I play in the Christian blues/rock band, “Sky Blue” in addition to my church’s praise band, so, I think a lot about the differences. The purpose, and therefore the focus, of the two are quite different. The purpose of the praise band is to lead worship, to help people see God more clearly. The focus is on the Lord. The purpose of the blues band is to entertain and the focus is on the audience. This results in some dramatic differences in the approach.
At church we do simple songs that the audience can sing along. We do not want to detract from the worship with either bad playing or virtuoso playing. We want the music to be transparent. The challenge is to keep the music from being a concert.
In Sky Blue the opposite is true. Even though a secondary goal is for people to see God more clearly, the primary focus is on the audience. We want them to know that Christians can have fun and make great music. We want them to go away thinking “What a great band!”
Two bands, two purposes, two approaches to performing – it can be a challenge to keep the two sorted out. Granted, it is easier for me because in Sky Blue I play a lead instrument and sing. In the church band, I play bass and don’t sing, so the two are dissimilar to my brain..
Most of the people reading this are probably in the same situations. What is your experience?