Note: I have posted an update/clarification to this post here.
I generally feel pretty bad for church bass players who have only learned to play in a church setting, and particularly in the last 10 years. Let me apologize for my generation’s songwriting influences – yes, I’m one of the many members of Gen-X Christendom that has every U2 album. Unfortunately, it has crept in so strongly to worship songwriting that you can’t escape it. Guitarists, make sure you have your delay pedal handy. Drummers, tune up those toms and stretch your Achilles tendon to get that 4-on-the-floor going. Bass players, grab a cup of coffee because your part isn’t going to mentally stimulate you to wakefulness on a Sunday morning.
To be fair, as a bassist I am myself heavily influenced by Adam Clayton – good note choices, good grooves, good tone. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with simplicity when it is called for. Not at all. But if that’s all you’ve ever heard, then our worship bands will all suffer for it, and we will never get any respect as musicians because we aren’t bringing anything to the table, because we’re not expected to – rather, we’re expected NOT to.
Am I bitter? Well….I decided to turn this into an xtraNormal video. Enjoy.
Update: I’m doing some penance for my jadedness by listening to U2 this afternoon. Finding that “No Line on the Horizon” is much better up really loud. That said- the original (U2) will always be better than the imitators (worship songwriters). Oops. Jaded again.