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The Church gig thing

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Clemouze, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    Hi all !
    I m from France and spend a loooot of time reading threads here in TB.
    One thing that always question me is when I read about church gig, church band, church PA etc..

    Can someone please explain me the whole concept ?
    In US church there are gigs ? Some religious songs ? After the praises and stuff like that ?

    Hmmm I guess this is not like the church gig in Tommy !
    saabfender and zon6c-f like this.
  2. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    I can't explain it but here is an example.
  3. Rompin Roddy

    Rompin Roddy

    Jun 29, 2016
    Yeah, most Christian churches in the US usually have music of some kind, ranging from organ and voice (cantor), to a Capella choir, singing pastor etc.

    Lots of churches have a band for musical accompaniment, usually at least a keyboardist, add drums, bass, guitar, sometimes more depending on the church.

    And they can pay.
    Jhengsman likes this.
  4. Rompin Roddy

    Rompin Roddy

    Jun 29, 2016
    Aside from playing hymns and/or modern gospel/Christian, there's also what's often referred to as "talk music", when the pastor is riffing off some talk rhythm, the band follows him musically, like adding music to his speech patterns. It's pretty cool.
    Jhengsman likes this.
  5. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Churches have been the main venue where most people experience live music for pretty much as long as there have been churches. I'm sure the OP is aware of that, there are churches in France after all. I assume what you're asking is more about churches as gigs for bassists, which are not instruments for your typical choir or organ music.

    Certainly in American churches, in addition to those that use traditional hymnbooks, you get churches with other styles of music. Probably most common would be the gospel music of the African-American tradition and the "Praise-and-worship" or "Contemporary Christian" style of white (mostly) evangelical (mostly) churches, which tends to be a kind of light rock. Either of those would have a role for a bassist.

    Whether it's a PAYING gig or not depends entirely on the church, its budget and its philosophy.
  6. Clemouze


    Sep 1, 2016
    Paris - France
    OK thanks for these answers !
    Right, that was the "modern" instruments place in a church that was questionning me !
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  7. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Hillsong in Australia is probably the biggest machine cranking out contemporary Christian stuff. The kinds of churches that use this material often have a kind of "concert" vibe to them, especially the big "megachurches."

    This one is an actual concert - their musicians put out albums and tour:

    But you can see the vibe is not that different in a church service:
  8. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    More of my customers play in church these days than play bar gigs. Weird. Okay, but a big change from 20 years ago.
    Woodstockz likes this.
  9. It’s an easy way to earn money as a musician here

    To each their own but I just won’t do it

    I’ve talked with so many who are agnostic and just do it for the easy money

    I just won’t do it as I think money and religion seems to me as hypocrisy if not blasphemy But who am I to judge

    JC became furious at the money changers in the temple { contemporary version of bake sales , yard sales and fund raisers in the church }. JC was a carpenter by trade therefore if he had a job then preachers and ministers should have jobs and preach / save souls for free

    JC preached out of doors and in my opinion was a socialist

    Again who am I to judge but playing for $ in a church is against MY principles
    IamGroot and basst scho like this.
  10. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Pretty much every weekend that I’m not on vacation, or celebrating our anniversary or my wife’s birthday, I’m playing at one of the churches near me - sometimes a couple churches in a weekend, as one has Sunday evening services. Look up Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, Bethel music, etc on Youtube, and you’ll have a good idea of the material at most of the sevices I do. The rooms I play range from 400 to 2000 seats - typically sized for Christmas or Easter crowds, so a typical weekend service is 50 to 60 percent full, and we do a couple services on Sunday morning. Some of the folks I play with are paid; I’m at the stage of life where I don’t need the money, so I volunteer my time and talent.

    Talent level in the bands I play in is... very high. Some churches require everything be memorized, I do that on all but a few services.

    Biggest difference between plaing bars and churches: playing bars I got home at 5AM. Nowadays I get up and head to the gig at 5AM.
  11. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    There's a very wide range of size and professionalism in American churches. I play in what's probably a typical small Methodist church. The only one paid is the music director who, in addition to running and playing piano in the praise band, also directs the choir for the traditional service. Everyone else is part of the congregation and does not get paid. Several of the musicians are or have been gigging musicians or singers. Others, not so much, so the overall quality of the music varies.

    The P&W music ranges from "soft rock" to country to things with a Celtic vibe. A couple of times a year, the music director, our best drummer and I play jazz arrangements of traditional hymns. Overall it's a easy low pressure gig.
    Woodstockz likes this.
  12. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    The members of the church along with the professionals working for the church play modern instruments. Maintaining the skilled musicians and the traditional pipes of traditional European churches, which were often originally built with large government patrons. Along with the space for those instruments is not affordable by most congregations.

    While the large churches can fit in the pipes, they are not going to drop the faithful who were there as they grew into that position of being able to
  13. basst scho

    basst scho

    May 30, 2017
    i´ve always wondered, what churches you have there in US, when i see such threads.
    basses don´t fit in church around here (catholic, don´t know about other ones.)

    i had a good laugh from a thread here about best dirt pedal for worship, and things like "hail satan" were suggested :D
    Clemouze and zon6c-f like this.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yep. My church has a full band playing modern music before the "preaching" part of the service. I play every third or fourth week. We have two other bass players.

    Our pattern is usually three songs that are radio-style modern Christian followed by a quieter "call to worship" song just before the pastor comes on.

    Here are a couple of typical songs most modern churches would do. (Not trying to preach to you. Just giving you examples of songs that require a full band to play.... and thus create the need for a "gig" for some bass players.... paying or not.)

  15. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    The first church service I attended that had guitar-based music instead of hymns was Roman Catholic, back in the 70's. Interesting that this still isn't common in Europe.
  16. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    America has a head start on freedom from a state church to which a plurality are nominal members of and other managers above the local church level thus more diversity in church types because of local innovations.
  17. @Clemouze - here's a modern church band singing in French in your home city of Paris. I've been there myself when visiting friends.
  18. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    I wouldn't expect anybody to know this but there was effectively a state church in many of the original USA colonies. The Congregational Churches were the established church in Puritan colonies (Conn, Mass, New Hampshire). and they were not tolerant of non members, especially Quakers. If you lived in those areas, you paid a church tax if you were not a member. This practice went on until following roughly 1812 war, when Baptists type churches negotiated repeal of the tax in exchange for helping the war effort. You had to be a Protestant to hold office in New Hampshire up until 1877. The Church of England was the state Church in several of the original colonies, but was disestablished after 1776. Maryland, Pennsylvannia, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Delaware never had established churches.

    I took an American history course from a professor who specialized in religion in the colonies many years ago. I finally got to show off. I am also going to a discussion group on Calvinism from Cromwell to American Covenant Theology next week to learn more about this interesting current in religion.
    instrumentalist and zon6c-f like this.
  19. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    I really enjoyed playing the large church gigs. Excellent professional experience, excellent pay. However, the church message became increasingly disturbing to me so I left and never looked back. My own church has an organist and hymns that often date to Martin Luther's time. Not very trendy.
    zon6c-f likes this.
  20. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    Even in French I recognize the song....the universality of music. Look at that stage lighting.
    Groove Doctor likes this.

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