Without clarity, music can’t be enjoyed. Complaints we hear from our congregations like, it’s too loud, it’s too quiet, are often from a lack of clarity in the music itself.
By solving the clarity issue in your worship team, you make the worship experience exponentially better.
What is causing the lack of clarity? Worst yet, what if it’s your fault?
Let’s fix that now. I’m going to give you one tip to work on, but don’t think this is just one tip. This is a paradigm shift. Once you start to think about this tip and apply it, you will start to hear music differently. You will notice things you didn’t notice before. Expect to be able to diagnose musical problems others aren’t even aware of.
Remember, this is a concrete tip to help you change the way you play and listen to music. Here’s the tip:
Don’t play the whole chord.
When you see an Am, just play the root and the fifth. When you see a chord like Eadd9, don’t play the whole chord. Play a small part of it.
When you look at the chord chart, don’t think you have to play the whole chord; instead, allow the whole band to play the chord as a unit. You are one part of that unit.
Have you ever eaten brownies with too much of one ingredient? They don’t taste good. A recipe, like music, requires balance. Too much of anything leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Your instrument is one ingredient. Make sure you put in the right amount of your ingredient.
Many times we listen to recordings of worship songs to help us learn where the chord and dynamic changes happen. I want you to listen for more.
I want you to listen for the voicings each of the instruments are using. Find the balance of the instruments. How are the instruments working together as a unit to form the chord you’re hearing?
When you show up for rehearsal, listen to yourself and the rest of the band with new ears. Listen for the voicings they’re playing. What sections of the chord are they playing? What sections are they not playing? Fill in the gaps. Leave gaps for them to fill.
You may only play a couple of notes. That’s okay. It’s not your job to play the whole chord. It’s the job of the band to play the whole chord.
The biggest reason we don’t have clarity in our music is because we listen with ears too focused on our own instruments and not the band as a whole. I dare you to try this for the next month and see if it changes how you listen to music. It will. And that alone can go a long way to improving the way you and your worship team sound.
P.S. If you are an electric guitar player, power chords don’t count. Have fun.