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The Freedom and Restoration of
MARCH/APRIL 2011 Volume 9, Issue 2
Know Hope Collective * Brenton Brown * Parachute Band Brandon Heath * Lakeside Live * Daniel Bashta
Wickstrom Grand Theatre Acoustic Guitar
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An Incredible Night
VOL. 9, ISSUE 2
On January 13 (Judy’s birthday), Worship Musician 8 magazine co-sponsored the 2nd Annual NAMM Night of Worship. Last year the first event was such a special time that I didn’t quite know what to expect with the second year. It’s like throwing a worship service/party in the middle of a huge mainstream convention…you really don’t know who is going to come. But thank God, into the huge ballroom at 10 the Hilton Hotel (right across from the Anaheim Convention Center) streamed a crowd of more than 1,200 people!
- Part 2 Features
Product Review By Bruce Adolph Wickstrom Grand Theatre Acoustic Guitar From the Drummer’s Perspective By Carl Albrecht Still Expecting the Unexpected 44 Camera By Craig Kelly Tips for New & Volunteer Camera Operators 51 Lighting By Greg Sisley Take a Look at Your Lighting 52 Mandolin By Martin Stillion Trinity College TM-475 Mandola 54 A Few Moments With… By Melissa Doppler Lowering the Bar
The WATS folks (Worship Arts Technology Summit) were our partners again, which meant that we had the resources of Yamaha, Shure, Elation Lighting, Media Shout and Yamaha 12 Keyboard By Ed Kerr Commercial Audio all at our disposal. Not bad, eh? The Consider the Context day of the event I stopped by the ballroom to see how my favorite live sound guy, Worship Musician columnist John Mills, was doing. John was thrilled with the sound quality 15 Bass By Gary Lunn of Yamaha’s NEXO sound system and their MC7 digital board. That was a good sign of things to come. “Punch List” of Personal Traits As the evening drew near, I wrapped up my meetings on the convention floor and went back to the Hilton to see how 16 Vocals By Sheri Gould sound checks were going. This was a bit of a struggle last Team/Choir Auditions: Part 1 year, and my hope was that it would go more smoothly this year. Well, that was a good thing to hope for, but since we had three well-known artists all playing in the same set, with 18 Product Review By Matt Kees different backing musicians and singers swapping in and out – well, let’s just say the sound check was more stressful than PreSonus StudioLive 24 ever. We were running out of time, hadn’t given everyone a chance to dial in on stage, and 30 Record Reviews I had already held the doors for By Heidi Todd over twenty minutes. Yikes! Know Hope Collective
20 Blessings through the Raindrops with Laura Story
Brenton Brown As Paul Baloche once told me, Parachute Band “Let the crowd in. It’s no secret that we have sound checks; Brandon Heath Maybe the people can learn Lakeside Live something by observation!” So I Daniel Bashta opened the doors, and the crowd entered and immediately joined 34 FOH Engineer in and began worshiping along By John Mills with the band still sound-checking M7CL Tips & Tricks on stage. That was another good sign of things to come. 36 Ministry + Artistry =
Tommy Walker and his ninepiece band opened up the night
Continued on page 43
Profitability? Creating your MAP™ By Scott A. Shuford Promotion: Social Media
38 Authentic Worship By Michael Gonzales Developing Talent
4227 S. Meridian. Suite C PMB #275 Puyallup, Washington 98373-5963 Phone: 253.445.1973 Fax: 253.655.5001 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.worshipmusicianmagazine.com Publisher/Editor: Bruce Adolph Vice President: Judy Adolph Customer Service: Brian Felix email@example.com Proof: Kevin Wilber, Toddie Downs Design Layout & Production: Matt Kees Advertising Sales: Bruce Adolph firstname.lastname@example.org • 253-445-1973 Worship Musician! is published bi-monthly by The Adolph Agency, Inc.
40 Guitar Grab Bag By Doug Doppler Sound Advice 42 The Band By Tom Lane Worship is Visual
46 The Freedom and Restoration of Broken Walls
WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM MARCH/APRIL 2011
By Bruce Adolph
Wickstrom Grand Theatre Acoustic Guitar
I first met luthier Craig Wickstrom about 5 years ago. He is a fellow believer from Olympia, WA who was hand building a really nice acoustic guitar for a very affordable price. The more I got to know Craig, the more I thought, “This is a guy to watch”. We kept in touch off and on over the years, and then last month at the NAMM show while I was standing at our magazine booth, up walked Craig Wickstrom himself! He told me he had a new guitar design that he would love for me to take a look at in his booth in Hall “E”. The next day I set out on a mission to find Craig’s guitars; I’m really glad I did! He has created a uniquely designed acoustic guitar with a cantilevered neck and a round offset sound hole. The body shape is smaller than a dreadnought, and the tone woods used for the top, back and sides are all solid woods. Craig refers to this special size as a Grand Theatre (smaller than a dreadnought but not as small as an Auditorium size guitar). In his booth he had three different wood combinations… one, a mahogany back and sides with a cedar top, a second was an Indian rosewood back and sides with a Sitka spruce top, and the third sported a Brazilian rosewood back and sides with an Engelmann spruce top. I played them all and was quite impressed with the sound quality. Plus, the wood binding work and overall craftsmanship was top notch. When I heard how much he was asking for an instrument of this quality, I again thought to myself, “How can he sell this much guitar for so low a price?” I saw a well-known worship leader friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) walking down the convention aisle, and I pulled him into the booth to try out the Wickstrom. This particular worship leader happens to own several different really nice, hand-made luthier guitars and after playing the Wickstrom he was very impressed with the quality and couldn’t believe the pricing either. Consequently, my interest in the Grand Theatre was boosted even more. I decided right then and there that I wanted to review this guitar. There are many wood options you can select to customize this guitar, but the standard one that most worship leaders would choose would be the Indian rosewood back and sides with a Sitka spruce top. This is the model I have with me today for review purposes. A cantilevered neck has been around for a long time in violins and jazz top guitars. The benefit of it is that the top vibrates freely, giving you a well pronounced sustain. The round, offset sound hole is closer to your head/ears than a regular sound hole, which sits in the middle of a guitar, so you get to hear the instrument much better – kind of like a personal monitor. And what your ears instantly pick up on is a great big warm bass sound, along with good mids and highs that ring out clear and true. The dynamic range and clarity of the tone really shines through. The Grand Theatre has it’s own “voice”. Wickstrom’s bracing is unique, as it is made with a scalloped X brace with a single scalloped tone bar instead of an upper bout cross bar. It also utilizes a sound patch here and at the bridge plate. I let our handy customer service manager, Brian Felix, try the guitar and he was smitten by the tone and playability of the guitar. “When I first picked up the Wickstrom,” Brian commented, “It felt like I was coming home. It felt great, stem to stern, and strumming the first chord, (D/F#), it rang with rich tones all around. A new song wanted to flow from my fingertips to my heart… it was very inspiring!” Wow! That is a ringing endorsement! The fret board is ebony and the neck is thin and comfortable. The nut width is a roomy 1&3/4” wide, and Craig’s fretwork is spot on. The tuners are high quality Waverlys and the slender headstock has an Indian rosewood veneer. The neck also sports a volute that is stylish and comfortable for your left hand to rest against when playing your first position chords. What sets this guitar apart even more is the fact that the neck is a glued set neck (not bolted). A set neck is more work to build, but gives a better resonance up the entire length of the guitar. The heel is elegantly sculpted and feels great when you reach up higher on the register, with a Florentine cutaway available as a custom option. The base of the heel has a beautiful slant to it that also adds to the overall custom feel of the instrument. Craig hand-selects the wood for each of his guitars and builds the entire instrument from start to finish himself, which means there is a limited availability. He is a one-man luthier shop, and he is really on to something special with this design. The guitar feels light in your hands and playing this guitar is infectious. Once you start playing, you simply don’t want to put it down! Each Grand Theatre guitar comes with a Highlander pickup system and a hard-shell case. This guitar will Map at $2,699.95. More info at www.wickstromguitars.com
Editor’s Disclaimer – We are launching a retail sales website of our own at www.worshipguitarplayer.com and we are grateful to be a dealer for Wickstrom Guitars (among other products). Since I wrote this review myself, I thought you should know.
MARCH/APRIL 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
Charts Tracks Arranging Planning
Find It Here!
Everything You Need to Plan Worship!
FROM THE DRUMMER’S PERSPECTIVE
By Carl Albrecht
Still Expecting the Unexpected
or (That Would Never Happen to Me!)
I broke a kick drum head all the way through the other night. But NOooo, not at sound check or a session where we would just take a break and fix it! It was the FIRST song of the evening in a concert with Paul Baloche. Well,,, I just kept on playing with the “kick” mallet flopping through the perfectly sliced drumhead. The rest of the band looked at me with that “What are you doing?” sort of look. There had been a definite change in the sound and feel of the music. The next song was supposed to start immediately after the first. So I counted it off and proceeded to play the floor tom with my right hand for the kick pattern and the snare with my left for the backbeats. At the same time I played 8th notes on my hi-hat with my left foot. It actually worked pretty well. Paul turned around and gave me a funny look, and later commented he thought I was trying to be creative. While keeping a smile on my face, and just pouring my heart out in worship we got through those first couple of songs without “crashing”. At the end of the second song I told Paul what happened. I ran off the platform and made a beeline for the church choir room. Earlier in the day I roamed around the building exploring the church as I often do when we travel. There was an old drum set in the choir room that became my lifesaver for the evening. While Paul shared with the congregation and played a more “unplugged” tune I borrowed the bass drum from that old beat up kit and took it to the stage. In a few seconds, with the help of the sound crew, the drums on the platform were ready to go again… “Bam!” we were back in business. This also has happened at a rehearsal recently at the Chattanooga House of Prayer. Fortunately I had spare drumheads in my van. We were able to take a short coffee break in order for me to change the head. (*See Photo – In both situations it was a single ply head. That’s why I usually use double ply.) I have been accused of being too cautious at times. Jokes about all the extra stuff I carry with me are often heard at sessions or on tour. “Ask Carl, I’m sure he’s got it in his bag.” … “fingernail clippers?” “…a 9 volt battery?” “…a guitar cable?” “...duct tape?!!! It’s not that I’m paranoid. I’ve just learned to expect the unexpected. Please don’t think of this as bragging. I’m just grateful to those who have taught me about being ready for anything. The primary rule for being prepared is: #1. BE PREPARED – Go to the job as if no one will have anything you need. That should mean having these things in your stick bag and road cases. I also have spare parts like this at our church. • A large supply of sticks, brushes, mallets, etc. - of varied weights and models for whatever you have to play. Also keep a few pairs of sticks in places other than your stick bag. (i.e.: in your luggage or other cases.) You’ll be glad you did if your stick bag is ever lost or delayed in flight. • Spare parts for every moving part on your drums: kick pedal springs, straps, nuts & bolts, pins for footboards, etc. etc. • An extra hi-hat clutch. (*The device that holds the top cymbal of your hihat set) Yes, I have had that piece mysteriously disappear; especially when renting drums on the road. • Cymbal stand wing nuts, felt washers, and nylon sleeves for cymbal stands. (You can buy these items at most music stores.) TIP: Go to a hardware or auto parts store and get felt, nylon tubing and other spare items for much less money. • A kick drum head patch pad. On most kick drumheads, especially double-ply heads, you can see a small split begin to happen. Before it becomes the nightmare I described earlier, use a patch at the point of attack. I know the sound is a little different, but in “live” settings it’s a lifesaver. • Extra drum heads for each drum. • String or straps for your snare drum. And a 2nd snare drum, just in case. • A few spare drum lugs. They get loose and come out from all the vibrations. They also fall out of the road case never to be found. “Go figure!” • An extra kick drum pedal. One that you can fold down to fit into a tour case or piece of luggage. Even if you have parts you don’t want to take time during a concert to rebuild a pedal. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just get one!! • And of course, a small roll of DUCT TAPE!! The “quick fixer upper” for all musicians.
Normally I only take three pieces of luggage when flying. My luggage for clothes also contains my stick case. The road case with my cymbals also has a spare kick pedal. These 2 cases are checked. My 3rd piece is my carry on with my laptop, some books, a mixer, and other personal items. The drums and other gear are supplied by the concert organizer. If the budget will allow it I’ll bring a case with 2 snare drums. The airlines are charging for the extra bags now so I’ve been making that a rare option. I only do this when I’m working on a recording or the artist request it. I always send a very detailed list of things I need for an event or concert. Allowing for supply problems, I give plenty of options. For example I’ll give a list of several snare drum options or even different drum manufacturers so that my “drum rider”(a contract equipment list) doesn’t look like the search for the “holy grail”. I still contact the event coordinator to verify that everything is OK. Believe it or not sometimes they don’t read the contract or riders that artist send. So the other rule of preparing is: #2. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE!!! After all of the preparation I still do the walk through I mentioned earlier. Just to get an idea of what is available for an emergency. If I’m traveling with all of my own gear that’s not usually a concern. I may still do it just for the fun of exploring. Who knows the equipment truck might break down or get hijacked by terrorists looking for my drums! Nah,,, “That would never happen to me! ”
Carl Albrecht has been a professional drummer & percussionist for over 25 years. He has played on over 70 Integrity Music projects; Maranatha Praise Band recordings & numerous other Christian, Pop, Country, Jazz & commercial projects. He currently lives in Nashville doing recording sessions, producing, writing and continuing The whole drum set is usually duplicated to do various tours & seminar events. Visit on big tours. This is not the norm for his website: www.carlalbrecht.com or send an e-mail to: email@example.com. most of the smaller tours or “fly dates”.
