My Top 10 Worship Posts Of 2016

2016 has been an amazing year for me, it has included strong worship ministry, a return to choir leading,  great overseas ministry and awesome family times. This blog has been a successful part of that journey with almost 690,000 visits from 280,000 visitors in over 180 countries. Here are my top worship posts of 2016.

10. Worship Leaders: 10 Things For Us To Work On

No matter how long I have been leading worship, there are always areas that I need to improve on. When you are doing well, it is too easy to get comfortable. But the truth is, none of us ever arrives. My prayer is that this list challenges you, like it challenges me, to move ahead with what God has called us to do!

9. The 10 Commandments of Great Worship Team Members

Sometimes I lead worship and sometimes I play in the band. Both are important roles and have specific responsibilities to do them well. As both a leader and a player/singer, here are my ten most important rules as a team member:

8. Worship Leading: 7 Keys To Becoming Invisible

Have you ever been in a great worship service and the worship leader and team seemed to disappear and your complete focus turned to worshiping Jesus?

Strong worship leaders know that worship is never about them, it’s about putting our gaze and attention on Jesus. Here are some keys to leading people toward Jesus in worship.

7. Worship Rehearsal Checklist

This year I’ve had some huge rehearsals. Many rehearsals have included a 12 member worship band, 90 voice choir and 40 piece orchestra. Solid prep work is essential for excellent rehearsals. Here is an extensive check-list to help you with many of the details.

6. 10 Tips On Improving Your Worship Band Rehearsal

I have spent many days and evenings at rehearsals. It is the price you pay if you want to do music at a good musical level. It is the price you pay if you want to get past the music and be able to worship God freely.

I have had rehearsals with orchestra’s, choirs, marching bands, studio sessions, vocal sections, brass & string sections and worship bands in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Caribbean and North America. Along the way I have picked up a few ideas on how to have a good rehearsal. Here is what I have learned so far:

5. My Top 25 Worship Songs For 2016

Picking great songs for your congregation and worship band is one of the most important tasks of a worship leader. Great songs have a sense of God’s Spirit on them. Great worship songs make you want to sing them again and again. Great songs cause your spirit to rise in worship to the Lord.

4. 12 Keys To Picking Great Songs For Worship

Picking great songs for worship is one of the most important skills a worship leader needs to learn. There are many different kinds and levels of worship songs. Some songs are written about God, some songs are written to express our feelings, some songs are sung prayers, some songs are upbeat praise songs and some songs are pure worship to God. And many Christian songs are performance songs and really don’t fall into the worship category.

There are fast songs, medium songs and slow songs. There are difficult songs and easy songs. But what are the best songs for us to sing with our congregations? What songs help our congregations to sing with all their hearts and connect with God?

Here is my philosophy of picking worship songs distilled from 10 years of travelling, writing charts for Praisecharts.com and over 25 years of leading congregations in worship

3. Guidelines For A Strong Worship Team

In any quality organization there are codes of conduct and concrete expectations. A number of years ago I attended a worship conference at Gateway Church in Dallas and was totally impressed by their worship team. Based on Gateway’s code of conduct and my own experience, here are my standards and guidelines for my worship team.

2. 10 Tests Of A Good Worship Leader

How are you doing as a worship leader? How do you know if you are a good worship leader? Let me suggest a few guidelines that will help to quantify your leadership.

1. Strong Worship Leaders: The 18 Things They Avoid

Strong worship leaders develop good attitudes and habits. They keep their heart, mind and spirit right before God and man. Check out these things that strong leaders don’t do, so you can grow and improve.

Check out my new book: ‘Leading Worship: Notes from a Grand Adventure‘. This is a great gift for the musician or worshipper in your life! Pick up the Kindle version for only $3.99 and the paper back for only $13.30.

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How To Be A Great Backup Singer

Adapted from Insights On Worship

It’s one thing to have a great voice. Good singers are plentiful. It is quite another to possess the skills it takes to make your worship leader want to schedule you as often as possible. Here are some solid tips on how to improve.

