So many times we’ve heard, “do not show off” or “this isn’t a place for you to rock out”. I know, because I have said some of these things myself. But at the same time, you shouldn’t limit yourself. You are a musician. Creative limits are barriers that hold back what God may what you to demonstrate.” But how?” you may ask yourself.
“When it comes to showcasing my talent or my gift, how do I know when to contribute and when not to contribute?”
Here is the answer, or more of an example: You have a new song to learn, let’s say “Forever” by Bethel Music. Learn the song verbatim. Learn it exactly like the track so your band is totally aware of what each member is playing. Play the song live like this a few times as well, let your church become used to your parts and used to the song as a whole. Then, when you feel that the time is appropriate, like when the Holy Spirit is really moving, spice it up a bit. Even if it is just one or two notes, a small and swift change in the melody can really change the atmosphere.
Let’s take the instrumental in “Forever” between the double chorus and the bridge. The instrumental mirrors the melody of the chorus, now imagine adding a new element into that part that can help elevate what I like to call a “praise break”. The Lord can do some powerful stuff when we surrender with our creativity. It’s just having to know when.
The same can be said for other instruments. Let’s take the drums for example. Playing the song straight and as usual, then you can add a drum fill or a quick break between the bridge and chorus. Things like that can really shift things in the room. It is God using your creativity and being patient in finding areas to contribute.
Another area to showcase your gift is in an area where your song leader wants to campout on a portion of a song and you find space to add a lead. Start small, then if the leader calls for the band to build up do so accordingly but in a mindful manner. Meaning, watch your drives and delays. It’s not about how loud you can be, but how your dynamics can help build the song.
TIP: Whatever you do, do not contribute on top of something already in the works. For example, if a piano or another guitar is playing a lead, it’s probably best to not play on top or over that. That will only clash and can really ruin a moment for some of the team members and the congregation itself.
I hope this has blessed you and would love to hear stories here, or on Instagram or Twitter @anhonestsound!