Worship Teams & Keyboards

There are several factors that can influence the role of the keyboard (keys) player in your church's contemporary worship team. The proficiency of the keyboardist, the instrument you have available, the proficiency of the other musicians as well as the style and tempo of the individual songs.

Assuming that all your musicians are up to scratch, a contemporary feel is usually guitar driven. I say "usually" because there is no hard and fast rule. There are plenty of songs that aren't guitar driven, but when the driving instrument is the guitar, we need to look at how this affects keys.

Generally, instruments have to make room for each other. You can't have everyone playing full on all the time. For instance, think of a band playing blues. You might have some great soloing in one song. First, a guitar solo, then piano, then organ, then bass, then drums; they all take their turn. They don't all solo at the same time, but they make room for each other.

This isn't just true during soloing; it's true all the time. In a guitar driven song, keys has to take a background role. This can be effectively achieved by using pad sounds or strings, assuming you have electronic keyboards. That way you're adding to feel of the song without competing with the guitars.

Sometimes you may want keys to take the lead, in which case it's the guitarist's turn to take a support role. (Could be good for the ego!) My suggestion is that keys are often better as the lead instrument in slower worship songs, but you need to have a muso that can really pull it off.

For a keys player to take the lead in a faster song, they need to have a good grasp of beats and rhythm, they should be able to use chords and scales to make their playing sound interesting, and they should be confident players.

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