1. Master the three vital elements of singing

The three most important features of your voice are pitch (your ability to sing on key), tone (the actual sound of your voice – think of the difference in sound between an opera singer and a country singer), and breath control. Great breath control will really help your pitch and tone.

Here are 7 Keys To Improving Pitch and 10 Keys To Improving Your Singing.

2. Listen more than you sing 

Listen to recordings of modern worship singers and emulate their vocals. Listen to yourself as you sing. Record yourself. Listen to your worship leader and the other singers. Try to blend by matching their tone.

Note idiosyncrasies (such as: My worship leader likes to ad lib a little the second time through the chorus). Pay attention!

Also listen closely to the melody. Make sure you end each word at the same time as the worship leader. Make sure your rhythm is the same as his or hers. Make sure you are singing the melody or harmony the same way as the other singers.

3. Follow instructions. 

If your worship leader asked you to not sing the first time through the verse, don’t sing! Know when to sing on-mic and when to sing off-mic. Only sing on-mic when your part is needed.

If your worship leader tells you not to sing a certain harmony or note because it sounds bad, don’t sing it!

Watch carefully for cues and memorize the arrangement. When the worship leader goes into the chorus from the bridge, don’t come in halfway through that first sentence! It sounds must sharper when you come in at the beginning of a phrase. Otherwise you sound like a novice singer who isn’t paying attention.

4. Don’t drown out the worship leader’s vocals. 

They’re called background vocals for a reason: stay in the background! Your job is to support the worship leader, not to draw away from the melody with either excessive volume or stylization.

Keep it simple. We don’t need Mariah Carey, we need you. A simplified version of you.

5. Learn to sing harmony properly 

Learn harmony by singing ALL the parts on all your favorite worship songs along with the recording. Generally there is ONE correct alto part and ONE correct tenor part. The harmony always follows the shape of the melody, usually in parallel thirds and fourths. Don’t get too crazy. Keep it clean.

6. Listen to the recordings your worship leader sent out

Learn your part and the other parts. When you show up for practice, the worship leader shouldn’t have to teach you your part. Come prepared!

7. Learn to worship as you sing

Smile, worship, move, develop great stage presence. Be a worshipper on and off the stage.

Don’t get offended when someone gives you tips to improve your voice. We’re all on a journey of improving our musical craft. Keep growing! Stay humble! Work hard; the Lamb is worthy.

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The Story Behind ‘Joy To The World’

By Monica Hunter (the original post is here)

No Christmas carol list would be complete without the exuberant celebration song, “Joy to the World.” This lively tune is easily memorized and simple to play on an instrument. But do you know the interesting story behind this well-loved hymn?

Isaac Watts (1674-1748), author of around 750 songs, is commonly called “The Father of Hymns” due to his popularity as the first English hymn writer. A few of his most well-known songs still sung today include: Come ye that Love the Lord; When I Survey the Wondrous Cross; At the Cross; and the topic of today’s post, Joy to the World.

Isaac Watts was a young man when hymns other than the Psalms were allowed to be sung in the Church of England. This gave way to Watts developing many beloved songs. Watts still based many of his songs on the Psalms, but he was especially interested in writing hymns based on the “Christian experience.”

Joy to the World was written in 1719 and based on Psalm 98:

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together. Before the LORD; for He cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall He judge the world, and the people with equity.

If you notice the lyrics of the song, Joy to the World, you will see nothing about shepherds, a manger, wise men, angels, or any other character or element that we normally associate with the Christmas story. The reason being that Isaac Watts did not write Joy to the World to be a Christmas song. The original theme of this song was the second coming of the Lord. Christmas won’t always be a joyful time, but when Jesus comes back, even the rocks will sing!

Over 100 years later, in 1839, Lowell Mason adapted and arranged this song into a melody many believe to have been written by Handel. In my research, however, I have not been able to establish when or why this hymn became associated with Christmas. Certainly we can look at the message in the song and see that it can be applied to Christ’s appearance as a babe in Bethlehem. We must prepare room for Him in our hearts and lives. This is a joyous occasion!

