Monday, August 27, 2007

Most Difficult Musician Job

What is one of the most difficult jobs a musician is ever asked to do?

Leading worship with music.

Why? Because of...

1. Volunteer/unpaid musicians
2. Only one rehearsal
3. Rotating personnel
4. Changing set lists
5. Unfair comparisons to recordings
6. Differences in music reading ability

Allow me to explain...

UNPAID MUSICIANS - Most musicians aren't paid to play the right notes. They are volunteering because they love to worship using music and have a passion to lead others in worship. (By the way, I'll take an unpaid musician's passion to lead in worship over a musician who's paid for the gig who doesn't have the same passion anyday. That's why I consider volunteer musicians as 'unpaid staff.' They are that important!)

ONLY ONE REHEARSAL - Unpaid/volunteer musicians have one rehearsal to pull things together. Most professional artists have many many rehearsals prior to a tour. Most symphony orchestras rehearse until they know the music like the back of their hand.

ROTATING PERSONNEL - The rotation of musicians often changes from week to week. Most professional artists stay with the same musicians. When they do call a sub in, they already have the music down cold (otherwise they wouldn't be a good sub).

CHANGING SET LISTS - The music set list changes once a week. Most professional artists stay with one set list that they can tour with and repeat over and over again.

UNFAIR COMPARISONS TO RECORDINGS - Other worshipers are comparing the music to a recording they've heard. Often times the unpaid musicians are expected to reproduce musically what has already been done on a CD. And the front of house audio engineer is expected to reproduce a CD-like mix for worshipers. (Remember, a FOH audio engineer can do one of three things; make you sound like you really do, make you sound better than you really are, make you sound worse than you really are.)

DIFFERENCES IN MUSIC READING ABILITIES - Some musicians read music and others do not, makes communication more interesting. Most professional artists work with the highest caliber of musicians who both read and improvise at the highest of levels.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:51 AM

    Very insightful. It is always good to see things from another's perspective. As always, we appreciate your transparency.
    Actually, as just a member of the congregation, I think the music is done in an outstanding fashion and am amazed at the ability of the musicians. Keep it up! Joan C