I am new to this forum and this question has probably been asked a hundred times so i apologize, but i need help in leading the youth band at my church. Since I joined the band in the seventh grade we have constantly had awesome musicians and awesome chemistry. Just recently we lost many members of our team, including the worship leader, to a different church. This left me in the worship leader position.
The musicians that remained are talented, however they aren't quite to the level that our last members were at. The problem that we have been having is that we just don't sound very good together. We have the talent, it is just a matter of getting everything together and grooving with each other. We aren't able to play off of each other like we could with our old members. I would like to get back to the point where we could.
What i need to know is, is there anything that i personally can do as the worship leader to get the band members to "mesh" a little better. I feel like it is possible, but i can not think of anyway to do that. Thank you so much!
First of all, you have been blessed to be able to lead worship. It is a gift, and as you have found, with change can come opportunity. Grow with it. Remember your first priority is to love the Lord your God with all you have. The rest will follow.
Second, play and worship from where you are. You cannot be who the band used to be, you have to worship in the here and now with the team now. Live and thrive in this moment. Be discerning about the music you pick and how you approach it. Make sure you set aside time to go listen and worship with other worship bands. Learn from them, grow your experience beyond what used to be, challenge your team, and grow in capacity and passion together. Remember that the prior group started someplace too, and had to grow to the point they were before they left.
Our group started about 8 years ago, and has constantly changed and evolved. We have lived through people moving away, graduations, illness, changes in work schedules, and people growing up into new roles. We have fluctuated from 3 to 12 in numbers, and are currently 8. There are only three original members left. Through it all the most important thing we found is to love each other, and devote ourselves to worship. In that perspective, we encourage each other, grow together, and have our own "small group" ministry that keeps us personally tight. Trust is a huge thing, and caring helps this.
Blessings, peace and joy to you and your team!
Pray... for grace, humility, and discernment. Your job is to first stay encouraged yourself and then be an encourager to others. Assuming individual skill is not the concern, then the best way to play together as a band is to.... play together as a band. Extra rehearsals, coffee house or house shows can be avenues to pursue in the interest of "gelling." If the band members are willing, do Bible studies together so that you can grow as a community and not just musicians.
It is always difficult to be critical of another person's ministry; go check out other bands, secular and Christian, and be critical of what others are doing rather than be critical of yourselves. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet. It will take time, but the investment should reap great dividends for you. Blessings and best wishes to you and your ministry!
"Rock On" (Matt 7:24-25)
This ^^^the best way to play together as a band is to.... play together as a band.
In a situation like this, it takes a little time playing together before it starts to fall into place. Don't get discouraged because you don't sound like "that team". You aren't supposed to.
On my team, there have been a couple of times where the worship leader (piano, vocals) and her husband (drums, sound, PP, etc.) has been out of town, so we did some change-up. I switched to drums, our keyboard player became the song leader, the acoustic guitar player switched to bass. Even though we all play together every week, now that we have switched into different roles, it wasn't seamless. The first time, it sounded like we never played before. Part of that reason is because we tried too hard to sound like "us" with everyone there. It wasn't going to- we have our own sound. The keyboard player played piano different than the leader. I play drums different than our drummer. The acoustic guitar player plays bass different than I do. It wasn't bad, or 'not as good', just different. Once we got comfortable with that and quit trying to sound like "us", it was a lot better. It still took quite awhile to lock in, but it locked in. This last weekend, we did it again and it went off great. It gave us a lot more confidence and our leader confidence that there is some depth to the team and we can adapt.
So don't get discouraged. Work at it to make it your best measured by God's standards- not the other team's.
Another thing to not worry about- the people who will compare you to them. Some will make grumblings that you don't sound like the other team- it's not going to. Don't even pay it any attention.
As far as mechanics, focus on the foundational stuff- getting the right tempo, beginnings and endings, chord changes, that kind of stuff. One thing I see people try to do is focus on hitting the big 'part' and blow the transition from verse to chorus, for example. Also, pick songs that are easier to learn, and keep it simple. Once you find your bearings, then stretch out a bit.
Praying all goes well- you'll do just fine