As you hear and sing this beloved carol this season, think about the words. Yes, they apply to the Christmas story in that the Lord is come! We should rejoice! But, let the lyrics all point you to the reason Jesus came: to save the world. Be ready because He is coming again! What a glorious day THAT will be when the whole earth celebrates His appearing!

Joy to the World

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world! The Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

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10 Great Leadership Questions

Are you a leader or aspiring leader? Asking the right questions really sets the right tone for your leadership. Asking the right questions will give you insight into any blind spots you might have. And asking the right questions will help your organization and the people serving in it go to the next level. Here are 10 great questions to help you in your leadership.

1. How can I help you?

2. What is the biggest challenge you have to being successful here?

3. Do you understand what I’ve asked you to do?

4. What am I missing or what would you do differently if you were me?

5. What do you see that I can’t see?

6. How can I improve as your leader?

7. If we had authority to do anything – and money was no barrier – what would you like to see us do as a team/organization?

8. Where do you see yourself someday and how can I assist you in getting there?

9. What are you currently learning which can help all of us?

10. How are you doing in your personal life and is there any way I can help you?

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8 Reasons a Church Choir Is Important

I recently started conducting a choir after many years of just doing worship teams. Here are 8 great reasons to consider adding a choir to your congregation. (edited from Chuck Lawless)

It provides opportunities for many members to serve. Think practically for a minute: A Bible study program requires one to two facilitators per group, but a choir requires many people to serve. Open choir seats are opportunities to serve.

It helps produce good congregational singing. A praise team can achieve this goal, too, but it’s easier to worship through song when dozens of people are leading the way.

A good choir sings and illustrates joy. It’s not just the singing that makes a difference. It’s also the smiling. It’s the worshiping through raising hands. It’s the singer who closes his eyes and takes us to God through his own personal worship. It’s the large group praising God together.

It can highlight diversity in a church. Particularly when the choir leads worship from the front of the worship center, the congregation can often see diversity (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity) in front of them. That diversity among the singers is a picture of heaven (Rev 7:9-10).

It helps promote teamwork. That, of course, is the nature of a choir. Everybody has a part, and it’s the parts combined that create the overall sound. It seldom hurts for believers to learn to work together in any capacity.

It offers multi-generational fellowship. I’ve been to churches where the choir is the only opportunity for several generations to serve together. There’s something God honoring about an older saint and a teen believer singing next to one another.

A choir can be an entry-level service opportunity for members and attenders. Any follower of Christ can sing God’s praises, including a baby believer who isn’t ready yet to serve in other capacities (and, to be frank, a choir helps even the worst voice somehow blend into the praise).

It helps avoid the “single star” approach to worship leadership. That’s just naturally the case: Get enough people in the picture, and no single leader becomes the star.

The original post by Chuck Lawless is here.

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Christmas Humour (Part 3)

  

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The Difference Between Men & Women

Here is a tongue-in-cheek look at the incredible differences between men & woman! 🙂

NICKNAMES

  • If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
  • If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will  affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman.

EATING OUT

  • When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it’s only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
  • When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

MONEY

  • A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
  • A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn’t need but it’s on sale.

BATHROOMS

  • A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
  • The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

DRESSING UP

  • A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
  • A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

NATURAL

  • Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
  • Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

OFFSPRING

  • Ah.. children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
  • A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

  • A married man forgets his mistakes. There’s no use in two people remembering the
    same thing!
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Philosophy of Worship

Does your congregation have a ‘Philosophy of Worship’? I recently came across a very well-written philosophy from ‘The Meeting Place’ church. If you are developing your own standards for your worship ministry, this is a good place to start.

worship

Philosophy of Worship

The guiding definition of worship at TMP is:  Worship is our appropriate response to God’s self-revelation. An encounter with God involves strong and real emotions and clear thinking. The following values provide a center to which we lead, and boundaries that allow innovation to occur in a context of creative confidence.