MARCH/APRIL 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
By Ed Kerr
Consider the Context
This past Sunday, I faced the perfect storm of scheduling challenges in trying to build the rhythm section for our Sunday morning gatherings. The Super Bowl was going to be played later that day, and many of our musicians from the youth group were at their Winter Camp. Both of these factors whittled down my list of available musicians considerably. Still, I was able to build a four piece band and things went well. Some of what happened on the platform is ripe for discussion here, so let’s jump in. I suspect that most of you are like me in that the worship teams with which you play most often have a five member rhythm section: drums, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and keyboard. Your team may be a variation of this rhythm section but I suspect that the majority of our teams are similar in that they involve two guitars, probably an electric and acoustic. On this Super Bowl Sunday no acoustic player was available, so we went with drums, bass, electric guitar and piccolo. Just kidding. No piccolo. Making sure you’re paying attention. Drums, bass, electric guitar and me on keyboard. Because our rhythm section was smaller than usual, each player took on a different role than they would have had there been an acoustic guitar player with us that day. The musical concept that we put into practice was an essential one for each of us. Consider the context. Are you playing solo keyboard for a small group meeting? What you play should be different from what you play if you’re joined by a percussionist. Are you part of an eight piece rhythm section where you’re playing auxiliary/secondary keyboard? What you play should be different from what you played with the percussionist. This isn’t just true of you but is true of every player in your rhythm section. On Super Bowl Sunday, for example, we lacked the acoustic guitar player’s ability to strum lightly when we did a “breakdown” chorus of one of our songs. You’ve heard and probably played many breakdown sections, where all instruments but one or two (often an acoustic guitar) would typically drop out. During Sunday’s breakdown chorus, our drummer responded to the context by providing some light 16th note activity on his hihat, imitating the rhythmic contribution an acoustic guitarist might have provided. At this moment the rest of the rhythm section also gave thought to what we should play. The goal in this breakdown section was for the instrumentation to thin out noticeably. So, the electric player continued, along with the drummer, and the bass player and I dropped out. material. The hook must have the spotlight at this moment. If another melody is played along with the hook it’s like having two people talk to you at the same time. Confusing and frustrating for the listener, and definitely musically distracting.
Just as instruments dropping out help a breakdown chorus contribute to the musical momentum of the arrangement, restating hooks has the same effect. Be intentional when using a hook. Don’t feel like you have to do some super creative variation of the hook each time it recurs. Quote it literally. Same melody. Same We could have all kept playing but range. Same instrument. That’s how hooks played lightly. By not playing, though, are most often heard on recordings. Try we made room in our arrangement for that yourselves, regardless of the context. there to be a sense of musical momentum as the chorus continued. When the bass Be clear on these things as you rehearse player and I reentered, we helped the your songs. Determine who will play the texture and dynamic of the music build hook. Determine what you’ll do within the into a final chorus, and there was a real rhythm section when a breakdown comes sense of payoff as we sang that lyric for along. Actually, think about what you’ll the last time. do to make all sections of your song be musically distinct from each other. Is the Though we changed certain things we did whole band playing loudly for the intro in our rhythm section that day, there were when the hook is first heard? Come down plenty of things we did like we always a bit for the verse. Ramp up dynamically do. One of those was to involve hooks to the first chorus. Or, as is modeled so in our arrangements. A hook is a melodic beautifully on many of Hillsong United’s idea usually presented in the intro of a tunes (for example “Desert Song” on their song. That hook is heard again, often This Is Our God project), break down the when the first chorus of the song ends, first chorus. Then restate the hook in a and then at the end of the song as well. It reintro. Bottom line: Let there be a sense may be heard at other places during the of arrival musically as the sections of your arrangement too but is characteristically arrangement are heard. You can do it. featured in these three spots at least. On solo keyboard. With a percussionist. In that 8 piece rhythm section. So, in the context of our four piece band on Sunday, if there was a hook that the Consider the context. This sense of acoustic guitarist might have carried, actively considering what you’ll play as either the electric guitar player or I played your arrangement progresses can keep it. Note that the bass player definitely you musically engaged and, by the grace could have played the hook instead. of God, help you and your congregation Have your bass player do this sometime. engage in worship. Jesus, thank You for It can be a very effective arrangement the privilege You’ve given us to give our idea and a fun challenge for your bass hearts, our hands, and our musicianship player. back to You. Your love is amazing. Regardless of who’s playing the hook’s melody, each of the other players on the team who might play melodic activity need to stay out of the way of the hook. When a hook is being established at the beginning of an arrangement or reused during the arrangement, it’s crucial that no one else play competing melodic As a songwriter Ed has written over 100 songs with Integrity Music. He has a Masters Degree in piano performance. Ed and his family live in Washington State. Ed plays Yamaha’s Motif XS8. www.kerrtunes.com
MARCH/APRIL 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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monitor mix levels, panning and processing. Adjust the graphic EQs, well…graphically. Combine StudioLive Remote with Capture (2-click multitrack recording program), VSL, plus Studio One Artist DAW, and your church has the most versatile, affordable live mixing/recording solution ever. Get the whole story on our web site. And then get a StudioLive.
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THe STrInG experTS
By Gary Lunn
“Punch List” of Personal Traits
Reflection As we pray for growth and guidance in our quest to be the best we can be, we should all have a “punch list” of personal traits we need to maintain as highly called musicians. Balancing and strengthening these traits can be quite a spiritual and emotional ride. There are several basic, root-level human traits that we must keep in check to better serve Him. Here are some to consider. Confidence We rely on the Lord. He gives us our talent and we must continually praise Him for that. Seeking opportunities to return it to Him is the least we can do. It is our responsibility to keep our abilities at a fine-tuned level so that our worship leader can always depend on us. I firmly believe that the more we practice, the more confident we become, thus keeping our minds clear for inspiration and guidance. In my opinion, a good definition of a professional musician is one who never plays more than 95% of his ability, which simply means to always play in control. That is a good kind of control! Balance There must be a good balance between a player’s confidence as a musician and as a person. Confidence among musicians in the worship team often can swing in the other direction if we’re not careful. If we take ourselves too seriously as musicians, there’s a good chance that arrogance will emerge. Self-Assurance We need to be confident in our playing ability, in that we have more than enough to serve with - not to dazzle with. Dazzling would fall under the category of “man-pleasing” or “performance.” These are spiritual issues that we certainly don’t want to wrestle with. Ephesians 6:12 says,” For we wrestle not with flesh or blood, but with powers and principalities, against the rulers of darkness in this world, and against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Self-assurance rising up in you is good, but ego is not. Integrity (of the tongue) Gossip has no place anywhere near the worship team. If you ever learn of a matter regarding a fellow musician or singer, pray with them and/or for them. Don’t ever talk about them or repeat the story to anyone. Remember James 4:11 says, “Speak no evil of one another. He who does so judges them, speaks against the law, and judges the law.” Humility by Default There are different ways to consider humility, such as lack of pride, lack of vanity, meekness, submissiveness, etc. Every one of these traits is desirable for us as Christians, not just as members of a worship team! If we focus our attention on God and off of ourselves we can’t help but hit the mark. Most importantly, always remember that the opposite of humility is pride. Responsibility Responsible, by definition means having an obligation to do something, or having control over or care of someone, as part of one’s job or role An important responsibility as the bass player in the worship team is to “simply” hold everything together. To do this we must be accomplished musicians as well as “prayed-up” believers. We have to be super attentive, ultra-sensitive beings as we watch the worship leader and listen to the Holy Spirit. Dependability To be credited for holding down the foundation of the rhythm section (with the drummer, of course) is a pretty awesome feeling. When the bass and drums are listening to each other and “locking in” together, good things always happen in the music. Sensitivity It is all musicians’ responsibility to pay close attention to our “general”, the worship leader. We must watch their eyes, hands, and body language to discern the next part of the song, the dynamic, etc. If you’re not watching, you may cause a huge train wreck or severely frustrate the worship leader. Either of those mishaps can hinder what God wants to do at an important time in the worship service. The worship leader trusts us to play tastefully, in tune, and with great restraint, and never to overplay. Servanthood A servant is, basically, a person who performs duties for others. In the church we are servants of God, but in our worship team we serve the worship leader. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” In this context, the word “obey” means, “to be persuaded and confident, to be free from fear or doubt.” When we obey those who serve it brings us confidence and freedom from fear. But as musicians we must be an example of what our worship leader feels that God is trying to say. We serve by listening and by being sensitive. Authority/Skill Authority is simply the right to act in a specified way, delegated from one person or organization to another. Through knowledge of our instruments and knowledge of scripture, we are graced with the “right” to lead people into worship and into further intimacy with Him. We should be driven to be nothing less than experts on our instruments. Bassists do have authority, and I also believe that every musician in the worship team is a worship leader in his or her own right. We truly lead from our instruments and are called to do so skillfully. But authority comes from God and is only attainable without pride (God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble). Pride always leads the way to selfish ambition and self-promotion. We must constantly be on our guard against pride. As we grow in our skill, humility, confidence and servanthood, we will continue to realize more authority in our position, as well as maintain our integrity. We must continue to realize our aspirations to be examples that other musicians can look up to and learn from.
Gary is a session player/ producer/writer in Nashville, playing recording sessions, and various live events. www.facebook. com/garylunn
WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM MARCH/APRIL 2011
By Sheri Gould
Team/Choir Auditions: Part 1
Last time I talked about the concept of holding annual auditions for your choir or worship team. I outlined some good reasons for implementing auditions and mentioned some of the benefits. This is the first of a two part series where I’d like to offer suggestions as to how to hold effective auditions that can prove beneficial to both the leadership and the folks auditioning. Your Mindset First of all I think it’s important for you as a leader to have the right mindset about auditioning. This is NOT American Idol. The purpose of these auditions is to help people find their gifts and use them. It is to help build up the church. We are not just looking for talent, nor are we trying to elevate certain people’s gifts over others. We are simply trying to help people find their place in the correct area of service for how God has equipped them. So the audition process should be educational, not simply a way to include some and not others. Because we have in mind to educate and encourage, we need to design the process with those two elements in mind. This is also about discovery for us in leadership as well. So we need to define a few key things as we go forward planning the process. Some things will be specific to your church environment and needs so I’m just going to offer some general concepts which can be modified to meet your individual needs. Help First of all, you should not attempt to hold auditions with only you as the “judge”. There are many reasons why this is important. First of all, you are not completely objective—no one is—and the more input you have the more likely you are to come to a more objective conclusion. I do think that in the end you, as the leader, can make final decisions if necessary. But I think it’s very important to get lots of input. So I suggest you find at least 2-3 other people to join you in the process. Other qualified people from outside your church would be especially valuable because of their objectivity. By putting together a “panel”, you also make it easier on everyone. It’s easier to sing for 5 people than it is to sing for 1. Make sure your share with the panel what they are looking for. It would be nice if you made up sheets for each of them that they can simply fill in for each person that auditions. This way you can help direct their thinking toward the things that are important to you. These sheets will be very helpful as you make your final decisions
given a provisional chance with specific guidelines. For example, they need to be re-assessed in 3-6 months to be sure they are working toward their goals in a timely fashion. This “provisional membership” gives you some protection for giving someone a chance that might not quite be ready, but that you have great hope for.
