I have been asked to lead worship for our small church. It will be my first time to lead worship, as our regular worship leader will be gone this Sunday. I play bass, and for my team this week, I have a keys player, drummer and a semi-good acoustic guitar player. (Mostly can play bar chords but he is getting arthritis.)
The songs I have chosen and sent out to them in this order:
Call to Worship - Hosanna (Praise is Rising) G
The Stand A
Open the Eyes of My Heart E
Better is One Day E
Glorious C - this is a new one, our congregation hasn't sung..
Can you give me any tips. I had to stick to keys I could sing, but I suppose I could change the order. I am sort of locked into the songs now, as the group has had them for about 4 days. The keys player and the guitar player sing backup, and I usually sing back up. So I am somewhat used to singing and playing at the same time. Just REALLY nervous.
Thanks and God Bless
Somewhat well is not bad at all. And with another rehearsal tonight you might just find things falling into place.
As far as leadership for the band - try to explain your "vision" for each song (tempo, feel, how you build, who comes in where and drops out when), so that the band can "be there with you". When I run a rehearsal I usually talk through the songs (in order) so everyone has time to mark their scores and make notes (have extra pencils ready for them). From there we go back and play through them. I find it's a lot easier on the musicians if they know where I'm coming from before we start playing.
And I agree with Wulf, it couldn't hurt to give "Better Is One Day" another shot tonight. It may come together better after everyone having time to digest the rehearsal.
Hang in there...sounds like you're on the right track.
So, if you guys could just help me out with this. It would be great. I planned out everything to show them the structure for everything. I would like to run it by you guys. I will talk to the band tonight about Better. But I had a song in the wings, I Am Free. Here is what I am thinking: (Could I get some help with arranging the set??) I would like to end on the Stand, since it is slow, and has a great ending. I need one for call to worship, which then is a break to announcements and prayer before worship starts.
I Am Free (C) - 136 bpm
BREAK TO BASS-DRUMS,KEY PADS (SPEAK TO CONG.)
Hosanna-Praise is Rising (E?G) - 114 bpm
Open the Eyes of My Heart (E) - 112 bpm
BUILD - V,V,V,V
B,B, - MIX - B,B,
COULD GO BACK TO CHORUS IF FEELING LED
Glorious (C) - 102 bpm
The Stand (A) - 77 bpm
(CHORUS INSTRUMENTAL 2X)-POSSIBLY 1X
BUILD - C,C,C,C,
(CHORUS INSTRUMENTAL 1X)
I just got done talking to my guitarist. He is willing to let the Keyboard player play guitar on Better is One Day. So consider that to be back in the mix.
You already have a lot of really good sugestions going here, the only thing I will add is when I first started leading worship all I could play was bass, now I lead with guitar, bass is really different for leading and like some others have said you have to rely on the guitarist or the keyboardest to keep things together and flowwing esspecially in the slow spots, that they don't drop out and leave you hanging. I'm glad you are going for another practice to help with that. As theleader i would really stress to either the guitarest or keyboardest or both to really watch you so they know when to keep going when you slow down or stop, comunication ahead of time is key.
I find that I prefer to lead on bass. Now that I've got used to the challenge of playing and singing at the same time, it is great to be working right at the foundation of the sound. Mind you, I am playing a six string bass and I am not averse to throwing out a few chords, so I guess I'm already intruding into guitar and keyboard territory even though my strings are of the thick, almost unbreakable kind.
BTW, how did it go Ryan? We're past Sunday so your leading slot must be done and dusted.
Yes - How did it go?
Side note: We had a wonderful weekend (our denominational annual conference) and one of the worship teams there had a young man (that I have known since he was in middle school) leading a team from a string bass. It was awesome!
Our congregation's team played Wednesday evening and my son and I got to back up an Israeli musician (who wrote a LOT of Paul Wilbur's material) on Thursday evening and Saturday evening..
I've led a couple of times from my double bass this year (although mainly relying on the fact that it is such an impressive looking and beautiful sounding instrument that I can often get away with just plucking an open string from time to time rather than playing anything too demanding!)
Well, thanks to all the great advice here, and especially some quiet time with the Lord in the sanctuary early in the morning, I would say that it went well. I messed up a couple of times, on the last song, due to dwelling too much in the spirit, and forgetting to play a portion and then I came back in at the wrong part, but singing the right part. IT IS HARD playing and singing at the same time. But I know that would improve in time, if I gain the chance to lead again.
Glad it went well. As a guy who's been a professional musician for the past 20 years I can say this about the mistakes...they happen. A perfect performance is a rare thing. Don't dwell on them...just keep moving forward.
Great! I am glad it went well. As to "messing up" I do that, sometimes a lot, but no one other than the other musicians ever seem to notice.
You could practice singing with just you and your bass at home to get used to singing melody but playing a bass line.