When Song Needs Don't Match Your Wants

A Personal Story

Years ago, I was producing a track and invited my very talented and close friend to be the drummer. I asked him to play a simple drum loop on an electronic kit. But there was one problem.

This guy was fantastic.  He was one of the most naturally, raw-talented drummers I had ever known. He could play almost anything. He had incredible groove, and his energy behind the kit and onstage was unmatched. It was a lot of fun to play with him.  A simple loop was what the song needed… (mind you this was all before drum loops were widely available. We had to create our own!) His response was, “I’m a drummer! I DON'T DO loops.”  Fortunately, in the end, he played the part, but not without griping and an attitude that was pervasive during this time in his life.  That attitude ultimately led to his release from a major CCM touring artist and thus, his Nashville career was over before it really began. All because he was unwilling to lay his ego aside and play what was needed. 

Let's not let our egos keep us from becoming more like Jesus.

Leggo my ego

So this is my encouragement to us all. It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s all about being like Jesus and becoming a servant. Learn to serve your church, your congregation, your worship team, and everyone around you. Learn to play tastefully. Learn when not to play. Learn that there are more important things going on than a solo being heard by the masses. Be willing to lay your ego aside and play those things that normally might feel ‘beneath’ you. Be willing to just ‘chord.’ Play a pad, or even shake a tambourine (are those still used today?). Let's not let our egos keep us from becoming more like Jesus. Learn to ‘play the loops.’


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 WorshipArtistry.com 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.

When Song Needs Don't Match Your Wants

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