I've not found a Praise music forum, would appreciate knowing where the Praise bassists hang out. Of course other than here at TB.

    Amazon normally can point me to several good books on any style, but, not having much luck with Praise. I just received what I thought was going to be a good book - which will remain nameless - and was very disappointed. What books have had value for you?

    The band uses fake chord sheet music. As the chord changes come rather quickly I've been relying on root notes almost entirely. Few comments here would help.

    We get the fake chord sometime before Wednesday night. I bring the fake chord home, transpose to Nashville numbers, yep, I'm a box guy, call up a video of the music and use the video as a play-a-long.

    From my earlier question - I now understand how Praise music flows and can pretty well keep up with what is going on. Need a deeper understanding of my duties and comments on root on one. There just does not seem to be room for more than that.

    Thanks, guys.

    Appreciate your help.
  2. baddarryl

    baddarryl Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    My experience was often the chords on the sheets were wrong. IE something would be labeled a 7th Dom chord, but the gui****s would play Maj7 etc. Key changes on the fly due to the whim of the singers. Etc. I found the most important thing was to hold the bottom together and work that 1,3,5 thing to death. Also there are usually more than one version of every popular song. Best to know them all. We were on a team that played new stuff every week from a catalog of several hundred with only 1.5 hours practice before service on Sunday. I feel your pain! :bassist:
  3. Minus


    May 22, 2011
    Praise & Worship music is, IMO, a genre like anything else. My best advice is to just immerse yourself into it by playing and listening alot - it won't happen overnight, but you will soon become accustom to the flow & style.
  4. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    And yet, in some ways, it's also not a genre but an application of different genres to a particular purpose. There's a pretty wide range of styles within the realm of 'praise and worship' music. Immersion is definitley the way to go, and specifically in what songs/hymns the particular church plays and how they play them.
  5. baddarryl

    baddarryl Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Cape Fear!
    Here ya go!

  6. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    What are some of the songs you've been playing?
  7. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
  8. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Apart from age long-running thread on TB, obviously. :)
  9. Art Araya

    Art Araya

    May 29, 2006
    Palm Coast, FL
    This is the key question. It'll let us know what style of praise music your church is doing.

    Chris Tomlin style is different than Jesus Culture is different than Israel Houghton is different than News Boys...

    But if you've got the chord charts and a YouTube video of the version you are doing, you've got a great starting point.

    You don't always have to play roots. There's lots of pretty ways to embellish your line by playing inversion as part of a moving line, or to play the root but embellish it with neighboring tones, etc...

    The key is that in praise music, the lyrics are the most important thing. You don't want your playing to draw too much attention to itself while the lyrics are going on. You want to support the lyrics. You want to add to the sense of worship journey thru the use of rhythm, dynamics, harmony at key points in the song to cause the song to soar or to get pensive... You've got opportunities to really tap into your emotions and creativity on your instrument. How does one capture the majesty of the throne of God in a bass line? How does one in the next song capture a sense of bowing ones heart, knees, and life before this God? You can express all of these spiritual states and emotions thru your instrument and thru your choices. Add some vibrato, dig into the note, double up the rhythm, halve the rhythm, play a pedal tone, play a third rather than the root, use an effect, stop playing and intentionally leave a big hole for the congregation to fill during their worship, etc...
  10. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I agree, while there may be a couple of sub genres of sacred music where you no longer hear the church styles in popular music, for most of us playing bass guitar or especially drums in church we will be adapting a secular genre and applying it to sacred music. And just as in pop music the local community dictates what is good, bad, overplaying, underplaying etc
  11. Lot of Chris Tomlin

    As you mentioned I'm focusing on the lyric word and augmenting the vocalist and then hitting the chord changes dead on. I'll try to get some chord tones into this weeks practice and see where that takes me.

    Thanks guys. Appreciate the help.
  12. This guy covers a lot of stuff you may be interested in. Simple, Tasteful and accurate.

  13. Art Araya

    Art Araya

    May 29, 2006
    Palm Coast, FL
    A great resource for worship musicians is RehearsalMix.com

    You can get enhanced tracks for many worship songs. They have lots of Tomlin's songs on there. You can get versions of the songs where the other instruments are mixed way down and the bass is mixed very up front. It makes it very easy to hear the actual bass line, the tone/effects the player is using, whether he's playing with a pick or his fingers, etc...

    They have different MP3s for all of the instruments on a song. Each of the rehearsal mix tracks is made from the actual original mixes. They're not just EQed versions of the songs.

    It's a great resource that perhaps your church will invest in. If not, you might want to purchase the bass tracks on your own for the tunes that are giving you a hard time.

    Feel free to shoot me PMs. My church does several Tomlin songs. Perhaps I can help you with a specific song?


  14. Art Araya

    Art Araya

    May 29, 2006
    Palm Coast, FL
    If you want ideas for how to approach these songs - check out YouTube. For very popular stuff like Tomlin's, you'll find the studio version, a couple of live versions, and then many churches covers of the songs. With all of these different performances of the same song you can get lots of different ideas to draw from.
  15. Yes, this is what I am trying to do. Accent the lyric word, the drums lay down the beat and I accent the key word in the phrase.

    It's the old, less is more. Three note phrases. Which I was trying to do with just the root.

    Thanks for the video. That helped with letting me know I'm on the right track; just going about it wrong.....
  16. mr sprocket

    mr sprocket

    Jul 31, 2006
    The bass lines in the Tomlin songs are more basic with roots and a few inversions. A good deal of straight rhythm to drive the song. I think Chris and his band listened to a good deal of U2 growing up.

    You can find many videos for Tomlin, Baloche, Crowder, Redman, etc on youtube. There are some similar patterns used because it works it driving the song without over powering.

    Remember to listen to the whole team when playing and you will do fine.
  17. bassfuser


    Jul 16, 2008
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

  19. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Judging from the OPs preferences that does not seem the genre he is playing in. However if he is in a crossover church I would make it a study site.

    I would also check out their keyboard and organ room
  20. All really good advice right there! In most current praise music the bass is what is sitting under everything driving the song (usually with steady 1/8 notes) and helps give the song movement. In the worship tunes (whether an actual bass, loop or pad) the bass has become a useful tool to enhance the feeling of "immersion" in the music. The big waves of bass frequencies easily spread throughout the room really making it feel like the music/moment is happen all around you instead of just in front of you. Most p&w tunes all borrow from a I-V-VI-V variation, and if you've had any interval training or play enough tunes, the melody will hint at what chords are coming up next. More open style groups like Jesus Culture often play the same progression for the entire song to allow the players the freedom to add embellishments as they are inspired. Inversions are your friend as a worship bass player because it allows you to add variety by playing different notes without changing the chord for the rest of your bandmates.

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