Being a church musician is both a rewarding and challenging job. As an integral part of the worship service, you hold much responsibility, and it’s no secret that live performances can present challenges. We talked with our experts in sound, keyboards, and percussion to give you some go-to tips before you hit the stage next service.
Chuck’s Ten Tips for Church Musicians
1. Practice, practice, practice.
Make sure you arrive to every service knowing the music from beginning to end. Ruining a hymn could ruin a service.
2. Know how to improvise.
Have the ability to improvise when unexpected changes occur.
3. Know how to play in all 12 keys.
Be prepared for when the key is quickly changed on you to accommodate a certain vocalist or crowd. Guest vocalists, different moods, ANYTHING can happen! Be prepared to adapt.
4. Dress appropriately.
Remember that you’re in a sacred setting and that certain types of clothing may not be appropriate.
5. Don’t showboat.
Breaking out into an unplanned solo is not advised. Ultimately, the congregation is there for prayer and not for your solo.
6. Plan for growth.
When it comes to buying musical instruments and equipment for the church, make smart investments. You may not need the most tricked out keyboard on the market, but also make sure that you’re thinking in advance and preparing for growth.
7. Stay up to code.
Some older Wireless Microphone systems operate on what are now illegal frequency bands. Keep your gear up to date to avoid issues with operation. Computers, recording devices, wireless microphone systems all should be up to date.
8. Be on your game.
Pay attention the entire time so that you don’t miss a beat. You need to be ready to respond.
9. Communicate with the band.
Utilize pre-determined cues or body language to stay in sync with the rest of the band.
10. Accept that you have no control over the sound.
Whether the sound engineers are unprepared or the church is not outfitted with acoustic treatment or the appropriate sound system, realize that you may experience challenges when it comes to sound.
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