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Blues player does his first Gospel gig.


I-missRichardTee

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That would be me. Yesterday was my first Gospel keyboard gig,, with a bass player and drums backing a vocalist and the congregation.

It was a LOT of preparation including 3 rehearsals.

I think I worked for - minus 10 dollars an hour... that is MINUS ten dollars! But I enjoyed the learning experience.

 

If anyone knows of particularly helpful sources of info!

 

Observations:

 

Playing Gospel is not quite the same as Blues, which I may have incorrectly assumed before doing this gig . Blues ability certainly helps , but they ain't the same thing.

 

I think my long attention to voice leading, has been helpful in my mini transition to be a fledgling beginner in gospel keyboard playing.

 

I was worried about which keyboard to use... but found even the "generally not soulful" tyros was more than adequate for the job. In other words, I thought I needed a weighted action plus an organ clone wheel. But it turns out not to be necessary at all.

I even used strings to thicken the sound. There was no other player to add to the sound... which actually was a good thing.

 

I did not bother to go into the house PA... the sound person, turned out to be one of the 50/50 dicey possibilites that we do not appreciate... nice guys who know little about sound.

Probably better to be in a good PA... but even the 2 K10's on the floor, were as they say. "were fine".

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Congratulations on stepping outside your comfort zone and expanding your skill set and musical horizons.

 

I suggest to you that when the goal is to accompany the singer and congregation, a lot of the stuff we discuss at length here at this forum becomes entirely irrelevant: the perfect piano or organ sound; loud monitors to compete with a room of loud drunks; note-for-note renditions of the keys solo; etc.

 

Are you going to do more, or was this a one-off?

 

I often think I would love to do a rollicking gospel gig with a church band (like I used to hear most Sundays in South Boston). I have two impediments; I am not religious, and a lot of churches rub me the wrong way.

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It isn't the same thing but some of those guys are heavy hitters. Especially on a Hammond organ. In the black churches the console is the center piece of the Congregation I have been told. Also there is so much jazz and R&B influence you really have to live in that world to get a sense of it.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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Congratulations on stepping outside your comfort zone and expanding your skill set and musical horizons.

 

I suggest to you that when the goal is to accompany the singer and congregation, a lot of the stuff we discuss at length here at this forum becomes entirely irrelevant: the perfect piano or organ sound; loud monitors to compete with a room of loud drunks; note-for-note renditions of the keys solo; etc.

 

Are you going to do more, or was this a one-off?

 

I often think I would love to do a rollicking gospel gig with a church band (like I used to hear most Sundays in South Boston). I have two impediments; I am not religious, and a lot of churches rub me the wrong way.

 

Aw shucks Man, go for it... just develop more tolerance and embrace it!

 

Bearing in mind the KC rules to protect us from foolishness

and also Emerson's wisdom: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.";

I will attempt to walk a fine line here, with regard to those 2 impediments!

 

Life ain't simple, until you are a sage.

I can well relate to those 2 impediments , but I don't stop there! How about many clueless singers?

And what about rampant postmodern nihilism? ( This is highly related )

I want no part of any of it... I am inclined towards independent inspiration in music and in ideas and even beyond the realm of ideas.

Life is a mixed bag ( consisting of very mixed up minds), so I have to learn to separate the good contained within the not so good... if you know what I mean? So in spite of things I did not find myself drawn to... overall I enjoyed the stressful gospel experience.

I hope to do more. A local gospel fellow pianist , seemed to embrace me, saying he can get me on a steady Sunday.

 

it was so interesting making the connections about what works and what is not in best taste... my note choices. This is a fruitful stage of my career because of a steady Blues gig... far from ideal, but the steadiness is a boon to creativity. I am a big advocate of "do a steady gig or jam or rehearsal on a weekly basis... and do it for years. It is the single biggest difference between present time, and the good old days of the previous century when big bands and smaller outfits played A LOT. That is the key to mastery.

 

So my Blues organ playing has just effortlessly taken off. Now this Gospel possibility comes up... again, Gospel is not the Blues.. just highly related through the Black experience in America.

Between my affinity for Blues, rhythms , voice leading, and bass lines, I feel ripe to learn this new style of music. I do not have to entirely agree with the gospel ideas... but I still like the people.'

 

The gig was yesterday, and yesterday I heard two African Americans say the same phrase, that I had forgotten about. They both spoke of Letting the Holy ghost move you! These people did not know one another.. but both said it.

An interesting juxtapostion of intellect and spirit is going on here... in my being.

 

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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It isn't the same thing but some of those guys are heavy hitters. Especially on a Hammond organ. In the black churches the console is the center piece of the Congregation I have been told. Also there is so much jazz and R&B influence you really have to live in that world to get a sense of it.

 

When playing Gospel you really need to be a drawbar artist, and need to know Hammond techniques like smears and glissandos. The typical blues/jazz 888xx000 registrations are not always appropriate.

