Do any of you know of a worship team that has their bass player as their worship leader. It is usually an acoustic guitar playing person that leads. If so could you point me towards some videos or references so I would be able to see their manner and style of leading. Mostly as a reference.

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Jamie Stuart of Bicester lifesongs plays bass and leads at the same time. Dee (his wife) posts here sometimes, and might have links to a video.

Yeah I do ;-) I am a worship leader bass player and I've been doing it for close to two years now. There are others I know that are in the same place in that. Jorn is one of them :-) I'm not sure what to say about instruction on this. Have you lead yet?

Hi Ryan,

I lead worship and play bass.  I don't know of any instructional videos.  I think we are a bit of a rare breed.  I know a drummer who leads worship from the drums and we were talking recently about the difference between leading with the primary instrument vs leading with a more supportive instrument.  For me I tend to use a combination of the bass and my vocals to guide the band.  For example when it comes to where we are going in the music, I will use vocal cues to bring us back into a chorus or repeat a verse.  When it comes to dynamics I tend to use the bass for that, so if I want to build a chorus I will build on the bass or I will drop out and use my hands to bring the volume down.  After a while we all just kind of feel each other and move as a group. 

When I first started it took a little getting used to, but I think it makes for a more collaborative effort.  There is no way you can be a one man band.

There is one person you may want to check out.  His name is Father Fortuna.  He's a Franciscan monk and he plays the bass. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Fortuna

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLsFwypjGqA

Saw him lead worship once.  Pretty neat!  He's unique to say the least.

Blessings!

I knew Jorn would have some great advice!!

Awwww.... Thanks Timothy!

:-) Your welcome

 

Thanks for the links!

Me too. I've been leading worship on bass for quite a few years now. For me, the first stumbling block to overcome was getting to grips with singing and playing at the same time. I had previously been at church with enough singers that nobody (least of all me) ever saw the need to put a mic in front of me but, when I moved into London and ended up in a smaller congregation that happened pretty much as soon as I had joined the worship team. Looking back, I am deeply grateful that they ignored my protests and encouraged me to do what I could.

I had already been playing for about ten years so was competent enough to handle the bass lines without too many mishaps. Gradually I began opening my mouth and letting some rudimentary backing vocals out. If it was a tricky passage I could concentrate on playing but, with increasing experience my confidence at singing and my ability to combine it with playing started to grow. Before long I had reached a point at which I could combine the two enough to also juggle the role of leading worship and there I was: a worship leading bassist.

One of the important things was that I had to rely very much on the help of others. If one of the others could play an intro or perhaps take the lead vocal on a hymn (lots of chord changes, lots of words and the lyrics and music together on the page only for the first verse!) that was a blessing. On reflection though, maybe that was not such a bad place to start; we were, after all, meant to be playing as a team and not as a backing band for an essentially solo performer.

Wulf

ps. when looking for examples, don't neglect examples from outside the sphere of worship music. Betraying my rock heritage, Jack Bruce of Cream, Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, Sting of The Police and Doug Pinnick of King's X come to mind as some examples of bassist leaders

Not to mention Getty Lee

 

Wulf brings up a very good point!

I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time, so I stick to rudimentary bass lines.  Occasionally there is a song that I just can’t lead because the bass line and the melody rhythms are just too different.

I started out singing background vocals because I was one of the few in our group who could sing harmonies off the top of my head without having to learn a part.  Eventually we lost our bass player and it left a hole in the sound.  I felt a prompting from the Holy Spirit to step up, so I asked if I could try playing.  Looking back, I have to wonder what I was thinking.  Anyway, things have sort of evolved from there.  I lead at my home church but play intermittently at 4 other churches, 2 of which I sing background and play bass.  I think it is actually easier to sing lead.  I love playing the bass and singing background but it definitely is a little more taxing on my somewhat simple brain.

Back in July 2010 I was asked to become the leader by our church board since our pastor/worship leader was called on. I had a problem, I could not play and sing at the same time so I told the team (about 16 people) that I won't be able to play anymore. Someone on the team said "you won't not let us get by with saying that" so I said yes you are right. Please pray for me in this. It was about two weeks later that I was doing both. Prasie be to God!!! I have been blessed so many times.

Read scripture, and pray everyday!

Practice as much as time allows.

Let's all pray for this new leader bass player. (Ryan)

I might add that sometimes the leader (me) picks a song that is to hard to play and sing without stumbling so I simply decide in practice not to play on that song. We have three keyboards, and two in the percussion section, and my bass. We have three of us that sing, but I lead most of the time.

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