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Worship Musician! Magazine - MarApr 2012

Worship Musician! Magazine - MarApr 2012

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Published by CMS Productions
Practical Help for Worship Teams
Practical Help for Worship Teams

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Published by: CMS Productions on Mar 20, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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New Seasons New Songs Same Love

TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play

Product Review

MAR/APR 2012 Volume 10, Issue 2

RainSong’s H-WS1000N2 Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar

Product Review

Record Reviews

One Sonic Society l Don Moen l Shane & Shane l Paul Baloche l Jeremy Horn Songchart ‘The Same Love’


74470 58440


US $5.95 Can $6.95

10th Anniversary PreSonus Give-Away


INTRODUCING SHURE PGX DIGITAL WIRELESS SYSTEMS The precision of 24-bit digital audio
comes to the proven Shure PGX Wireless System. Built to optimize our legendary microphone heads, PGX Digital delivers stunning sound and a strong, clean RF signal. Scan and sync with true digital diversity for easy setup and a rock-solid signal. Welcome to wireless sound as it should be.

© 2012 Shure Incorporated

Finding the Right Music Gear for Your Church Just Got Easier!
Get the Newest FREE Issue of Worship Sound Pro — the Ultimate Music Gear Guide for Houses of Worship! Call Today for Your FREE Copy!
Volume 5


The Best Technology for Worship

Church Sound & Music Technology Guide

Worship Sound Pro features the latest and most essential music equipment and technology for today’s houses of worship.



Sweetwater-exclusive Interview with Brandon Heath

Volume 5

Singer/songwriter Brandon Heath shares his thoughts on creativity, craft, and his musical mission. There’s also a special Q&A with Dan Muckala, the producer of Brandon’s Grammy-nominated album, Leaving Eden.

(800) 222–4700 • WWW.SWEETWATER.COM

Essential Guides for You and Your Volunteers
Brandon Heath
Learn how this award-winning singer/songwriter found his voice — and his true calling.
pg. 6


Get the details on pg. 101.

Sweetwater Exclusive!

In-depth, down-to-earth articles help volunteers, pastors, and worship leaders to understand the ins and outs of the latest in worship sound technology.
Worship Sound Pro 101 Guides Worship Sound Pro 101 Guides

Introducing the easiest way to find exactly the right case for your gear!

>> Roland



More info on pg. 104

Take a look at the instruments we’ve highlighted in this guide, including Roland’s BK-5, the affordable Casio Privia PX-830, and the piano-likeWorship Kurzweil PC3K8. You’ll also want to check out the Nord C2D.

Sound Pro 101 Guides


Workstations: Powerful Tools for the Worship Leader

Roland BK-5

The Basics of
Dropout is just as bad as feedback. Even intermittent dropout can ruin an otherwise wonderful service. An unbroken line of sight between the transmitter and the receiver’s antennas is ideal, but seldom is that possible. More times than not, the wireless signal must rebound off of walls and other surfaces to reach the receiver, and that increases the risk of dropout. If you put a bodypack transmitter in your back pocket, the signal (unable to pass through you) will have to find an alternative path to the receiver. So, to minimize the risk of signal dropout, keep your bodypack in your front jacket pocket. Another major problem is broadband noise and radio interference. If your church is in a city, chances are that an inexpensive entry-level wireless system simply won’t work for you. The same precision technology responsible for the high simultaneous channel count common to most high-end professional wireless systems is responsible for shutting out noise and radio interference. Digital wireless systems, which reject noise and other nondigital signals out of hand, are excellent cost-effective alternatives to traditional wireless systems. All professional wireless receivers are “true diversity” receivers, which means that they use two independent antennas. That way, if the wireless signal doesn’t reach one antenna, it can still reach the other. Quality wireless receivers have antennas that twist off, allowing you to mount them on stands and spread them out. Separating your antennas vastly increases their effectiveness. Even spreading your antennas out just a few feet and moving them away from your other gear will vastly improve your system’s performance. Also, if you have a multichannel wireless system, you may also need an antenna distribution system, which will allow you to connect only a single pair of antennas to multiple receivers. Whether your future wireless system is a single-channel, single-speaker setup or a larger system for the whole worship team, it should effectively and accurately spread the message. Unfortunately, many budget-priced wireless systems may make it difficult and unpleasant for your congregation to hear that message. If the number of quality wireless systems you need is beyond your current budget, practice wise stewardship and save your money until you can afford the system that your house of worship deserves. There are excellent single-channel wireless systems that you can start with and expand later. Your Sweetwater Sales Engineer will be happy to help you find the right system for your church.





Choosing the Right

Backing Tracks and Beyond

Whether you’re looking for a simple instrument that just plays and sounds like a real acoustic piano, or you’re seeking a powerful centerpiece for all your worship team’s ambitions, there’s a digital piano that’s right for your church. To help you zero in on the perfect keyboard for your needs, let’s take a look at the different kinds of keyboards available, as well as the important factors you’ll want to consider when making your decision. When Less Is More
Many church pianists we work with often feel overwhelmed by the number of choices out there — and even more so by the number of knobs, buttons, and controls on keyboards. “All I need,” they tell us, “is an instrument that plays like an acoustic piano and has a fantastic natural piano sound.” If this sounds like you, you’ll want to select what’s called a stage piano — and ideally one with a full set of 88 weighted keys (also called weighted action). These keyboards actually mimic the response of a grand piano’s keybed, where the lowest keys require more force to strike, and the upper keys feel light and airy beneath your fingertips. To nail the sound of an acoustic piano, today’s top keyboard manufacturers have gone to great lengths to record some of the finest grand pianos in the world, putting these sounds right inside the instruments. Not only can you get the sound of a classic Steinway, but on many you can also push a single button to get the sound of a Bosendorfer, a Yamaha C7, or a character-filled upright. If you’re replacing an acoustic piano, you should consider the importance of aesthetics to your church. If you have more-traditional services or are seeking a really natural look up on the platform, then you may want to choose a more authentic-looking stage piano. We have options available with wooden cabinets, in a variety of finishes, so you can choose an instrument that matches the decor of your church.

