Worship Band Builder Podcast

How to Make a Worship Band of Beginners Sound Great and Have Success - Episode 5

March 24, 2020 Eric Michael Roberts Season 1 Episode 5
Worship Band Builder Podcast
How to Make a Worship Band of Beginners Sound Great and Have Success - Episode 5
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Worship Band Builder Podcast
How to Make a Worship Band of Beginners Sound Great and Have Success - Episode 5
Mar 24, 2020 Season 1 Episode 5
Eric Michael Roberts

“Hello, and welcome to this episode of the Worship Band Builder podcast, where we are working with you to lay the foundation for skillful worship! I’m Eric Roberts. I’m joined by my co-host, Emily Roberts.”

Subtitle: Putting your best stage foot forward with a team of beginners.

  • What is the main goal?   To worship.  
  • Choose songs the band is very comfortable playing, and the congregation likes to sing!

Capo is not cheating

  • Use the simple transpose function on keyboard 
  • PlayandSingTV Music Theory Unlocked eBook - available in the online store http://playandsing.tv/ebooks/

Simplify 

  • Drop complicated underlying parts
  • Drop scary or unnessary chords..... Play and sing music theory i licked 
  • Delete or simplify solo

Performance confidence  

  • Be comfortable where you are  
  • Set realistic goals and expectations (knowing your team limitations) 
  • Plan ahead and communicate - It goes a long way to building confidence in the other musicians  

News!!! 

Special interview with Jason Stewart “Bubba" from the Kentucky Baptist next week.  

Episode Promotion: 

https://worshipbandinhand.com/rehearsals-and-practice/

Worship Band in Hand was conceived while app designer Lee Bridges was visiting a family member's small church. Lee's experience in the Christian Music Industry, working with artists such as MercyMe, Phil Wickham, Paul Baloche, Bebo Norman, Rush of Fools, Tenth Avenue North, Newsboys, Third Day, and many others, led him to think that there should be a way for churches of any size to have a more powerful sound in their worship music. After the idea had been formed, Lee designed the app over the course of a year! 

Now, as part of the MediaComplete Family, Worship Band in Hand has joined a company that strives to equip churches with all the tools they need to add another dimension to their worship. As innovators in church technology, MediaComplete created MediaShout over a decade ago. The company continues to lead with tens of thousands of churches using MediaShout as their Worship Presentation Software. 

Show Notes Transcript

“Hello, and welcome to this episode of the Worship Band Builder podcast, where we are working with you to lay the foundation for skillful worship! I’m Eric Roberts. I’m joined by my co-host, Emily Roberts.”

Subtitle: Putting your best stage foot forward with a team of beginners.

  • What is the main goal?   To worship.  
  • Choose songs the band is very comfortable playing, and the congregation likes to sing!

Capo is not cheating

  • Use the simple transpose function on keyboard 
  • PlayandSingTV Music Theory Unlocked eBook - available in the online store http://playandsing.tv/ebooks/

Simplify 

  • Drop complicated underlying parts
  • Drop scary or unnessary chords..... Play and sing music theory i licked 
  • Delete or simplify solo

Performance confidence  

  • Be comfortable where you are  
  • Set realistic goals and expectations (knowing your team limitations) 
  • Plan ahead and communicate - It goes a long way to building confidence in the other musicians  

News!!! 

Special interview with Jason Stewart “Bubba" from the Kentucky Baptist next week.  

Episode Promotion: 

https://worshipbandinhand.com/rehearsals-and-practice/

Worship Band in Hand was conceived while app designer Lee Bridges was visiting a family member's small church. Lee's experience in the Christian Music Industry, working with artists such as MercyMe, Phil Wickham, Paul Baloche, Bebo Norman, Rush of Fools, Tenth Avenue North, Newsboys, Third Day, and many others, led him to think that there should be a way for churches of any size to have a more powerful sound in their worship music. After the idea had been formed, Lee designed the app over the course of a year! 

Now, as part of the MediaComplete Family, Worship Band in Hand has joined a company that strives to equip churches with all the tools they need to add another dimension to their worship. As innovators in church technology, MediaComplete created MediaShout over a decade ago. The company continues to lead with tens of thousands of churches using MediaShout as their Worship Presentation Software. 