 

EDIT: and you REALLY need to know how to support a choir, which is a whole different discipline!

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Mike your right. Most of them start with the white drawbars out first as I was shown. You also have to be comfortable in Eb, Db,Gb and so forth. A lot of Rock guys aren't.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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It isn't the same thing but some of those guys are heavy hitters. Especially on a Hammond organ. In the black churches the console is the center piece of the Congregation I have been told. Also there is so much jazz and R&B influence you really have to live in that world to get a sense of it.

 

Yes Sir

Corey Henry anyone! And Travis Sayles?... oh yes... heavy hitters indeed.

 

Organ as centerpiece yes, that is my assumption also... but a local experienced gospel player told me a lower budget ( no conductor, no charts... I had to write my own ) gig like this,,, he would likely use a piano instead.. and likely wouldn't drag an organ.

His advice made sense.

I would never dream the yamaha tyros, the epitomy of non soulful, that keyboard was just fine. I had piano voice as prominent with a tad of B3 and or strings in the background. I had no possibnilty of fading voices in and out on the tyros, because my eyes were glued to my transcriptions!

This type of gig, at least my virgin entry, will definitely raise your adrenaline!

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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It isn't the same thing but some of those guys are heavy hitters. Especially on a Hammond organ. In the black churches the console is the center piece of the Congregation I have been told. Also there is so much jazz and R&B influence you really have to live in that world to get a sense of it.

 

When playing Gospel you really need to be a drawbar artist, and need to know Hammond techniques like smears and glissandos. The typical blues/jazz 888xx000 registrations are not always appropriate.

 

EDIT: and you REALLY need to know how to support a choir, which is a whole different discipline!

 

I tend to be a minimalist with backing others

For one thing... gigs are infrequent enough that you are not playing with same people all the time... so familiarity ( your friend ) is working against you..

Plus my technique is not anywhere near the virtuoso level.

But it is also my respect for the melody too.

 

I may reinvent my attempts at gospel... Monty Alexander I am not!

 

If time permits... show 2 demos that display how NOT to back a chorus and how TO back one! That is a tall order, but if you can!

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Congrats! Where was this?

 

The only part that I stumbled over was this:

 

I did not bother to go into the house PA... the sound person, turned out to be one of the 50/50 dicey possibilites that we do not appreciate... nice guys who know little about sound.

Probably better to be in a good PA... but even the 2 K10's on the floor, were as they say. "were fine".

 

IMO it wasnt appropriate to deem the in-house soundman unworthy of mixing your sound. While your assessment of his skill may or may not be accurate, the net result was that the guy you feel was unskilled had to do the even harder-than-normal job of mixing around your level the whole time. Not only is that potentially sabotaging FOH sound for all, its also, IMO, the kinds of waves in-house folks dont really appreciate outsiders making, which has implications for future gigs there.

"Ghost of Christmas Present" released 12.2.22 * (Not the jolly kind of Christmas song.)

https://joshweinstein.hearnow.com/

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Congrats! Where was this?

 

The only part that I stumbled over was this:

 

I did not bother to go into the house PA... the sound person, turned out to be one of the 50/50 dicey possibilites that we do not appreciate... nice guys who know little about sound.

Probably better to be in a good PA... but even the 2 K10's on the floor, were as they say. "were fine".

 

IMO it wasnt appropriate to deem the in-house soundman unworthy of mixing your sound. While your assessment of his skill may or may not be accurate, the net result was that the guy you feel was unskilled had to do the even harder-than-normal job of mixing around your level the whole time. Not only is that potentially sabotaging FOH sound for all, its also, IMO, the kinds of waves in-house folks dont really appreciate outsiders making, which has implications for future gigs there.

 

A Dude...that's you opinion Man. the PA folk were creating tons of feedback in the 2 or 3 mics on stage that were 30 feet from the band off stage. One singer said she gave up using a mic at all... either howling or NO sound at all!

Woefully inadequate.

I pay little attention to the details of a gig... a Hilton is all I recall, and a national collection of churches.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Time to go to school then......

 

[video:youtube]

 

Alright... nice demo, thank you.

 

A bit OT from the topic, but still useful for a related tangent or two.

 

The heart of his playing... the way he is playing that old Gershwin tune... is very natural to me. He is "hearing" that melody and variations, in a way similar to how I might hear it.

What you are pointing out is all the aspects I am less inclined towards and or, less able to perform.... the glisses and so on. Melodic interpretation is one thing and the added fills and frosting atop the melody is another thing.

 

For me that solo, is all about that genius melody.

Followed by his way of hearing it

I could easily play it similarly BUT minus the flamboyant glisses , the ornaments.

Another point... Preston's style aka ornaments, are more entertaining that just feelingly playing the melody as I would.

