Do you remember the first time you picked up your instrument? (Bear with me pianists, drummers, and pipe organists)
Remember what it felt like the first time you figured out how to play something that didn’t sound terrible?
That wonderful moment where you thought “Hey! I can play this instrument.”
Your friends gathered around you to hear the latest pop song that you had spent hours learning how to play.
Yea, we’ve all been there. There’s something special about the first experiences with our instrument. I remember being so proud of myself when I learned how to play Everlong. Or years later when I figured out how to play a basic beat on the drums. I felt like I could conquer the world!
Somewhere along the line I joined a worship team. I was in way over my head and spent hours each night trying to learn the music that we’d be leading on the weekend. And you know what was weird about this experience? I enjoyed every moment of practicing at home on my simple guitar. I reveled in being able to play the whole set that weekend. I was darn proud of myself for learning how to play that Lincoln lick.
I know you’ve been there too. It’s part of what brought us to where we are now, serving God through music. Leading His people in worship. Planning Sets. Mentoring Others. Programming the Lights. Meeting with our senior pastor. Making a hospital visit. Calling people to make sure they’re lined up on the greeting team. Going to staff meetings. Fixing that projector in the kids room. How on earth were they able to get bubble gum in the projector in the kids room? Sending our chord charts. Booking team members. Wait, the drummer is sick this weekend. I can’t find any drummer to play. Do I plan an acoustic set?
When did I get so Busy?
Have you ever just stopped to ask yourself this important question? I imagine you’re like me. When life gets busy, I stop practicing. I don’t take time to work on some scales on the guitar. I won’t go through some vocal training. Heck, I won’t even warm up before we start our rehearsal time. Months will go by and before I know it, I’m not getting better at all musically. If you find yourself in the same situation, here’s what I have to say to you.
Powerful, isn’t it?
Sometimes you just need to take the time and practice. Force yourself to become better at your craft. Need some scripture?
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. Psalm 33:3
This verse should really hit all of us right between the eyes. We are leading God’s people in worship. To bring anything less than our very best musicianship shouldn’t be an option. God has placed you in the position you are in for a reason. Don’t insult Him by winging it and relying on yesterday’s ability. Cultivate your craft.
- Schedule. Carve out 20 minutes every day to practice.
- Be Intentional. Don’t just play your instrument or sing. Work on a specific scale or piece of music. Do it with a metronome and take notes to track your growth.
- Keep it Practical. Challenge yourself with a song you’d like to do in the future but can’t do now.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up. You won’t practice every day and that’s ok. Just don’t let it slide for days at a time.
- Take Lessons. Find someone better than you and learn from them. We all need someone to speak in to our lives. Heck, leave a comment here and I’ll hop on skype with you for a bit if you need some help.
What do you do to make sure you get practice time in?