Ideal for Contemporary While streamlined, piano-like instruments are ideal for a number of $ 00 Worship Songs worship leaders and church pianists, many other houses of worship rely on More info on pg. 104 keyboards for much more than just piano sounds. In fact, if you’re a pianocentric worship leader, you may very well be able to perform and produce your entire service with a single powerful instrument called a keyboard workstation. More than just keyboards with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of instrument sounds, these instruments often feature multitrack sequencers, so you can layer all the different instrument parts into a full orchestration. Kurzweil PC3K8 ennheiser $ 95 It’s very similar to working with audio editing and production software, only>>Sennheiser Amazing Feel and $ 00 you’re not tethered to a computer — and you can easily play these backing EW 335 G3Piano Sounds info on pg. 20 More tracks right from your keyboard during services. And even if you do have More info on pg. 98 Churches across the country swear by a complete worship band, you can use a workstation to add a few choice this pro-level UHF wireless system! backing instruments to fill out your sound — perhaps a second trumpet part, a string section, or even an extra kick drum sound for more power.


Building a Mix
It’s bound to happen at some point: the mix disaster. Maybe your church’s regular sound person calls in sick at the last minute. Maybe the new volunteer sound person doesn’t know a volume slider from a sliding door, or a mixing board from a mixing bowl. Whatever the circumstance, something has to be done to save the service. Without decent sound, the congregation won’t be engaged or inspired by the music, and the message may be completely lost.
Though creating the perfect sound mix for a service is a true art, a sound person with little or no mixing experience can still achieve good sonic clarity and deliver the message with pleasant and effective audio. Here are some tips for saving the day with a quick, last-minute mix — whether you are working the sound booth yourself or have the help of a volunteer. system may not be perfect — forewarning the team that everything may not be ideal will go a long way toward easing the process for everyone. At least they will know what to expect!

Photo by Jon James and Troy Behrens

7. Have the worship team begin to play a song.
Watch for red overload or “clip” lights on the mixer. If you see these, turn down the gain controls at the top of that source’s channel.




More info on pg. 31



8. Build the mix by bringing up the volume faders for the basics first.
Start with the bass drum and the bass guitar, turning them up to a comfortable level and balancing them against one another. You may need to adjust the level of the master volume fader to get the overall level to the right point.

spikes in sound. Ask each worship team member what he or she needs to hear from the monitors — one at a time so that everyone doesn’t speak at once — and adjust the auxiliary sends accordingly.

A Balance of Features for Modern Worship

Practice • Rehearse • Perform
Tracks and Mixes for Your Worship Team pg. 108

FIVE Main Features to Consider
As you take a look at the keyboards featured on the next few pages, these five factors will help you start narrowing down your decision:

1. Action

Performance Ready with If you don’t need the all-out power of a workstation, but you’d still like a $ 00 Powerful Features handful of cutting-edge capabilities — maybe built-in drum patterns for More info on pg. 97 rehearsals and a lighter sequencer for a quick songwriting sketch pad — there are a number of options that fall somewhere in between the two categories we’ve already mentioned. Instead of choosing an 88-key option, which has the same number of keys as a full piano, you can select a 76-key (or smaller) version. These instruments trade a slightly reduced range (many Nord C2D keyboardists never use the highest and lowest keys anyway) for lighter 00 Wireless Breaking Through thebe a$little daunting at first. But don’t worry, wireless systems technology can Price/Performance Barrier weight and a more portable form factor. You can still get fully weighted keys More info on pg. than ever before. Most wireless systems set on a 76-key piano, or you can choose a semi-weighted version that works well much easier to understand today103 are if you perform a blend of classic and modern instrument sounds, rather than themselves up for you, and once you’ve set them up, you don’t need to touch them strictly piano.

Worry-free 3799
Korg Kronos 88

13. Don’t try to overtune the mix, and don’t make it too loud.
Set things up so that they are clean and clear, and at a comfortable, conservative volume level. Then stop! Once you get to the point where it sounds okay — this should happen fairly quickly — stop tweaking the knobs. It’s easy to lose perspective and get lost in knob turning, even though the goal has already been achieved.

9. Turn up the volume faders for the vocals.
Now focus on the vocals. Set them to a comfortable level, balanced against the bass guitar and the bass drum. The lead vocalist needs to be the loudest, with the background or harmony vocals filling in behind.

3485 2399
Casio Privia PX-830
The Look and Feel of an Acoustic Upright Piano

4. Turn it on.
Turn on the speakers or the amplifiers last; this prevents loud thumps and pops from coming through the system.

10. Turn up the volume faders on the other instruments.
One at a time, begin turning up the other instruments. Start with the rest of the drums, then the guitars, the pianos, the keyboards, and any other instruments; adjust the volume as needed. Balance each one against the vocals, the bass drum, and the bass guitar. This is a place where you can err on the side of being conservative. The vocals are the main focus, and you want to ensure that they are clearly audible. Use the other instruments to fill around the vocals, without obscuring them. As you go, adjust the master volume fader to control the overall level.

14. Here’s a final tip.
When in doubt, focus on making the vocals, whether spoken or sung, clearly audible. The congregation is there to hear the message, which is contained in the words and lyrics. The music is inspiring and essential to a great service, but it plays just a supporting role in the grand scheme of things. Ensure that the vocals are heard, and the service will be a success!

