You now have access to the exclusive Camp Electric magazine. Each year students receive this limited edition magazine and now you can download your own copy for free!
If you’re reading this, you’re probably either looking to pick up an instrument for the first time or you feel unsure about the one you’re playing now. Finding the right instrument to play is one of the biggest questions a Christian musician can ask himself. If you don’t know which instrument to pick or you have fallen out of love with your current choice, you’ll need to do some soul searching before you can keep progressing as a musician. Let us help you make the process easier by asking a few related questions and encouraging you in your craft.
What Do You Want to Do as a Christian Musician?
While most instruments can be versatile across many styles of music, picking a certain instrument may leave you with only a few choices. The clarinet is a great instrument, but you’re probably only going to use one in the marching band or in some kind of orchestral setting. The same goes with the tuba and other similar instruments. If your mission is to play in one of these settings, then those might be great choices that fit your vision.
On the other hand, if your goal is to be in a rock band or lead worship in church, you’ll want to look into guitars, drums, keys, or any other instrument which suits those environments. Again, there are a good number of instruments which can be used in numerous settings, from the acoustic guitar to the violin to several percussion tools. Give serious thought to what you want to do or be and you’ll be better prepared for finding the right fit.
Get Out There and Try a Few Instruments
It’s fine and good to sit around thinking about which musical instruments you might like to play, but why don’t you get out there and give them a try? An easy way to introduce yourself to a new instrument is by asking your friend if you can play hers. If you don’t feel comfortable borrowing an expensive guitar, just see if you can handle it while your friend gives a few tips. You can also visit your local music store where hundreds of instruments from different classifications are on standby. Just be careful to respect the merchandise, employees, and fellow customers.
Here’s the best news: the choice you make today doesn’t have to define you for the rest of your life. You can always change instruments. The important part is that you understand music theory and develop the discipline to be a musician.
Is There an Instrument Best Suited for Praising God?
As a Christian musician, you might be wondering if there’s a certain instrument best suited for praising God. We see several appearances made by harps, lyres, and other instruments throughout the Bible, but it’s safe to say that playing one of these instruments doesn’t make you any holier than if you were to sit at a drum set instead. Like any artist who gives glory to God through his painting or craftsmanship, you can perform with your guitar or keys as an act of worship.
Different churches and denominations may set unique standards for what they allow during corporate worship, but those rules don’t always apply to what you do in your personal time. We praise God and thank Him for the abilities He has given us by putting forth our best efforts, no matter which instrument we play. If you feel personally convicted to play one instrument over another, that’s fine. We only want you to know there are many ways to be a Christian musician.
It’s OK to Play More Than One Instrument
We often think of ourselves as belonging to only one instrument. “I’m a vocalist” or “I play drums.” You may find an instrument that fits you better than all the others, but there’s no reason why we can’t expand our knowledge by learning to play a second or third instrument. Once you have established yourself as a musician on one instrument, it could be beneficial to pick up another. This makes your skill set more employable and allows you to be more versatile with your music. Many of your favorite musicians have the ability to play several instruments, even if you typically associate them with one certain role. You may not want to try new instruments until you really get the hang of your first choice, but once that is done, try something fresh.
Remember the Reason for Music
If you’re asking yourself “Which instrument should a Christian musician play?,” know that the sky is essentially the limit. More important than which instrument you hold in your hands is what you are doing with it, how, and why. Like all art, music exists to find the beauty in the world around us and celebrate it however we can. As a Christian musician, you should be taking the next step of pointing that celebration to God, but the purpose of the music is the same. No matter what you end up choosing to spend your time with, do it all to the glory of God.
What Makes You Happy + What You’re Good at + What Allows You to Worship God = The Right Choice
This simple equation will help you understand how to pick the instrument best suited for you as a Christian musician. If you’re old and mature enough to make this kind of decision, you should be able to see the pros and cons of each instrument and how they will fit with your wants and needs. First, you need to feel joy when playing the instrument. There may be days where you don’t want to practice, but your instrument should bring you some kind of happiness when you are jamming out. Secondly, is it something you are competent in? Drums can be fun to beat nonsensically, but someone who can’t handle them should probably look for a different instrument. Lastly, can the instrument help you to worship God and enjoy Him forever? If an instrument ticks all of these boxes, then you should seriously consider learning to play it.
Finding the right instrument can take time and patience, but hopefully, when you get your hands on the right one, you will feel confident in your choice. If you’re already asking yourself these questions, it means you are someone who wants to do things the right way. Once you’ve found the perfect instrument, aim to be the best Chrisitan musician you can be.
Camp Electric exists to help young Christians who are passionate about music develop their talents and mature as believers. Our instructors come from today’s biggest Christian bands and they bring with them invaluable wisdom about the industry and what it means to be a musician. Find out how you can be our next student by clicking on the link below.