Psalms 33:3 “Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy”
The following is from the blog of extraordinary worship bassist Andrew Ford on playing skillfully.
Honor God by learning to play skillfully. You may need to take small steps if you are not a full time musician, but do take steps toward improving your skills and maximizing your potential to be a blessing. Even if your church only plays one style of music, expand your vision, learn how to play multiple styles of music, learn how to read notation, play piano or guitar, etc. God will surely find ways to use you beyond your current situation. Most importantly, keep God first, if you play in church every week but don’t hear the sermon, you’ve missed it. If you can not follow the direction of the leader, with a good attitude, you’ve missed it. If humility is not evident in your life then you are missing it. If you are unprepared, missed it, late more than occasionally, missed it. If you spend all your time playing for others and are never ministered to, then you are missing it. Missing what? Missing the benefits of allowing the Spirit to fully work in your life and consequently the lives of the church and those around you. Give Him your best, not Saturday night leftovers or last years offering.
This is a video from Scott's Bass Lessons. And it is by far the best speed-building and shifting exercise I've ever worked. It had the peripheral effect of expanding my knowledge of the major scales across the fingerboard.
Work this into your practice time and your speed, technique, and improv is going to grow exponentially.
Playing bass guitar on a worship team seems simple enough to the most worshipers, even to some other worship musicians. But elegantly and discerningly worshiping on bass is one of the most challenging roles in a modern worship band.
“The key word is sensitivity. Bass players have one of the greatest responsibilities in the worship team—holding everything together. In my humble opinion, we supply a steady, firm foundation, as a fully functional flowing part of a musical collective that draws people closer to God” (Gary Lunn)
Bass is a foundation of the music, and the bassist owns this responsibility. In modern worship, dependence on the bass has grown, and with it trust also. Modern songs not only rely on bass to solidify the groove, but bass can also provide signature to a song. Listen to the second verse of No Reason to Hide by Hillsong United. (Video at 0:27, 0:58, etc.)
Scott Devine says it's okay to have lines on your fretless. In fact, he spends four minutes talking about it.
St. Louis Scot
I grew up playing Blues and Punk in and around St. Louis. After traveling a LOT, I settled down in Austin Texas where I play Worship bass and study Jazz. I'm also a bassist-at-large. So you'll see me around town playing with various Rock, R&B, Blues, and Jazz groups. Keep your eye out for me.