and as you create a valuable assessment By giving everyone a “take-away”, the for each applicant. process can be a positive, uplifting as I have been involved many times with well as growing experience for everyone. churches throughout this process. My In a sense, almost no one is turned away presence has helped to lend a measure because they are always given a path of credibility to the whole process. In toward ultimately achieving their goal. addition, having someone from outside If they choose not to follow the “path” can help to relieve some of the pressure (instructions you’ve given them) then off of YOU. It might be easy for some they have made the choice not to join people to feel that you have a bias or an the team—not you. With an attitude of agenda; some people may even have humility however, everyone can take the negative feelings toward the idea of constructive criticism you’ve offered, and auditions and inadvertently project them grow from it. onto you. Although we want to make this Structure a positive and uplifting experience for I suggest having people register for a everyone, there may be a few disgruntled specific time slot ahead of time. When they folks in the end who want to find someone register, you can hand them instructions to “blame” for the outcome. That someone and a form to fill out. The instructions will likely be you. If you have others from should include when to arrive, where the outside your church, their presence can auditions are, what to expect, what to help to validate what you’re doing as well bring and how to prepare. I would allow as make it less likely that you’ll have to 15min for each audition, it should only shoulder all the responsibility. take about 10, but it’s nice to have a little leeway. The form should provide space A Take Away for Them An important aspect of having effective for them to fill in important and pertinent auditions and making them a positive information relevant to the team such as thing for all involved is making sure that availability, previous experience and skills. everyone benefits from the process. Even When I do auditions I like to have people folks who may not be ready yet to step come prepared to sing a portion of a song onto a platform and serve on a worship with a CD accompaniment track and also team can still in the end feel the process a verse and chorus from a worship song was positive and beneficial if handled accompanied by a keyboard. They should correctly. be responsible to provide any music One of the things that I find important is to necessary and you should provide the CD give feedback. Some feedback may be player, keyboard and accompanist. I feel given during the audition itself, but what it’s important to see how a singer responds I find effective is to actually present each to both acoustic accompaniment as well as candidate with a written assessment. This the orchestrated recorded accompaniment. written assessment may take some time to After hearing the songs they’ve prepared I do, but it will make the whole process a lot will typically run them through a series of more valuable. In this assessment, you can exercises to determine various things like give specific indications about the person’s range, vocal independence, ability to sing current qualifications. Additionally, in the harmony and/or make up harmony on the case of someone who is not quite ready spot, etc. (I will elaborate more on this in to join a team, you can also give hope part 2) by outlining specific things they can do Next time we’ll get into specific of what to ultimately become ready. I think it’s to look for and how to determine who can important, whenever possible, to give be a good fit for your team. We’ll also someone adequate hope and direction. explore alternate avenues for using some Try to be specific about what they need of the “leftover” people who’d love to to achieve and how they can best achieve serve even after you’ve met your quota. it. Give them a time frame for being able Until next time God bless and keep on to come back a re-audition if they feel they singing! may now meet the qualifications. Having a written record will also be helpful for Sheri Gould has a BS in you in the future when they do return to re- Music Education (Vocal/ audition so that you can compare and see Choral) from the University what their progress has been. of Illinois. A church music (Choir/Worship Additionally, there may be some whom director you feel might be able to gain those skills Leader) since 1985, she also teaches necessary, most effectively, by being vocal techniques at various workshops on the team. These people can be around the country. Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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By Matt Kees
PreSonus StudioLive 24
There are many churches are making the jump to digital consoles these days. Why is this? Better sound? Saveable settings? More bells & whistles? Affordable? I’d say ‘yes’ to all of these, in most cases, except maybe the ‘affordable’ question... until now. The PreSonus StudioLive 24 channel console is a great option for the small to medium-sized church, doing worship services with a standard sized band (drums, bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keys/piano, handful of vocalists...). It’s a great option because it offers 24 XLR inputs with Class A mic pre-amps, a FAT channel for each input (more info below), 10 aux sends, 2 built in FX channels, 4 sub groups, and more... all for less than $4k at most dealers, many listing for $3,300. Why is this such a great deal... well, for me, there are three reasons. 1) The Fat channel 2) Multi-track recording 3) remote control via iPad (or laptop). Speaking of medium sized churches, my church in Tacoma is considering the move to a digital console. I have had the good fortune to take this PreSonus 24 on a test drive to see if it will meet our needs. The most important factors right now are cost and quality... and can we risk losing a 40 channel analog console to a 24 channel? After spending some time weighing the pros and cons, the benefits from the smaller PreSonus console outweigh the additional 16 channels that we’ll lose. We’ll make up for the convenience of multiple channels by installing a patch bay for simple switching. And if we really wanted to, in a few years when the economy is back on it’s feet, we can purchase a 2nd SL24 and daisy chain it to the first one via firewire for 48 inputs. So what is it about the PreSonus that sold us? First of all... let me just say that the mic pres for this console sound amazing. Very clean and clear. It was the first thing my pastor and my worship leader said they noticed right away... that the quality of the sound was clearer than it had been before. As mentioned above, the Fat Channel is what makes this SL24 so amazing, in my opinion. What is the FAT channel? It’s the meat of the console... it contains a phase reverse button, high pass filter, a gate/downward expander, compressor, limiter, and 4 band parametric EQ. The phase reverse and high-pass filter can be applied to each and every channel. But the dynamics processing (compressor, gate/downward expander, and limiter) and the fully parametric EQ can be applied to every channel, aux, subgroup, FX bus, and the main bus. Anywhere you see a Select button on the mixer, you can apply the Fat Channel. The Fat Channel also is where you assign channels to buses and do panning. And the mixer has enough DSP in it that you can apply every processor in the mixer to every possible channel and bus, simultaneously, and you will never come close to using up the processing power. This is great! In our previous scenario with our analog console, we only had compression for 6 channels, so we’d have to pick and choose which ones would get it. We simply could not afford to purchase a compressor for all 40 channels, let alone 24. Now, every single input can have compression, and limiting, and a gate/expander. And the 4 band fully parametric EQ is much more functional than our previous EQ on the analog console where only the hi-mids and lo-mids had sweepable frequencies. Having this flexibility on each input, as well as each auxiliary, sub and mains is a tremendous benefit to live mixing. In addition, the SL24 has eight 31 band EQ’s (or 4 stereo pairs) that are assignable to the mains, an aux output, or subgroup output. This is great for tuning your room for the mains, and floor wedges for the stage. I also like the 10 aux outputs. These can be run in 5 stereo pairs for in-ears, which makes for a great option for that small touring band who needs a simple way to have the same monitor mix at each venue... just plug into the house PA and go with your same in-ear mix from the night before. Or you can send a mono aux send to a powered monitor wedge, and use one of the built in 31 band EQ’s. All of the Fat Channel settings, EQ settings, and Aux settings can be saved internally. So different worship teams can have different ‘scenes’ that can be recalled with the touch of a couple buttons. The only downside here is that
the input gain is not programmable, but more on that later. What a treat to have all of these dynamic effects, EQ’s and FX all built in to the console. Fewer items in your rack, fewer cable runs, fewer units drawing power... cleaner, simpler, better. The number 2 reason this unit was an easy sell is the ability to multitrack record using the ‘Capture’ software provided by PreSonus when you purchase this console. This rig works so well with a computer hooked up via firewire. You can send the 24 channels you are mixing live straight to Capture and record it live. Then go back after the service, edit and mix the recording with PreSonus’ StudioOne software (included). What a great and simple tool. Use it to record the whole band, or just the message. This will make multitrack recording your worship team easy! Use these recordings to go back and critique performance, or start working on your next CD project to share with your congregation! And now, one of the slickest features of this console. You can now control it remotely with an iPad. Why is this cool? It will allow you to mix from anywhere in the venue, it will allow you to go up on the stage and change the monitor mix as you listen to it... this is extremely cool. In fact, you can run up to 10 iPads at the same time, giving the option for your worship leader, drummer or whomever, to change their own monitor mix, if they so desire. So, how does this work? PreSonus includes software with every console called Virtual StudioLive. This enables you to hook up a computer directly to the console via FireWire (the same way you’d connect to record). This enables you to control the console through the computer… so when you change a setting on the computer, it changes on the mixer, and vice versa. Then, to make it work remotely, you simply set up a wireless network
Continued on page 44
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Walking through suffering and trials has a way of stripping away anything that is not real in your life, and depending on our response, that vessel can come out of the fire with a faith like pure gold. Such is the case with Laura Story and her husband Martin. Her new project “Blessings” is a true and precious sacrifice of praise. Read on to see what I mean...
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Aimee Herd: Laura, the last I spoke with you was back in 2008. Your husband was just recovering from brain surgery, and you’d been through a really rough time. How is he, and how are things going now? Laura Story: He is doing so well. We have been amazed at the amount of healing that has taken place in his body. We’re so grateful to the Lord, and all the doctors. He’s at a place where all his CT scans and MRIs look good. But, he’s still left with a couple of different disabilities that are still hard. I think, the last time we talked, I naively thought, “I’ll just take a year and then things will be okay...” That has not been the case at all. We are learning to adapt to a new normal... life with a disability. It’s a whole new complexity of life, but you know God has given us grace for every step of it. AH: Just within that context I was previewing your new album Blessings (Releasing on April 11) and the title song from it; that’s a song that I think a lot of people who are experiencing similar challenges will really identify with. The lyrics are really profound... “What if your blessings come through raindrops, what if your healing comes through tears, what if a thousand sleepless nights are
what it takes to know You’re near?” LS: I wrote that while driving down the interstate one night, my husband was with me but he was asleep. Our lives are so busy, but every now and then you have just a moment of silence, and you begin to introspect and think back over the past months and year. This was one of those moments. If you had asked me right after Martin had his brain injury, what I thought life would look like five years out, I would’ve never expected this. I’m sitting there thinking about all of it, and realize that I really am in a place where I have more questions than answers. So, the chorus, with all those “what if’s” are real. The lines of the chorus were coming to me as I was looking out at the road that was starting to curve, and I thought, “God, your Word says it’s okay to pray for blessings, but instead You pour out all this other stuff and I’m more confused than ever!” But then it came to me...although it’s been hard, the intimacy with the Lord over the last four years is like nothing else that I’ve ever experienced. And, the sweetness in our marriage that has come from Martin and I having to rely on each other and help each other through this is like nothing we’d ever experienced. Now I’m looking at all these things in my life that I’ve labeled “trials,” experiences that I’ve labeled as “bad.” And it’s like the Lord broke it down a little for me and said, “But look at it closely, Laura, look at how I’ve blessed you in the midst of that.” It’s the Lord stripping away everything—sometimes He needs to do that in our lives. He is the only sure foundation that we have. Before [any of this happened]
I would have said that I believed that, but now I can say we’ve experienced it—we’ve been stripped down to the point where He was all that we have left. I can tell you as a fact that He is reliable, God is real and He really does walk with you every step of that journey. Where before those promises were theories, now they have been tested and are fact in my life. Our main story when we go travel anywhere, is how we have learned to praise God in the midst of the storm. That’s what we talk about and share in song and story, and through that we have had more opportunities to share the Gospel than ever. We’ve had more opportunities to minister to hurting people; I’ve prayed with hundreds of people all over the globe. It’s not because God gave me a spotlight, but it’s because He gave me a platform of a life of suffering that people will listen—because of what we’ve walked through. We as Believers, talk about our need for a Savior, but we don’t want to come across as being “needy,” but God took care of that! For at least a year and a half, Martin and I were the neediest people I knew, and we relied on the Body of Christ for everything. It started out as embarrassing, but it became such a good thing because I needed to see my need for the church, and even more, my need for God. AH: Until we come to that place where we see our need for Him, we haven’t really reached that true and vital relationship. LS: And, during those times when we were in crisis mode, Martin was in the hospital, and I wasn’t able to get to
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Blessings through the Raindrops with Laura Story
a story that’s not of a God who is a policeman in the sky, but a God who—if they choose to turn towards Him—they’re going to find has loving arms ready to embrace them as they are. AH: I don’t have any disc info, so tell me, did you write all the songs on “Blessings”, or also co-write some? LS: I wrote about half of them, and did the other half with other people. I have a network of [songwriting] friends; I wrote one of them with Mac Powell (Third Day), and Brenton Brown... So, I got to write with a lot of fun people who are songwriting heroes to me. It was neat to get to do that. AH: Last year you toured with Aaron Shust and Downhere, with your new album coming out, do you have plans everyone else. He is a living current- for a new tour this spring? day Job. His memory loss affects his everyday life, but what he always LS: Actually no, we’ve had so many does remember is God’s goodness. people asking us to do worship Not that he doesn’t have rough days, conferences and women’s events but he somehow keeps that in front that we haven’t had time to tour. I of his face; that God has a plan for guess that’s a good problem to have. his life and He is a trustworthy God. ...Maybe in the fall. But, we get asked And that whatever He’s allowed in to come lead worship and teach, and his life, God’s promise is that He’s share about what it means to be a worship leader and still be walking going to use it for good. through hard things in life. AH: So, how DO you do that, Laura? As a worship leader you have to go out on stage and lead people into the presence of God, and yet in your life, you’re walking through a very hard place. LS: It’s a great question... Anything you go through, any change, adrenaline can get you through the first part of it, I think. Then, when the dust settles, you realize, “Wow, this really isn’t getting any better.” When I got to that place, I was a little frustrated with God about it. I thought I either need to get a new job, or I have to figure out how to worship God even in the midst of this. I went to the Scriptures and they came alive;
church, read the Word or even pray regularly, it made me realize that God is the sustainer of my faith. It says He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith, and I’ve felt that more than ever, and He is more real than ever. I certainly would never have asked for any of this, but I honestly think we wouldn’t trade it for anything; the things we’ve learned are priceless.
