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Rockin' the Pew

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by malthumb, Jun 16, 2001.

  1. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    In another thread AllodoX wrote:

    "You play your bass in church ?

    I'm not a religious man myself, and i haven't been in church for nearly 11 years now, but the last time i remember, there was only an organ... have things changed so much in the past few years, or is the band-in-a-church item an American thingy ??"

    Run, don't walk, to your nearest record store and pick up one of these titles by Fred Hammond & Radical for Christ:

    * Pages of Life
    * Purpose By Design
    * I Am Persuaded

    You will hear wonderful examples of how music in the church has changed and you will hear one of the best (IMHO) contemporary bassists around.

    Most of my playing these days is in church. These are by far my most enjoyable sessions. The reception of the audience is almost universally positive and the message in the music and the lyrics seems to be totally absorbed.


  2. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    I think most people think that church music is always boring! When i was in pennsicola Fl for a gig we was doing down there the next day,it was like 9 in the morning and I was trying to find breakfast and came across a church! The music I heard was awesome so I went in! At first I was surprised that it was a all black church and worried that I wouldn't be welcome but they didn't even realize I was there! There was a little fat black man playing bass and he was amazing man! Funked it up with the best so I really enjoyed that expiernce!
  3. well.. that's not it...

    I am pretty much anti-religion, ( hence the nickname.. " allodox " litterally means " different god " ) but since there are a lot of (pro-)christian bassplayers in here i won't discuss that in detail.

    It's just that in Europe, i've never heard of bands playing in churches..

    - adx -
  4. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Eric Atkinson wrote:

    "When i was in pennsicola Fl for a gig we was doing down there the next day,it was like 9 in the morning and I was trying to find breakfast and came across a church! ......There was a little fat black man playing bass and he was amazing man! Funked it up with the best "

    Yeah, that was me.....No wait,.....I've never been to Pensacola. :D :D :D


  5. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    Hey James, I hope they gave you that T-shirt after you bought these 2 basses!
  6. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    I believe in god myself but I just don't like organized religion in whole! But I loved that bass player! I didn't go to that church that day to pray I went there to watch that band! Id think about going to church around here if they weren't all organ players here! And man I knew I misspelled that city! thanks man!
  7. foolfighter24

    foolfighter24 Guest

    Apr 22, 2000
    I play in my Church's Youth Band (being 15) and I think its great! I get to play with really talented people and I get learn from the other bassist who plays Sunday mornings and is an awesome bassist. And the crowd is always great. An ideal situation, no doubt!
  8. I play quite a bit at church, it is just bassically me on bass, my pastor on acoustic, another guitarist on acoustic, a real good drummer that knows how to play softly and when to slam it, and a keyboardist. We do some originals and some covers. The first song we did was "God of Wonder" and everytime I hear it on the radio I get the chills.
  9. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I bass bass for my church in UK. We have links with a church in Romania. So thats two in Europe.

    Apart from the God/worship/pushyChristians issues that have been covered in many closed threads, I get to play bass to an 'audience' of 200-400 people about 50 times a year.

    In the 7 years I have been at my current church I have learnt a lot about playing with different musicians and learning songs.

    The band leader is full time. We rehearse most Thursdays and before each service. There is rota system with 2 bass players, 2 drummers, 3 percussionists (2 of which can play drums) 2 keyboard players, 2 guitarists and loads of singers. The current leader is an excellent keyboard player as well.

    I am also playing in a band for town wide meetings and play in two normal bands (1 bass and 1 guitar).

    Church music is not dead. BTW theres a guy called Ron Kenoly and take away the God stuff its good music, look down the credits and Abe Laborial plays bass and Chester Thompson plays drums. I however do not advocate or inflict Christian Rock music on anyone.
  10. sailor


    Jun 10, 2001
    Playing the bass in church has gotten me started playing again. Some of the guys in the church and I have a little band started and now I can't believe I ever stopped playing. The music in churches has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Most any style of music is being used now to spread the christian good news. Now, if I can only find that 5 string I am looking for. Thin neck, fat B, easy playing and a natural finish. That would be perfect.
  11. People like Matt Redmon and bands like Delerious are putting out some really good Christian music from the UK.

    Playing in Church is a great oportunity to grow as a musician. It's also steady gig and there is usually more of a supporting feel when playing the bass. Your not there to be a "rock star", you are there to support the vocals and to provide good environment for worship. This means you learn to play with a minimalistic approach and not do anything that distracts from the worship.

    Playing in Church also carries with it a big responsibility. It's not just another gig. There is only one reason for music in a Christian Church and that is to glorify Jesus Christ. Each musician needs to understand that and be personally responsible for his/her relationship with God. Just something to think about before taking a "Church gig".

    I'm glad to see there are so many other Church bassists on talkbass.

