How To Adapt Lessons For Your Band

Guitar
Lessons For The Big Band

I totally get why churches like to have large bands. It helps get volunteers involved and strips down how much each person needs to learn. These are valid reasons but musically speaking, more than a five piece is overkill. So how do you "add" parts to a Worship Artistry lesson? There are three main approaches.

Divide and conquer

While you might be able to play all the parts yourself, dividing the parts up can not only lighten the learning load but also fatten up the sound. Got two keyboardists? Awesome. Let the one take the pads while the second takes the piano or that sweet synth hook. Two lead guitarists? Take turns with the lead and let the second either accent the rhythm part with overdriven simple strums. I love having all the main parts for a song but there is something really beautiful about being able to relax into a chorus or verse with a really simple part.

Dividing parts can lighten the learning load and fatten the sound.

Play Between The Parts

Often a recording will have three or four electric guitars on it but when I break each one down, only one is out front and the rest are doing something you can't really hear once it's all put together. These tracks have the purpose of filling out the sound and they happen "between" the main parts. Often it's just an 8th note down strum on a single note or it's a heavily delayed tremolo part in the high range. The key is that it fills a different frequency range than the other instruments and doesn't distract from the main part.

Double What's Already There

One of the reasons I rarely teach an extra electric guitar part is that it would just be adapting the acoustic guitar part to the electric guitar. You don't need me to do that! If the acoustic is capoed, do the same thing and hit those ringing open chords. If you've got two keyboards and there is a hook that stands out like on "Made Alive", try doubling it with a different sound or playing the octave.

Conclusion

All the major bones of the song are in every lesson. It's up to you to put a little more flesh on them. Don't be afraid to experiment. Next week we'll talk about how to adapt the songs to a smaller band which is something I do every week.

 

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