  1. Invitational and Evangelistic:

A TMP worship experience creates a place were people can encounter and are invited to believe in Jesus Christ.  Guests and regulars alike will know that God is real and reveals his presence among us.  Worship must be Christo-centric, filled with joy, portray the gospel, and invite specific response.

  1. Assume nothing and Explain everything (little | lots)

Our Sunday morning worship experiences are targeted for those who are “exploring Christ” and “growing in Christ”.  To do this affectively we assume a zero to minimal biblical knowledge or Christian worldview.  We recognize that basic Christian vocabulary must be explained often and that people do not have familiarity with even the most basic practices of prayer or public worship. Our aim is to meet people where they are at and move them towards a thriving relationship with Jesus.

  1. Un-distracting Excellence:

We will sing, play, pray and teach in such a way that people’s attention will be drawn to the beauty and truth of the content.  We value excellence as a tribute to God who is the source of creativity, and out of respect for those who have gathered. Bringing our absolute best is what we strive for.

  1. Participation and Performance:

We encourage and anticipate a strong participation during sung worship at TMP.  We value music that is current, singable, and expresses a full range of responses to God.  Sung worship provides an excellent opportunity to teach how we are able to best relate to our heavenly Father. Performance songs are used to create engagement and help elevate teaching themes.

  1. Creative and Consistent

We foster creativity in the arts as an essential part of our worship.  We value creating consistent experiences so that everyone could describe with confidence what a guest would encounter in a worship service should they respond to an invitation to attend.

  1. Honest and Transparent

TMP is a community of broken and restored people. This is valued through personal stories of transformation, illustration of truth using first person experience, and candor that values both grace and truth in the application of scripture.

  1. Christo-centric and Biblical

A TMP worship service does not speak of or address God generically, we name the persons of the trinity specifically: Jesus who saves and reconciles us, the Father who forgives and adopts us as children, and Holy Spirit who indwells us and empowers us for mission. Overall our worship focuses on the person of Jesus Christ. The content of scripture will be woven through all we do in worship, and our singing, praying, poetry, drama, etc. will always conform to the truth of the Bible.  We point out how scripture influences these creative ideas.

  1. Prayer and Connection:

In worship we model and explicitly teach what prayer is and how people can pray. In prayer we direct our concerns about our circumstance and this world to God, and in prayer we become a caring, repenting and renewed community.  Worship gatherings both cultivate corporate prayer, and provide opportunity for prayer ministry to those who would seek it.

Notes:

Audiences we are specifically mindful of in shaping and leading worship:

  • Our worship services will engage challenging content appropriate to both teenagers and adults
  • Our worship services are shaped with the knowledge that there are many people who are exploring Christianity who attend and participate
  • Our worship services consider the spiritual life continuum (exploring, growing, close & Christ centred), and content is intended to engage growth of all by challenging the ‘Growing in Christ’ (the largest part of our community)
  • There are many children and students involved in TMP Kids and Transit, and we must respect the time constraints of leaders and participants in these environments.

Music Team

Expectations and Conduct

Vision – We will be people who champion and live out the vision of The Meeting Place: Reordering our lives for the compassionate cause of Jesus in our friendships, city and world

Rehearsals – Will be held on Thursday nights from 7:00PM – 9:30PM and are mandatory.  We do our absolute best to be ready to play by 7PM, this honors one another’s time.  Music will be made available in the correct keys two weeks prior to the rehearsal.

  • We know and understand that we honor and respect one another by coming to rehearsal knowing our parts
  • Guitar players will be in contact with each other to determine parts
  • Vocalist will be in contact with each other to determine parts
  • The Worship Pastor and/or worship leader will make themselves available to address any concerns or answer any questions regarding parts, arrangements, keys, etc.

Sunday – The scheduled band will be at the church ready for sound check/rehearsal at 7AM (Times will change for special services and summer schedule).  The band will also attend the pre-service Blue Room meetings at 8:30AM and 10:20AM.

