Folk Instruments Group

  • “Jailbreak (Going Free)” by Vertical Church Band is a great banjo/bluegrass tune. The original doesn’t really have that element to it, but it works great. Also, juat about anything by Rend Collective.

    • Travis, Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll check it out. I love finding songs that never were intended for banjo and creating that drive that only a solid banjo roll can create take it to another level. Keep dropping some suggestions in here.

  • I’m new here and hope this is the right place (as I haven’t found any other group for string instruments)- I’ve recently started to play the violin in our worship team (I used to play classical pieces, but had not played for several years). So I’m interested in any experience of how to use it best- play in all songs or only sometimes; good violin…[Read more]

    • Barbara, Welcome to the Folk Instruments group. Violins/Fiddles are important instruments in the Folk world. They carry the melody in most folk and oldtime music. In worship music they tend create more ambiance. Whenever I have a violinist play in one of our worship sets I always ask them to learn the lead guitar part. If you don’t have a…[Read more]

  • Another great worship/banjo tune. “You Have Won Me” from Bethel Music:

  • What kind of pickup is best for the use on multiple acoustic instruments (violin and sax)?

  • Rob, For mando I personally play through a Boss TU2 and a LR Baggs Para DI. Clean and sweet. I let the front of house do what they will. They actually usually boost the lows quite a bit and maybe add a little reverb for melodic playing. If you were to run effects from the […]

  • Rob, Sorry for the delayed response, response, response,….. :-). I personally am somewhat of a purest when it comes to folk instruments. But I love the idea of adding the timbre of mandolin, banjo, or what have to you any worship set. So I say go for it with the hybrid instruments. I will say […]

  • Have any of you found your inner polka? Or better stated, are any of you incorperating accordian into your worship sets? How are you using it? What songs? What style? I’ve found an accordian player is and she has been a huge blessing to our acoustic sundays.

  • carljaeger posted an update in the group Group logo of Folk Instruments GroupFolk Instruments Group: 8 years, 1 month ago

    I’m new to this group. I play guitar as my first instrument and banjo as my second. I’m interested in incorporating banjo into worship more and I’d like to hear how others are doing this?

    • Carljaeger,

      Welcome to the Folk Instruments group. I like to think of this group as hanging out on a virtual porch talking all things folk instruments and worship. What style of banjo are you playing? Claw hammer, three finger, somewhere in between?
      I typically play three finger without picks while in the worship setting. The banjo can be…[Read more]

      • Thanks for the reply Dylan. I play mainly 3-finger style. We aren’t using bonjo very often in worship, but when we do, I do use picks to get good tone and control. We haven’t had a problem with the banjo being too overpowering–I step into or out of the mic (SM57) as appropriate. I love bluegrass gospel music, but we don’t play that style in…[Read more]

        • carljaeger,

          Very cool. I’m a lover of bluegrass and all thinks folk music. As the worship leader, I’m constantly trying to bring new life into worship songs. Utilizing folk instruments like banjo and mandolin are a great way to do that. We are seeing a folk instruments bring a lot of spark into the mainstream music world right now through…[Read more]

  • Mark, Again, sorry for the delayed response. I wholeheartedly agree with your statement that, “folk instruments and folk/roots music seems to create a place conducive to deep and moving times of worship.” I agree that these instruments create a sense of community whether played in a small group or large group setting. I have a […]

  • Garrett’s video on the dulcimer in worship got me to pondering today. Hope my ‘ponderings’ generate some conversation. Surely not to dismiss the virtuosity and ground-breaking creativity that comes from folk and roots players, my thoughts were that folk instruments and the normal informal folk spaces of small gatherings, house churches and home…[Read more]

  • Thanks for the recommendations – I will be sure to check those out. I have noticed a little more of it in some worship artists music lately, which I am a huge fan of! I played my “Walmartin” acoustic lap steel at a prayer service again this week and have gotten some very positive feedback […]

  • Just a heads up. There is a great lap dulcimer tutorial up in the media section. Garrett Viggers is a good friend and amazing dulcimer player. Check it out. A great instrument to incorporate into your folksy repertoire.

  • Tom, Sorry for the delay in the reply. I love a dobro and other slide instrument accompaniment. It adds that voice like quality that only slide and violin/viola can emulate. I have not had a slide player in a band in a long time. I miss it. There are several worship albums coming out that […]

  • Posted a similar thread in the guitar group but aimed more at lap steel/pedal steel players. Does anyone incorporate a resonator style guitar in worship gatherings? Last week at a prayer service where the instruments are usually entirely acoustic, I brought along an acoustic tuned to A6 and used a tone bar for a near […]

  • There have been several requests for some good mandolin and banjo instruction online. I found a pretty solid youtube channel that has mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bluegrass guitar, and blues guitar lessons. Here’s the link:

    Enjoy! It got me approaching the mandolin a little different than I had…[Read more]

  • Tim,
    How’s it going with the banjo in worship? I played mine this past weekend on a song called “How Great” from the Glory Revealed II album. Here’s a link to a youtube clip of it. A great song for banjo in worship!!!

  • Tim, Welcome to the group. I play banjo in worship every once in a while. Since I lead I only use it every so often. I have had the opportunity to play through whole sets at conferences when I’m not leading. I think of the banjo as a percussion instrument. I try and really lock […]

  • I’m new here….I play violin and introduced the mandolin into my role as well a few years ago. As long as the worship song is not in too complicated a key, knowing about 6-8 chords gets me by. It’s a great alternative to have when the violin/fiddle does not quite fit the song.

    • Todd,
      I play mandolin as a second intrument my first being guitar. I was wondering how much melody you are playing on it coming out of the violin to the mandolin? I started with really basic open chords and then realized how wonderful and easy it was to play melody being that the instrument is tuned in fifths rather than thirds like a guitar.…[Read more]

      • Hi Dylan,
        thanks for the motivating words! I use the mando mainly as an accent instrument or to pound out some open chords. I do find the mando fairly easy to transition from but the skill I lack is the playing of complex chords. My fingers are not used to that type of action…all four fingers are expected to work as one! I do like accenting…[Read more]

        • Todd,

          I’m playing an Alvarez F-style mandolin with a K and K dual transducer pickup installed. It gets a little more sustain and fatter tone than playing into a condensor mic. I’ve not played an electric mandolin before so I couldn’t tell you how it would sound. I went to the Framus website. Those are really cool. I’d never heard of them…[Read more]

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