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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Cappuccino The Hell of Worship - pitfalls of church music (28) The Hell of Worship 18 Aug 02

It occurs to me that many of our Mudcat friends don't have to play church services or worship events, so you might enjoy knowing of the pitfalls awaiting those of us who do...

It's 8.00 am on Sunday, and I'm laughing helplessly at an e-mail from Mudcatter Jeannie, who plays her church this morning, and has come up against a typical problem.

For most of us, a normal show is a case of preparing material, rehearsing it, and doing it. Maybe the odd improvisation to suit circumstances, but no more.

Jeannie's typical experience is this - having spent two weeks selecting the right material, rehearsing it, getting all the links done, and so on, she is told at the very last moment by her minister that, without any consultation with the music group, he has decided to change the entire order of the service... with a couple of hours to go, her entire programme is shot to pieces!

This is by no means unusual, and Jeannie has just told me of a simliar case in one of those Spirit-led churches (where anything can happen, depending on the mood of the moment) where apparently the worship band came to the end of its rehearsed numbers, and somebody stood up and said 'I think God is telling us to spend the next hour in singing'... to the utter consternation of the band!

I've had this happen myself - some loony stands up and says 'I think God is telling me to sing 'X'', and launches into some incredibly complex song, expecting the band to sound like a note-perfect orchestra behind him.

And I myself have to play an old folks' service this afternoon, which has its own hazards. Not the least of which is an organiser who has actually been known to lead the congregation into the first song while we're still getting our guitars out of their cases!

If you've never played a church service, believe me... it can be a sight more testing on your patience than playing any other kind of show!

Happy Sunday, folks.

- Ian B

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