1. Keep it simple.
Unfortunately, mix emergencies rarely occur when you have loads of spare time to work on a solution — it almost always happens minutes before the service is supposed to start. While your sound booth may have racks of processors and sophisticated audio equipment, now is >> Line 6 $ 99 not the time to experiment with effects or to randomly XD-V35 More info on minimum you start turning knobs. Focus on the barepg. 19 An affordable digital wireless the special need to get the job done. Leave system such effects for as time. another this one provides reliable performance.

5. Reset the mixing board.
Begin by pulling all the volume sliders (faders) down to zero. (Usually these are found at the bottom of each channel on the mixer.) Set the channel gain to a mid position (Usually this knob is found at the top of each channel on the mixer.) Next, reset all the equalization (tone) controls on the mixer to their center position, which is essentially off. Turn the auxiliary or monitor sends off. Make sure that mute or solo buttons are disengaged. (Usually these buttons are off in the up position.) Set the master volume fader to about 50%.

Do you want keys that are weighted to feel and play just like an acoustic piano’s? Or do you want keys that glide beneath your fingers so that you can easily play synth and organ parts?

2. Sounds

Do you primarily need an authentic acoustic piano sound, or would you like to have other sounds such as strings, synths, electric pianos, organs, and more?

3. Arranging/Recording Capabilities

Will you be composing songs with your keyboard? If so, you may want to have a built-in sequencer, onboard drum sounds, and a direct-to-computer connection.

Increasing in popularity are keyboards that feature a built-in microphone again. Here’s a simple overview of wireless microphone technology, how you can put input. These are perfect for the performing worship leader and great for it to work in your church, and how to avoid some common pitfalls. scaled-down youth services. The vocal microphone goes right through the There are keyboard’s output, so you’ll need to amplify only one signal. Better yet, Yamaha S90 XS two basic types of wireless transmitters: handheld units and bodypacks. Handheld units combine a microphone and a wireless transmitter into one device. there are professional vocal effects built in, so you can refine the vocal sound Perfect Blend of Ease of $ 99 They without having to purchase an extra piece of gear. Use and Deep Features are extremely convenient for worship leaders, and even some pastors prefer them because info on pg. 96 move a handheld microphone away from your mouth if you More you can Don’t Forget About Realistic Organ Sounds need to cough. Wireless handheld microphones are also less susceptible to dropout, because the transmitter part of the The organ is still a very popular instrument for worship services. And while unit naturally points out toward the receiving antennas. most of the keyboards we carry feature a built-in organ sound, you can get that organ-playing experience — complete with drawbars — by choosing a dedicated instrument for the task. Have more questions? Our Sales Engineers are here to help you choose the best keyboard for your church’s goals. In fact, what you see in Worship Sound Pro is just a small sampling of the many keyboards we have available. Give us a call today at (800) 222–4700.


2. Use what’s already there.
Hopefully, your sound system is already set up, the cables and the snake are run to the mixer, and the monitors are tuned in to prevent feedback. Plug the mics into the mixer or snake in their usual positions. Try to use the same “old standby” microphones and other gear you usually use — again, now is not the time to experiment with new gear!

11. It’s time for the equalizers.
Up to this point, we haven’t touched the equalizers (tone controls) on the mixer. If you find that the sound is getting too bassy or boomy, use the “low” or bass tone control to reduce the bass frequencies a small amount on instruments such as bass guitar, keyboards, and piano. Vocalists, especially male vocalists, may also need their bass reduced a small amount. To increase the clarity of a vocal or an instrument, add a small amount of treble or high frequencies by using the tone controls on that mixer channel. Be careful with the tone controls, as overuse can lead to feedback!

4. Size and Portability

Choosing a 76-key keyboard instead of a full-size 88-key instrument can be a great way to cut down on weight while maintaining a first-class playing experience.


More info on pg. 102



5. Appearance

How important is it that your church’s keyboard resemble an acoustic piano? Do you want an integrated stand, or would you prefer to use a more portable stage-style keyboard stand?

Bodypack transmitters allow you to plug in a lavalier microphone or a guitar cable, giving you both wireless and hands-free convenience. If you are going to use a lavalier microphone, you’ll most likely want to choose one with a cardioid (unidirectional) pickup pattern rather than one with an omnidirectional pattern. Cardioid lavaliers reject sound that doesn’t enter them directly, making them less likely to create feedback. Just remember this: no matter how much freedom wireless microphones give you, you still can’t walk in front of the loudspeakers without causing feedback.
>> Shure

6. Begin testing each sound source through the mains.
Have the main vocalist speak or sing into his or her mic. Bring up the volume slider until you can hear the vocals in the main speakers. Turn up the auxiliary or monitor sends until the vocalist can hear himself or herself in the monitors. As you verify that each mic or source works, pull its volume fader back down to zero. You can leave the aux (monitor) sends turned up so that the singers can hear themselves. To prevent feedback, don’t run the stage monitors too loud.

>> AKG

DMS Have a conversation with the worship team. 3. 70 More info on pg. 22
This inexpensive digital wireless system Explain to everyone that the regular sound person is not is a real performer onstage!



available and that help is required to have the service go well. This means guitarists need to turn down, drummers need to control volume, and so on. Explain that the monitor

12. Fine-tune the mix and the monitors.
Adjust volume levels so that instruments and vocals are balanced, and adjust the bass and the treble controls on channels as necessary to prevent boominess, harshness, or


Go to Sweetwater.com or call (800) 222–4700.

Call us today at (800) 222–4700


Call to set up your custom system!

Call us today at (800) 222–4700



More info on pg. 28

We'll help you set up a system that fits your church's needs perfectly!

