Spinning off from the discussion of 'irrelevant skills', and particularly the subsection about what to call the chord spelt: B D F A C (Dm7/B... or Bm7b5b9) brought back to mind a question I asked at a gathering of my worship team last Sunday afternoon: what would you like to see written down to help you?

We've got some people who are very notation orientated - they want the dots (vocal parts / piano part specifically). Others like chord charts, although that's flexible term - I think I might be the only one, at the moment, who'd relish unpacking Bm7b5b9. As we're making more use of software like OnSong, I sometimes find it frustrating when the chords I'm shown are missing the little tweaks and inversions I'm used to using as a guide although I'm also not averse to avoiding or changing chords that don't sound right. We've also got some who don't use any music (yep - the drummers) or tend to play just from a lyrics sheet (an experienced guitarist).

As you can see, that's rather a lot of ground to cover. What do you hand round in your setting to give people a firm foundation for playing the music?


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And a happy Sunday to you, too :-(  I was expecting to read that on Sunday the bass shows up and plays unnecessarily complex lines, off the beat and occasionally a half-step north or south of the rest of the club.

We long ago gave up trying to sound anything like the recording - actually, I don't think we ever tried.  We don't have a keyboard player right now, but if we did I would forbid them from downloading the full score.  (Actually, what we DO have is an unused Hammond M-3 - sort of "mini B-3," but the same sound generation hardware - with a real Leslie speaker, and if somebody wanted to play keyboards, I'd want them to figure out how to play that).

I recall that "leading from behind" discussion, maybe you started it.  Although I am, nominally, the leader of our band, I've found that my role during the actual worship experience ( :-) ) is just to try to figure out what's going off the rails and trying to cover that.

I have found - and it took a while to work this out - that giving people chord charts they could mark up, and then the next time we did that song, they'd still have their markups from before - helped some people "play better."  Are you handing out fresh printouts of the songs each week?

Anyway, you have my sypathies for your general problem...

Whenever I try to share things like this, it comes out rather dark. Just me then?

Anyway, we collect the copies and file them so as not to have stray copies reproducing more copies that we can't then track, when each copy has our CCLI # on it.

One glaring problem with the way we do things is that we don't have a binder of our entire library for each person. We practice the songs for that week - that week. I find myself relearning the same songs over and over again, having partially forgotten details between performances.

Song binders are a headache. When I previously lived in London, we used small folders for most of our music and they required a fair amount of maintenance to keep them usable. Sheets would get worn round the punched holes and drop out, items would get filed in the wrong place or perhaps a new song would only be added to the binders used that day.

Whether trying small regular checks or periodic full revisions, there were always discrepancies particularly on days when blessed with a larger group. That is one of the things that has become easier now that we tend to use a digital system to display the music (well, chord sheets in most cases)... although it does then mean you are at the mercy of which version of a chord sheet a particular leader has in their repository.

I have to confess that I'm as bad as anyone else for creating my own customisations; what I'm trying to do is to make it as easy for the band on the day to see everything they need to remember about a particular song at a glance.



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