How To Roll With The Punches

Float Like A Butterfly

As we all know, there are times when things don't go according to plan. A bass player doesn't show up. A cable is on the fritz. The tracks die. Your worship leader comes in a beat too early. ;-)

If things run like clockwork, it makes for a great experience. But what do you do when things don't go according to plan? What happens when your computer dies and you're forced to use that old relic of a keyboard that only has five sounds and a "demo" mode? (Anyone remember those?)

Sometimes we are forced to come off of cruise control. There's no more autopilot. There's only manual and that requires listening and thinking.

Off Track

I had an experience this past weekend where our worship leader came in one beat too early. I was the musical director and running the tracks. Because he came in early, the other singers did as well. I had a choice. I let it play out for two bars and then finally killed the track after the singers were unable to get back on track. At that point I had to improvise because the song was heavy on the synth. When the track dropped it was like all the air was sucked out of the room. There was a massive void. I didn't have my rig so I had to do the best I could with what I had. I didn't have all the synth parts but I did have a good EP with overdrive. So I cranked it, added some delay, and began to play the parts that were in the track... parts that I would not have played otherwise.

Ready for Anything

There will be times when you play one thing and times where you play another. You need to be ready for both. What if the acoustic guitar player fails to show? You may have to play out a little more and add more subdivision and rhythm. What if the lead guitarist's rig dies? You may have to play those big lead lines.

Whatever the case, be willing to roll with the punches. You can (and should) plan as much as you need to, but things will go wrong. Trust that God will work in spite you and be ready to work with Him.

Ryan is currently the Worship Director at The Church at Wills Creek in North Alabama. He has been the keyboardist for many Christian artists and has served with several churches including Christ Fellowship and Church of the Highlands. Ryan is the keyboard instructor for and also works as a producer, music educator, and studio musician. Ryan has two children, Josiah and Vivy, and they love spending time on their 100 acre farm.

How To Roll With The Punches

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