AH: Does Martin go out on the road with you? AH: Laura, talk about “The Prodigal Song” from your new album... LS: He does, yeah. His disabilities he’s been left with are a vision LS: It’s such a gorgeous story. It’s deficit and a [short term] memory not just a son who runs off and deficit. He’s just now gotten fitted acts just like we do (laughs), but it’s with special glasses that will help really more about a God with an with his vision. Memory-wise, it’s a relentless love. I love the part in the slow process. So, he hasn’t been story where it says, when the son was able to work or drive. We spend an still a long way off, the father saw enormous amount of time together; him. You know the father must have it’s been a huge adjustment for both been watching and waiting [for his of us, but man, it’s been sweet. return]. I know so many people from high school who, for one reason or God has allowed this to happen to another, have decided to live life on Martin, I’ve had a front row seat and their own [without God] for a time. I I’ve written songs about it. And during really want them to know that God concerts, Martin is always in the truly waits and watches for their crowd worshipping right along with return. I want lost people to hear
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Blessings through the Raindrops with Laura Story
upright bass in a while, but every now and then I get to. AH: What is the primary instrument you gravitate toward for writing then? LS: I go back and forth between piano and guitar. But usually, I don’t write with anything. I just get a pen and paper and try to visualize it in my mind. I don’t want to limit my mind by what my fingers can play, if that makes any sense. I’d rather have it wide open and establish it, and then go back and try to play it. AH: That’s an interesting way to do it. Laura, in closing, I’d like you to tell me two things: the word that God gave you that kept you through the darkest times; and the promise He’s given you for the future. LS: I’d say the word He gave me was this one Scripture when Martin was in the hospital, from Psalm 27:13 that says, “I would have despaired if I had not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord...” That’s the verse that’s held me up through the midst of it, like I’d begin to despair and God would remind me, “Oh no, remember? You’re not going to despair.” And, I’d say the promise for the future is—that God does promise a future. In Jeremiah 29:11, God says, “For I know the plans I have for you—plans of prosperity not calamity. And then, what I label as calamity, I have to stop and say, “no, that’s a wrong assessment of that.” One of the songs I wrote on the new CD is called, Faithful God. The chorus is just, “Faithful God, every promise kept, every need You’ve met, Faithful God. That’s just it. Like the old hymnwriter said, “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow”— that’s what we ask Him for. For more information on Laura Story, visit her website at: www.laurastorymusic.com
I began seeing that scene [of worship whether or not I was going to judge amid suffering] everywhere. God based on my assessment of my situation, or whether I was going to AH: Oh yeah, especially in Psalms... assess my situation based on what I’ve always held to be true of God. LS: Yeah, where King David is saying, As I thought about which one is going “I WILL bless the Lord at all times,” to rule in my heart; my situation or not “I feel like blessing the Lord at all my God, I looked back and saw times.” And, “...even though I walk which one was really reliable. You through the valley of the shadow of realize that circumstances are always death I will fear no evil, for You are changing, but God has always with me, Your rod and Your staff, they proved to be faithful. That’s how I’m comfort me...” From Genesis 22, learning to worship in the midst of where Abraham goes to sacrifice his difficulty. son Isaac; it’s the very first time the word “worship” is used in the Bible. AH: That’s really good; it’s all a matter Abraham tells his servant, “I and of perspective—God’s or ours. I love the lad are going to the mountain to what you’ve just shared...when is the worship and then return.” He’s going book coming out?! up to sacrifice Isaac and he uses the word “worship,” and I’m like...that LS: (Laughing) It’s so funny, because doesn’t make any sense! Except, the I’ve thought about it. But, I’m too more you dig into it, you see it was busy with this CD. I think I probably his act of obedience to God, and that will write a book, though. was his worship. You see it in Romans 12, where it says to “offer your bodies AH: This is a little off-subject, but I as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable know you started out playing string to God, which is your reasonable bass way back, even before you act of worship.” I started finding out were in Silers Bald, do you still get to that worship had so much less to do play that once in a while? with a fuzzy happy feeling, and so much more to do with a surrendered LS: I do. Not this past fall but the one life. At the end of the day, no matter before, I was on the Third Day tour. what you’re walking through, Jesus is Mac Powell has a little side group worthy of our worship. called Glory Revealed, and I played with them. It was really fun, because One thing I truly had to decide was I hadn’t gotten to do anything with
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By Heidi Todd
KNOW HOPE COLLECTIVE: Self-Titled 1. Attention 2. Sanctuary 3. Build Us Back 4. Hands and Feet 5. We Remember 6. Ocean Floor 7. Spirit Speaks 8. Jealous God 9. Good Life 10. Just To Be Here This album, primarily fronted by Audio Adrenaline singer Mark Suart and bassist Will McGinnis, is an unusual effort in the way that their intent is to have musicians and vocalists journey in and out of this collective on an ongoing basis. Keeping the lineup in flux will maintain a steady stream of new creativity as well as personal testimonies and perspectives. This first effort will likely leave you looking forward to subsequent releases. The music and lyrics are well-matched and thoughtful. Though the songs come from a personal place, they’ll be easily adapted by anyone wanting to use these songs in their own place of worship. Some are geared more congregationally than others, but most likely you could find a place somewhere in your church service for all of the songs on the album. One of the things that is a running theme throughout the songs is a sense of honor. “We Remember” in particular is recalls specific reasons to remember God – things to remember from the past that continue to give us hope for the future. Speaking of remembering, the new songs on the album are mixed in with songs from previous releases like “Hands and Feet” and “Ocean Floor”. They’re different enough to keep them interesting but definitely recognizable. This is a well-written album, mixed well and mastered well. I look forward to seeing what else this ever-changing group has to say in the future.
TRACKS (personal picks bolded)
BRENTON BROWN: Our God Is Near 1. Our God Is Mercy 2. Joyful 3. We Lift You Up 4. Glorious 5. His Name 6. Arise And Sing 7. All I Want 8. Higher (Empires Fall) 9. Good News 10. All For You It’s always my habit to put a new cd in my car, computer, etc. to listen to it repeatedly and get a good “read” on it. Not all of the cd’s I review get imported into my iTunes list, but this one definitely did. It’s funny because it makes me a little nutty when my husband gets a cd and plays it over and over. But I found myself doing that with this cd – you want to hear it repeatedly to mine out his careful lyrics. The cd starts off with a great driving song “Our God Is Mercy” and keeps the vitality going throughout. The majority of the songs are a medium tempo, but he makes sure to create breathing room so that it doesn’t become one-note. He also brings in other vocalists to round everything out. It’s good to have a steady stream of songs from Brenton, who keeps his musical influences broad. His voice is distinct, but he seems to come from a consistently creative place in how he puts a cd project together. I’ve heard him live a couple of times and have share some of the same acquaintances and his reputation is very sound. He brings a consistency and maturity to the table that comes through in his songwriting. His friendliness and friendships with fellow songwriters is to his credit and shows in his ability to keep things fresh. The cd release is in March so grab yours; you’ll find plenty to work with if you’re a worship leader and you’ll enjoy being led into worship as a listener.
Average person could learn/participate on the first hear Can be learned/adapted by a band of average skill Lyrical creativity and integrity
PARACHUTE BAND: Love Without Measure 1. Gave It All 2. My Constant 3. Peace On Earth 4. You Remain 5. It’s You 6. The Redeemed 7. Saviour Of The Broken Heart 8. You Got Me 9. Anthem Of My Heart 10. So Much More 11. Sweet Surrender 12. Soar Parachute Band, out of New Zealand has been at it for a long time (since 1995) and even though the original band members have since handed it over to the next generation of members, its distinctiveness lives on. No doubt, Parachute Band’s style would be most at home in a youth group environment; they capitalize on super high energy and a digitized sound. The lower marks I put in regards to being easily adaptable by a band of average skill isn’t a strike against them. They’re expressing themselves musically in a way that not everyone could pull off, but I don’t get the sense that’s what they’re trying to do. And with a creative arranger type, you can figure out a way to reinvent these songs even with minimal instrumentation. If you love Martin Smith, you’ll be thrilled to hear him appear on “It’s You”, a great fit for his distinct voice. And speaking of voices, the primary singer’s voice is strong. He’s at home at the high-push faster stuff as well as the quiet lingering type of songs. Many of the songs have a pop sound and feel but there are many anthems on this cd that transcend that style. Buy the cd for your youth or your own kids but listen closely because you’re going to start to love a lot of these tracks. They did a great job putting together songs that are unique and true to their own style while giving us plenty to worship the Lord by. BRANDON HEATH: Leaving Eden 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Leaving Eden Your Love The Light In Me Only Water Stolen Might Just Save Your Life It’s Alright
Know Hope Collective Self-Titled Brenton Brown Our God is Near Parachute Band Love Without Measure Brandon Heath Leaving Eden Lakeside Live God Who Saves the World Daniel Bashta The Sounds of Daniel Bashta
MARCH/APRIL 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
It’s No Good To Be Alone Now More Than Ever The One As Long As I’m Here Writing reviews for this issue of Worship M u s i c i a n Magazine has been a cake walk, due in part, to albums like Brandon Heath’s. I’ve tremendously enjoyed this and the rest of the cd’s in this issue; get ready and make room for adding a bunch of new music to your repertoire! Each time a new cd comes in the mail I’m both eager to listen, while at the same time, bracing myself because I never want to say anything but great things about any artist. Brandon left plenty of room for great things to say on this album. One of the things I appreciate about his approach is that he has a restrained intensity; he doesn’t overdo the energy thing. You can sense the earnestness of what he’s saying and the instruments behind him without being overwhelmed or
8. 9. 10. 11.
distracted by it. If you’re dialed in and paying attention to the lyrics, you’ll get a lot out of them, but this cd is just as enjoyable to put in your car on a long road trip and have in the background. He understands how to imbed a “hook” in songwriting but doesn’t forsake the message for a good hook. Some of the songs lean more toward story telling, which isn’t a bad thing, it helps you know him as an artist a little better. You’ll have so much to work with out of this album to use in your own setting. And even though many of these tracks will likely appear on Christian radio, I can’t help but like them. Some of them are contemporary and “poppy” but not so much that they lack personality and poignancy. It was really hard to narrow it down to just two favorites on this cd. Thank you Brandon – keep albums like this coming! LAKESIDE LIVE: God Who Saves The World 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. God Who Saves The World Outrageous Love Came Down Holy God No Other
6. Old Rugged Cross (Thank You Lord) 7. The Undiscovered 8. Skeleton Bones 9. You Are Good 10. Absence (Jesus) If you’re as big a fan of Gabriel Wilson’s music as I am, you’ll want to go grab this cd. When I heard that he had become the worship leader at Lakeside Church, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this release. It was curious to see how he was able to transform such a distinct former sound into a setting like a large church. Well, he did it. You can hear the strains of his musical preferences but they don’t overwhelm the setting; he blended the two realities very well. Several years ago at one of the earlier Christian Musician Summits, Gabriel jumped in on a Q&A time in a workshop. Even though his band at the time was very edgy and had amazing stage presence, he had a great perspective and priority on worship. He didn’t forsake the focus on honoring
WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM MARCH/APRIL 2011
and revering God for the sake of the “show” and it’s great to see that still alive in his worship today. Many of the songs are either co-written with other writers (like Paul Baloche) or borrowed from such greats as Brian Doerkson, David Ruis and John Mark McMillan, to name a few. Fellow vocalists like Elisa Wilson help to round out a great worship album which will be a blessing to add to your worship library. You’ll be singing along before you know it. DANIEL BASHTA: The Sounds of Daniel Bashta 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Dreamers Freedom Calling The Sound Unlock My Roar Potter’s Wheel He’s Like A Lion Like A Lion Pursuit Offering With Everything It’s Happening
12. Heaven 13. Awakening 14. Isaiah 61 If you haven’t heard of Daniel Bashta, make sure you’re wearing a seatbelt when you sit down to listen for the first time. Daniel is a true artist at bringing out the rawness and soverignty of God. The first song I ever heard of his was a few years ago and even though it was very slow and quiet, there were fires raging underneath. Song titles like “Unlock My Roar” and “Like A Lion” are great descriptions of Daniel’s intensity. His a-typical voice drives home a-typical, highly creative lyrics. He incorporates unusual techniques in his music, sometimes including spoken word. Everything he does has a perfect layer of grittiness to it. This music is anything but restrained; however, neither is it hype. There’s a difference and you will feel it. You can also perceive Daniel’s global musical viewpoint, which was confirmed when I read his story online. His reach in musical expression is not constrained by a purely American experience even
though he was born and now lives in America. He has traveled and lived abroad in multiple countries and it shows. This is not a quick-listen cd; it’s a meal, not a snack. So listen to it all at once when you can but revisit it often to get the full wealth of this album. Epic effort Daniel and band! Thank you for the challenge and inspiration.
Heidi’s background is primarily in worship and production, joining her first worship team at age twelve. Having been on staff at a Northwest church since 2001, she is now works as assistant to the Northwest Foursquare District Supervisor in Tacoma, WA. This fulfilling role has made it possible for her to pursue her passion for being in multiple churches, working with worship and production teams and sharing those churches’ innovative ideas with as many other churches as are interested through her website www.nomadicreative.com.
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MARCH/APRIL 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM Trinity Tickets • 4009 Old Denton Rd. Suite 114-255 • Carrollton, TX. 75010
“This mixer embodies everything
PM-16 PERSONAL MIXING SYSTEM
Personal mixing systems have become standard on professional and house of worship stages worldwide. Elite Core Audio contracted Pivitec to bring a new, road worthy system to the market. Made in the USA, the PM-16 Personal Mixer features a long list of functions that have regularly been requested since the advent of personal mixing, which will ensure that the Elite Core system will make its way to pro stages worldwide.