Call us today at (800) 222–4700



101 Guides
With valuable advice on live mixing, miking techniques, instruments, and more, our informative guides give you the tips and tricks you need to make your services sound better.

Here’s the best way to learn, rehearse, and perform today’s top Christian music! Get complete backing tracks and practice mixes, charts, and more.

Practice, Rehearse, and Perform

News and Articles

Get useful, up-to-date editorials, reviews, and information from experts in worship sound — and stay current on the latest developments.

Try out Pro Worship Music for free — with no obligation! k out Chec orship Download “Before the Morning” for absolutely no charge. Pro Wic FREE! This is a limited-time o er. Get your download now! Mus


(800) 222–4700 • Sweetwater.com
FREE Expert Advice • FREE Tech Support • FREE Shipping • FREE 2-year Warranty

Introducing the free QMix™ app for iPhone® and iPod® touch


onitor m rsonal s. new pegry Bird band’s lay An r praise n also p ou tem ca sys
StudioLive 24.4.2, 25 XMAX™preamps, 10 monitor mixes with 10 iPones

ontrol your own monitor mix from an iPhone® or iPod® touch with PreSonus’ free QMix™ app for StudioLive digital mixers. Up to ten individual on-stage mixes with a StudioLive 24.4.2! Pick which channels you want to include, tweak their levels and then use the ingenious Wheel of Me to boost only your channel with one finger swipe. Need to control your


i xe r Live™ m ® ! tudio s full S with an iPad lu control

whole mixer from the stage, pulpit or pew? Use StudioLive Remote and an iPad to adjust all major mixer functions including Fat Channel signal processing. Want to record the service in 24-bit multi-track? Capture™ 1.1 does it in two mouse clicks (and comes free with all three StudioLive models.) Editing, overdubs, extra tracks of sampled instruments and drum loops? Studio One™ 2 Artist DAW also comes free. At the heart of all this wireless control are the world’s best-selling compact digital mixers. Packed with easy-to-use Fat Channel digital signal processing and effects. Equipped with our renown XMAX™ Class A mic preamplifiers. Don’t let your church settle for a mixer that’s just a lump of hardware with bits of bundled software. Get the complete seamless integration that only StudioLive can deliver. Visit our website or your nearest PreSonus dealer today.

StudioLive 16.4.2, 17 XMAX™ preamps, 6 monitor mixes with 6 iPhones StudioLive 16.0.2, 12 XMAX™ preamps, 4 monitor mixes with 4 iPhones

©2012 PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc., all rights reserved. StudioLive, XMAX, Capture and QMix are trademarks of PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc. Studio One is a trademark of PreSonus Software Ltd. Mac, iPad, iPod, and iPhone are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. All other trademarks, registered trademarks, and figments of our imagination are the property of their respective companies. Let’s get this settled once and for all: Hillbilly Handfishing is NOT filmed in Louisiana.

www.presonus.com • Baton Rouge USA

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Editor’s Corner

The Best Seat in the House...
If you asked me what I felt my vocational calling in life was… I would answer you with, “To help train and prepare the stage for artists, worship leaders, musicians, and techs to walk in their ministries, giftings and talents”. This is an ongoing effort through the two magazines we publish, the training conferences I am a part of producing, and the concerts and events that I have the opportunity to present or to assist in. What is simply amazing to me is that in doing this, not only have I had the distinct honor of meeting some wonderful artists, worship leaders, musicians, and techs (and Judy and I have been befriended by many of them), but that during any of the actual events/conferences I get the best seat in the house (usually just off-stage left).

MAR/APR 2012

VOL. 10, ISSUE 2

8 Product Review By Bruce Adolph RainSong’s H-WS1000N2 Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar 42 The Band By Tom Lane Lose the Attitude 43 Product Review By Kevin Wilber TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play 44 Camera By Craig Kelly What Does Being a Camera Operator Mean? 46 Worship Team Training By Branon Dempsey Beyond the Setlist (Part 2) 49 Worship Musician 10th Anniversary PreSonus GiveAway 50 Mandolin By Martin Stillion Advice from Andy 54 A Few Moments With… By Rich Kirkpatrick Cut-and-Paste Creativity: The Death of Art, Music and Connection in Church Worship

this… as growing up I would’ve never seen this coming. Looking back I can see the building blocks of the Lord were in place but nonetheless it still amazes me that I get to be a part of this wonderful process and see it unfold before my eyes time and time again. God is so faithful! I wanted to express that first so you would have some insights into our 3rd Annual Night of Worship at NAMM. In going now for over 30 years to Anaheim, CA for the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention held at the Anaheim Convention Center, the Lord gave me a desire of my heart a few years back with our first worship event there. In the midst of 95,000 registered attendees and over 1,400 exhibit booths featuring products for musicians and musical instruments from literally every company all around the world, we were given an opportunity to partner with WATS (Worship Arts Technical Summits – a collaboration of Yamaha Commercial Audio, Yamaha Musical Instruments, Shure, and Elation Lighting) in producing a special night of worship right smack in the middle of a very secular convention. This year we also had our friends at Boss and Hal Leonard Publishing join us in the effort.

