Monday, October 10, 2005

Singing while Playing

One of the recent comments I've heard is that people are 'impressed' that the instrumentalists on stage sing during our services. [Part of me cringes whenever someone tells me they are 'impressed' by what we do. I hope the focus is God - not us. But maybe that's for another post later on.] To be honest, I'm not sure how this "instrumentalists singing" developed - other than maybe by example Regardless, it is something that people have taken notice of.

The musicians have been singing the songs that they are not playing on - which demonstrates that they are engaged far beyond simply playing their instrument when expected. However, it is difficult for some musicians to be singing and playing at the same time.

Even I struggle with some "Trading My Sorrows" - I simply can't seem to get the correct lyric rhythm with the pattern on the guitar. Kinda like patting your head and brushing your teeth with your bare feet upside down on a rainy day. In those times, I defer to the vocalists to lead us through.

The point is - that musicians are worshipping beyond their instruments. Words matter more than music. I hate to admit it because I'm an instrumentalist by nature - but it's true. Without the meaning behind the music, music is simply neutral.

So I applaude the instrumentalists who are singing when they are not playing. I applaude the instrumentalists who are singing WHILE playing (what a feat in some cases). God is honored by those who are going beyond the music to the meaning behind the music.

I'll be honest...sometimes I get caught up with how my guitar amplifier sounds with effects; or how the underscore pad on the keyboard has a tinge of a didgeridoo; or even how clean and effortless a trombone lick might sound on a Brooklyn Tab piece. When I allow the music to become the focus, I then allow God to become blurry. It should be the other way around. The music should be a blur - but point to the One I should be focusing on.
God - help me to focus on You and to blur the music.

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