One of the responsibilities of a worship team leader is communicating musical parts to your team. When you're arranging a song, you have to let your team members know what you want them to play and when you want them to play it. That can be difficult when you don't know how to play their instrument.
How can you, as a guitar player who has no drumming experience, properly communicate what you want your drummer to play? Or how can you explain to a bass player what you want them to play when you only play the keyboard?
Here are 3 ways to communicate with your team members when you don't play their instrument:
1 | Give examples
Chances are if you have something in mind of what you want a musician to play, you've probably heard that musical idea from somewhere. Sometimes the best way to communicate is to simply point them to a similar part in a different song. Do you like a drum beat that you wish the drummer would play in a song you're doing? Share the song with them and tell them, "In verse 1, I'd like you to play something like this."
This method means you don't have to know the exact vocabulary as long as you know what you want.
2 | Learn the basics
Take a little bit of time to learn the fundamentals of each instrument. Most of the musical vocabulary between instruments is interchangeable so taking the time to learn the language is beneficial not just to you as a band leader but also as a musician.
Learn what a 4 on the floor drum beat sounds like. Brush up on quarter notes, 8th notes, and 16th notes. Surprisingly, you don't have to learn THAT much to be able to communicate with other musicians.
3 | Give it time
There's a universal musical language. However, there is also a language that you build with your band over time. These are specific phrases and ideas that you communicate to your band that, after enough time, become part of your common language. Certain adjectives - driving, muted, back it off, keep a "steady beat" - all have their own meaning in your worship band after time. Allow your band time to develop their own musical language.