Have no drummer right now. Do any of you worship leaders that lead while playing guitar,
use a drum machine that you operate yourself while playing live?
If so, what do you use?
The Drum Buddy is out now but costs over $300.
We have no budget at my church, is there anything cheaper out there
that you would suggest & doesn't require an IT dept to set it up for me?
Does anyone in the congregation have a reasonable sense of rhythm - could they play a Cajon?
A couple of weeks back I played with someone using a Logarhythm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXOk4qpasOA
Working on building one. Lots of examples on youtube and other internet places. You need some wood or tin and a tweeter out of a redundant HiFi speaker (cheap ones work ok). Or I have one which is a little "tinny" using an old piezo from a worn out travel guitar. I'm working on it in slow time. will try damping it with some foam between pick-up and top board.
There's all sorts of way a drum machine can go wrong in a setting like that. It can't listen and follow the tempo and dynamics of the leader. It is possible to do clever things to give it some semblance of "ears" with computer processing (eg. live beat detection) but there's still a chance of it misreading. You could also control tempo by tapping but again there's plenty of danger of getting confused if trying to trigger anything more than a simple foot stomp sound.
I've done a bit in the past with analogue techniques (eg. bass drum and pedal) and it worked to some extent, but you realise that it is another skill to learn (and endurance to acquire).
You might be better off with some newish strings on your guitar to make the rhythmic nuances of your guitar playing come out clearly. Meanwhile put the word around (including upwards in prayer) that you'd love a drummer and make time for encouraging a keen beginner. I've seen several good drummers develop in church settings who started nervously but simply keeping a beat. It doesn't happen overnight but is a precious investment of time.
Ok guys, sounds like this could be a hassle.
I'll start searching/praying for a new drummer.
Steve, what other instruments in your team?
If you have a singer that can clap well on a 2 & 4 beat, then you may consider a tambourine. If you hold it horizontally instead of vertical as per usual.
So, horizontal, then shake it, also horizontal, then tap on the top.
eg: shake horizontal, 1 &, 2 &,3 &, 4 & :1 &, 2 &, 3 &, 4 &: then tap on the top at 2 & 4, you have a simple, yet very effective time machine.
A singer or some one else who can shake in time, can join your team.
On drum machine ideas, I have seen people even use the sounds from a casio key board or similar to keep a beat in a performance situation.
Wulf is correct when mentioning a drum machine won't follow you, so if you do choose drum machine option you would need to follow it, however you could operate it from a pedal for start & stop & possibly fills & endings.
Yes, we have now a drummer who used to & has only played previously in a secular, rock band. And now there are other issue's to deal with that I won't even bother to go into. We'll just try to work them out.