Support the show (https://worshiptheking.com/partner/)

Eric :

Hello and welcome to this episode number five of the worship band builder podcast where we are working with you to lay the foundation for skillful worship. I'm Eric Roberts and I'm joined by my wonderful, beautiful cohost, Emily Roberts. Thank you Eric. That was, no, it was so sweet and it was because she's making me do this episode over and over and over again because I am ranting on about worship band in hand, which is an app that was designed in 2012 that was nearly like 10 years ago. I'll tell you, she wants me to keep it short. I wanted to rant on about this for awhile, but she, I've got it on my phone. I'm going to make it short. Worship band in hand is good for rehearsals and practice. You can have less rehearsal time. You can fill in missing parts. You can isolate parts, you can loop a section, you can sync a setlist.

Eric :

You can improve your skills. Look, this app, I've used it. It's amazing. You can basically have a whole band in your hand. It's what it says. It is worship band in hand. You can only know how awesome this app is. If you just log in to worship band in hand.com, check it out yourself. If you have questions, email me because I love the app and I just want to talk about it some more. But today we're talking about putting your, your best stage foot forward with a team of beginners, a team of beginners. Yes. So I think what we're saying here is that we don't have any ringers. There's no virtual sell on this stage. Maybe, maybe beginner isn't the right word, but, but our band is at a basic level of playing. Okay, so you're a worship leader, you're a church music guy, you got a band of beginners, abandoned the beginners, and they're just, they're all about just regular average players.

Eric :

There's no, you know, like Lincoln Brewster hasn't showed up yet. He has an audition for the team. You don't have some guy in there and maybe you have one really good guy, but most of these people are on your worship team, just basic players and you're trying to make the worship good, right? You're trying to make the band jive, so we're going to talk about how to do that. I, this is actually a pretty cool episode. I'm excited about this in my ministry. This is, this is what usually happens. You don't show up and they say, all right, here you go. Here's your pro level players. All of them are here to do whatever you say. Just go for it right now. That's typical. That's not typical. If that happens, then you know you probably just pinch yourself and you'll be awake. So the whole time, but they're like, okay, you're the worship leader.

Eric :

Let's do this. So you don't, you don't want to get up there and this is a little bit about performing. You don't want to get up there and just totally be terrible, right? It's of course you want to be excellent. That's the whole point of this podcast. Skillful. So we're going to talk about these things I have on this paper. Amazing things you can do. Simple things that you might've even thought of and yes, you have permission to do all these to make it look like you're doing a great job with just beginners. Well you are a great job

Emily:

and I think you hit the nail on the head there when you said simple, you need to keep it simple. Don't pick complicated songs to begin with. That would be the first step.

Eric :

First up, you have it right here. Two songs. The band is very comfortable playing and the congregation likes to sing. Hmm, that's revolutionary. Everybody turn off the podcast and go pick a song that your congregation likes to sing. We've gone off the deep end. Pick a song that your congregation likes to sing, not not your favorite song. Forget your favorite song that that's, I'm just being kind of funny. But that's true. Pick songs that are easy, that you are comfortable playing and that your congregation likes to sing. So first of all, you got to figure that part out,

Emily:

right? Well, I mean if we're starting from day one then the song selection should stay in the key of C or the key of G. something like that. You know, we're, we're right at the beginning. If you put some B flats right, we don't want to let a bar chords and crazy stuff. What we, if you've been at this for a while and you know what your team has played in the past, don't be afraid to pick that song again. Even if it feels like not this song again. Yes. This song again, because that's the one they're good at. That's the one the congregation knows and will sing along with. And the key here is to allow people to worship, right?

Eric :

Yeah, she's right. And you know, I would always struggle with, well we've done this song like so many times, but when you try to pick new songs with beginning bands or early stage bands, then it gets harder the more songs look, and some of you guys asked me this and I see this on a lot of forums, you should have like maybe a hundred songs maybe for the entire year. I mean like maybe 70 songs, maybe even 50 songs that you know that you're going to do for the whole year that you're doing over and over again. So you can't be doing new songs every week. You can't be picking all these songs. Nobody knows it doesn't work. So if you're just starting out 30 songs, 40 songs tops, I'm talking like the whole thing and you're going to roll off that top 10 or 20 that you really know well. Okay, so that, that's just keep the song selection what they like to hear, what you're good at playing and keep it small. Don't have, I think a lot of people have that thought process like we're going to have these hundreds of songs we're going to play and that's not going to work. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat over and over again and your band is going to get really good. Even beginners will start to sound really good playing the same songs over and over again.

Emily:

When you're ready to choose a new song. I would say don't be a hero. It is okay to use a cable. It's not, it's not cheating to use a cable.

