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The Church gig thing

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


  1. dsamudio

    dsamudio

    Oct 22, 2007
    Fort Worth Texas
    I currently lead the praise band for my church and we have performed many of the songs listed as well as several gospel songs.

    I've played in gospel churches and many of these songs are open ended and turn into a jam.

    DS











     
  2. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    I have often thought that was the case. Lutheran Services are rather on the tame side and they tend not to jam. Now, at rehersals.
     
  3. acleex38

    acleex38

    Jul 28, 2006
    This is the closest I've seen to anyone else describing what we have going on with our church music program - in fact, other than denomination (for me, Episcopalian), it's an almost-perfect match. The biggest difference is that we do have a handful of paid "ringers" that play regularly to fill out our two rotating bands (2 singers, 1 keys, 1 drummer -across both bands) because our volunteer pipeline of qualified players dried up a bit.
     
  4. saabfender

    saabfender

    Jan 10, 2018
    Indianapolis
    Mormons (probably others also) have this prohibition. It extends to "outdoor" instruments, like brass, as well. They do not pay their musicians.
     
  5. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    Same here. The music director is paid and the band members are volunteers from the congregation. Surprisingly, we have enough volunteers for four separate music groups. I play in the contemporary music group.
     
  6. acleex38

    acleex38

    Jul 28, 2006
    We have traditional and contemporary services - one choir (run by the MD) and the two alternating contemporary bands (run by the MD, music selected by the former band director who was burning out and has passed personnel stuff to the MD). We'd love to be all volunteer but we just don't have the depth outside of guitar and bass players.
     
  7. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    At Saint Michael's, where I play on Sats, we have the four groups. At Mount Calvary, where I play on Suns, we barely have enough people for one group.....three vocalists, drummer, piano/guitar, and bass. I understand what you are saying. Most churches here, are bare bones when it comes to praise team members and in the Lutheran circuit here it is all volunteer except for the MD. Understand completely.
     
  8. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    We have way more keyboardists than we need, a couple of drummers and plenty of singers. But if the guitarist or I are out, they are out of luck. It's really hard to keep a praise band going in a small church with no money to pay outsiders.
     
  9. acleex38

    acleex38

    Jul 28, 2006
    We have a lot of guitarists - the skill level just varies widely.

    The one thing we (usually) have enough of is bassists. Two regular bassists and one former bassist who need on lead guitar more. We've had to bring in an outside sub *once* since I started there. I recruited a friend (the guitarist/host of the open mic I help with) - he had such a good time that he has refused to invoice the church (the two vocalists that week are old friends that he introduced me to via open mic, so it was Old Home Week for them all).
     
  10. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    Yeah, my group says the same thing....no bass or guitar or neither really hurts the overall performance of the praise team. The MD at Mount Calvary plays piano or guitar depending on the song. I am just thankful for what we have on Sats and Suns.
     
  11. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    Wow surplus of bassists! When I was at Sweetwater Sound for open mic a few weeks ago, the MC said that they were hurting for bass players in their Build a Band Program. Right away my wife pointed out that I was a bass player. It is interesting how the access to musicians varies from place to place. I signed up for Build a Band BTY.
     
  12. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    There is a constant need for musicians in churches and playing in a praise band is enjoyable. I am 60 and would rather play in a church environment than a smokey bar. 20 years ago, I was 40 and could handle the bars but not now. Bandmates are much more pleasant and everyone is there for a clear reason and egos tend not to get in the way. This has been my experience for over two years.
     
    Jhengsman, gln1955 and dan1952 like this.
  13. acleex38

    acleex38

    Jul 28, 2006
    That "former bassist" is the rector's brother/former band-leader/current lead guitarist/current song picker. Of all of those jobs, his favorite was bass (the one he does the least). At this point, he gets excited when both my counterpart and I take vacation at the same time. It's happening this week and next week - it didn't take much arm-twisting to get him to say yes.

    When it comes to finding subs, we're fortunate that our on hired-gun vocalist (joined the church for both the music and to find a church home for her kids - but still collects the paycheck) is a gigging pro with lots of former bandmates and connections and our hired-gun keyboard player and drummer are both gigging enough to have lots of folks to call. I got to play with a sub drummer last week who was a pleasure, both musically and personally. I'm a little bummed he was a sub - who knows if I'll get to play with him again.

    Have fun with the BaB!
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    Tony Johnson likes this.
  14. dan1952

    dan1952 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Owner - Dan's Music, Inc.
    Agreed! Our BL is a great singer, picks a wide variety of songs to play, the drummer is a friend of mine for 50 years and we've played on and off for 50 years. No late nights, no smoky bars, plus the obvious (to me, anyway) benefit of being there for the right reason.
     
  15. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    when i was playing full time i took some church gigs for the pay (and an easy gig!). some churches paid very well, but most of the ones i played paid $100-$150 per sunday (one or two services, including a rehearsal, usually).
     
  16. acleex38

    acleex38

    Jul 28, 2006
    Yeah - for us each week, it's 4-6 songs. Three calls (1 rehearsal, 2 services), $50 a call.
     
    JRA likes this.
  17. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    All of this, plus I like being able to just carry in my bass, plug and play through a good sound system.

    I can't remeber the last time there was a fist fight or people throwing things at us ;)
     
  18. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    Yeah, that just carry in your bass, plug in and play via a good sound system takes all the hassle of setting up bass cab(s), amp, pedal..etc all away. No fist fights, flying beer bottles, or hecklers. It is not a bad gig even as a volunteer.
     
  19. dsamudio

    dsamudio

    Oct 22, 2007
    Fort Worth Texas
    For me the issue has been pay or the lack of.

    I started at my current church as a paid Bassist, but by my choice I've been playing for free for over a year.

    In that time, I've also picked up the sound man and MD duties for the church at no pay.

    I truly believe churches should pay their skilled players based on how the Levite's of the temple were compensated in Leviticus.

    I've been in many churches where the churches are willing to pay for a solid bass player until the program is established and then ask players to play for free.

    I have 2 degrees in Music and my first question to them is "Do you ask members of the church who are accounts, plumbers or HVAC specialist to perform their services for free?"

    As an MD, if the player is paid for the service they can be held accountable to a performance standard. For a new church with young Christians, stability and consistency are key factors and this helps with stability and consistency.

    There is nothing wrong with providing services for free, but it is my hope that the churches understand the value of the free services many musicians provide.

    Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

    DS
     
  20. Drgonzonm

    Drgonzonm

    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    I been playing in the rc, off and on for almost fifty years. I would 80 to 90 percent of some of the music we played was hymnal based. In last 20 years, it's gotten to be 98 to 99 percent. If my memory of classes serves me correctly, there are 4 levels of music, with hymns being the lowest level.
    In our parish church, we have had bass players for at least 20 years. This includes upright. I have not seen organ music in the parish for at least 15 years. The last keyboard about 5 years ago.
    In the rc, minimum music in a service, is 11 songs. Four or five which are hymns.
     

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