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Post new topic Playing Church music
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Author Topic:  Playing Church music
Fred Rogan

 

From:
Birmingham, AL USA
Post  Posted 11 Dec 2015 11:55 am    
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Playing with a Praise Team and while I sometimes struggle with Church music (other than playing a pad)I really am not sure what to do here. Suggestions on how to play over this?
thanks


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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 11 Dec 2015 12:48 pm    
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If you aren't playing lead, I'd just play the chords, full three string.
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Fred Rogan

 

From:
Birmingham, AL USA
Post  Posted 11 Dec 2015 1:03 pm    
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good advice Erv - how would you handle the passing chords?
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 11 Dec 2015 1:13 pm    
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Key sig is G. So that should give you some reference.

The chords behind the slash / are for the bass. For the most part, I would just play the changes in the middle register behind the vocals. If I were expected to play fills or solos, I would just use the melody for reference out of the key of G. JMO.
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Fred Rogan

 

From:
Birmingham, AL USA
Post  Posted 11 Dec 2015 1:23 pm    
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good points Jerry - thank you!
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post  Posted 11 Dec 2015 2:14 pm    
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If there is a full band, I'd play single note legato lines. Too often, we add clutter.
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Fred Rogan

 

From:
Birmingham, AL USA
Post  Posted 11 Dec 2015 2:24 pm    
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thanks Lane - glad to hear you say that. It can get very cluttered with guitars, mandolins, pianos and then a steel. I get invited only about every couple of months so I don't want to clutter it up.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post  Posted 11 Dec 2015 2:36 pm    
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Pretty legato fills between the phrases
"Little bombs of tastefulness".
Sparse bits of beauty that make the song better will likely increase the frequency of invitations.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post  Posted 11 Dec 2015 3:12 pm    
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I got a pm asking me what I meant by "legato."
I apologize for any confusion, and I'm happy to explain any unfamiliar terms.
Legato means, in Italian, "tied together" (like the word ligature).
Its musical use means "smooth and connected; without breaks between the successive tones."
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 11 Dec 2015 3:22 pm    
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I don't see playing diamonds on the changes as clutter....rather as background reinforcement.
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Ford Cole

 

From:
Texas
Post  Posted 11 Dec 2015 3:50 pm    
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This ties right in with the post in the Players section, Love this trend...
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John Goux

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 11 Dec 2015 11:26 pm    
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The fraction chords are not only for the bass player. As an example, measure 2 is a full bar of Emi with a D in the bass. That spells Emi7. So you can play notes in a Eminor triad, plus you can add the D note. This also is an indication for your own passing tones and fills. In bar 2, D notes work, but D# or C# (the maj 7 or Maj6) will probably sound like mistakes.

Another effective way to use those fraction chords is to track the bass line on the steel. Very often with fraction chords the baseline is a melody on its own. You won't hurt the cause or get in anyone's way by shadowing the bass movement an octave or two higher.

Also, the written key signature is one sharp, or G major. That's your key for playing harmonized scales for walkups and fills.

And ofcourse you can play it safe and stick to the triads in the top of the fraction.
John
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Clyde Mattocks

 

From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 12 Dec 2015 12:08 pm    
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What I was going to comment, Lane said it better. I would play between the singing phrases (much less traffic there) and avoid big chords since you'd probably clash with someone already playing them.
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Jim Robbins

 

From:
Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 13 Dec 2015 10:01 am    
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Here's one approach that would be pretty:
Verse 1 lay out until "Rejoice" & then pads

Verse 2, 3: John Goux's suggestion of tracking the descending bassline an 8ve higher up "Rejoice" & then 2 or 3 note chords in a higher register with the rhythm of the singers.

Verse 4 lay out until rejoice, maybe a very discrete fill or 2, then come in as in verse 2 & 3.
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Fred Rogan

 

From:
Birmingham, AL USA
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2015 6:29 am    
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Guys - thanks for all of the great responses. I played last night for the service and it went very well. I always try to do things that do not sound too country when playing at church(this is not cowboy church - not that there's anything wrong with that)and your suggestions were very helpful in that regard. Merry Christmas to you all!
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Scott Duckworth


From:
Etowah, TN Western Foothills of the Smokies
Post  Posted 14 Dec 2015 11:17 am    
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Fred I played in our Christmas Cantata a few years ago. Did three songs, two were the defacto standard southern gospel type (Come & See What's Happenin' in the Barn and Mary was the First One to Carry the Gospel). The third one was "Not an Ordinary Baby". Boy, did me and the solo alto singer have fun with it, written in the Black Gospel flair!

I started out with just some echos of her in the high register, then when the song kicked into full gear, I did some full chord (three note) slides and transitions. Needless to say, people paid attention and helped us keep the beat by clapping along.

On regular gospel stuff, I tend to do as Erv suggested, maybe some three note chords on every other or even every down beat, and if I find a place to get a quick fill, do it. As they say "Let the Spirit Move Ya!".
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