Eric :

She's right. I have been accused of cheating with my keto many times and I did think it was cheating to use a caper when I was in like high school, early college before I realized that everybody was using a keto and it was so much easier. And I was like, forget this, this isn't this. So maybe, maybe it's sorta like cheating cause it's like so much easier. But it's, it's um, I watched a guy play a whole concert. It was a big worship concert. He was like a dove award-winning guy. He played the whole thing with a cable. He just moved it around and I was like, okay. I mean everybody loved it. And that's when I think I started realizing this keto thing is legit. I even use a cable on electric, so that's weird. But so do a lot of professional players, like high end pro players are using cable on electric and it has more to do with the voicing and the sound of the guitar than it really does the ease, cause I can play on the bar chords. It's not cheating, but you're going to have to use one, so please, please. This is probably not a major deal, but there are some people we're giving you permission basically from this podcast to use a Cape oat, always use one and to pick the easiest voicing of the chord and use the same four chords the whole time. If you want, you're going to sound amazing

Emily:

because again though, the goal is to help people worship. It is not to have your congregation watch you struggle to form your courts. Let's, let's keep the goal in focus. You can even kind of use a Cape O on your keyboard.

Eric :

Oh yeah. Think about that. That seems like to me to be kind of like cheating, but we're going to blow it out of the water. If you have a keyboard with a transpose function, you can play all the white notes on your keyboard and you can just move the little transpose up. Now if you're watching my play and saying YouTube channel, the one that I just launched, I'm doing that too. I'm using the transpose function on my keyboard. It's right behind me. It's amazing and I can play in those other harder keys, but I'm not that, I'm not, you know, virtuoso piano, there's some pianos can really get all over the keys and maybe they don't need it and use a transpose function. But the majority of church piano players knew kind of the chord world. Piano players are going to feel much more comfortable in like C or D or G. that's it. So if you can use the transpose function, do it. If you're not sure, check out more of my videos because I teach a lot of that on my playing sing channel. So do that. All right, let's go on. What, what is this? Um, simplify. Simplify. Oh my goodness. This is, this is a key.

Emily:

So now we're talking about songs that, you know, you, you run into these songs where there's just going to be a lot of extraneous courts.

Eric :

Yeah. You got, you know, in HIMS especially, and this goes to the core value of our eight chords, a hundred songs program from back in the day and now the easy play and sing TV stuff. The hymns have chords like every beat. Dun, dun dun dun chord. Chord chord does never sounds good on a guitar. So we have made those songbooks to where you can play one chord for like every four chords that the piano player would try to play in a hymn version. And you gotta realize when they're playing the hymns, they're tr, they're transpose, they're playing these hymns with the chords. Every note changes. They're changing harmony. Yes. So if you see five or six chords in a line or in a measure, you got four chords, you can actually simplify that down. And I have a new book, a new ebook just coming out.

Eric :

I mean, it's literally just, I think today it'll be, it'll be out today for sure. But the play and sing music theory unlocked ebook, go to the website, go to worship band, boulder.com/ebooks okay. You can find it right there at worshipbandbuilder.com/eBooks and it is about the same thing. Taking any song in a hard. So if you have a song in E-flat or if you have a song that has like four sharps, you can actually transpose that down to G. you can remove chords that are unneeded, unnecessary chords. You can drop complicated underlying parts out of the song and make it simple. And you can do that. Once you understand music theory, it's not super hard. And I show you that in the ebook, but it's really a key to playing and sounding good, especially for beginners. If you put the best pro on a chord chart with chords changing every measure and they're in, you know, E flat where he's got bar chords, he's not going to sound that good.

Eric :

I don't know. I don't care how good he is, it's not going to sound that good. So part of this is the knowledge of going, Oh, that's unnecessary and not going to really work. That's not going to be great. It'd be like going to the Indy 500 and you're like taking your in a new Chevy trailblazer out there. Like let's, let's race. Just common sense here. And that's like that. That analogy is like way dumb. Right? And would it ever do that? So maybe this isn't as dumb as that. But the point is once you simplify it and once you understand the methodology, you're like, yeah, I'm not going to play an E flat and yeah, I'm not going to play six chords per measure. So it's all about learning that mindset and getting that mindset down. It's, it's something that takes some time and once you unlock the theory, you'll be able to do it all right?

Eric :

You got to have confidence when you perform though. And that's what we're going to talk about next. I'm looking here at the confidence performance and this has everything to do with this. If you showed up in the Indy 500 in a trailblazer, I mean, I don't know how confident you could feel right now that that wouldn't be great. So you gotta be comfortable where you are. You've got to set realistic, realistic goals and you got to plan ahead and communicate. We're going to talk about all three of those things in this segment about being comfortable on stage. Okay? And making your band comfortable. So there's three port parts. It be comfortable where you are, how you're not going to be comfortable with the wrong song chart, the wrong key, uh, trying to play a bar chords, all of those things that we've just talked about. You're never going to be confident on stage if you don't get those things right.

