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The Church gig thing

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

  1. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    When I lived in Germany in the 80s, the church service was very classic traditional off the air base. Hymns....some in Latin could be heard often in acapella. Here in Fort Wayne, at Saint Michael's where I play Saturday afternoon service with the group Life Song, it is Contemporary Christian music about 8 to 9 songs. There is no organ. Now, at Mount Calvary where I play for the group Golgotha on Sun mornings, there is a huge pipe organ that the Music Director plays for early service. We play 3 to 5 songs. Some are Contemporary Christian, some are traditional hymnal based songs about a 50/50 mix. Most of the time there is no blass player unless I am there and there is not a lead guitar player. The MC plays piano and/or guitar depending on the song. He is quite an accomplished pianist and I am hard pressed to learn the music. I have been at this for just over two years. It is interesting how the music varies from one Lutheran Church to another in the same town.
  2. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    What I noticed right away when I first moved to Ft. Wayne, IN from California is the high rate of volunteerism in this city. People volunteer for almost everything here.The same is true of the musicians who play at the various churches in the area. The Music Directors are the paid staff member and the musicians are the volunteer staff and that seems to be the expected arrangement. My wife owns a face painting business and she is often asked if she does face painting for free. She uses the same argument...Do you ask your plumber, electrician, doctor, lawyer etc. to work for free? There is a well entrenched devaluation of the arts and the people who are artists whether it be face painting or musicianship here. Many churches here are struggling just to have enough people for a praise team. This is the case at Mount Calvary. It is not the case at Saint Michael's where there are four praise teams, Two Contemporary Christian, One Americana, and One Blue Grass. There is the choir group, a handbell group and a musical puppet show group (which is very good I might add).
    The music director at Mount Calvary is toying with the idea of a musicians' pool in the Lutheran network where if a church is short a musician say a bass player, one could be contacted to fill in to cover the need. I like the idea myself because playing at more than one church is making me a better player because I have to learn to work with a different group of people who have a different taste and style of performance. I am also learning many more songs than I normally would if I just played for one church. Each praise team tends to favor a certain set of songs so the more praise teams that I am involved with, the more experience I get playing songs and not necessarily in the same keys. St. Michael's praise teams does one song in G but Mount Calvary does the same song in A. Nashville number system helps here. I am digressing here, sorry.
    The idea here in Ft Wayne, is that church musicians are playing for the Lord and that should be its own reward without compensation. However, I still view church performances as a "gig" because I am playing before a live audience. The experience of playing in front of a congregation has made me a better player...overcoming stage fright, learning to work in a group, meeting deadlines, etc. Since I have signed up for Sweetwater Sound Music Academy, the Build a Band program. I am looking forward to playing to an audience outside of a church venue. Like all artistic pursuits, you have to continue to push yourself beyond your comfort zone to improve.
  3. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    These songs have a great R and B groove....oooo...I like!
  4. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Check these guys out. They take actual sermons and edit them to heavier music.

  5. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Just speaking for my church, a lot of people with special skills do donate their time to the church. Our MD gets a small stipend, but considering all he does, he's making a big contribution. He's a retired school principal, so he can do that. The only other people who are paid are the pastor, the secretary and the custodian, all full time jobs. If we had to hire out every fix-it project, IT problem, gardening, etc, we'd never make budget. We have folks teaching sunday school every week. Should they get paid? If we paid the muscians, then do we pay each choir member? They put as much work into their role each week as I do playing bass. What it comes down to is we are all glad to contribute in our own ways to the life of the church.
    Jhengsman and Tony Johnson like this.
  6. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    Yeah, we do it because we want to do it for the life of the church.
  7. Drgonzonm


    Sep 4, 2017
    American SW
    I ran a bingo for a church. It was my policy to pay what the electrician, the plumber, the hvac people asked. I recieved no flak, from the pastor. It was surprising how many discounted their services. I did not ask for the discounts. I agree that services requested need to be paid.
  8. Tony Johnson

    Tony Johnson Guest

    Jun 27, 2018
    I just completed an invoice just now for face painting for a local church and gave them 10% off our normal rate because the event is for their school kids. The client did not ask for the discount, I just gave it to her. Services requested do need to be paid but a little break on the total price never hurts especially when kids are involved.:bassist:
    Drgonzonm likes this.
  9. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I definitely see playing in a worship team or as a solo musician/singer as different than a gig in clubs, bars, parties, concerts, etc

    It has a different feel and intention to it for me.

    While both involve okaying for others, possibly with others, they have different goals in my mind.

    The Church "gig" is not a performance, at least int he same way the other ones are.
    I have been in churches where it seemed like that though--and it distracts from what I see as the purpose.

    That said--use what instruments you have that fit the congregation's overall style & theological bent.

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