Why are five string basses such a popular choice among bass players in the worship music community?
I wasn’t aware of that. Perhaps, since I play a 5 string I should pursue a gig in that community. Do those church gigs pay well?
Sometimes. It all depends on the size of the church and how they handle things.
I know we have at least a few people on here that play in churches.
Worship musicians can cover a pretty broad spectrum. From the faithful to folks just looking for regular work to others looking for that weekly experience to keep their chops up.
I know @Gio has done at least one church gig. If no body else chimes in, maybe he can offer some insight.
Sounds like an interesting gig. Now I just need to find one that is open to electroindustrial/post-metal!
Oh great googly moogly… I’ve got a lot of thoughts about Contemporary Christian worship music… which I will save for when someone buys me a coffee and gets me really talking…
What I’ll say here that is pertinent to bass is that the music is very homogeneous. Just about every single song has the same chords, the same structure and the same production and sound. Part of the sound that this genre loves is the sound of that low B string. It is perfect for the aesthetic that they craft in this stuff.
The same way a P-bass with flatwounds is the old school R&B funk vibe - a modern, new-strings, high fidelity 5-string sound is perfect to match the sound people are used to hearing when they hear recorded artists in the CC/Worship music genre.
In that case, I should add “Mistress of 5 string” to my Curriculum Vitae. I’d be happy to take one of those church gigs as long as it pays well and they don’t make me worship.
One of my major issues (that I promised myself I wouldn’t get into here) with some of the church bands I’ve been involved with - the musicians were all hired pros (myself included). Strange to be part of the worship machine without any worship, right?
So… what I guess I’m saying is…
You nailed the sentiment of lots and lots of paid worship team musicians.
I went for a casual non-church jam with some church band guys once and when we played Fat Boy Slim “Praise you” and the guys started this whole big “I’m feeling uncomfortable playing that, isn’t it blasphemy?” conversation… I just quietly packed up my gear and went home.
Missed opportunity! “Actually, it’s closer to Idolatry…”
I play at my church and I totally agree with what @Gio is saying. This can make it difficult sometimes to create bass lines that make the songs sound different from each other. I use a short scale 4 string (modified Epiphone EB-0) with flats but I used to use a 5 string quite a bit. We are a small church and are all volunteers though, so I don’t have anyone pressing me to play something else.
I love volunteer bands. That’s one of my favorite things about the institution of churches - the fact that we have this powerful place where music is used, loved and appreciated. The list of killer musicians who got their start volunteering in their church band is pretty huge.
While I don’t think I’ll be joining their ranks anytime soon I do enjoy the challenge of creating bass lines each week that keep the songs sounding fresh and new. It’s been great for developing my ear and my overall feel for music.
Hmmm… A couple of weeks ago we played House of the Rising Sun before practice. I wonder what those guys would have thought of that?
That blows my chances. I have no intention of joining a church just so I can play in their band.