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.Ambient Mic .Compression .Volume & Pan per channel .Steel Construction .Optional Rack Kit / Mic Stand Mount .Cat-5 Cabling .Power over Ethernet or Local .Expandable .Made in the USA .Designed by Pivitec, LLC
By John Mills
M7CL Tips & Tricks
In this article we are going to hit a bunch of tried-and-true tricks you can use on the Yamaha M7CL. Why am I only highlighting the M7CL? Good question. But it begs a very simple answer. It is by far the single most popular digital soundboard that churches use. It’s also a very respected board among touring groups. All that being said; most of these tricks can work on other digital consoles, and 98% of them apply to the M7CL’s baby brother, the Yamaha LS9 as well. Presets: The beauty of digital consoles in general is the ability to make presets. Yamaha calls them Libraries. I make a library entry for every one of my inputs as well as every one of my players. For instance, I not only have an acoustic guitar EQ preset, I have multiple ones labeled ACOU-DanTaylor410, ACOU-Dan-Gibson, ACOUSteve-Washburn, etc. Then, no matter what player is on the team, or which one of his guitars shows up with him on Sunday, I have a good starting point for their EQ. I also do the same for Compressors. Quick second EQ / Compressor setup: I’ve had a few times where I’ve needed a very specific EQ or compression change on a certain instrument. Using “Channel Copy”, I duplicate the channel to the next adjacent channel. Then I assign the Head Amp to the same inputs as the original channel. For instance, let’s say I wanted two different acoustic guitar sounds during a song. I already have the acoustic guitar set up on channel 14. I “Channel Copy” channel 14 to channel 15; then I SEL channel 15 and assign the preamp from it to preamp 14. Get the picture? I have Preamp 14 on both Faders 14 and 15. Then I make the radical changes to channel 15 and I cross fade from 14 to 15 during that portion of the song. Reset EQ Gain: I use this feature a ton. If you cut or boost something on a channel EQ, just push the Q and Gain encoders at the same time on that band, and it will reset to zero. Recall Safe: I always “Recall Safe” all the parameters on my pastor, announcement mic, iPod, video, and CD channels. That way if someone is talking on the Announcement mic, or I am playing music before the service from my iPod, etc, I can recall a scene without affecting what is going on. Recall a Scene while someone is talking: What if you do not have the mic in “recall safe”, and you need to switch scenes? I used to wait for the person to take a breath, or for the audience to clap, and would then hit recall. This always made me very nervous! There was no way to be sure what the new scene sounded like, or if there would be a volume change. Worse yet, what if the fader in question was muted in the next scene?! Try this simple trick. Hold down SEL on the channel you want to temporarily “safe” while you recall the scene. That channel is temporarily “safed.” Which means the channel you are holding SEL on will not change to the parameters in the new scene when you hit Recall. After they stop talking and another person in the new scene you recalled starts talking, you can safely hit recall again and that fader will be updated. Pre-show Music: I use this trick on pre-show music coming from my iPod. Feed the Announcer or MC mic to the side-chain input on the iPod channel’s compressor. Then if someone needs to make an announcement, and I am not at the console, all they need to do is talk on that mic and the iPod automatically turns down. The announcement mic needs to be in the same group of 8 channels that the iPod is for the side-chain to work. Telephone Call Interface: It is annoying to have the person on the phone try to continue talking while the local mic is talking. How about this trick: Feed the local mic into the side-chain on the phone interface compressor. Set the compression pretty hard, and when the local mic talks, the phone audio compresses, or gets “ducked” behind the live mic. User Define Keys or UDKs: The best part of the M7CL is the 16 UDKs. I use them for all kinds of things depending on the type of show I’m doing. Bookmark – This is arguably the most useful and customizable button on the board. I use this to bookmark my house Graphic EQ, Vocal reverb and Vocal delay effects pages. That way I can get to them quickly. First assign the BOOKMARK function to one or more UDKs. Then view the desired page. Now, hold UDK button for 2 seconds until it lights up. Every time you click that button you will return to the page you bookmarked. Mute ALL – make a mute group and assign ALL channels to it. Then put it on a UDK. That way if you need to mute the whole console because “something” is feeding back, you can just hit that one button. Just don’t put it right next to the button for the next tip! Tap Tempo - You can assign a UDK to an effects processor. I use the Tap Tempo
to set the delay time on my Vocal delay effect, and target it to the effect processor with a delay effect loaded. Then in the effect (mono delay, for instance) you should see a “sync” parameter. Turn this on. Now, set the note value to a whole note. When you tap a tempo along with the beat of the song (one tap per measure) using this UDK, it should affect the delay time of said effect processor to be in sync with the music. Set to Nominal – If you hold down this UDK and select a fader or an encoder, it will reset itself to unity. Mute FX Sends – Make a mute group, but instead of muting the FX return faders, put the mute group on the aux sends that are feeding the inputs to your effects processors. This way when you mute the effects, the effect decays naturally and doesn’t sound like you muted it. Sends on Fader – Use this one to select the aux send you have assigned to your worship leaders ear monitors or wedge mix. When you hit this button, the console faders “flip” to show you what you are sending down that aux. This is very handy when using the M7 as a monitor board, or for the monitor sends you are mixing from FOH. Assign each mix to a button and flip between monitor mixes very quickly. Click again to return to your FOH mix. One last trick, just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock and missed it. Yamaha released an iPad app for controlling the M7CL. Take a trip out to the Yamaha website and/or iTunes and get the Stage Mix app for your iPad. It gives you a very slick interface to control the console remotely. And on a related note… if you’ve been struggling with how to justify an iPad purchase… my friend Chris twitter(ed) the following: “Thank you Yamaha Stage Mix for allowing me to sit with my wife in church again.” This might be the first ever piece of technology she really does want you to get! Next month we’ll cover a couple of analog console tricks, and pretty cool one for you digital console users on how to warm up your digital sound. ‘Til next month, John John is an 20-year veteran of the road and a graduate of the school of hard knocks. If you are looking for down to earth training for your volunteers why not send John an email. You can contact him through www.TechTraining101.com
MARCH/APRIL 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
MINISTRY + ARTISTRY = PROFITABILITY? CREATING YOUR MAP™
By Scott A. Shuford
Promotion: Social Media
Last time, we talked through an overview of the Four P’s: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. In the next several columns, we’re going to dive more deeply into Promotion, covering Public Relations, Advertising and in this column, the basics about Social Media. Social Media is one of the newest and most valuable tools in your Promotion toolbox. I’ve been involved from very early on, starting in 2007 when I brought the largest Christian social network into my media group family at FrontGate Media. After a year of watching clients not understand how to use social networks, we started to provide Social Media services. Social Media started with an explosion of online community sites including today’s leaders: the Facebook community, Twitter’s micro-blog service, and YouTube’s video sharing site. There were many, many different Social Media sites bringing together people who had similar interests or connection points. Obviously some caught on more than others. MySpace grew to become the early leader, especially for music artists, and now has fallen far from its high point of glory, becoming almost irrelevant. WHERE DO I START? Today, most of us should focus mainly on Facebook and Twitter for communication, and YouTube for video content. You also should consider Christian specific sites including the online community ShoutLife.com, and for videos, GodTube.com. For more traditional business purposes, I’m also a big believer in LinkedIn. There are many more Social Media or related sites you can get involved with including MySpace, iLike, Tumblr, Friendfeed, Blip.tv, Vimeo… the list goes on, but for most of us, we will likely only have enough time to do a decent job with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Once you have some experience with those, then certainly dive into ShoutLife and GodTube. Start with the leaders: the audience there is enormous and your audience probably already is active there. FAN DEVELOPMENT Our Social Media strategy at FrontGate is based on one idea: Fan Development. If you approach all of your Social Media activities with the idea of Fan Development, then you will succeed. Social Media is all about developing a relationship, and in your case as a Worship Leader, it’s a relationship with fans of your music. If you don’t like the term “fan,” then let’s say with the people who have been touched by your music. Your “friends” or “fans” want to be more involved with you. Social Media allows you to reach a lot of friends instantly and consistently. This is something we’ve never been able to do before! You can now have DIRECT contact with your fans anytime from any place! WHAT MAKES A GOOD POST? Social Media can be a total waste of time. If you’ve spent any time on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve seen someone stream a bunch of wasted posts. If all your posts are about laundry, eating and television, you probably aren’t developing fans. You posts should help your friends to connect just a little more to you. A GOOD post gives your friend or fan something of value in connecting with you. A GREAT post gives them a direct interaction with you. For example, I think you can see the difference in value between the following posts: “I’m working on the album cover for my new album today!” vs. “I picked the album cover for new album today! See it at http://www.jadonlavik.com” vs “Help! I need to pick my new album cover today: what do you think? Vote at http://www.jadonlavik.com.” Social Media is not just a short or text based form of advertising. Do not just push out ads for yourself. Share things about you, just like you would in any relationship. It’s great to help your fan know all about your music. It’s also going to connect you more deeply with different fans when they find out that you love “It’s A Wonderful Life” or that you are a big Chipotle fan, just like they are. HOW OFTEN? To be effective, it is generally accepted that you want to post relevant content approximately five times per day. Just doing 1-2 posts per day is like tossing a pebble in an ocean. Doing more than 5 posts per day may get people tired of you, and will probably result in poor quality posts as you try to come up with stuff to say. Post as often as you can deliver something of value. TOOLS My favorite and FREE tool for managing my Social Media accounts is Tweetdeck. It allows you to manage all your key accounts in one piece of software to view, post and schedule future posts. Look it up on www.Download.com. For advanced Social Media users, check out Twubs excellent hashtag content aggregator at http://twubs.com/twubs. There is so much more that I can say about Social Media… I think I’ll have to write some additional blog articles at www.FrontGateMedia.com/blog. When I do, they will be under “Marketing Tips.” Stop in and friend me on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/ScottShuford & www.Facebook.com/CLNetwork. On Twitter, you can find me at: www.Twitter.com/ScottShuford & www.Twitter.com/CLNetwork . So far in the MAP, we’ve talked about your Mission, Fan Development, the Non-Profit option, God’s Growth Strategy, the Four P’s, and now Social Media. Next time we’ll go deeper into Promotion with Public Relations. Until then…
Scott has led classes for us at NAMM and the Christian Musician Summit. He has been featured in Adweek and is the CEO of FrontGate Media, the #1 culture-engage media group reaching the Christian audience (www.FrontGateMedia.com) and is the co-founder of Creator Worship: online radio for worship leaders (www.CreatorWorship.com). Email your comments or questions to Scott@ CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com
MARCH/APRIL 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
Brenton Brown, one of the most gifted worship leaders and writers at
work today, returns with a new album full of standout songs that will strengthen and inspire the church the world over. He has brought the church top worship songs like, “Everlasting God,” “Adoration,” and “Our God Saves.” Our God Is Near contains 10 new worship songs for “the Maker of the universe.”
The City Harmonic is what you get when you mix a rock band with sweeping symphonies, captivating anthem-like choruses, concert hall orchestras, Brit-rock inﬂuence, scripturally rooted lyrics, and that singing-round-the-campﬁre-feeling. Instantly addicting, they express profound truth and worship in simple and musically creative ways that will resonate with real people. Nothing like your ‘typical’ idea of worship band.
www.kingsway.co.uk www.brentonbrown.com www.thecityharmonic.com
By Michael Gonzales
When is it time for new players and singers to become part of a worship team? One of the most difficult tasks for a worship leader is making tough decisions that involve people. I remember when I was asked to take over a worship team at a church and that first meeting was uncomfortable. For one, several worship team members didn’t know that the worship leader who had been there for years had abruptly resigned. When they showed up for rehearsal, they discovered moi! I’m surprised none of them had PTWLS (post traumatic worship leader syndrome), because I came in with a whole new operating system and new songs but one of the ways I won them over was how I developed new talent. First I had to understand who had giftings in what areas. I quickly discovered who were my soloists, who were my prayer people, who could sing lead, and who should be on rotation. Those people who could sing, I would let them lead a church service. What? Never been done before. They all thought that was my job. No, it was my job to lead and a good leader raises others up to lead as well. Second, I started looking at the younger up and coming players and singers from college and high school. I knew that the college musicians were not going to stay in college all their lives (well, most). So I realized there was a pool of talent waiting to be developed from that group. There were also a couple of prodigies in the high school group who couldn’t wait to be on the main worship team. What I did was invited them to rehearsal and told them to bring their instrument and play with us. One of my guitar players, for example, was assigned to mentor an up and coming player. This arrangement worked out well until every week the young guitar player kept asking, “Am I going to play this week?” One thing I learned quickly is to communicate every detail with your pastor. Why? Because he usually knows things about people that I don’t. I did put in a young player once without consulting the pastor. I didn’t know the young guy was seeing a staff counselor for a serious offense and the pastor later told me he felt uncomfortable seeing him on the worship team in front of the church. After talking with the young man he
understood, continued to show up for practice, and eventually was put into rotation. This was also a good test. I wanted to see how committed he was and if he would be willing to submit to authority. Singers are dealt with the same way. Who has lead singer potential? Are they willing to be faithful to show up for rehearsal? Are they learning the melodies and the lyrics? I would start by putting them into rotation then eventually making them regular singers. If your church has room for only four lead singers each week and you have 12 strong singers, I recommend putting them all on regular rotation. There is nothing in a rulebook that says you have to have only four people. Maybe have five or six. I scoff at the person who says, “Michael, four singers is the optimum vocal presence to fill the four parts and besides, that’s the way we’ve always done it.” The final note is regarding what you are missing. If you only have one mediocre drummer, then ask your worship team do you know of anyone else who can play drums? Usually, if they are true musicians themselves, they know several people. What if that person doesn’t go to your church? It doesn’t hurt to ask, especially if they are not serving anywhere. What if that person isn’t a believer? That’s a tougher one, because I came to know The Lord by being on a worship team. You have to have discernment and trust that God’s Spirit will guide your decision making in that area. I know one thing for sure, whenever I encountered someone on one of the many church worship teams I’ve assisted and I find out they are not a believer, I just love on them the same as I would anyone else. Would I be judgmental towards that person? Not in the least. I do know if it were my worship team member that person wouldn’t be leading the Bible Study. Today there are many opportunities to develop talent. Invite those people whom you are considering to develop to your outside events like barbeques, picnics, and outreaches. Lead by example and love every member of your team as Christ loves the church.
