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Funk, Country Western, Etc.

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Had to come out of seclusion for the earlier CW and Funk threads, and didn't want to risk hi-jacking the original threads.


With 40+ years of solo piano (stndards, light jazz, and light CW) plus traditional church music on AGO-type organs, I began looking last year for opportunities to get out there and get in with a group of other musos in my area (far SW Chgo burbs). I now play DP and synth in a Contemp. Christian rock band at a local church and occasionally sit in with several friends playing classic rock and "modern country". I'm enjoying it, but practically all these others play guitar and I feel like I'm from a different planet than they are. It's probably just me, but has anybody else had this experience?

Al, the Piano Guy
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Hello Buzz. First off - I've very little experience with these "praise bands" I notice mentioned a lot on forums - electric instruments, drums. If I'm in a church chapel cathedral whatever I'm probably playing Bach accompanying a choir or a soloist - something like that.


I've a bass player chum who came round for a few jams a year back. He's heavily involved in one of these praise bands - writes tunes and lyrics for them. You chord your way through it according to him, just like jamming a folk rock or country rock track.


I've seen some of the stuff that appeared here about thirty years ago - Graham Kendrick I think the main writer was called. Old hymn books started to disappear and it was really godawful stuff that didn't scan and sounded like bad rehashes of country and western tunes.


In the UK our boyband grown up Gary Barlow does a good job of rewriting bits of hits and charting with them. Maybe that's the secret. Stevie Wonder is on record as saying no one does anything totally original - and Stevie's stuff is really interesting. Cram in any more "interesting" harmony and you'd be in Steeley Dan territory - desperately clever - but desperately seeking a tune (my opinion - I know they're gods over there).


Anyway, long answer above, short answer, it's still a band, play less, enjoy the company.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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I agree with StillGiggin's last comment. In a band you don't have to play as much as you do solo. If there is a bass player, don't play bass lines. When I didn't have to cover bass parts with my left hand, I mostly played single notes with my left hand. Once I was teaching a song to another keyboard player and he said "What do you do with your left hand?" I said wave to people in the crowd. For the most part, Keep the right hand simple as well. You have help to fill out the sound. Leave space for the others.
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