Just wanted to throw this out and see how many churches are using brass players in worship. The world is flooded with guitars and drummers - which is not a bad thing, but can I find many churches using brass?

Post me your experiences in local churches.

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I am trying to add horn players to my worship team.  Where can I find good worship carts for the team?

The quickest, least expensive way to get good horn parts is to write them (then they will match the player's abilities).  Or you can teach your player to just go for it - play by ear, obbligatto.  A player can also learn the melody from a regular CCLI chart in a key one step higher (or a fifth for horns, a sixth for alto sax), and harmonies from the chart that has three voices (if you have a bass player that actually reads music, these can be helpful, too).

On the page here there is an ad for a place called MusicAdamy.com that has training videos for many instruments including a series for classically trained brass, woodwind and string players to teach them how to come up with their own parts.

You might want to check them out.

A friend gave me this site http://www.hansencharts.com/ 

It has a lot of great arrangements.

I believe that Integrity Hosanna has orchestral arrangements available on their website for purchace and download.

Came across this old thread while searching for something else, and it piqued my interest.  As an old trombone player, I too have been trying to add horns to our Praise Band for YEARS.

And we finally added a rock-band type horn section for occasional Sunday morning services with our Praise Band.  Thus far, we have used Trumpet, Tenor Sax and Trombone, but our workflow can accommodate 4 horns. Ideally, I would like 2 trumpets, a tenor sax and trombone.  

Since this thread asks about arrangements, keys, volume, etc.  Let me add what I can and perhaps help a bit.

Music Style: For a Praise Band, I believe a ‘rock horn section’ instrumentation works better than a ‘seated band’ or orchestra type setup.   Seems to fit the ‘spirit’ of the music better  too.  A smaller ensemble is lighter on its feet, and can more easily roll with the changes.

Horn Arrangements:  I write them.  The worship leader will buy the song he’d like to perform (lyric chart and rhythm charts usually), then send me a copy of each.   I download the “official video” (for the audio) and line it up in Finale.  The horns are scored over the original music (original key), and we generate a demo for the horns to listen to.  The horn charts line up EXACTLY with what the keyboard player and rhythm players are reading.  Cuts and skips can be notated the same way for everyone.  Saves tons s of rehearsal time.

We will typically write for Horns 1-4.   Part distribution depends on who we have at the time.  Typically we like two trumpets, a tenor sax and a trombone, but we have gone with Trumpet, T Sax and Tbone before.  We just transpose and print for who we have.

Keys:  Some of those Praise Band keys are tough for horns!  But our rhythm folks are good enough to transpose up or down to accommodate the horns, and we transpose the parts for printing.  E can be Eb or F.   A can be Bb or Ab.   (Lots of Praise and Worship charts have different transpositions available also!)

Volume:  Our fan-shaped auditorium fits 900, so the Praise Band is well-amped.  Horn players naturally balance to each other when they play, and usually have a sense of just how loud to play and “touch the back wall.”  That said, we barely mic the horns for a bit of reinforcement, and let the natural volume of the section carry. 

Its worked out very well!   The visual impact of the horns keeps the youth focused.  The sound of horns is new to the young folks, and a pleasant memory for the older Saints.

So its been good for us..

Hope this helps a bit.

Yay!  Hallelujah!  Glory!

I went through the Great Purge, the decades during which I was forced to kick out superb, dedicated players from our praise band for the sin of having the wrong, or unfashionable, instrument.  I am so glad to see someone welcoming them to the church.

I am presently in an instrument-friendly Body (we even do current-style songs in the Traditional service by the simple expedient of using congas instead of a drum set), and just want to offer encouragement to others who want to raise a horn of praise to the Lord!

I think the Great Purge may have created the opening.  Having horns in Worship now is 'new' and adds an acoustic sound that many folks have never heard before.

I'm sure those who use Worship the Rock come from a variety of backgrounds.  I myself have served in several types:  As a youngster, I played organ, for my own smallish church (choir every week, soloists about four times a year), and there was no other instrument - true at my campus church, at the Catholic parish I helped, in the military, everywhere until at age 26 I became part of an Assemblies of God.  The Pentecostals had a long heritage of musical "populism" - you were encouraged to bring your instrument to what was universally called the "orchestra", which had no director, and people played either by note, by ear or by guess.  Usually a trumpet, a small drum set, a flutist or clarinet if you were fortunate, a musical saw, piano, Hammond organ (typically with Leslie).  if there was more than one talented singer, you might get an alto or tenor to help out, and they sometimes had microphones - a kind of primeval Worship Team ("team" was coined in the 80's, sounding better than "group", but became and is today actually a tiny choir with microphones). 

When I entered full-time ministry at a larger church, some of my function was to organize these various players, and recruit and find more.  Those of us who knew how to write parts created something that actually resembled a band or orchestra.  I created parts for contemporary worship songs for six different instruments each week during my last two years, including whole notes for a beginning cellist, who was learning to read music by the week.  The Youth Group developed its own guitarcentric worship, which ultimately eclipsed the "orchestra."

As the glow of the Jesus Movement faded away and people became more interested in the Church Growth Movement (Win Arn, et al), there was a parallel movement to attempt to provide something like current pop music, but with Christian words (something which actually happened earlier, during the late 1800's to around 1920, with the Gospel Song).  This movement was as exclusive as the old orchestra was inclusive; the goal was to be "tight", making a clear sound.  Churches began having a separate person run a Sound Board (the source of endless arguments, but necessary), and funneling everything through the board, to achieve balance that had been elusive or impossible during the free-for-all era.  Twice in my life, it became my job to "reorganize" and tell acoustic instrument players that they were not part of the improvements we were making, and I hated myself thoroughly; and the pastors could feel that, and it wasn't long that my term was ended, too.

Of course, you know that a horn produces more sound than an entire speaker system, if played by a strong player.  So they can be added to the mix admirably (and the school-band experience of many horn players gave them understanding of acoustics), as you are doing.

If you have the means to post any of the actual music you folks do, I would be very interested to hear it - and the Lord bless you greatly in this adventure!

Here is a Dropbox link to an example.  This is what the horn players get with their charts.  It is the original artist recording with the horn parts laid over.   It gives them a sense of the style, the energy level so they can focus on the notes..


Good job!  ...though on my little HP computer it was a bit hard telling what was the horn part, as it was not much louder than the rest of the music, and the computer's speakers turn all brass parts into a sort of bagpipe.  Of course, if you have a chart, they won't lose track of where they are, and their own horn will sound fine with it for practice.  It's actually good that the horn part doesn't stand out too much, or it would interfere with the natural breathing and articulation of a real horn.

I'm in a jazz ensemble occasionally, and the leader does this for me - and it really helps, especially when you have only one rehearsal and then a performance!  I can get the idea of the piece at home, at leisure. 

Working with vocal soloists, I often make one with no solo line, then a solo line which is just barely above the level of the background, and if they haven't heard the original, a recording by a good artist.  But I get the practice materials into their hands right away, because if they learn their solo from the artist, it will mess up their own style (all they will do is imitate, or try to do the original slides and runs, and it just gets goofy).  And working with children's choirs, dub-over recordings are a virtual necessity.


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