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Thread: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

  1. #1

    Default The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Is there a place in modern Praise & Worship church bands for a saxophone?

    My saxophone experience in a church begins at an independent fundamental Baptist church in about 1976. I played the Gaither song “There’s Something About That Name” with a piano accompaniment. After the service a well intentioned church member stopped me and said “I was going straight to hell” for playing the instrument of the devil in the Lord’s house”. I was devastated at the time by this comment.

    To read more visit "The Saxophone in Christian Music?"

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    I'm pretty sure at one point or another, every intrument that has been introduced into church was considered "from the devil" at one point or another. My father in law, who is the senior pastor at my church (River of Life Church in Doyelstown, PA) played the drums in a rock band in Baltimore growing up with his brothers. After becoming a Christian as a teenager (in the 70's), he was invited to play drums at his uncle's church, and was told that he was going to hell, and to stay away from the church because they didn't want him around their young women. He is now a professionally trained musician with dual degrees from college in Pastoral Ministries and Music, and our worship team is AWESOME.

    As for the sax having a place in Christian music, dude it's everywhere! Clint Brown, solo artist, band leader, and pastor at Faith World ministries in Orlando has a horn section with sax. Countless other worship ministries do. If you give me your email address I will send you two awesome worship songs with sax on them. One is by Michael Flowers and the other is by Free Chapel ministries.
    Soprano - Selmer Mark VI, Barone Vintage 7*
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  3. #3
    Distinguished SOTW Member ismail's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmaine View Post
    After the service a well intentioned church member stopped me and said “I was going straight to hell” for playing the instrument of the devil in the Lord’s house”.[/URL]"
    Wow. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Thanks for this outrageous anecdote.
    my music

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmaine View Post
    Is there a place in modern Praise & Worship church bands for a saxophone?

    My saxophone experience in a church begins at an independent fundamental Baptist church in about 1976. I played the Gaither song “There’s Something About That Name” with a piano accompaniment. After the service a well intentioned church member stopped me and said “I was going straight to hell” for playing the instrument of the devil in the Lord’s house”. I was devastated at the time by this comment.

    To read more visit "The Saxophone in Christian Music?"
    There are several Pastor's who play sax at their church - I am one of them.

    I play with one of our praise teams and choir often. In fact I'm in the process of started a gospel jazz quartet with me playing saxes and EWI. I've often played the EWI at church and the congregation loves it.

    There are some church that have yet to come around to realizing that the instruments themselves are not good or evil. It was frustrating for me when I first started going to church regularly. Truth is I stop playing for awhile because the church "did not want that instrument". It took awhile but they accepted it with open arms.

    Hang in there....PEACE.....
    Alto-MKVI Theo Wanne Durga, Kali, Gaia pieces, Tenor-MKVI w/ Theo Wanne Durga, Gaia, & AMMA II pieces, Soprano-Selmer S-80II Black Laq w/ Theo Wanne Gaia. ALso EWI 4000s w/ various modules.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    What modules do you use with your EWI?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    I've been lucky to go to 2 different churches over the last 20 years that have had saxophone all over the place. I know a bunch of sax players that play around town on Sunday mornings also. I do think your experience is more common in the baptist traditions. My cousins were fundamental baptist and I remember they didn't allow any instrumental music in their church.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Is anyone using the sax during the worship service in a style different than Gospel? If yes what are the names of some of the songs?

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmaine View Post
    What modules do you use with your EWI?
    I'm using a Matrix 1000 (my favorite), a Roland XV-5050, a Yamaha VL-70 turbo, an Alesis S4+, a Kurzweil 2500XS, and the EWI 4000s internal sounds. All of my modules are equipped with Patchman sounds.

    Contrary to what others have said, I think the stock sounds on the EWI 4000 are rather useful they just have to ahve their amplitudes and waves forms raised in the programing and they are just as "expressive" as the after market patches I have.

    PEACE......
    Alto-MKVI Theo Wanne Durga, Kali, Gaia pieces, Tenor-MKVI w/ Theo Wanne Durga, Gaia, & AMMA II pieces, Soprano-Selmer S-80II Black Laq w/ Theo Wanne Gaia. ALso EWI 4000s w/ various modules.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmaine View Post
    Is anyone using the sax during the worship service in a style different than Gospel? If yes what are the names of some of the songs?
    Here's a brief list of music that our band plays from various Christian artists, and it covers a wide range of genres:

    Darlene Zschech
    Lakewood
    Rich Gomez
    Michael W. Smith
    Hillsong
    Chris Tomlin
    Robert Critchley
    Free Chapel
    Andy Park
    Israel Houghton
    Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship
    Clint Brown
    Vineyard
    Kurt Carr
    Soprano - Selmer Mark VI, Barone Vintage 7*
    Alto - Cannonball BB Global Series A1, Barone NY6M
    Tenor - Phil Barone Vintage, Barone Hollywood 7*

