This is a guest post from Josh McCabe. He’s a busy guy as a drummer, worship leader, pastor, and husband. He also is the visionary behind NINEOFIVE and puts on awesome events and concerts for the church. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook. If you have something that you’d like to share with other worshipdrummers, learn how you can contribute here.
Drumming for worship can often be a tricky sort of thing. In most bands everyone is taught to follow the drummer, but in worship, that’s not always true. Though following the drummer is a good thing in worship, ultimately the worship leader is the one all musicians should be following.
This gets REALLY tricky for me sometimes. You see, I’m both a drummer and a worship leader (not at the same time!). When I was playing in Esterlyn, I often had this trouble, as sometimes I’d feel the song going one way and totally start playing as if I was the one leading worship — I wasn’t, and shouldn’t have.
The drummer needs to be on the same page as the worship leader, and through their playing communicate the vision to the rest of the band. An example would be, if the worship leader wants to bring the song back down, the drummer needs to do everything possible to make that obvious to the band (i.e. a slowed down fill using fewer tom hits).
You’ve got to be careful as the drummer not to start marching to your own drum, but rather to the drum of the worship leader (try wrapping your head around that analogy).
I highly recommend having a discussion with the worship leader before hand to find out his/her cues or tendencies. When I’m leading worship, if I want more intensity, I start stomping my foot like an angry man… but the drummer catches it and knows to keep building the intensity, or keep on going with the chorus.
Always be on the same page as the worship leader, remember, you are there to compliment them musically, not the other way around.[This post is part of the Pro WorshipDrummers series]