10 From the Drummer’s Perspective By Carl Albrecht “One Drum Kit, Many Drummers” ...or “Can’t We All Just Get What a cool gig! Thanks go to God first and foremost for Along?” 12 Keyboard By Ed Kerr Print This 15 Bass By Gary Lunn What is Required 16 Vocals By Sheri Gould The Ultimate Vocalist - Part II 18 Tips for Tight Teams By Sandy Hoffman Sweat it Out, Get it Out! (Once More, With Feeling)

26 Songchart “The Same Love” Taking the lead along side of me again for the planning and by Paul Baloche & execution of this third annual concert was our trusted buddy Michael Rossback
Mike Overlin (Manager of Worship Resources from Yamaha and WATS). Each year we talk through which artists to invite and plan out the logistics of such an evening. The PA, lighting, screens, cameras, and backline stage gear all have to be in place. NAMM themselves have been supportive of our efforts and are impressed with how strong the interest level is for an inspirational night of worship there in the midst of the convention.
Continued on page 52

30 Record Reviews By Gerod Bass • One Sonic Society • Don Moen • Shane & Shane • Paul Baloche • Jeremy Horn 36 Ministry + Artistry = Profitability? Creating your MAP™ By Scott A. Shuford Social Media: What Do I Share? 38 Authentic Worship By Michael Gonzales The Dynamics of Change 40 Guitar Grab Bag By Doug Doppler Bringing it Home to the House of God

4227 S. Meridian. Suite C PMB #275 Puyallup, Washington 98373-5963 Phone: 253.445.1973 Fax: 253.655.5001 Email: bruce@christianmusician.com Website: www.worshipmusicianmagazine.com Publisher/Editor: Bruce Adolph Vice President: Judy Adolph Customer Service: Brian Felix brian@christianmusiciansummit.com Copyediting: Kevin Wilber, Toddie Downs Design Layout & Production: Matt Kees Advertising Sales: Bruce Adolph bruce@christianmusician.com • 253-445-1973 Worship Musician! is published bi-monthly by The Adolph Agency, Inc.

20 Paul Baloche: New Seasons, New Songs, Same Love by Aimee Herd
photos: Jeremy Cowart CMS photo: Brian Oliver



By Bruce Adolph

RainSong’s H-WS1000N2 Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar
Before you even think about the merits of a composite graphite acoustic guitar (and there are many) you have to realize that this guitar stands firmly on it’s own as a fine acoustic guitar. Period! The tone, feel, and playability – all the pieces that combine into making an acoustic guitar to be a great guitar- are all rock solid on this instrument. I say this because sometimes when you have something so “out of the box” construction-wise as a composite made guitar, the tendency is to too quickly list the characteristics and advantages of the graphite against a wood guitar. It is true that there are some distinct bonuses to playing a RainSong. But before you start that conversation, you need to know that this H-WS1000N2 acoustic-electric cutaway guitar turned my head around on it’s tone, feel, and playability first! It was a “winner-winner-chickendinner” before I began counting the merits of composite versus wood construction. cutaway invites you to play up the fretboard as far as you want to go. For those of you who have been avid readers for years, you already know that I am a fan of composite instruments. I have personally taken graphite guitars to the extreme of weather conditions (from a wintry minus 10 degrees in Edmonton, Canada at the Breakforth Conference, to a high desert 100 degrees at the Creation West Festival when they used to hold it in George, WA). I tell my wooden guitar owner friends that you should never place an acoustic guitar in a situation where you wouldn’t be comfortable yourself, temperature wise. Not so however with this composite graphite guitar. They are impervious to weather. If it wasn’t for the pick-up/ electronics on board, you could take your RainSong into the shower with you.

“Lighter Than Wood & Stronger Than Steel”
If I’d had this RainSong with me my case would have been a little dinged up, but the guitar inside would have been fine as can be. The only way they could of hurt this one is if they actually ran it over with the commercial size aircraft. I have known several friends with nice high-end wood acoustic guitars, some of them who also bought expensive aftermarket tour cases, who have had their guitars damaged traveling. I first was turned on to RainSong around 15 years ago when I was visiting Hawaii and I took a personal tour of the manufacturing plant led by Dr. John Decker himself… the inventor of RainSong… the world’s first all-graphite acoustic guitar. The body, neck, fretboard and bridge are all made out of pure graphite/composite. Now, several years later with the diminishing supply of certain tonewoods, the regulatory mess of the current definition of the Lacy Act (if you don’t know how this is affecting the sales of new and vintage guitars - you need to) and the efforts to look for ways to go green and conserve our natural resources… well, a composite graphite guitar looks even more inviting. Another feature I like is that when you buy a wood guitar with a solid top you are told the customary “just wait about 7 years for the wood to age and the sound will get sweeter as time goes by”. You really don’t know what it will sound like in 7 years – it is a leap of faith to trust that it will sound better. With a RainSong guitar you know exactly what your guitar will sound like in 7 years because it will always sound as good as it does the first day you bought it. This H-WS1000N2 is clear, rich, and resonant, with a treble that rings clear and bright and a bass that is warm without being muddy. RainSong has trademarked what they call “Projection Tuned Layering” which affords the guitar a uniform stiffness that keeps unwanted undertones away and doesn’t give you the somewhat inherent problems of regional bracing challenges found in guitars made of wood (which can sometimes deaden the resonance). This also gives the RainSong a balanced sound and a big volume. Since there is no wood on this guitar…
Continued on page 48

Graphite is a material that is literally lighter than wood and stronger than steel. Because of this stability you get a firm neck that plays evenly up and down the fretboard… solid as a rock. Because of the graphite, you get an instrument that The body shape of the WS is stays in tune better than a traditional a hybrid mix between a large wood instrument, and you certainly don’t and small body. It sports a have to worry about humidity changes large, deep cracking your wood tops, backs, or sides; c h a m b e r or about your guitar going out of tune for strong like crazy because the wood is trying to p r o j e c t i o n acclimate to it’s new surroundings. (and nice On a recent flight to Anaheim for the bass), as well NAMM Show I had a fine wood acoustic as a narrow guitar with me and I placed it in the waist and tight overhead bins on the plane for safety. The upper bout (for stewardess told me it might have to be a ringing “gate checked” if the plane was too full treble). The of carry-ons. Sure enough, five minutes d e e p later I see her walking my hardshell guitar case down the aisle to have it placed below in the belly of the plane. When I landed, the case had two round indents in the bottom of it and a tear in the tolex covering. That freaked me out. I opened it up and sure enough, a piece of the end pin block inside the guitar was chipped off. There was also a crack in the cedar top, and the instrument was hit so hard that the battery was knocked loose from it’s metal holder inside the body. How did they do this by just hand carrying it one floor lower than where I was sitting?



