Giving up a church gig...

Chollyred

Senior Member
For the past month or so, I've been playing with a worship team other than my normal church. At the audition, I was told that I was filling in for their regular drummer that was away for the month. Ok, cool, no problem. We really meshed well and sound good together.

At the last rehearsal, I found out that the regular drummer wants to come back, but the rest of the band wants me to become the full time drummer. The regular drummer is pretty bad about time commitments, etc; apparently lots of drama.

I advised them this past Sunday night that as of the 18th, I need to step down. For one thing, I can't conscientiously take the other drummer's place when he is a member of that church and I never will be. Secondly, I need to get back to my regular church (where I don't play).

Unfortunately, this is the only gig I have anywhere in sight. Some of these guys do occasional festivals, so hopefully I've made some good musical contacts for possible work outside the church, but right now I'm pretty bummed for having to give this up.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Way back in the day, my friend, whom I taught to drum, went into the Navy for training. I was asked if I would take his place for the summer. I agreed. IMHO I was a better drummer, but when the summer was over and he came back, my tour was over. Thats what we agreed to and that's what we did. I knew the band liked me but an agreement is an agreement. I think in your case the fact that he is a church member has even more significance. Hopefully they will keep you in mind.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
If you're not gonna "officially attend" that church, you should relinquish the seat. If, at a later date, you decide to attend that church, ask for an audition.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Church playing can be interesting...

I recently went through something similar when I realized I was getting over-committed to sitting in at two churches (other than where my family attends). In fact, just yesterday I notified them both of my intention to spend the Christmas Eve/day services with my family (where I don't play) and would not be able to assist either of the other churches on those days... (I am thankful that unlike your situation I wasn't keeping a drumming member from playing if I played).

From a players standpoint a little painful ( I really enjoy both praise teams), but as a father/husband a much better choice to be with my wife and kids. Especially this year because it will be my 6mo. old grand daughter's first Christmas in church.

I am of the mind that the Lord will honor your integrity and will provide you with other opportunities to serve!

God Bless!
 

Superman

Gold Member
I agree that you have to give it up to him. Use the experience to your benefit and list it in your drummer resume. If the regular drummer is as flaky as you described, they may have many more dates for you to fill in anyway.
 

Chollyred

Senior Member
Chollyred... why don't you get to play drums at your own church?
The drummer was already in place when I joined this church. He is a remarkable young drummer. Our praise team is essentially made up of pros, in fact, the lead guitarist just got back from touring with David Cook (from American Idol). We've had a few pros come sing with them.

I love to sit back to watch and listen. I'm constantly learning from them. They have a great talent for getting the congregation involved and excited to be in church (and the pastor ain't too shabby himself! :) ).

Upon reflection, I'm good with my decision. I'm just a little anxious for other opportunities to arise.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Upon reflection, I'm good with my decision. I'm just a little anxious for other opportunities to arise.
Good, you should feel good about your decision.

I've been playing drums in church for over 20 years now. Time with family should always take priority. My kids don't care that I play drums, but they do care about my relationship with them.

You did the right thing. Also, if the worship leader at the place you were visiting is worth his or her salt, he/she will have a chat with the drummer, and that conversation should end in one of two ways, either of which should benefit the church.

You could always offer your services as a sub, but if you do, just know you will probably start receiving calls on late Saturday nights and Sunday mornings (the day of) asking you to play. While this is a good opportunity, just know that this WILL get ON YOUR EVERY LAST NERVE after a couple of months. This happened to my wife when our flaky bass player couldn't be there last minute.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
We don't really have drums in Church in the northeastern part of the US, so I'm not super familiar with the culture, but it sounds like you did the right thing.

As a freelancer, I've filled in on plenty of gigs, and have sometimes been asked to continue on with them, but I always defer them back to their original drummer.

You made some great connections, and hopefully something will come of that, and you'll also have this gig on your resume, which will help get gigs in the future.

I know it's probably taking a hit on the income, but poaching the gig from the original drummer would have given you a bad reputation.
 

Ruok

Silver Member
The drummer was already in place when I joined this church. He is a remarkable young drummer. Our praise team is essentially made up of pros, in fact, the lead guitarist just got back from touring with David Cook (from American Idol). We've had a few pros come sing with them.

I love to sit back to watch and listen. I'm constantly learning from them. They have a great talent for getting the congregation involved and excited to be in church (and the pastor ain't too shabby himself! :) ).

Upon reflection, I'm good with my decision. I'm just a little anxious for other opportunities to arise.
Ah. I see. I'm curious, is this a church where the players get paid?
 

Ruok

Silver Member
We don't really have drums in Church in the northeastern part of the US, so I'm not super familiar with the culture, but it sounds like you did the right thing.
Hi tcspears,

I've been playing drums at my church in the Northeast US (Massachusetts to be exact) since 2004 and I know of many other churches in the area where drums are being played regularly too. There are some churches here, one very close to me, that is almost like attending a rock concert, with a light show and everything. I personally don't like it when the music is real loud and when church feels like a "show." But others seem to like it. It's just not for me.
 
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