Playing Together as a Band: The 100% Rule

Andrew Stanley —  November 19, 2012 — 8 Comments

The 100% Rule.  It all comes back to the 100% Rule.  Following or ignoring this rule will make or break the sound of your band.

Obviously, we want to sound good.  We want the band we’re playing in to come across sounding like we actually had a rehearsal.  Well, band members of ALL skill levels, take to heart the 100% Rule.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this concept, it’s an illustration that speaks to the overall sound of the band.  Meaning that every single person in the band, with no exceptions, needs to think about how busy they’re playing and what percentage of the overall sound they’re taking, and in turn, what percentage of the overall sound they’re leaving for everyone else to own in their “piece of the pie.”

Spoiler Alert: Simplicity is better.

Everything that we’re going to talk about in this first series of posts is going to relate back to this 100% Rule.  Keep an eye out for these upcoming posts — if you ignore them, your band has the potential of sounding like this …

Andrew Stanley

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8 responses to Playing Together as a Band: The 100% Rule

  1. I know that’s not what we’re “supposed” to do- but my… that was an impressive strumming pattern on that acoustic guitar!

  2. dee and I live more by the 101% rule. (It’s 1 louder).

  3. For some reason I’m unable to view it because the video is listed as private, is that just me?

  4. Been thinking we musicians need to consider leaving space for the vocals, including the congregational singers. Looking at Jazz accompaniment, for example, the pros let vocals take the main space.

    • … and even more so in our context! In corporate worship music the important message is in the lyrics through the singers (both on stage and off). If we’re not allowing these vocals to ‘have the space’ and be the primary focus of what we’re doing then we’re just a band, playing music to a bunch of people. In our context, that’s not what we want.
      Great thoughts, Ray!

    • I agree less is more, or we are just, as Switchfoot say, Adding to the Noise! I was always brought up to believe that God looks on the congregation, not the platform folk, so we exist to stir up the worship of His people. Keeping this in mind helps my focus while singing–keeps me looking out to see what God is doing rather than going off on my own private worship trip.

      • Any and all reminders that bring us back to the heart of what we’re doing are great! I would go as far as to say that our goal as worship leaders is to try and eliminate the divide completely between the “platform” and the “congregation” — keeping in mind we have nothing working in our favour (direction of seats, spotlights, and the list goes on …). But, we’re not any better at worshiping because we are standing on the stage. We’re joining WITH the people that come to worship through music and collectively as one body declaring truths about who our God is! I know, that’s a little off topic from the post, but it’s always my initial response when I hear the conversations about “platform” vs “congregation”. Thanks for your thoughts!

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