Michael Gonzales, Ph.D. Professor, Biola University email@example.com
MARCH/APRIL 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
GUITAR GRAB BAG
By Doug Doppler
As much as we love gear, it always seems that we’re just not quite “there”. With so many options, it can be more of a frustration than a joy finding a set-up that allows us to focus more on God than on our gear. This time around I’m going to take a stab at addressing some of the strengths and weaknesses of the various types of rigs out there, and hopefully serve you in finding the right rig for your Church in the process! MODELING I live with hundreds of pieces of gear. Routing and switching the dozens of rigs I could configure is, for some, a recipe for frustration. At the very least, when a big rig goes down on the gig it can be a real nightmare to fix. What appeals to me most about modeling gear is how easy it is to program, setup, and have a great time using on the platform. I recently did a series of videos paring various pieces of modeling technology with the Tech 21 Power Engine 60. Looking back I’m reminded how incredibly fun the modeling experience has become. It does take some time to develop a basic strategy as you go from unit to unit, but it’s not rocket science. In particular, the ability to program tempos for delays as well as an entire set of presets into a single piece of gear is pretty magnetic. ANALOG Having said all that, analog gear is filled with beautiful little components that love to react to your fingers and each other in a wonderful way. Modeling technology sounds impressive because it’s modeling impressive sounds. There is something wonderfully expressive about hearing how analog gear interacts as you turn things on and off - it’s really just incredibly beautiful. When you chain a Gretsch hollowbody, Ibanez Tube Screamer, Roland RE-150 Space Echo, and a Vox AC30 together it’s almost a religious experience. When rock was born there were very few elements to work with and learning to master sound had more to do with the hands than the gear. To my ears, analog tones really allow you to hear the fingers more than the gear. The down side is that, in addition to being finicky, it often needs to be turned up much louder than a Sunday morning can afford. DIGITAL When the guitar community went digital I foolishly sold my tube Echoplex and Roland Space Echo and jumped on the digital bandwagon. The long delay times, presets and MIDI compliance remain incredibly useful, especially with a switching system like I use when I tour. In many ways it’s a Church dream rig - the one you wish you could bring to Church but know you can’t! It’s big, it’s loud, it’s moves the ground below - and people would justly scream bloody murder if I were to show up with it. The numerous long cable runs between the controller, amp, and rack require a lot more set up than most people have time for on a Sunday morning - especially when something inevitably goes wrong. “PURE” RIGS So where does that leave us? I believe that finding the right rig for Church is really a matter of finding the right rig for your Church. I remember being at a conference and hearing someone share about a guy who had to have his Marshall stack to get his tone at Church. Herein lies the problem. Although Church isn’t a gig, it sure can look a lot like one and that’s not always a bad thing. It’s not appropriate to blast an audience at a casual, so why on earth would anybody want to do that at Church? If you don’t have a lot of time and space, and perhaps even if you do, a modeling setup direct into the P.A. is a great way to go. Running a more analog style rig (nothing wrong with some digital stomps in my book) into something like an AC30 usually requires a bit of volume to get into “the zone”. Working with your Worship Pastor to determine if this is right for your Church would be my best advice. It’s gonna sound great yes, but if the room is too small or you can’t isolate your amp, your great tone will be more of a hindrance than a blessing. Too much of a good thing is still too much. COMPROMISE If you’re looking for something in between I’ve had great luck running modeling gear into the Tech 21 Power Engine 60 or a low wattage tube amp. You get all that juicy technology interacting with a real honest to goodness guitar speaker. Put an SM57 in front of that and you just might be “there”.
CONCLUSION A great rig is one that works - for the venue. I know that when my tone is not happening it’s really hard to feel great about what I’m doing. Although I try not to make it about me, when it’s not sounding good it can be really hard to stay focused on God. It’s a fine line between having the right sound so I can do my part to support the team verses me having “my moment”. I’ve done both, and I can tell you that supporting the team is the tried and true method to stepping into an anointing for the whole team. There are lots of “guitar player moments” in the secular, and Church should be about serving each other, not ourselves.
Doug Doppler is signed to Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label and is currently in production on the Get Killer Tone DVD series. He and his wife Melissa live to serve the Kingdom and are members of Cornerstone Fellowship in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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By Tom Lane
Worship is Visual
Our culture is fixated and enamored with appearances. Even if we think we don’t care much about what others think, we kind of really do, right? Just watch commercials; it’s not by accident that there are images associated with most every product. We are visual people, and what we see can influence even our wallets. Though we don’t often hear sermons on how we look on stage, especially in a positive light, the subject has relevance. You can be sure that you’ll get an email as soon as you do something that rubs someone the wrong way on Sunday. Especially the right someone, whether you actually did anything wrong or not. There are always those who are prone to complain and we’d go nuts trying to please them all. We can’t! Most would agree that worship is about the heart and lifestyle, not your wardrobe or vibe. But that’s not what I’m referring to either. Others notice our expressions and countenance, and it matters. That’s what I want to address. David’s appearance and expression earned him praise, scorn, favor, blessing, and influence. It was said of Joseph by people who counted that the Lord was with him and gave him success in everything he did. Fruit is something you can see with your eyes. You will know a tree by the fruit it bears, the Word says. Also, from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks – so what is inside does come out and is obvious to others. In two cases recently, both involving drummers, numerous people commented how they particularly noticed them and were affected just watching them play and worship. Their smiles, joy, and passion – all made a difference. Any number of players could’ve executed the music just as well, but it wasn’t about that. There was more to it than the playing. There are some very impressive players and talents in the world, but what usually confounds others is not the skill, though that happens, but the attitudes, responses, expressions, personalities, etc. We know when someone is genuinely humble or not, full of himself, insecure, and so on. We’ve all seen the most unlikely have greater impact than the most gifted over and over. We’ve also seen some of the most beautiful and amazing talents be completely yielded to God, and therefore used mightily. A common denominator, I think, is, like Joseph, knowing where it comes from and whom credit belongs to. That spills over into our countenance naturally, making it hard to fake what’s really underneath the surface. Ps. 40:3 says: “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.” I’ll differentiate between judging/ criticizing what we see on the worship platform from noticing/sensing. I for one really do hate how critical we Christians are of our own, like we have some right to be! But we are human and still do it. The presence of God within is evident without – even in worship as we play, sing, and lead. There are times as bands, teams, and leaders that we force or impose our preferences. It can be hard to separate ourselves from our style and our vibe of choice. If we’re free, emotional, passionate, and full of zeal – that’s awesome (we need more of it!). If in that freedom, we demonstrate total disregard or lack of care for those we are not only worshipping alongside but leading, then we’re being selfish. An example would be: one leader can lead a song and another the same song with completely different outcomes and experiences. One can evoke elation and the other agitation, simply because of the delivery. However, I don’t believe it is a worship leader’s role to manipulate a particular response or outcome, nor do I believe that it is about the leader or song ultimately; the manner in which we lead and the condition of our hearts are obvious on our faces. My encouragement is not that we get in front of a mirror and practice facial expressions or favorite holy moves. (Although if you decide to do that, please record and post it on YouTube for the rest of us to enjoy!) It’s that we take notice of our own inner condition and what it conveys to others during worship, without our possibly even knowing it. Do they see and fear the Lord and move to put their trust in him? Does His presence and countenance emanate and reflect His Joy in spite of trouble, pain, or circumstances? Joseph obviously had something great going on inside. Prosperity and favor didn’t mean all was well; he was a slave, hated by his brothers, inside a dungeon, yet the powers that be always recognized his God was with him. That’s an example worth following, hard but worth it to develop his kind of keeping power and resolve to trust in God, not his own emotion and feeling. David also demonstrates that whether you’re ticked off, sad, angry, or happy, joyful, excited –it’s OK. We come as we are. We don’t ever fool God and He’s more than gracious enough to deal with us as good Father does. Let’s do be real and honest, but also mindful that how we appear and what others see, can make a difference. Sometimes it requires speaking truth and promise with the authority we have in Christ to our Spirit. It may require overcoming and fighting against what is holding us back or hindering inside. Women are much better at it than men, but we men need to do it more often in order to step up. People are not always watching intentionally, but expectantly, even desperately. Wanting and needing God to touch them and move them. We can’t control those who want to see or judge a good worship performance. And we shouldn’t feel it’s taboo to be aware of what we are portraying so as to align with the Holy Spirit. We can only play, lead, and worship as unto God. As we do, we may well be used unaware as conduits of Jesus’ love and mercy. Some food for thought –Worship is also visual.
Nashville, TN is home for Tom Lane though he is involved in ministry and music around the world. As a singer, songwriter and guitar player, Tom has been teamed with many worship leaders and artists. He continues to record his own work, lead worship, and writes regularly for various worship publications worldwide.
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Editor’s Corner Continued from page 7
with a terrific blend of praise songs and a worshipful attitude. He is the coolest guy! Then the Band of Brothers (with One Sister), or as we fondly call them, the “Super Group”, hit the stage. The support band alone had Gregg Bissonette on drums, John Peña on bass, and Tom Brooks as music director on keys and B3, all of them returning from last year’s band. Starting off this set was David Pack, co-founder, guitarist, and vocalist for the band Ambrosia, and currently part of David Pack Saddleback’s worship team. Wow! What a voice he still has after all these years. Then with her brother, adding timbales and congas one of the guys who had been there at to the mix. Sheila lit up the crowd and invited the start of the Jesus music era stepped on everyone to come and stand before the stage…harmonica aficionado and vocalist, stage while she pounded those timbales and Darrell Mansfield. Oh my gosh, he blew worshiped the Lord. She slammed through through two soulful numbers, People Get three songs. Then, for the grand finale of Ready and Stand By Me, and the audience that set, everyone joined in on the classic loved it. Then Sheila E joined the band along rock song by the Doobie Brothers, Jesus is Just Alright. It was quite the jammin’ song as Sheila jumped on the second drum kit and did a double drum solo with Gregg Bissonette. Incredible! To close the night was our favorite Christian live band, Newworldson. They brought their infectious rhythms and soulful swagger, and the crowd loved it! It was way cool. To wrap up this special time in the Lord, our friend David Ellefson, bassist and co-founder of Megadeth, came out and gave an invitational talk and some encouraging words for all of us to seek the Lord in a fresh way in the New Year. The feedback from the crowd and the buzz afterwards in the room was a blessing. By then I had all but lost my voice, but Judy and I went around and greeted as many people as we could. Yes, the Lord had done it again. Hearts were touched, and the artists themselves were blessed for being there. Sheila E stated that the fact we could even hold a concert like this two years in a row at NAMM was a miracle…and we agree with her. Thank you Jesus for bringing together such a wide mix of people that night in a ballroom at the Hilton Hotel… to stand as one -- right smack in the middle of the NAMM convention. You are good! Bruce & Judy
Sheila E, Gregg Bissonette & John Peña
Newworldson NAMM Night of Worship 2011 photos by Mike Overlin
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Continued from page 18
By Craig Kelly
Tips for New & Volunteer Camera Operators
I adapted this article from a post I have at www.craigjkelly.com, where you can find this and many more tips for new and volunteer camera operators. OK, you’ve heard me talk about focus for a while now, so let’s move on to something else. I mentioned previously that there are only four true skills that a cameraman is judged on - Focus, Zoom, Tilt and Pan. Yes, I know there are many, many more skills that make up a good cameraman, but those are soft-skills which we will get to eventually. For now let me ramble on about ZOOM - you know, that’s the part where you make the picture bigger or smaller. There are some places that think of it as pulling it toward you and pushing it away - but that’s kinda from a small minority of the ol’ school folks that used zoom cranks instead of these new fancy servo zooms all the kids are using now. Now, this is by no means the end of the lens details - because there are definitely more that you will learn about as you go on. But this should get you thinking. I think you should go to the big lens manufacturer’s websites (Fujinon, Cannon) and start looking at their lenses and do some research into more lens details. These sites have pdf files, photos, facts and stats that you can learn a ton of info from - and it’s free! More than likely, you will not have any say about the lens you use when you’re starting out, but as you start growing in your career you may need to know this stuff or at least want to know this stuff. Don’t just sit by and ride on your calendar and engage because you happened to get booked - Be a pro and learn the details or at least act like one.
