Since our beloved piano player has recently departed our midst, and because the CD system isn't quite up to speed yet, I have been filling in on Sunday mornings by playing my guitar for the hymns at church. This is interesting. While I'm not a complete stranger to leading music, it's not something that I do enough to feel totally comfortable with...You see, sometimes I get lost in singing the chorus and forget what verse we're on and so when the next verse starts, people get all higgledy-piggledy because they're following me and I have no idea what I'm doing. Very disconcerting to have to stop and say, "Um- what verse are we on?" Sooooo unprofessional.
( Okay- that only happened once. So far.) But then, I'm NOT a professional - not by any stretch. But I guess, without me, we'd be chanting a cappella. ( No matter HOW I spell it, this spell check is NEVER satisfied with the spelling of that last word...Argh.) And so far, no one's complained - to my face.
But there are a couple of advantages to leading the music. Firstly, I get to pick the songs we sing! Hah! Because I don't read music, I am limited in what I can play and so whoever is leading the worship time gives me a pretty good amount of freedom to choose what I want to play. Hurray! It's great to be able to choose stuff you like and shun that other stuff...Not that there are really BAD hymns, but to be honest, there are some that do bug me - whether it's a repetitive tune or the fact that they are terribly over-used and need to be given a rest for approximately twenty years.
But then there's the REAL bonus: I get to PITCH the songs! It seems that most hymns have been pitched for sopranos and old ladies who like to warble. I am neither. It's hard to worship when you're screeching up in the attic. The lower the better, I say. So I have taken great delight in pitching the songs LOOOOOWER. But then there's the challenge- I know not everyone likes my comfortable/tenor/basement philosophy of singing. What sounds normal to me suddenly seems a little growly when the rest of the congregation joins in with me...Ooops. Sorry, folks. So, I try to strike a good balance.
Anyway- all this said - this experience is giving me a greatly increased appreciation for musicians who contribute every Sunday. It's easy to take them for granted...until you become one of them! So...are there any piano players out there who would like to join us and take over for me? My belly is expanding and soon there may not be a lot of room left for a guitar on my lap...and from what I hear, ones' lung capacity is somewhat compromised in the later stages of pregnancy, which could make for some gaspy singing.