Percussion [You Say Tomatos, I Say Tomatoes]


One of the things about being a percussionist and multifaceted flautist, is that you need to realize that what you do is not an essential part of the modern day “worship band” instrumentation, it’s good to have but is not essential. With that in mind, there are some things that you need to know and also need to be in you as a worshiper specially playing instruments that people don’t quite understand where they belong in the modern day worship band instrumentation. Let’s face it, you are not going to play flute or whistles on every song played [not unless you happen to be in Ireland playing in a pub…..]or tambourine on every song or even congas or djembe.

OK, here we go:

1.     You must have a good sense of tempo, timing [be able to play with a click, stay with the drummer]. Most of the time you have a worship band that has a really good percussionist but the drummer is not as seasoned or the other way around, so to be able to hold the tempo is a must. If you happen to be the weaker player [there is nothing wrong with that, if you are reading this, that means that you have a teachable heart, you are on your way], keep worship the focus when in service, service time is not practice time, but when you are practicing practice with a metronome, it will do wonders for your inner clock.

2.     Know when and what to play. When I got started playing, a sound engineer told me something that offended me at first [yeah], but in my growth as a worshiper and a musician, now I live by it, he said “you need to learn when NOT to play”. That brings me to the next point,

3.     Attitude, you need a good one, obviously that goes without saying.  You’ll find yourself hearing God better if your attitude is right.

4.     Study. Get your hands on instructional videos, ask other percussionists, WORSHIP, pray, ask Jesus to show you how to play better. You need knowledge; ultimately the purpose for a worshipper/musician is to be used by God, right? So, we need to put technical knowledge in our minds so when Jesus wants to release things through us via music, He’ll be able to pull it out of us. It’s our responsibility to nourish the gift God has given us.

There is always more, but these are the four I thought were the most important. Worship is not a song, it is who you are.

Carlos has been playing flute and percussion for over twenty years.  He has been a sought after studio musician over 15 years and has had the privilege to record with people like: Don Potter, Tommy Simms, Bob Carlisle, and Mike Weaver (Big Daddy Weave) among others.  He, his wife Holly, and children, Alexandria, Abraham and Matthew reside in Huntsville, Al.