For some reason I am resistant to that style. I appreciate it, and the skill and artistry behind it... it remains to be seen if I develop in that direction.

 

I am a minimalist melodically... I like all sorts of variations in melodic expression but so far I have not gotten into the glissandos etc Billy masterfully pulls off.

 

As far as a Gospel organ gig... I suspect the congregations will appreciate some fireworks... I do not know my future development in this area.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Youtube is your friend!

 

Many very helpful "how to Gospel Organ" videos. Here's a couple of many that I have referenced for my own learning.

 

note: put aside any consternation of the players not speaking in traditional theory terms.

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

[video:youtube]

 

and of course Corey Henry showing us Jazz/Gospel

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

 

David

Gig Rig:Roland Fantom-08| Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi T

Echoing the above, congrats on stepping out of your comfort zone, that is what keeps us young! (I'm venturing into that with some Ska Jazz explorations, but that's another story...)

 

The guy behind Gospelmusicians has a lot of YouTube videos, plus other tutorial stuff you can buy.

 

https://gospelmusicians.com/

 

He is the guy behind NeoSoul Keys, an excellent iPad app for electric pianos.

 

I find his candor very refreshing - both philosophical at times, and very practical at others. And he seems to really know the genre!

 

Here's a couple of examples on YouTube.

 

 

Examples:

 

Practical:

~ 2:05

 

Philosophical:

~ 2:30

 

Practical:

~ 7:15 min mark - very

 

you don't have to agree with what he's saying, but thoughtful anyway!

 

Dave

 

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My comment about Billy Preston, where I arbitrarily separate his melodic phrasing, from the glisses , smears, and other purely b3 techniques passed down from the Church:

I can easily say the reverse, that those glisses, smears are an integral part of Billy's melodic conception.

Another example of an arbitrary separation: I recall musicians making comments about an established saxophonist such as: "I like his ideas but not his tone".. or "I like his tone but not his ideas", an immature sentiment. Now I am caught making that kind of questionable separation!! I am saying we should hear an artist as one thing.. not two things! My transition to gospel organ will be a gradual one.

 

I guess I will work on fundamental piano ideas used in gospel, where I do not have to develop smears and so on.

 

It was illuminating to discover what musical ideas that did not work and which did.

I am reminded that music is a vast subject.

 

Has anyone heard the phrase or some variation of it... get the holy ghost? They mean that somehow, something possesses the player of gospel music and it inspires him to play in a certain way. Anyone know this?

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Hi T

Echoing the above, congrats on stepping out of your comfort zone, that is what keeps us young! (I'm venturing into that with some Ska Jazz explorations, but that's another story...)

 

The guy behind Gospelmusicians has a lot of YouTube videos, plus other tutorial stuff you can buy.

 

https://gospelmusicians.com/

 

He is the guy behind NeoSoul Keys, an excellent iPad app for electric pianos.

 

I find his candor very refreshing - both philosophical at times, and very practical at others. And he seems to really know the genre!

 

Here's a couple of examples on YouTube.

 

 

Examples:

 

Practical:

~ 2:05

 

Philosophical:

~ 2:30

 

Practical:

~ 7:15 min mark - very

 

you don't have to agree with what he's saying, but thoughtful anyway!

 

Dave

 

I appreciate these suggestions .

 

And let me add... I think gospel music is a healthy vital tributary of American music.

Personally I think a most young musicians ought to get into Gospel keyboard.

Gospel emphasizes bass lines, melody , voice leading , and rhythm.. aka the dance, not to mention Blues too.

ALL vital to being an American musician. I say Amercian because jazz soul blues are uniquely American musics.

So I am looking forward to developing Gospel music... it will help other styles I already play.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Has anyone heard the phrase or some variation of it... get the holy ghost? They mean that somehow, something possesses the player of gospel music and it inspires him to play in a certain way. Anyone know this?

 

Well, as far as the "official" interpretation of the phrase, it is referring to the Holy Spirit (aka God) influencing your behavior above and beyond what you would do normally.

-Tom Williams

{First Name} {at} AirNetworking {dot} com

PC4-7, PX-5S, AX-Edge, PC361

 

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Heres a playlist

https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtPxVT4pL1GsTG3K0MaliwA9KNroNRO-5

Not sure if youre playing the more traditional Southern gospel with just B3 and piano, or more contemporary where you play organ, piano, electric piano, brass, strings, synth sounds, DX7 e piano, etc. The DX7 still is used in many gospel recordings for electric piano but Motif has replaced it live. Look up some Aretha gospel albums, or Mahalia Jackson, those have some sweet Hammond playing (and in Arethas 80s gospel albums, she had DX7 and Prophet-5 among other classics).

Yamaha MX49, Casio SK1/WK-7600, Korg Minilogue, Alesis SR-16, Casio CT-X3000, FL Studio, many VSTs, percussion, woodwinds, strings, and sound effects.
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