If you have any questions, email them to me at Remember when I talked about ZoomIT.firstname.lastname@example.org learning a little something about zoom lenses? This might be a good or stop by and visit at time to go look at that website you www.craigjkelly.com found again because it’s really hard not to talk about zooming and focus without having a pretty clear picture in your mind about lenses. Television director Anyway, if you look at the side or front of lens, somewhere it will have all these cryptic numbers and letters on them that look real impressive. Usually it will say something like 10 x 1, 17 x 1 or 70 x 1 or whatever. All that means is that it will zoom to a tight shot that is 10, 17, 70 or whatever times amount of the widest shot that lens is capable of (measured in millimeters) It also has some other numbers that look like 4.8:48 or maybe 100:1,700 0r 25:3.5. This is telling you what the widest field of view the lens has times the zoom capability or maybe the widest to tightest field of view. For instance - if a lens is 4.8 mm wide as it’s zoomed out all the way and it is a 25 x 1 zoom, then it would be 4.8 mm at its widest and 120 mm wide at it’s tightest.
Craig Kelly’s career has included over 3,500 live shows, events and concerts in broadcasting, corporate television, events and sports production since 1977. He is also involved in ministry based events and concerts, and has produced or directed internationally distributed DVDs. With a background as an international free-lance cameraman, he has shot national and local level sports and corporate video for over twenty years. These days he is often involved in speaking, workshops, writing and talking about Television camera operators and directing. He recently launched the blog ZoomIT.cam at craigjkelly. wordpress.com for new camera operators and has a training DVD in the works. You can reach Craig at craig@ vantageroad.com
between your Mac/PC and your iPad, enabling you to use SL Remote to control the Virtual StudioLive on the computer, which in turn, controls the mixer. So you need to hook up the mixing console to a computer in order to use this remote feature. Speaking of which, using the StudioLive with a computer is a great way to get the most out of the console, anyway, especially with volunteers behind the console on a Sunday morning. Using the computer to access saved settings is much easier than using the LCD screen on the console itself. You can put scenes that are saved in advance in the software, and simply drag and drop the appropriate scene into the Virtual StudioLive on the computer. Then all the volunteer has to do is worry about changing fader levels. A great option for so many churches. There are only a couple issues I can see with this unit. One is that the gain trims are not programmable, as mentioned earlier. This is because they are analog preamps (which sound great – I’d rather have a great sounding preamp over a programmable trim, anyway). The only time this will be an issue is when you are swapping out inputs on a particular channel, and it’s a different instrument or vocalist. Not an impossible issue to overcome, just something to be aware of as you are using saved settings. These are all issues that should be taken care of during sound check anyway. The other drawback is that the faders are not automated. But if they were, this console would be a LOT more expensive. That’s the tradeoff. However, there is a ‘fader’ locate LED that shows you where your faders were set when saved. So, you can locate the correct location for each fader when recalling a scene, you just won’t get the cool and convenient fader movement. PreSonus hit the nail on the head with this console. A great entry point for many churches looking to utilize digital technology, a great small console for the touring artist needing a great FOH and monitor mix at any venue, plus so many extra bells and whistles that make this a no-brainer. You’ll find this unit at dealers for the low price of $3300. Find out more at www.presonus.com.
Matt Kees is the Director of the Christian Musician Summit conferences, as well as a songwriter and producer. Find out more online at www.mattkees.com or www.producedbymattkees.com
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In Ephesians 2:14 it says, “For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…” Breaking down walls is what the First Nations worship band Broken Walls is all about. In the following interview, I spoke with band founder Jonathan Maracle about what they do, and the indigenous instruments they use in giving glory to God and bringing the message of freedom and healing to those who are oppressed.
my culture and the understanding that I have of it. He told me that was fine, but I had to mention sex, drugs and booze in the music more because that was what the public wanted.
Though I wasn’t a Christian, I had grown up with morality, and what he told me appalled me. I told him “no.” He said, “We’re paying the bill, you either do it or we won’t sign you.” I Aimee Herd: Jonathan, give a little told him to keep his deal and walked background about yourself and then out. Recently we’ve taken on the heading how Broken Walls came to be. I was lost and broken—it was a for the band: Broken Walls is Jonathan Maracle: I’ve always dream I’d been chasing for some 13 contemporary Native American music wanted to be a singer—all my life. years. Before I had left Canada, my for the well being of the people. I was inspired by Elvis (laughs), and father (who was a missionary) had We’re not distancing ourselves from others along that trail; just loving told me that if my back was ever up the Gospel, but we’re trying not to rock and roll, and heavy rock. So, I against the wall, to call on Jesus. I sound as “preachy” so we can more chased my dream down to California told him, “I don’t need Jesus.” (I was effectively reach the world. I’m the for several years, where I opened for very arrogant) But, (after leaving kind of person who wants to go into major groups and that sort of thing. the record deal) I remember sitting the hedges and the byways to the But it all came down to a place where in my apartment with my head in my people who really need to hear what my music was my god, and wasn’t hands and saying, “Jesus.” Within we have to say. fulfilling or giving me everything I 10 minutes the phone rang; it was my AH: Who are the other members of needed. dad—who I hadn’t spoken with in 2 Broken Walls? I had gotten a record deal with a years. I ended up going to see my JM: Kris, my bass player, has been major label and started writing songs parents in Florida where ultimately I with me for almost 12 years. He grew for an album. A label rep told me it came to know the Lord. up surrounded by Native people, he was good stuff, but I wasn’t talking For a time I didn’t do any music, but was familiar with their plight, and it about sex enough, and all those just sought God. Then I was asked to was natural for him to want to make things that the American public sing at a Sacred Assembly in Ottawa, a difference. He’s university trained; wanted to hear. I wasn’t a Christian Canada, in my Native language. an incredible bass player and has his by any stretch of the word, but when They wanted me to sing Amazing own solo album out. he said that to me, it just didn’t seem Grace in Mohawk. While I was Then, Bill Pagaran Is my drummer. right. there, I heard John Sandford speak He’s a Tlingit (pronounced Klinket) I told him I was Native American and on the heart of bitterness that resides man from Alaska. Bill played with wanted to write my music based on in the indigenous people of the world the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra,
because of the treatment they’d received from the colonial countries and marauders, and how it affected them down through the generations. That’s when God started to unload on me this message of “breaking walls—breaking down the walls of bitterness.” God gave me a song, “Broken Walls,” and I had a vision to go to the Native people around the world.
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Walls incorporates into the music. Another instrument we play is the JM: One of our main water drum. The water drum is a instruments—that sets up in the smaller drum that my people used middle at every Broken Walls originally for communication. There concert—is a large buffalo hide would be a hollow log in each village pow wow drum. This drum has and someone would play the water traveled with me around the drum into the hollow log and it would world; it’s an instrument where transmit through the ground (much like maybe 3 up to 12 can gather the rails do when a train is coming) to around and play it and sing. the next village. The water drum was There’s something about the pow also used by my people during social wow drum that brings a sense of gatherings, to honor the Creator. unity, because you’re all playing the same beat, and singing the same song—there’s a tightness that happens, a “one voice.”
and is a teacher. He is also executive director of Carry the Cure, a faithbased suicide prevention ministry in Alaska. He’s the best drummer I’ve ever played with and absolutely meant to be the third person in our “3-strand cord.” He has a deep ability to minister to young people, and between the three of us, we cover ages from kids up to elders.
a total unity that spread throughout AH: I know you have a lot of the whole place. People said it was albums out, but talk about your latest the most unified sound they had ever recording. heard. It made me think about that JM: Our latest is called Father’s verse where when they came into Dance. I’d say it’s our best one to unity, God’s glory descended upon date, and that should be the way them. it is. This one is based around the AH: It is a really powerful sound. call to the restoration of family. It’s a Another instrument you use is a wind call for fathers to return to their place flute—I especially love them. in covenant with their wife and to mentoring their sons and daughters. JM: When it comes to the flutes— there are so many different Native There’s a song on it called, Release cultures across North America, and the Warrior. It’s a statement that all of them have slightly different says “a real warrior makes the right aspects; languages (there are over choice; a real warrior makes the 300), among other things. The flute, decision that is best for his entire to some cultures, was an instrument family, not just himself.” Warriors of of romance, but they’ve also been a the past fought and gave their lives, very spiritual instrument. and warriors of the present need to make the right decisions to affect their People have told me when I play the flute that they often experience future. some their best times of prayer and AH: Talk a little about the instruments intercession, because it helps to put you use. I know you play guitar, them in that place. but you also make those beautiful wind flutes, and play them. Talk The Iroquois people have used flutes about those, and some of the other for a long time, there have been flutes indigenous instruments that Broken unearthed in some of our villages during excavations. Fifteen years ago, my brother began playing the flute. When I heard him, I thought, “Wow! I’ve got to get to know this instrument.” I’ve been playing it ever since. It’s one of the typical instruments that are used in Native American music. The flutes that I make, and that we sell on our website, are each individually hand-crafted and uniquely designed from wood from Tyendinaga Territory, Ontario Canada, which is the Mohawk Region.
In Chronicles, it talks about how the singers sang, and trumpeters played and it sounded as one voice, and then the presence of God came upon them so strong that they couldn’t stand to minister. AH: It’s called a “water drum,” One evening we had about eight so I’m envisioning that it somehow of us playing the drum, and it was incorporates water…
A lot of times our concerts will open up with the water drum, and I’ll sing the Iroquoian welcoming song to welcome the people in, which is all sung in Mohawk. It’s a drum that is played while standing up, and the drummer dances ahead of other dancers behind him—it’s really beautiful.