Availability – It is our desire that Music Team members are serving once per month to gain ownership of and experience the journey/momentum throughout the year

Attendance – We understand that our conduct off the stage will speak volumes to our community and that when in the congregation we are partnering with the scheduled team by leading from where we stand.  Our aim is for 75% attendance, however, we also understand that there are extenuating circumstances.

Lifestyle – As Christ followers we are all called to make disciples.  This implies that as worship leaders we are saying, “Do what I do”.  We do not look for perfection, rather, we look to be people whose lives are pointing to Jesus and living for His Kingdom.

Disagreements/Conflict – Will be handled appropriately and without gossip or slander.  The Worship Pastor will be made available to help resolve conflicts, address concerns and any pastoral needs.

Dress Code – Both men and women will dress in clean, well-fitting and appropriate clothes.

 

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I Wish I Had Learned These Earlier

A teacher once gave these wise words to his senior class. They make a lot of sense.

100-words-of-wisdom

1. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

2. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.

3. Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.

4. If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.

5. After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are more hills to climb.

6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

7. It is better to fail aiming high than succeed aiming low.

8. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

9. Don’t dumb it down.

10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.

11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.

12. Never park in front of a bar.

13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.

14. Strong people don’t put others down, they lift them up.

15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.

16. A suntan is earned, not bought.

17. Never lie to your doctor.

18. All guns are loaded.

19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.

20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.

21. Take a vacation from your cell phone, internet, and TV once a year.

22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good it is.

23. You never look good trying to make someone else look bad.

24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.

25. Follow your heart but take your brain with you.

26. If you want to know what makes you look unique, sit for a caricature.

27. Never get your haircut the day of a special event.

28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires, and sheets.

29. Pretty words are not always true, and true words are not always pretty.

30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.

31. Eat lunch with the new kids.

32. When traveling, keep your wits about you.

33. It’s never too late for an apology.

34. Don’t pose with booze.

35. If you have the right of way, TAKE IT.

36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.

37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.

38. Never push someone off a dock.

39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she is pregnant.

40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry, live up to it.

41. Don’t make a scene.

42. When giving a thank-you speech, short and sweet is best.

43. Know when to ignore the camera.

44. Never gloat.

45. Invest in great luggage.

46. Make time for your mom on your birthday, it’s her special day too.

47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.

48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.

49. Give credit. Take blame.

50. Suck it up every now and again.

51. It ain’t over till it’s over.

52. Don’t stare.

53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.

54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.

55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.

56. Admit it when you’re wrong.

57. If you offer to help, don’t quit until the job is done.

58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.

59. Thank the bus driver.

60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.

61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

62. Know at least one good joke.

63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.

64. Know how to cook one good meal.

65. Learn to drive a stick shift.

66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.

67. Words are free, it’s how you use them that may cost you.

68. Success isn’t given, it’s earned.

69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.

70. Always thank the host.

71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.

72. Know the size of your boyfriend/girlfriend’s clothes.

73. It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.

74. Be a good listener. Don’t just take your turn to talk.

75. Keep your word.

76. Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for 9 months.

78. Be patient with airport security. They are just doing their job.

79. Don’t be the talker or texter in a movie.

80. The opposite sex likes people who shower.

81. You are what you do. Not what you say.

82. Learn to change a tire.

83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.

84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent. Ask for advice when you need it.

85. Don’t litter.

86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.

87. You won’t always be the strongest or fastest, but always try your hardest.

88. Never call someone before or after 9 AM and 9PM.

89. No one can whistle a symphony, it takes a whole orchestra to play it.

90. Make the little things count.

91. Knowledge comes from learning, wisdom comes from living.

92. There is a fine line between looking casual and sloppy. Find it.

93. You’re never too old to need your mom.

94. Lessons in life will be repeated until learned.

95. Know the words to your national anthem.

96. It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.

97. Smile at strangers.

98. Make goals.

99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.