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making their life easier. I just look at it like a learning experience each time. Sometimes it’s a great experiment. At other times I have suffered through some bad drum or cymbal sounds. I’ll take note of what I was playing that I liked or didn’t like. What adjustment was really necessary that I overlooked? I always attempt to stay positive no matter what happens. Being a “can do” kind of player just makes life more pleasant for everyone. I might even have time to fix broken drums or help change heads if needed. Yes, I’ve really done that. When transitions are happening fast I’ll usually help the next drummer get set up. Hopefully they’ll try to play the kit as it has been set up also. This doesn’t always happen, but when it does, things just flow better. When a drummer demands a lot of changes, everyone seems to be a little more stressed out. That’s not a good environment to be in at a music festival, and even more so at a Christian music event. It is ultimately a spiritual downer when you’re playing for a praise and worship gathering and the players can’t cooperate and work together for the common good. To quote our Star Trek hero, Spock, “ The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.” OK . . .well, how about a scripture? Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Most of you doing church ministry don’t have to deal with touring or multiple band events. It’s still a challenge to make all the drummers happy with the one drum kit everyone will use week in and week out. I’ve even heard stories about just two drummers being at odds with each other over this issue. Think of a church where you might have the challenge of three or four, or even more players. Again, the bottom line is to find common ground on which everyone can do his or her best. Making the drums functional for everyone with the least amount of changing should be the goal of your drum team. I mean really, “Can we all just get along?” Teamwork, teamwork, let’s go! Carl
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 to do various tours & seminar events. Visit his website: www.carlalbrecht.com or send an e-mail to: lmalbrecht@aol.com.

By Carl Albrecht

“One Drum Kit, Many Drummers”
...or “Can’t We All Just Get Along?”
I love to play my personal drum kit. It feels right! Everything seems to be perfectly suited to my size and shape. Please, no comments about my size or shape! …You know what I mean. You spend hours practicing and playing on the same instrument and it just seems to become part of you. The drum throne feels like home base. All of the drums and cymbals are in the exact spot where you have meticulously placed them. Everything is adjusted to the microscopic degree of height, angle, and tension. The music flows naturally. Ahhhhhhh! Now we go to the church, or music festival, or some other multiple band event. There sits the drum kit that all drummers dread; the “house kit.” They are the drums that remain in the church all week, and besides the real players, everyone who has an itch to play drums has sat down and made themselves at home. They “pretend” to be a drummer while beating the poor things to death. If you tour doing “fly dates” (traveling by airline), or play festivals, it’s the rental kit or what is called the “backline” drums. And believe me rental drums are “like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get!” The most important thing in any situation like this is to keep a good attitude and don’t become a drum diva. You know, the player that says, “Well, I just can’t play on this kit; they are not the hip, cool drums that I use, and they’re just not configured the way that I MUST have them!” OH, please, PLEASE . . .don’t ever do that. Just step back and evaluate how to work with what you are given. Stay humble and gracious in every situation and the people will remember you for THAT, long after the memory of your musical genius has faded. I realize that it is not as inspiring to play an instrument that may not be up to par with yours. But I believe that inspiration and great music come from your soul, not from your instrument. Here again, I’ll admit this can be very challenging. Face this test of your character and CONQUER IT!! In the church setting, I get together with all of the other drummers and we have a little chat. I mean, yo . . .can we talk? Especially in church ministry we should truly be a “band of brothers.” -- OH, and sisters too, of course, if that applies. We will eventually agree on a set up that we can all play with very little adjusting from one player to the next. I usually recommend that you build from the basic fivepiece kit and then go from there. You know; kick drum; snare; two rack toms; a floor tom; then hi-hats; ride cymbal; and two crashes. You might add a second snare to the left of the hi-hat. Maybe another floor tom next to the other one works for everyone. More cymbals can work too if you can all agree on a common position for them. In some situations maybe everyone will prefer a four-piece kit. (One rack tom, and then the ride cymbal sets lower to the kit where the second tom normally sets.) This seems to be a common approach for more straight ahead rock music. But again, the idea is to come up with a basic set up that all the players can be happy with. Don’t be so particular that you can’t adjust to a common drum set up. Slight adjustments in drum throne height or angles of cymbals or drums are understandable, but more radical changes can be a real hassle. Changing from a five piece to a four-piece configuration every time is a big deal. Or moving all of the cymbals around to some personal pattern takes up a lot of time. I understand this could be necessary if there are righthanded and left-handed players. But in most situations I think we can all come up with a common set up. In the church music world you may feel that from service to service there is plenty of time to change a drum set to each players personal design. That is probably true, but is that really the most efficient way to work? Every player would have to spend more time getting ready at each event they play. The engineer would have to reset microphones. And the drum set itself starts to wear out faster because of the constant tweaking it has to endure. At festival concerts I usually just walk on to the stage with my stick bag and try to sit down and play the drums just as they are set. Maybe a slight throne adjustment; a little drum and cymbal angle change; and away we go. I won’t even change cymbals or the kick pedal unless it just isn’t working for me. I do carry mine with me, but I don’t always use them. I can just hear someone saying, “Ah, Carl, are you crazy?!” Nope! I’m just tryin’ to keep my drum life simple. At festivals or other multiple drummer settings I’m trying to help the other players and the technical crew as well. Those gigs are tough! And everyone’s working so hard!! Transitions from one band to the next usually happen very quickly. Many times I’ve had crew guys thank me for