JM: I put water in it, and the water solidifies the sound. Drums usually have a very dry, hardened hide on them. But, for the water drum, we use a soft hide that’s been tanned, and then we wet it, which makes it a very solid sound. That’s why—back in the day—it translated through the ground so well, because of that high, solid sound it would give off. And then, we also use different types of rattles in our music. They’re mostly made of elm bark—among my people—and turtles. We would take turtles, dry them and hollow them out, and make them into rattles. Some are also made of deerskin. We use all these things when Broken Walls plays. AH: Have you found, as you’ve played in some of the more mainline churches that indigenous instruments are becoming more widely accepted, and even used in worship? JM: Oh definitely, they are. Back in 1985 or ’86, I was basically put out of a church because they said my music was “not of God.” They told me the drums were evil, and the way I was presenting was not of God. I said, “But, people are getting saved!” The big fight has always been that the Church and religion has looked at items as either evil or not, and prescribing that either a guitar is Christian or is not Christian. But, before I was a Christian, I played my guitar and I played for the devil—no question—I didn’t play for the right reasons. But, when I became a Christian, I did not burn my guitar—I played it and wrote songs about Jesus. I sang songs about His love for me and people got saved. I believe
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who love Jesus. There’s a stirring up that says, “Hey, I don’t have to be ashamed of who I was and who I am. I can actually accept the fact that I’m Mohawk, or Cherokee or Apache, or whatever. For so many years, Native people [in order to come and worship with the guitar had nothing to do with it. I the Church] have had to negate our believe the instrument is subject to the heritage and say, “Okay, I’m not heart of the musician. Mohawk anymore, I won’t speak the In a lot of the villages and communities language…” that I go to, the name of Jesus is just Once I was ministering South Dakota scorned because people came in and State Maximum Security Penitentiary tried to force the Native people to and a tall Lakota man came up to me be like whatever religious affiliation and said, “I always knew Jesus was they were from. They held Jesus back the Way, but I could never accept from them until they converted their Him, because they always told me I culture, rather than allowing the gift had to quite being Lakota in order to of God and Jesus Christ to be used know Jesus.” within the culture. It’s so important to realize that it’s not about converting That kind of message, which has been the culture, but it’s about allowing purported for a couple hundred years them to be who God created them now to Native American people, has to be, and carrying the message of caused them to accept a mindset that “God doesn’t like us the way we were Jesus into that. created, but we need to be like them AH: Jonathan, have you ever done to have a good connection to Him.” any teaching on First Nations music and worship? It seems like that would But, our message at Sing to the Mountains, and with all of Broken be a very interesting class. Walls’ music is, “God loves us for JM: Yes, I was one of the speakers who we are, and for who He created at Urbana. I did some sessions us to be, and He can work just as well there, and Broken Walls was the within our culture as He can within main worship band there for Urbana anyone else’s.” 2003. What was really cool was, I think they gave us 35 minutes to AH: There’s really an urgency isn’t play for their main worship segment there, to get this truth of God’s love to on a Friday night, but after the 35 the Native people, because denying minutes were up they told us to “carry their heritage and who they are has on!” So, after about an hour and led to terrible consequences among 15 minutes we finally stopped—the them—alcoholism, and suicide being crowd was just so into it. It was a rampant. pretty awesome time, and the whole JM: We’re leaving soon to go into concert is live on their website: www. Pikangikum, an Ojibwe community urbana.org that has one of the highest suicide AH: Now, this past year in 2010, rates in the world, many times over. you held the first ever “Sing to the The problem there is that the people Mountains” music festival. Talk about don’t like who they are, they’ve that, because I know you’re thinking been taught that they must be like someone else. How can they have about doing another one. an understanding that there is a JM: Yes, I’m debating right now God who loves them, if they can’t on whether it should be this year or recognize that He loves them for who next. It took a lot of work to put it they are?” together. But, the vision of Sing to So, when someone finally the Mountains was not just a music AH: festival, but to educate people, to understands that God truly does love educate the Church. There is a them just as they are, and they are rebuilding of self respect that comes set free, how have they reacted, what when Native people come and hear have you seen happen to them? the drum being played by people JM: It’s pretty amazing; we have
hundreds and hundreds of testimonies of people’s lives that are set free. A lot of times, the hardest people to reach are the Native people who became Christians under that distorted message that they have to give up who they were. But when they finally meet Jesus’ love, there is such a freedom, because now they are free to love and respect their culture, love their people, and bring others to Jesus in that way. Once we were playing at a university and this one girl—about 18—had recently become a Christian, she had been a pow wow dancer; dancing was her life before she had become a Christian. That night we started playing on the drum, and the nonnative people were interested and it was a novelty. But this one Native girl was standing in the front, and she just started crying, really sobbing. I told the guys to keep going, but I stopped, went down to her and asked her what was wrong. She looked at me and said, “I’ve been a traditional dancer all my life, and the first thing they told me when I got [to the Bible college] was that I could never dance again. Now you come here—and the crying is because I am denying who I am.” So, I went to the side where there was a stack of coverings for people, and I brought one back to her. I put it over her shoulders like a shawl that a Native woman would wear, and I said to her, “You dance! Dance with your heart for God, dance with your heart for Jesus.” She got up and started to dance across the front; it was beautiful. The cool part is, the next day I got a call from another woman who was a fullblooded Native, who had kept other Native Americans from attending our concert, because for years she’d been religiously taught that what we were doing was not of God. She told me, “I’ve been following you for a long time, and wherever you go, I would go behind you and tell people that everything you were saying was a lie and was wrong. Me being Native, many of them believed me. I want to apologize to you for what I’ve done, it was absolutely wrong, [now I see] what you are doing definitely brings healing and restoration to the people.” That night she came to our concert in full Native regalia and danced. For more information on Broken Walls; to buy their music, or purchase Native instruments, log onto: www.brokenwalls.com
MARCH/APRIL 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
By Greg Sisley
Take a Look at Your Lighting
Whether you worship in a school gym or a purpose-built concert venue, the art of creating a great worship space is the same. We want the environment and the technology to work together to focus our attention on the intended event, idea, or communication. The room, its surfaces, and the systems in it need to work together to achieve these goals. It is a great idea to routinely take an objective look at our space and see if we are on track. Here are a few thoughts related on this topic to help get the discussion started. First, is it bright enough in the areas you need light? If the area surrounding your intended area of focus is competing for attention, the perception is that the light on the subject is too dim. It can be tiring to try to focus on dimly lit objects; especially amidst other light sources. In some ways it is like creating a great audio mix. You can highlight the desired channel by turning it up, or turning the others down. So, take a look at your application of lighting. Is there a way to create some separation and achieve focus? Does your lighting programming adjust all areas appropriately? For instance, during the message, is the right, left, and upstage dimmed? Great lighting is simply using light in the right place at the right time. When our eyes have to adjust to bright or light-colored sources like large windows, stained glass, or light-colored surfaces behind the speaker or worship leaders, it becomes increasingly difficult to front-light effectively. Take a look at the surfaces and ambient lighting in your room. Can any treatment be applied to subdue the ambient light? Can the rear walls of the stage be painted a very dark color complimentary to the décor of the room? I prefer black, but in many environs (like my home church) a dark espresso may be the limit of the décor teams taste. Take a look at your lighting locations. The position of your fixtures is much more important than the number or type of fixtures you have, or the control system you use. Sometimes lighting is at the end of the list of priorities, and the system that was designed for the room has been abandoned in favor of something less effective. Quite often the layout of the stage or usage of the room has changed since the lighting was installed, yet the lights were left in their original locations. A common occurrence is expansion of
the stage to ‘get the pastor closer’ to the people. This can result in lights that neatly illuminate the top of heads and leave faces in shadow. This noticeable problem is usually overcome by new lights – often at a very low angle on the back wall – to remove the shadows (and cause temporary blindness should people ever look up-LOL). Maybe some of these thoughts are familiar to you. I encourage you to stop and take a look at your room. Is the design of your lighting system and worship environment a result of an intentional, ongoing plan? There is help available to answer your questions. Effective functional design of the worship facility is easily one of the most cost-effective pieces of a great system. The room design and the lighting of the intended activities should be a high priority for a design team. Achieving a good building design will save money and frustration later. On the other hand, the lack of a master plan may set you up for years of regret. I recommend finding a lighting and design company that you can build a long-term relationship with to create an atmosphere in your worship space worthy of the ONE we worship. Greg Sisley is on the pastoral staff at Faith in Kent, WA, where he serves as executive pastor and production lead. He serves as a consultant to churches in the area of lighting design and production with Focus AVL. email@example.com
MANDOLIN PRODUCT REVIEW
By Martin Stillion
Trinity College TM-475 Mandola
For as long as I’ve been paying attention, Saga Music has been importing Celtic-style mandolin-family instruments under its Trinity College label. As far as I know, these have had a reputation for being decent entry-level instruments at an affordable price point. Recently, however, the Trinity College brand appears to be taking a turn toward the upscale. New models like the TM-475 mandola sport several welcome enhancements to the basic features of the line, while maintaining the familiar overall look. This is a “mandola” in the American sense of the term: it’s meant to be tuned CGDA, a fifth below the mandolin. In Europe, where the instrument is relatively scarce, it would be called a “tenor mandola” in the British Isles, or an “alto mandolin” on the Continent, in both cases to distinguish it from the more common “octave mandola” (or just “mandola” to many Europeans)—the instrument that we Yanks would call an “octave mandolin.” Clear as mud? Anyhow, a mandola can be useful in musical
Intonation and minor setup issues may vary from instrument to instrument, and are usually not difficult to fix. The MSRP on the TM-475 is around $1,395, but it should be available at a discount situations where the tone of a mandolin price that will make it a viable and might be too bright or strident. And attractive option for mandolinists because of its lower pitch and warmer looking to diversify. sound, it’s often a good choice to substitute for a guitar when backing Multi-instrumentalist Martin Stillion, up a vocalist. When moving from a 15-year veteran of worship mandolin to mandola, you can adapt bands, plays at Seattle’s Bethany many of the fingerings and chord Presbyterian Church. In his other lives shapes you already know—you’ll just he’s a husband, father, writer, editor, have to get used to everything being Webmaster, composer, and musician. Learn more than you wanted to know a fifth lower. about Martin at www.stillion.com/ The TM-475 sports a solid, arched martin or www.emando.com. Sitka Spruce top (the one I reviewed even had a bit of an interesting bearMulti-instrumentalist claw figure in the spruce) and solid Martin Stillion, a 15-year East Indian Rosewood back and sides, veteran of worship bands, with an oval soundhole. These features plays at Seattle’s Bethany yield a pleasingly “tubby” tone, Presbyterian Church. In his comparable to vintage Gibson oval- other lives he’s a husband, father, writer, hole mandolas, but with a somewhat editor, Webmaster, composer, and less complex overtone series, resulting musician. Learn more than you wanted to in excellent single-note definition. know about Martin at www.stillion.com/ Paradoxically, very few Celtic bands martin or www.emando.com. actually use this kind of mandola (Dervish is one exception), but the tone of the TM-475 is very much in line with that of the mandolins and octave mandolins/bouzoukis/citterns often favored by Celtic players. The mahogany neck and 17-inchscale rosewood fretboard, along with a multi-ply rosewood body binding, stylish one-piece bridge, and classy headstock logo, add up to a look of elegance. Higher-end features include an adjustable truss rod with handsome rosewood cover, gold-plated tuners with ebony buttons, and a substantial 1-piece cast tailpiece, also finished in gold. A decent-quality hardshell case completes the package. It is, in every way, a huge step up from the lowerend Trinity College mandolas, and could serve your mandola needs for many years. There’s only one strap button and no pickup, so you may have to modify the instrument depending on how you plan to perform with it. I spent a few minutes tweaking the intonation on the one I reviewed and couldn’t quite get it perfect. To satisfy discriminating ears, it may be necessary to set the instrument up with different strings and possibly a new, adjustable bridge.
MARCH/APRIL 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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A FEW MOMENTS WITH…
By Melissa Doppler
Lowering the Bar
One of the challenges that plagues many worship teams is how to keep them excited about rehearsing and practicing. There are lots of reasons this can be a problem, but a surprising solution is to raise the standard and increase the level of expectation. I know! You’re thinking that you can’t ask more of your people. Not only can you, they’ll thank you for it. Increased expectation doesn’t mean an absence of grace or understanding of your team’s commitments outside of church. Nor should we be legalistic about rehearsal or have an imbalanced focus on increasing musicianship for the sake of the music alone. What I’m talking about is investing into your team as a whole and individually. People actually want to get better! Rehearsal becomes boring when the material is always the same or there’s no challenge to grow musically or spiritually. If your musicians and singers think, “I could play/sing that in my sleep” they’re not going to see the value of coming together to rehearse or practicing beforehand. When we gently push our team outside their comfort zone they will ultimately become better at their craft and feel a greater sense of fulfillment and team spirit. This is also a great platform to start raising up new leaders and increasing the spirit of servanthood in your team. As worshippers we should be leading the congregation by example in our walk with Christ, not just showing up to play ‘the worship set’. By increasing their own skill, your team members are serving each other and the congregation by improving the experience for everyone. And the less we concentrate on our instruments the more uninhibited we are to worship God. By now you are probably thinking I misspoke myself in the title of this article. Shouldn’t I have called it ‘raising the bar’? Yes, and no. Let me explain. Have you ever played ‘limbo’? You remember — that game at the Hawaiian-themed party where two people hold a bar horizontally and you have to shimmy your way under it? The lower the bar is, the more difficult it is. The pole isn’t dropped a foot each time. It’s lowered incrementally, inch by inch, until you think it’s impossible for a human to pass underneath. The secret to making it to the next round is flexibility. That’s why 54 I’ve called this ‘lowering the bar’. Not only are you increasing the difficulty musically you are also encouraging them to grow spiritually — by focusing on serving each other, the church and God. Putting it into practice • USE POSITIVE LANGUAGE (including in your tone and posture). You can make this work or sound fun. Fun is better! Emphasize that you want to serve them. Your desire is to invest into each one so they become better musicians and disciples individually, and that will ultimately translate into being a better team as a whole. Let them know how much you value them. After all, if it weren’t for them it would be a solo act and not a team.
extend grace and encouragement that they are on the right track. Taking small steps provides confidence for the bigger ones. • PUSH MORE MATURE TEAM MEMBERS OUT OF THE NEST. For some that means asking them to mentor another team member. Hold them accountable for checking on the other team member’s progress and provide the encouragement needed. Others may be ready to start leading worship. Someone else might have the potential to make a great choir director. The opportunities are endless and the benefits are significant.
• CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES. • LET THEM KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. Make sure you praise your team often. Reassure them that you’re not asking for People tend to be very hard on themselves. They’ll hear the negative over the positive giant leaps or mammoth tasks. every time. Make sure your praise far outweighs any constructive criticism. • SET ACHIEVABLE AND MEASURABLE GOALS • LEAD BY EXAMPLE. INDIVIDUALLY AND AS A TEAM. For instance, despite a high level of As worship pastors and leaders we are just musicianship, the musicians and singers as much part of the team as everyone else. in our church have been hiding behind The standard you set for yourself should be music stands for years. After some gentle much greater than what you ask of the rest encouragement to set aside that practice of your team. We all have room to grow the team is rising to the challenge. What’s and when you challenge yourself musically the big deal? Well, for some it was indeed and as a leader you will not only benefit a big deal. One singer felt she couldn’t personally but be better equipped to take survive without the ‘security blanket’ of a mic your team along with you. stand and music stand. A couple of weeks later her tune had totally changed — she • ABOVE ALL ELSE, LEAD IN LOVE. was grateful for being pushed to raise the Your heart for your team members will standard and felt liberated. She realized speak louder than any words you use. Pray she could better focus on worshipping and for them and ask God to help you be the leading the congregation instead of having leader they need. her head buried in the words. • GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT AND PRACTICAL TOOLS TO ACHIEVE THOSE GOALS. Your team members are all going to be at a different level. Identify one thing they can work on, equip them with the tools they need to achieve it and set a realistic timeframe to achieve it in. Check in with them often to see how they are doing. Give positive reinforcement. And if they don’t get all the way there first time around,
Melissa Doppler is passionate about equipping musicians and worshipers as leaders both on and off the platform. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Melissa draws from over 25 years experience in church leadership across a broad range of church life as well as over 20 years in corporate management and team leadership. After attending bible college at Hillsong church she served on the Hillsong Worship and Creative Arts team for many years. Melissa and her husband, Doug, attend Cornerstone Fellowship in Livermore, California.
MARCH/APRIL 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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