  10. #10
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    If I recall correctly, the good book says to 'make a joyful noise'. I don't believe it mentions how to go about making the noise.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  11. #11

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    If I recall correctly, the good book says to 'make a joyful noise'. I don't believe it mentions how to go about making the noise.
    Exactly.
    Soprano - Selmer Mark VI, Barone Vintage 7*
    Alto - Cannonball BB Global Series A1, Barone NY6M
    Tenor - Phil Barone Vintage, Barone Hollywood 7*

  12. #12
    Forum Contributor 2009 DesertCreature's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmaine View Post
    Is anyone using the sax during the worship service in a style different than Gospel? If yes what are the names of some of the songs?
    I'm filling in on bass guitar now. Previously I played soprano sax in the worship band. The list given above of Contemporary Christian music is representative of what we play. We do a lot of Hillsongs and recently a lot of Israel Houghton which is a challenge for a mixed group of pros and amateurs. If you ever played Israel's stuff (like "We Have Overcome" and "I Know Who I Am"), you know what I mean.

    It was pretty much up to me do decide what to play. Mostly ambient background, brass-type accents, or not playing at all. Since we do not have a lead guitarist, I played lead guitar intros or bridge parts (Like "Overcome" by Jon Egan or "No Sweeter Name" by Kari Jobe). Even played the cello part on "I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin which worked out quite well, though a bari sax would have been better.

    Was just about to add tenor sax into the mix, when I switched to bass guitar. However I found myself wishing for another sax or brass player to form a mini horn section for the upbeat music.

    I actually have a lot I can say about this topic but its your thread.
    So what, I'm the bass player.

  13. #13
    Forum Contributor 2009 DesertCreature's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Great blog, btw. Bookmarked it.
    So what, I'm the bass player.

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by djcuba908 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pmaine View Post
    Is anyone using the sax during the worship service in a style different than Gospel? If yes what are the names of some of the songs?
    Here's a brief list of music that our band plays from various Christian artists, and it covers a wide range of genres:

    Darlene Zschech
    Lakewood
    Rich Gomez
    Michael W. Smith
    Hillsong
    Chris Tomlin
    Robert Critchley
    Free Chapel
    Andy Park
    Israel Houghton
    Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship
    Clint Brown
    Vineyard
    Kurt Carr
    My church has done songs from many of these artists (songs by Israel Houghton and New Breed has played a million times). For us, it is not a genre issue, we don't create nor accept that dichotomy, it's about if we feel that this is a song that will minister to our people and exalt God. Whether it is classified as Gospel or Christian is irrelevant to us.
    Alto-MKVI Theo Wanne Durga, Kali, Gaia pieces, Tenor-MKVI w/ Theo Wanne Durga, Gaia, & AMMA II pieces, Soprano-Selmer S-80II Black Laq w/ Theo Wanne Gaia. ALso EWI 4000s w/ various modules.

  15. #15

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    I really like your following words!

    "it's about if we feel that this is a song that will minister to our people and exalt God. Whether it is classified as Gospel or Christian is irrelevant to us."

  16. #16

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmaine View Post
    I really like your following words!

    "it's about if we feel that this is a song that will minister to our people and exalt God. Whether it is classified as Gospel or Christian is irrelevant to us."
    Thanks....but man we just love making "a joyful noise unto the Lord." "Here I am to Worship" and "Give Myself Away" have been VERY powerful and moving songs for us.
    Alto-MKVI Theo Wanne Durga, Kali, Gaia pieces, Tenor-MKVI w/ Theo Wanne Durga, Gaia, & AMMA II pieces, Soprano-Selmer S-80II Black Laq w/ Theo Wanne Gaia. ALso EWI 4000s w/ various modules.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti View Post
    I've been lucky to go to 2 different churches over the last 20 years that have had saxophone all over the place. I know a bunch of sax players that play around town on Sunday mornings also. I do think your experience is more common in the baptist traditions. My cousins were fundamental baptist and I remember they didn't allow any instrumental music in their church.
    I'm Southern Baptist and we have an entire orchestra--guitars, drums, piano, brass, woodwinds, and yes: saxophone, and four of them at that! But Fundamental Baptist and Southern Baptist are TOTALLY different, and I suppose not even really put in the same category. Southern Baptist is like almost a Methodist equivalent, IMHO and from experiences in both types of churches.
    It's only cool until Kenny G does it.

  18. #18
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    True fundamentalists, in my experience, make music more like this:

    http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~mudws/video/
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  19. #19
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    True fundamentalists, in my experience, make music more like this:

    http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~mudws/video/
    Hey! I like that. Very talented congregation.
    It's only cool until Kenny G does it.

  20. #20
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesaxgirl View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    True fundamentalists, in my experience, make music more like this:

    http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~mudws/video/
    Hey! I like that. Very talented congregation.
    FaSoLa, aka shaped note singing has a tradition going back to the Puritans. Wonderful music!
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

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