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By Ed Kerr

Print This
I’m starting this article in a Starbucks near the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. I’ve been on campus three days giving suggestions to worship teams, coaching keyboard players and songwriters, and enjoying everything about my visit. God is doing amazing things in the lives of the students here, and the Spirit of Jesus is so evident in them. I’m inspired. I’ve shared something with them that I want to share with you. Before you read any further, please visit my website, www. kerrtunes.com and follow the link on the home page to “Permission Slip”. Download and print the document. Make copies. Keep them with you so you’ll have them on hand to distribute next time your worship team gets together. Okay. Since I’m certain that each of you has printed the document and the smell of laser toner is permeating the room (I’m kidding, though I do hope you’ll print the document), here’s what the permission slip is about. It reads: “I do not have to perform a worship song the way it was recorded. I can create my own arrangement”. Then you sign and date the form. What’s the point of the Permission Slip? To free musicians on worship teams from thinking they should always perform a worship song as close as possible to the recorded version they’ve heard. While there’s value in scrutinizing and duplicating the instrumentation, arrangement, and vocal roadmap of a recording (and sometimes that’s what you are assigned to do), there can come a point where the musicians playing and singing that arrangement might feel that their creativity and musical instincts aren’t needed. In my work with bands here at Liberty, in my home church, and in churches around the country, I’ve seen that giving musicians their Permission Slip to do whatever they want with an arrangement can bring fresh energy and inspiration to their presentation of a song. You’ll find that there’s extra time and effort required to create the arrangement, but the payoff is fantastic. I saw it on the faces of the musicians here, and I want to give you a few bullet points that can free you to create your own unique arrangement of a song you love. One of the classes presented 3 worship songs as a set. The 3rd song was the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”. This classic hymn followed Hillsong United’s song “The Stand”, and the stylistic contrast between the two was extreme. Giving yourself permission to create a new arrangement for “It Is Well…” could make these two great worship songs more musically compatible. Let’s jump in. • Start with a hook: Rather than quote the melody of “It Is Well…” for the intro, create an original melodic idea there. • Re-harmonize: As you play and sing through the chart, you’ll hear that we used many alternate harmonies. As the first note of the chorus is sung, for example, the original hymn uses a C chord. We chose to use the F2. The congregation sings the unaltered melody, but they hear a fresh harmony. In creating your own arrangements, explore alternate harmonies for your melodies. There are many chord options for any note. Explore them. • Take some time with your team to rearrange a song. The payoff is great for you, as well as for those who’ll be listening.
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

bars of this intro figure. The second chord in each of these 3 measures changes on the “and” of 2, creating a nice contrast to the chords of the verse and chorus, which all move directly on one of the beats in the measure. Letting chords push in some sections and not in others can help clearly define your sections, an important aspect of a strong arrangement. • Reuse Your Hook: The class let the re-intro begin right on the last note of the chorus rather than playing a measure of C first. Here’s the result:

Here’s that measure of C that might normally be heard when the Chorus ends. Play these two examples. I think you’ll hear the momentum that’s gained by omitting that measure of C.

Below is the chart for the verse and chorus we created. Small, I know. Visit my website for a full size chart you can print.

A guitarist in the class came up with this melodic line. It has nothing to do with the melody of “It Is Well…” but sets a great mood as an intro. It also works nicely as a re-intro when the first chorus ends. • Lesson here: Always be listening to melodies the band is creating in rehearsals. One of those melodies, like this one, could make a great intro hook for your new arrangement. • Create Contrasts Between Sections: Notice, too, that there is a “push” when the chords change within the first 3



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By Gary Lunn

What is Required
I recently read an interesting thread on Facebook that was about whether or not musicians who play in their own churches should be paid. A friend of mine who posted excerpts from a sermon on that very controversial subject spawned the thread, and it really got me thinking about the requirements of the bassist in a church band. Is playing bass a couple of times a week before Sunday the right approach? Not really, but those of you who work other jobs may not have enough time in the day outside your job, bills, kids, family, etc. to keep up on your skills. Unless you are a “miraculous” player, the standard is probably not enough for the Creator of the universe. Maybe there are no professional musicians in your church (or in the area in which you live) who could either lend a hand as a mentor to players in your church, or just be hired to play in order to bump up the excellence in the worship team. There is really no definitive answer to the question of increasing the skill level in the worship team. I think revisiting some of my suggestions in the preparation department may help those of you who find yourselves in that dilemma. watchman-like concepts of timing and to compare the “feel” of those players around them. It may sound complicated to do this at first, but once you get it, it becomes as easy as breathing. This skill can really help the whole band to “lock in.” If you are playing to a click in your worship team, sometimes the click seems to disappear in the monitors (earphones, especially). That tells you that everyone is playing so closely to the click that you can no longer hear it. When the time comes that you CAN hear it, that means (usually) that the drummer is rushing or dragging, so he knows to adjust. If your drummer hasn’t heard about this be sure and tell him. It can truly help tighten up the band. groove elements in the rhythm section. Focus on the high hat, bass drum, click track (if you have one), rhythm guitar, etc. and let your fingers play. Concentrate on the song as a whole and see that it has a self-contained accomplishment. Another method of practicing that helps me is to pick out a piece of music with a bass part that I am unable to play. Then I practice and work on the song and I don’t give up until I can play it. I did that recently with something I saw on YouTube that was, technically, WAY over my head. I was determined that I was going to learn it if it took me days, weeks, months…whatever! I knew that I would have to break it apart and learn it section by section. I slowly chipped away at it but there was one part of the song where it was very hard for me to decipher the bass part, so I researched and found a video of someone playing the song in the proper manner. That really helped a lot and eventually I conquered it. One thing I noticed was that after I had learned it, I felt just a little better about everything else I played. I felt a lot more confident playing well-known material. Shortly after that I played a gig with a band that plays some pretty challenging material and I found myself enjoying the music more than ever because everything seemed to be a little easier to play. I believe that this was because I had raised “the bar” up another notch. Maybe you should try setting some goals in your playing. A sense of accomplishment can really give you a boost in your ability. Feeling more accomplished as a musician does not hurt at all, but you have to maintain awareness that you were given your talent on loan and that with humility you can give it back to Him in better “shape” than when you first got it. Be blessed! Gary is a session player/ producer/writer in Nashville, TN. He does home recording, plays many recording session accounts, and attends Grace Church (gracechurchnashville.com) in Franklin, TN. Find him on www.facebook.com for questions or scheduling.