    Thanks for reccommending "Radical for Christ" Malthumb. I checked out some audio clips of some of their songs and was really impressed. I think I will pick up one of the titles you suggested!
  12. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Church has been my only gig for the last four years, mainly because I work weird shifts and can't commit to a band. But I CAN make it to at least one service a week, sometime three or more. When I was back in the states, I was playing all over town, and was either in rehearsal or playing live up to five days a week. It was nuts, but in a good way. :)

    I started playing at church mainly to get up in front of people, and to get my reading chops up. I mean, I knew how to read, but not how to do it on bass. It was a train wreck at first, but now I'm a machine (relatively speaking). I end up playing the left hand piano lines mostly, but I play them as written (rather than 8va) to add a little beef. I still have to transpose octaves sometimes, but since I play tuba, ledger lines are no sweat. And if the lines suck, I ad lib, especially to add rhythm. I can read treble clef too, so I can double the melody if I feel the need (which isn't very often). I much prefer charts though, so I can do my own thang. I've had the chance to do youth rallies and pretty sizeable outdoor gigs too. Yeah, sometimes it's a drag, but at least I get to play EVERY tune, unlike the guitar players who have to sit out on the real moldy oldies due to the chord voicing. And in general, the music is much more varied than your basic rock/pop stuff - lots of odd keys and just about every kind of feel short of death metal. You can't beat it for variety.

    It's also a way harder gig than a garage band, IMO. You have to think dynamics, phrasing, tempo; you have to play with taste. Instrumentation can vary wildly depending on people's skeds (esp in the military); one week you have 20 pieces, the next it's just you and the piano (gulp). And if you screw up, you don't have a bunch of distortion to hide your mistakes. I can't tell you how many instrumentalists I've seen come to one practice, and then leave because they couldn't hack it (I couldn't for a while either, but I'm a masochist ;) ) And man, do you need a five string (I'm now discovering).

    But even with all of that, I still long to play "Free Bird" for a bunch of drunks...:(
  13. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    They did notice you were there, Eric. What did you want them to do, bring the whole thing to a screeching halt and ask what you were doing there?

    Don't assume anything. It makes an ass out of u and me, er, them, yeah, them.
  14. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Ohhh come on now don't try to make me look like I am prejudiced or something! How many times have you been to a all black church in the south? I wasn't sure if I would be welcomed or not! I am not like that my sax player is black as black can be! And he told me I had balls to walk in there and set down!
  15. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Hey, Eric. I'm sorry you got the impression I was trying to make you look like you were prejudiced. I was not.

    Two or three times. You see, my uncle is a pastor.

    Well, as they say, different strokes for different folks. I don't know the particular neck of the woods you're in and I don't know what people frequented the church you entered. There's just too many variables.

    Now it's your turn to double-dog-dare your sax player to go into a "White" church and sit down.

    Y'know, not having been raised in the States, this concept of dividing churches along color lines makes me retch. It's probably one of my biggest problems with religion in this country. If faith knows no color, why are churches split this way? I know it's sort of a segregationalis inertia and methods of worship vary somewhat, but why must they be exclusive to one or to the other? Oh God, what fools these U.S. Mortals be! Stupid country.
  16. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Most of the country isn't like that too bad! But down south it still is bad! My sax player would go into a all white church here were we live but not down there! Too many pickup trucks with rebel flags flying from them! Sorry I jumped the gun man! I hate prejudiced retards! I grew up with so many around here and when I started playing jazz you cant be! And all my old friends gave me a lot of crap for playing with a black man and letting him into my house and letting him eat at the same dinner table! I cant belive I ever had friends like that! Hehe I know this sounds like a after school special sorry!
  17. Ok, this is starting to get silly. Let me clear some things up. I live in the south and would have no problem walking into a black church and the members of that church would welcome me just like anybody else. The same would be true of a black person attending our church. I attend a white church I guess because I feel more connected with the people there. It doesn't mean I don't love my black brothers in Christ.

    I think some of the people on this forum from the northern states and other countries have been watching to much TV.

    The south is not like it used to be or like it is pictured on television. The town I live in had a sign hanging on main street back in the 60's that read "Welcome to Greenville. Home of the blackest land and the whitest people". (the soil in this part of Texas is black)

    A black church was burned down a few years back and it received nationwide attention. The media was all over the place, the Black Panthers came to town and marched around the burned church brandishing their weapons, the KKK came from surrounding states and held a rally.

    The whole time all of this nonsense was going on all of the black and white churchs in town came together, held a prayer rally at the local football field and began rebuilding the church. Both of the hate groups that came to town were pretty much asked to leave by the whole comunity and ended up looking stupid for trying to stir up trouble. That is an example of Christian fellowship.

    They found the guy who burned the church, it ended up being a mentally retarded young black man who had no racial motivation for what he did.

    Sorry but I felt I needed to clear up the sterotypes.
  18. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Actually here in Souther Missouri its still very very bad! I consider it the south! There are not very many blacks around here and I think they would like to keep it that way! In my very large high school I could count the black people on one hand! It was all rednecks! Sucked for a long hair like me almost as bad! I have to say that the coolest people in the world live down in Mississippi and Alabama! I love the south! But here its very bad my friend! Way to many pickup trucks around with rebel flags and national rifle stickers in the window! I would love to move down south but family things would stop me at this point! You know moving my daughter would kill her!

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