Emily:

Well, practice is going to help with that. We're going to hopefully start with the right chord chart. Um, a lot of times that doesn't go in our favor. Uh, but we can get that right while we're practicing. If you've picked songs that, that they are already fairly familiar with, um, you know, or you just spend time practicing this one new song you've chosen to add, those things are all going to help us get to the confident part of showing up on Sunday knowing that we're ready to play. Right, right. And then you have to set realistic goals and expectations. You have to know your team's limitations. I think that's the big part. Do you have limitations? Does your team have limitations and do you know what they are?

Eric :

You're the leader. That's your job. You should know the limitations. If you cannot know that, then you're going to be frustrated. Most, I'd say most like 60 or 80% of the time you're gonna be frustrated because you're gonna be bringing charts. You're going to be bringing songs that your bands like. I don't know how to play that or I'm not sure how to play that and you're just going to be frustrated all the time.

Emily:

Well, if you don't know that about your band, then it's safe to say that you need to stick with simple songs. Even if you're picking a new one, pick something easy. Um, and just stay in your wheelhouse with that. I mean, uh, you know, you know what you're good at, you know where your capabilities lie and if your band is somewhere in your neighborhood of competency, then um, pick the songs that, that will work for you.

Eric :

Yeah. If you, if you pick songs that they they're not comfortable with, that's, I think this is sort of the [inaudible]

Emily:

of being

Eric :

sort of like a Jedi musician where you're kind of doing stuff and people are going to go, wow, this is pretty good. Even if you're only playing four chords, and even if your band is kind of like very beginner, you still want to come across at the end like, wow, this was really good. The point is if you're leading worship and you're trying, you're being up there, you're trying to be as skillful and as good as you can. So I'm not saying just dumb everything down to the most dumbest point. And so you don't have any skill. I'm saying that you're often stuck in situations where your drummer is a lower level than every other musician. So if you've got everybody else's pretty good, but your drummer's real beginner, you're going to have to stay back. You're gonna have to go down to his level basically.

Eric :

Does that make sense? Yes. You have to get down to the lowest level of your band and play there, but still it can still be good that that is you having like that skill to get everybody down on the same level. If you're, um, you've gotta say killer drummer session drummer, and you've got like, you know, a piano player that's only plays four chords, you're not going to be able to really go to the, you know, session player style, worship, band, whatever. But it's not that you're not going to sound good, you just gotta grow that from the ground up. This is the last point, and it's probably in this thing with your band really important because if you don't, if you do this, you're going to get further with even the most beginner players. If you don't do this, then even with good players, you're just gonna.

Eric :

It'll be a lot of failure and it's planning ahead and communicating. So even as a professionals player, if somebody tells me like in 10 minutes we're going on stage and throws like a bunch of charts at me, I'm going to struggle, you know, unless I know the songs. And really well, so, well you're just winging it. I could just wing it and I can wing it pretty good. You know, I've been winging it my whole life. You know, I've been winging it scenarios a lot. So at the end of the day, if you really want to win, you have to plan ahead and you have to communicate. So if you don't plan ahead and you don't communicate, even the best musicians are going to be put off. You know, I've been able to wing it most of my life and I'm good at winging it on the guitar. But if you plan ahead with me and you communicate far in advance, I'm going to be a much better player and minimizes errors.

Eric :

Yeah. And that gets magnified like a thousand times with beginners. So sometimes beginners, they get fear in their eyes. Like if you'd hand them a chord chart and say, we're going to play this new song today. Even at practice, you know, if you say, Hey, we're going to redo this song instead of the song, you can just see the fear. Like they're just not ready. I'm a professional. Or if somebody who's used to winging it may be like, yeah, give me the chart, let me look, got a couple minutes. But as a leader and as you're trying to be putting your best foot forward with a beginning band, you have to communicate the further in advance. You give them the charts, the further in advance, the less things that you change along the way for them is going to make them a better band. So do all those things.

Eric :

Hey, next week we have a special interview with Jason Bubba Stewart from the Kentucky Baptist and uh, you know, I went up there several months ago and we sat and we talked about a lot of really cool stuff. So it's next week on the, on the worship and Boulder podcast, you will be hearing from my good friend Jason Love steward from the Kentucky Baptist. It's a, it's going to be good. He's got some great insight. He's a worship consultant and he goes all over the state of Kentucky. Um, really loves what we're doing and his insights into how to grow worship team are really awesome. So God bless you guys. We'll see on the next episode.

Speaker 3:

[inaudible].