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Thread: Playing in Church

  1. #1

    Default Playing in Church

    I have seen this mentioned in a few posts on different threads, but I was wondering how many of you play your ukes regularly in church services? What ukes (size) do you typically play and what style of worship/music (artists) do you typically play/model after?
    Cordoba Tenor Bocote

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Nashville, TN USA
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    73

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    One of the reasons I took up uke was that I missed playing guitar in church about 15 years ago. I haven't gotten good enough yet but I can see it fitting in a contemporary music service. Our praise band has the typical instruments including electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums and keyboards and also frequently a violin. It's very enjoyable and I can see a plugged in uke as a substitute/addition to an acoustic guitar. There isn't really any soloing at our church, it's more about the words and praising God. Some of the songs they play are things like Hillsong and Bethel Music, among many others.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    I think ukulele could fit into any type of worship service. A fingerstyle hymn or other would be beautiful for an offertory.
    Jan >^..^<
    (AKA Chopped Liver)


    You say 'Crazy Cat Lady' like it's a bad thing!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
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    I’ve been playing ukulele for almost two years. One year ago I got up the courage to join the worship band at my church. I was afraid they would scoff at a ukulele, but they welcomed me with open arms. No better place to get used to playing with & in front of others than with your church family. I regularly get comments from the congregation about how they like my ukulele. I say......”it adds sparkle.”

    We have piano, one electric guitar, 1-2 acoustic guitars, singers, and me on my concert uke. My uke has a MiSi pick-up, so I’m plugged into the the big sound board/ sound system. There are some Sundays when the piano guy or the electric guitar player are out of town and my uke really gets to sing. I haven’t got up the guts to try a solo piece yet. Someday?

    We play all the contemporary Christian music. We even did Nirvana “Come As You Are” once with tweaked lyrics. I play from guitar lead sheets, which can be a little tricky sometimes because they have those two extra strings, fancy chords, and they cheat with the capo a lot. It has forced me to learn to transpose more & embrace the dreaded E chord.

    I love it & have found it to be a very uplifting way to worship. If you had told me two years ago that I’d be playing a musical instrument in the church band, I would have laughed. The Lord indeed works in mysterious ways!
    My ukulele family.....
    Islander Acacia laminate soprano
    KoAloha concert - circa 2006
    aNueNue Moon Bird concert - Spruce & Rosewood

  5. #5

    Default

    I play at mine pretty regularly - once every month to six weeks. A couple of times in a small jam band with banjo, guitar, bass, piano, etc. and everybody sings. Almost bluegrass but not quite (and I know lots of people say ukulele doesn't belong in bluegrass). I also play solo. My church does sing some traditional hymns and gospel, but no modern Christian worship songs to speak of, and we do a ton of secular music -- mostly rock, broadway, folk, indie, or pop...Not a lot of country. Off the top of my head, I've done Tori Amos "Climb" and Eddie Vedder's "Rise," Paul Simon's "America," Savage Garden's "Animal Song," and all the Christmas songs in the Christmas Eve service this year. I sometimes play my longneck soprano (mic'd) and sometimes my tenor w/pickup (plugged in), just depending on the sound I want.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    I took a look at my church song binder, and we do a lot of Chris Tomlin, Chris Christensen, Casting Crowns, Hillsong, Don Moen, Michael W Smith, and Michael Card, etc. Last Easter we did Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah with Easter appropriate lyrics. We started with just one female singer, soft piano, and my uke on the first verse, then added singers & instruments as we went through the other verses. It was fantastic, and the closest I've come to a solo. I got a lot of comments that Sunday on my uke. "What is that you're playing? It sounded so beautiful" They were amazed when I told them it was a ukulele.

    We have both a choir and a worship band. The band normally plays 3-6 songs, some full songs, some just a short chorus/one verse. The choir does one special song, and we also sing at least 1-2 songs from the hymnal with just the piano playing. This coming Sunday, our piano guy is out of town, so the band has the lead on all of the music. 3 short chorus songs & 4 full songs. Sometimes we have practice on a mid-week evening, but mostly practice for about 45 minutes before church on Sunday morning.
    My ukulele family.....
    Islander Acacia laminate soprano
    KoAloha concert - circa 2006
    aNueNue Moon Bird concert - Spruce & Rosewood

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    WA
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    I just started playing in our church choir this month. I either use my Kamaka longneck soprano pineapple with LR Baggs 5.0 or the Pono cedar rosewood tenor with MiSi. The latter I use when our acoustic guitarist is away since the Pono sounds almost like a guitar. We sing songs from the church hymn book called Breaking Bread and also some Chris Tomlin songs.
    Onyx
    Currently playing:
    Sopranos: Kamaka HP-1L, Koaloha KSM-02, Ken Timms Mahogany, Ohana SK-25Z, Martin S1 Centennial
    Concerts: Mya Moe Chocolate Heart Mango, Koaloha KCM-10, Koaloha KCM-00 MH, Martin C1K, Kamaka HF-2, Anuenue Moonbird UC200
    Tenor: Pono Cedar Rosewood
    For sale:
    Koaloha KCM-10

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    FL, USA
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    876

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    I'm in the mostly traditional music ensemble (viola, cello, piano/flute) at our small church. The pianist/flautist has a soprano or concert uke, and can strum chords. The cellist has gotten a u-bass, and I have my various tenors I can play some fingerstyle on. We frequently joke that we should get together some ukulele trio hymn arrangements going. But it has yet to come to pass, mainly because it's easier to just play our primary instruments, as anything else would take actual rehearsals, which we seldom have. Maybe some day we'll find the time to expand our capabilities.

    bratsche
    A bunch of stringed instruments tuned in fifths. And a bunch of cats!


    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Maryland, USA
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    27

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    I've got an acoustic-electric Luna concert ukulele, and I lead some songs and sing with it for my Church youth group. It's a lot better for "acoustic sets"(really just when we are understaffed), but it works really well, there are really interesting percussive effects you can pull off too.
    Don't forget that Uke'n do it!
    Check out my Ukulele YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvG...7AmdP6rUzbWrzg
    Road work ahead? Well I sure hope it does.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    11

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    Quote Originally Posted by onyx725 View Post
    I just started playing in our church choir this month. I either use my Kamaka longneck soprano pineapple with LR Baggs 5.0 or the Pono cedar rosewood tenor with MiSi. The latter I use when our acoustic guitarist is away since the Pono sounds almost like a guitar. We sing songs from the church hymn book called Breaking Bread and also some Chris Tomlin songs.
    Which sounds better to you, the LR Baggs or the MiSi?
    Thanks

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