Music in Church

Sunday afternoon we had a band workshop for the worship team musicians. We watched some of the LeadWorship Band Workshop put together by Paul Baloche, then Jill and I shared some thoughts, and then we had a great discussion about how to play music in church effectively. After we watched the dvd, here was one of the things I touched on:


The music of Coldplay and Death Cab for Cutie are great examples of modern music that is both electric guitar and piano driven, and also music that thrives on space. Only during the biggest parts of each song is each instrument playing. They both do a near perfect job of playing around one another. I think their music is a good reflection for how we can be effective as a worship band as well. Often the sheet music does a great job of showing you where your part begins and ends. But the ability to be a thinking, feeling, musician takes more than just reading sheet music.

Worship bands at many churches ruin the atmosphere of a time of musical worship by overplaying. I don’t think it is necessarily lack of skill or lack of passion. It is simply lack of preparation and listening. Lack of preparation makes you feel like you need to play more because you aren’t sure of when not to play. Lack of listening to the other players puts you in the situation of being unable to know where the band is going with a song.

How to learn to be simplistic:

  1. Listen to the music several times before you play to pick out your key role in each song.
  2. Play with the cd for a bit, and then turn off the cd and play with a metronome.
  3. During rehearsal, play with everyone. The eye contact will allow you to see when a song is taking off and coming down.

I know a lot of musical people read this blog…

What is the one piece of advice you would give a worship band?