Just keep at it. The more you perform, the better and more comfortable you will get.
I've found that in some ways, develop as a church musician is very different from secular musicians. In the secular world, you practice unseen and work hard by yourself to become good enough to get a chance to perform in front of a large audience. But for a church musician, the Lord often works things so we end up out in front of an audience with only a small modicum of developed talent and we are forced to grow in that talent while everyone watches. That forces us to walk and play by faith sometimes. And overtime, it tells the audience a story of faith that they just wouldn't get if we came out all polished and perfect the first time we set foot on stage. For me, this is a journey that I hope never ends.
Also, do you play from sheet music prepared for the sax or do you improvise or play along with melody by ear? I'm asking because I've developed some harmony and counter-melody stuff for a few church pieces. And in case you are lacking resources, I might have some that you find useful.
Reading your thread really surprises me. I'm in the same situation.Hi Guys,
I've finally taken the leap and put myself forward to be in the church band in a prayer and praise evening service. I chose an evening as there are less people and it is much more chilled out.
I am a bit terrified now, it has been about 8 years since I have played in a group of any sort and in the past I have always had sheet music.
I have been practicing at home along to recordings of some of the songs we play at church and generally most of what I play sounds fine, some actually sounds quite good.
I am concerned that on the night I am going to be so scared of playing the wrong note that I will hardly play anything whereas when I am at home I am not scared to push it a bit. Does anyone have any advice for me, specifically how I can keep myself playing without being too worried that the next note is going to be wrong?
About a month ago, my sax teacher (my pastor's son), an accomplished jazz musician who plays piano and tenor saxophone so very well said that I can play on Tuesday evening Bible study service. Yes, less people, much less than the regular Sunday service. It's a bible study service so the sermon is rather heavy stuffs. But what is so nerve wreaking is the worship leader who leads the worships. They are the best among worship leaders in my church. One lady and one gentleman singer sings so well with unusual notes (for me at least) that gives me who plays Eb Alto fits. What's worse is that because the church hall is filled only 1/5 of the regular, when you make mistake, all can hear it. Of course I made the most mistakes the most often. Nervousness caused me to overblow and squeaks and being too afraid make my sound too timid and can't be heard. But at the end of the service I would go to my teacher who is either on the keyboard or bass guitar that night or if not playing, busy with the sound mixer to ask for a review and comment. His answer is so simple but also encouraging, "Just come every Tuesday evening and make it regular. You'll get use to it and play even better."
Last edited by jakopcustomZguy; 03-01-2011 at 08:05 AM.
Alto-1960 Buffet SDA/Rico Metalite M9
Tenor-1984 Selmer USA Model 164/Otto Link STM 5*
Soprano-Antigua Winds 582LQ /Claude Lakey 6
I think it is true and probably universal everywhere in the world that regular church band players makes the best musicians. Because in the church is where musicians play songs (most of the time same songs) over and over again every week. If at first a fresh musician plays with many mistakes, very soon he/she'll get better. Because every week is a practice to get better week. Past weeks mistakes no matter how great is all forgotten and forgiven
Really encouraging thread. I just began rehearsing with the worship band at my church a couple weeks ago, and will begin playing on Sunday morning in a couple weeks. I'm trying to find where the sax fits in, and what to play exactly-- we get chord charts and mp3s every week, so I've been transposing those and jamming to the tracks, learning them as I go. I'm sure as I get more experience it will become easier.
Enviroguy, I would also be interested in seeing some of that material you mentioned, if you don't mind sharing...