The Sound of Discipline

You might feel the pressure to be REALLY AMAZING! during quarantine.

But you may not paint the house or finally do all the honey-do list of projects or release an album.

Maybe resting and being with your family is the best thing to do to honor God.

Maybe it’s a good time to video call your sound team and ask them what they’ve been learning or frustrated with.

Maybe it’s time to get an Ad Lib coach to walk alongside you.

But don’t be in a hurry. Let the dust settle. It’s very appropriate for people to slow down.

During this time of unusual opportunity, we want to continue to walk alongside you and help you walk well. Giving perspective, putting things together, solving problems, thinking well, trusting God…these are things that we’ve always done as Ad Lib.

With the ability to meet with you via video, how can we help?

Today, I want to tell you a story that happened last week. The apartment we’re living in has little gaps between rooms. I was in one room and was listening to my thirteen-year-old son playing the ukulele in the next room. He was using PCO’s Music Stand app for the chord chart.

“Why don’t you use the metronome?” I called to him.

“Ok, Dad.” He responded.

At first, I heard him struggle to stay close to the tempo set by the metronome. But then, I heard it:

The sound of discipline.

It’s that beautiful sound of a disciplined approach to playing, where the musician is submitting his playing to an external structure and rule until he has built his own. This skill is absolutely crucial if you’re ever to play with others.

And the opposite sound is a familiar one too. When an undisciplined or untrained player plays, it lacks consistency, if often doesn’t fit the song (they play according to their familiar rhythmic pattern rather than the one required by the song), and it just feels a little willy-nilly. (Meaning it’s not intentional, it just ambles along)
But the sound of discipline, ah, it’s music to our ears!

Why this story? Well, there’s no rush here and the demands of this season are extreme. However, I can’t help but see this as an opportunity. An opportunity to work on yourself, to grow in a specific area.

Often when we think about growing as musicians, we either get overwhelmed, unmotivated, or just don’t know where to start.

I remember sitting at a workshop that Vertical Worship was teaching. They talked about very specific skills that are required for each role to be a part of their worship team. It was concrete, like “singing in time” or “singing on pitch,” which is much more helpful than “have a nice voice.” (It’s hard to try to have a nice voice if they’ve told you that you don’t have one, but working on your pitch or your timing is tangible and achievable.)

Anyway, I took that concept and expanded it, and put it into a PDF that you can use or share. I called it the Musician Self-Evaluation. Get it here. (or if you want a downloadable version, click here.)

So what are you working on during this time?


ps. Oh and have you tried scheduling weekly video chats with your worship team during the time of your normal midweek rehearsals?