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January 16, 2013

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Transitioning – Part 6 – Determine Needed Instrumentation

by Kenny Lamm
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As East City Church transitions its worship service to a unified style of worship (see story), they will need to equip their musician resources to handle contemporary styles of music in addition to the traditional styles that they do so well. Fortunately, ECC already has a worship band that leads worship in the contemporary early service. This will make the journey potentially much smoother than would be the case if all had to be developed from scratch.

Here are some of the points they need to consider:

  • Determine which of the members of the early service worship band will be willing to serve in the new unified worship service.
    ECC plans to continue its early contemporary service at this time. In order to avoid creating too much additional work, the music in both services could be coordinated to have as much overlap as possible.
  • Discover other potential instrumentalists who attend ECC but are not currently using their musical gifts in worship.
    Evaluate the potential players to see if they can adequately handle the musical demands. Seek out who God has placed in your church and find ways to utilize those talents.
  • Determine if any additional players are needed that are critical to your needs.
    Poll existing musicians to see if they know of any instrumentalists that might be interested in becoming a part of the group. Ideally, you will at least have drums, keyboard (your current pianist will fit the bill), bass guitar, and guitar. Incorporating additional guitars, hand percussion, winds, and strings can be a great addition as well.
  • Provide training for the organist to adapt to new styles.
    The organ (traditional pipe organ sound, not Hammond B3), played in the traditional way, is not appropriate for most contemporary styles of music. On those songs, the organ can either be silent, OR the organist can learn to use the instrument more like a keyboard pad instrument, providing some underlying colors in the background. (LifeWayWorship does a great job of scoring contemporary songs for the organ in just that manner. Take a look at all their great congregational accompaniments for all instrumentalists.) Still, there will be times the organ will need to sit out of some songs. Of course, your organist could really make some MAJOR re-tooling efforts. Take a look. (please, no ugly emails for this!)

Take a look at Part 7.

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1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Jennifer
    Apr 11 2013

    This is such an excellent seris and a wonderful resource. The issue of the organ can go smoothly if handled well. In our case we waited to fully transition to modern instruments untill our organist retired. There was much less friction, and it was easier to let the organ sound disappear as the congregation understood there was no one to play it.

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