creating a practice schedule that works.
I know I’m not the only musician to have an extremely busy schedule. I need to make time wherever I can. Sometimes it feels like trying to move a mountain just to get 10 minutes a day to play guitar. If I’m not careful, I can go all week without touching a guitar. At first it may not seem like that big of a deal, but this can be detrimental to improving your skills. Louis Armstrong says it best:
“If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it.” ~ Louis Armstrong
It doesn’t take long for a lack of practice to affect your ability to play your instrument. Rehearsing not only makes us better at our craft, but it makes playing more comfortable and enjoyable. If you want to be the best you can be, it’s necessary to follow some guidelines to keep you on track with improving your skill set. Continue reading “Productive Practicing” →
Keep your mind on the goal.
Anticipation is an absolutely necessary trait for a Music Director. For some it is natural, and for others not so much. Even if its a difficult thing for you, it is something worth improving on.
When you’re MDing a service live, it is crucial to pay attention non-stop from beginning to end of the service. This is a difficult task. It means you cannot completely let go and just worship. This seems like a very negative thing, but what you’re doing makes a much greater difference when you look at the big picture.
Continue reading “Focus & Anticipation” →
Let me walk you through a situation that I encountered earlier this year..
Church pre roll is on and as a band we’re waiting back stage to come out onto the stage and start our service. We usually have about 1.5 -2 minutes to get tuned up and prepare for service while pre-roll video is finishing up. In that time I make sure the team is ready and call for the drummer to prepare to start the track. At this point we have about 7 seconds before blackout and start of the service. I call to start the track so its playing by the time pre roll is over.
The next thing I see is one of the worship leaders who happened to notice there was something wrong ran over to me and signaled the computer isn’t working and we don’t have a track. We were playing Real Love by Hillsong Y&F so obviously we cant play that without a track considering there are approximately 14,586 synth layers and drum effects we would be missing.
Its go time. What do I do? We have a back up song but this is a very young & new drummer and he might not know how it goes. Another second goes by. We have to get going. I need to make a call.
Continue reading “Avoiding a Train Wreck” →
You’re playing through the final chorus of your church’s favorite song. Usually you’d bring it down at the end but the congregation is worshiping powerfully and you know God isn’t done with this moment yet. You take a step back in between lyric lines and signal to your drummer to go back in to the bridge.
You sing out the last few words of the chorus very strong and prepare to keep things going. You take it up to 11 and really power into your churches favorite bridge. Anddd….. the band ends the song… But you’re still going and man are you ever committed. You’re already 4 words into the bridge and strumming your acoustic guitar like you’re trying to kill it. Sometimes these “failed” moments can be powerful but the way this one unfolded it was far from powerful. Powerfully awkward is more like it.
There was a breakdown in communication.
Your team is great. Its not their fault. You’re great. Its not your fault. It just so happens the drummer wasn’t paying attention when you made a call. And its not his fault either. Its probably the 50th time he’s played this song and you have never gone back into that bridge.
I know… you know where I’m going with this… “Every church needs a Music Director.”
That’s not what I’m saying.
But what I will say is that I believe that moment was supposed to happen. You were sure of it. God was taking your church somewhere.
Continue reading “Why Your Church Needs a Music Director” →