100. Don’t be afraid of change, it’s a big part of life.

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Worship Keyboards: 12 Keys To Improving

So you’re playing keyboards for your worship band this Sunday! Here are some proven steps and practices to help you do a great job.

worship-keyboards

1. Download the charts & MP’3

  • Get your charts early. Start practicing as soon as the charts are available.
  • Download from PlanningCenter.com or other online sources. (Dropbox)
  • Put the charts on your iPad or print them off.
  • Download the MP3’s and make a playlist or use Planning Center’s Service app and Media player
  • Double check to see what keys you are playing in?
  • What key is the recording in? Transpose the MP3 if necessary.

2. Listen to the original recordings

  • What is the keyboardist(s) playing on the recording?
  • What is the exact tempo?
  • When does the keyboard sit out?
  • What voicing is the player using?
  • What is the musical feel for this song?
  • Is this a keyboard song or guitar based song?
  • What are the lead lines that are important for you to play?

3. What are the best sounds to use for this set?

  • Piano Sound
  • E-Piano sounds (Rhodes & FM)
  • Strings, Pads & Vox
  • B-3 sounds
  • Pipe Organ
  • Ethereal sounds
  • Bass sounds
  • Brass patches
  • Layering

4. What keyboards do you have?

Spend time with your keyboards and mark down your favourite patches and learn how to access them quickly. Create your own user settings.

I’ve used many different Yamaha, Roland, Nord, Korg and Kurzweil synths and pianos. Here is my post on some of my favorites.

5. Should you use computer based sounds?

  • Multitracks.com has great downloadable patches from most of the major worship recordings.  The patches are available for the all main computer based programs.
  • Mainstage ($30) is a comprehensive and inexpensive program from Apple that allows your computer to be your main source. Here is a great tutorial on how to use it. There is also a Facebook page that is a great way to stay current with great sounds: Mainstage Worship Sounds. Here is a link to a video of how Hillsong is using keys on tour.
  • Omnisphere ($500) is a next level computer based program with a huge array of sounds and controls.
  • Ableton ($100-$950) is a very advanced sequencing and sound program that is great for live music. It is available at multiple price points.
  • Here is a great link to help you understand how to set-up your midi keyboard with your computer.

6. Think through the set

  • What sounds do you need?
  • When do you need to change sounds?
  • When do you need to transition from one song to the next and what is the best way to do that?
  • Make corrections to the charts
  • What is the road map? Highlight repeats, D.S. and Coda.
  • Highlight your parts, where do you sit out and where do you solo?
  • Mark in the sounds you need.

7. Practice

  • Use a click or metronome, playing in time is huge!
  • Practice on the keyboard(s) you are using live (if possible)
  • Don’t overplay. Again listen to the recordings, how much is the original player actually playing?
  • Play with the recordings. This will help you play in context.

8. Use strong voicing.

  • Chord coloring: What is the best inversion and voicing for this song.
  • Open 5ths, Add2 (9), add4 (11), sus 4, Major 7, Major 9, Inversions
  • Develop your ear for new chords

9. Band rehearsal: Listen for your place in the song.

  • Are you leading or supporting?
  • Listen for the vocals. What do they need to help support them?
  • Listen to the guitar players. Don’t get in the way if it’s a guitar tune.
  • Don’t overplay the left hand, listen to what the bass player is doing.
  • Find your place in the sonic spectrum.

10. Memorize the tunes

11. Work on your stage presence

  • Sing along
  • Smile
  • Move
  • Look at the audience

12. Worship God

  • Go from just playing music to actually worshiping! Get beyond the music! The most important thing you can do is worship God. 
  • The ‘Actions of Worship‘ are singing, playing, standing, lifting hands, clapping, shouting, dancing, bowing down and giving your life. How are you incorporating these into your worship time (in private and public)?

Check out my new book: “Leading Worship ~ Notes from a Grand Adventure’. It is now available in Kindle or Soft Cover Editions.  This is a great gift for the musician or worshipper in your life.

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