Playing in a band is a lot of fun. I think everyone who likes music even a little bit thinks about starting a band. It’s a great experience to create music with other people. One thing I’ve noticed though, is that each musician tends to think that their part is the most important–it’s a human thing, I’m convinced. As a solo artist it is not really a big deal but when you’re playing in a band this can be a really big problem because it ends up making a big mess. From a front of house perspective, mixing a group where everyone is doing their own thing is a nightmare.
I think the hardest part about playing your part in a band is that sometimes you’re NOT playing your instrument. It is difficult to not play when you’re holding your guitar or have drumsticks in your hand but for the sake of the end goal, the song, the environment we create as worship leaders, it is sometimes necessary. We can also tie this into an article that I wrote in regards to simplicity. If the arrangement of the song or instrumentation is simpler it leaves more room to focus on the elements that are important, most often the vocals, and the message they’re delivering.
The biggest takeaway I want you to get from this article is that being a part of a worship team (read, band), is that you get to work together to create the end product. Sometimes that means that you take turns playing or you simplify your parts so another part can come through in specific section. I hate to crush anyone’s dreams but sometimes you may always play the supporting role and not the lead. That is okay. In the end if our hearts are submissive to what God is doing through us, we are all leading worship.
The message that we get to deliver during our services is the greatest message in the history of the world. I believe that message is communicated through lyrics and words during the sermon, but also through our instruments and how we work together as a team. If we don’t work together though, we can distract from the message. So make sure you’re listening to the other musicians while you’re playing. Listen for what they’re doing and figure out how you can support it.