Worship Teams & Drums

Depending on what church you belong to, you might be surprised to find that drums are quite controversial in some churches. They are viewed with suspicion to the point where some churches ban them altogether. This is despite the fact that there is no such prohibition in the Scriptures. Instead, we are encouraged to make a lot of noise with our instruments, naming the cymbals in particular. (See Ps 150:3-5)

Possibly this is a legacy of the old legalistic viewpoint that rock music is "of the devil." Rock was seen as using a "jungle beat" associated with demonic worship. And of course, who brings that rock beat to the music? The drummer.

Despite all this, the drums add a huge amount to the feel of the music. If you're used to drums in your church and the drummer is suddenly unavailable one Sunday, you'll notice how empty the music sounds in comparison. To a large degree the drums control the ebb and flow of a worship song. Every song should have dynamics, and the dynamic range of a song is powerfully influenced by what the drummer does, adding an extra dimension to a worshiper's experience.

Drum kits represent a substantial investment for a church because, unlike smaller instruments (like guitars and bass), it's not so easy to set them up and pack them up each week. So it's best to buy a church kit if the church can afford to. Like guitars, your options come down to a decision to go with either an acoustic or an electric kit. Here are some things you might need to consider.

Electric Drums

There are some clear advantages to using an electronic kit in your church and it all boils down to control. And by that, I mean volume control. If there's one complaint made against drummers that's often valid, it's that they can't control their volume and they drown out everything else. Good drummers, of course, are more than capable of controlling their volume. But drummers of that standard are often not available to the average church.

Enter the electronic drum kit. Just plug it in and turn it on and you're ready to go. The volume can be easily controlled by the volume knob on the kit itself or by the sound team if it's going through front of house speakers. And that pretty much solves the volume problem.

Acoustic Drums

However, a lot of drummers prefer the feel and sound of an acoustic kit. Controlling the volume can present quite a challenge to any church, especially a small one. Various solutions can be tried - including getting a better drummer! - but, unfortunately, the best solution is definitely not cheap and involves keeping your drummer in a perspex cage. I know, some drummers should be kept in a cage! But the advantage of this approach is that the sound of the drums is completely contained, especially if the cage has a lid.

If you go for this solution, then keep in mind that the cost of the cage isn't your only expense. A good set of headphones would also need to be provided since keeping the sound of the drums inside the cage has the obvious reverse effect of keeping the sound of the rest of the band out of the cage. Your drummer will probably want to hear the rest of the band.

Other solutions involve putting cushions inside the drums themselves or getting the drummer to use brushes instead of sticks. But both of these solutions are less than ideal.

How To Set Up a Worship Team | Pursuit of Excellence | Worship Team Rehearsals | Why More is Less | Worship Teams & Keys | Worship Teams & Guitars | Worship Teams & Drums | The Power of Music