One of the most difficult things to navigate when playing bass in church is that it is often difficult to hear yourself play without getting so loud that it ruins your sound for the sound guy. Here is how to beat the bass amp blues.
Shape the dynamics of the bass line simply by changing note subdivision and accents.
Changing your subdivision frequency is a simple, but surprisingly effective way to create more dynamics on the bass. Up your subdivision to eighth or even sixteenth notes to drive the song more. Or, shape the landscape of the whole song by accenting specific beats within the subdivision in one section of the song. Put it into practice with Hillsong's New Wine.
Learn these versatile 1 chord to 5 chord riffs from Phil Wickham's Living Hope but keep them in your back pocket for other songs. They fit with quarter or eighth note bass lines and in slow or faster tempos. Handy little transitions to keep around in your bass toolkit.
If you only ever play on your own or in a full band you are missing out. Bass guitar is only a part of the rhythm section. In order to really grow you need to spend time with just a drummer to work out grooves and patterns that are fun to play and also have real world application.
Traditional songs often have really interesting, even tough changes in them. If you are playing them from a chart without any references, keep your tone warm. Just mark out the changes without trying to groove too much.
I figured the other guys gave you plenty of practice philosophy this week so I thought I'd give you something to actually practice! Here's a simple passing tone that can really add to your changes. I'm using Lord I Need You for this example, but you can use this in almost any song.