How does your worship team play a song? Maybe you’ve never thought about this questions before. Maybe you feel like the answer is too nuanced to answer concisely. That wouldn’t surprise me.
It’s an important question and it’s one worth thinking about. When you and your team are playing a random worship song, how are you playing that song?
If you are looking for a quick principle you can apply immediately, then click here. When you apply it, you will feel like you have made light years of progress in an instance.
What I will talk about in today’s post will take longer to apply, but it’s worth it. It will require more homework, but you will sound better, your band will sound better, and it will improve the worship experience for your whole team.
So here’s that first question again. How do you and your band play a worship song?
A SECRET REVEALED
In order to talk to you about this, I need to let you in on a little secret. I love chord charts more than most people, but the chord chart of a song tells you the chord progression of a song. It doesn’t tell you what to play.
Think about how your band is plays a worship song. If your worship team is playing the chords that are on the chart, then it’s time to graduate to the next level.
Here’s what I mean by “next level.” Know the chord progression, but play the part.
If you break down the recordings of worship songs, track by track, you will find that the song isn’t a collection of instruments playing chords. It’s a collection of instrument playing intentionally arranged parts. Together, those parts create the chords you see on the chart. By playing the parts, the musicians reduce the sonic clutter footprint.
HOW TO LEARN THE PART
There are so many layers of instruments and sounds in recordings that sometimes it can be very difficult to find out what part you are supposed to play. Here are four resources to help you graduate to the “next level.”
- Youtube Search the name of the song you are trying to learn, your instrument, then the word tutorial. Miracles will happen.
- worshipartistry.com This is a paid sight but they also have a lot of great free resources, too. Worth checking out.
- multitracks.com This site sells the original live tracks to worship songs. Part of the website’s design is a sample of the tracks where you can isolate a particular instrument. It’s not the entire song; it’s watermarked with their web address and it takes a while to load. Still it’s a great way to hear the part you are trying to play. But it’s not as good as the next option.
- Ableton Live & multitracks.com This is what I’ve been doing lately. My church uses Ableton and enhancement tracks from multitracks.com. I mute whatever instruments I don’t want to hear and get a chance to really figure out what the part actually is and what it sounds like.
YOU STILL NEED TO KNOW THE CHORD PROGRESSION
It’s important that you still know what the chord progression is. If you learn the part but aren’t aware of the chord progression you’ll get into trouble.
So how do you learn both the part and the chord progression without doubling your preparation time? The answer requires some work upfront, but it will greatly reduce the work you have to put into the task in the future.
It starts with getting to know the Nashville Number System. Once you learn that system, you can start to hear progressions. You won’t have to look at the chart. You can just listen to a song and know the progression.
REACH THE NEXT LEVEL TODAY
You don’t have to wait for tomorrow or next week to reach the “next level.” Start today. It will open up a whole new world of musical possibilities and will improve the worship experience for your church. Get going.