Awareness of timing (rushing or dragging) can affect the heart, or cadence, of a song. Often the effectiveness of the song depends on how steadily you, as a timekeeper, present it through placement of bass lines. As bassists we have the ability to “pull” back a rushing instrumentalist simply by laying back on the beat. If you are playing Practicing as much as you can makes all with a click, concentrate hard on it and the difference. It doesn’t matter how long constantly remind yourself to lay back you’ve played, or how much experience behind it ever so slightly. If you hold fast you may have, it always help to practice to that technique, the band will follow you scales, timing, improvisation, and eventually, forcing everyone to play with especially…restraint. You can ALWAYS the click. learn. Practicing with clicks and/or loops A lot of worship music these days can help bring you to a level of excellence that will help you hear differences in consists of eighth notes in several different different player’s “feel.” When there ways. You may think that it’s simple but is someone in the band that has great you have got to be on your toes. I have timing and their own “cool” feel, you’ll found that it is usually the simplest songs/ know it. You can listen to them and learn styles that are the most challenging to their concepts, swing values, etc. as well. play. I believe this is because as we repeat certain patterns over and over our Considering that the bass player in a brains begin to second-guess the previous rhythm section is usually the most “time” times we’ve played that same pattern conscious member of the band, filling our or section. Your mind can play tricks on role well requires us to listen constantly to you and you might begin to think you’re subdivisions within the music, comparing bored. Just remember that the simpler the the subtle differences in the styles of pattern is, the quicker you have to set a subdividing among the your fellow consistent fingering style and then stop players. Bassists have to learn to trust their thinking about it. Concentrate on the other



By Sheri Gould

The Ultimate Vocalist - Part II
Last time I began outlining five “P” words to help you remember some key basics in becoming the best the ultimate vocalist you can be. These were: Prepare, Practice, Position (your larynx), Perceive and Presentation. If you missed that article, you can find it archived online at www.worshipmusicianmagazine.com. Because of the importance of the final “P”- Presentation, I decided to dedicate an entire article to this aspect of singing. The actual presentation of a song is really the culmination of all the other work you’ve done so far. Yet, in spite of the importance of all of those—none compare to the impact of this particular aspect. In actuality, if you could somehow get ahold of your presentation and do a great enough job with it, you could conceivably accomplish nearly all of your primary goals as a singer. I say this confidently because of the incredible number of singers out there who clearly have not worked on some of the finer points of singing, and yet they touch us . . .they move us. Why? The answer is: their presentation. The Goal So what is your goal as a singer? You need to remember that everyone who comes to see/hear you sing is looking for an experience (even if they don’t immediately realize it). Depending on the venue, the experience they’re seeking will likely be slightly different. For example, if you’re singing in a coffeehouse, people may be looking for one type of experience. If they’re coming to see you at a large outdoor concert, then it could be a slightly different type of experience they’re looking for. If they’re coming to see you in a church...you get the idea. Yet even though these experiences are different to a degree, they’re likely to be very similar in that it’s an emotional response most of us crave when it comes to music, especially singing. to make sure that our primary goal as a but also a genuine understanding of the singer is to be a servant. A servant that message. She truly owned the song. serves up a message that can touch, Own the Song affect, and even change our audience. Owning the message is critical, but the What It’s Not last step is to truly own the song itself. Many singers, intuitively recognizing the No place is this more relevant than in the goal as stated above, can get confused as church. Recently, I experienced this first to how to get there. I often see performers hand. I was in church one Sunday and mistakenly thinking that THEIR emotional was able to observe a young woman response to the message or the song itself who truly embodied this whole idea. is what will move their audience. There As I watched her lead in worship, as a is a big difference between a displaying background vocalist, I was truly moved of your own emotions versus an evoking by how she totally connected with what of emotion in your audience. Make sure she was singing about. It was obvious you understand the difference. Try to that her every move was born out of remember this: the audience is not so her love for what, and for Whom she interested in how you feel, but you make was singing about. In her role as a them feel. Lots of outward emotional background vocalist she shined and truly responses and overused hand motions led. She was an inspiration not only to simply become distractions for the the congregation, but to the entire team audience and prohibit them from getting as well. in touch with the message themselves. Then she stepped forward to sing the Along this line it’s important to lead on the final song of the morning. I remember that when you are nervous watched as this young woman deftly sang or uncomfortable in any way, this will this song. She was completely committed also greatly affect your audience. They to the process of drawing our minds to will naturally respond to your needs and the message of what she was so clearly find themselves concerned for you rather proclaiming. She did this without drawing than simply responding to the song. This attention to herself. Her inspiring display is because your message has changed, of true worship was like a brushfire that it’s no longer rooted in the song you’re caught sure and fast throughout the singing or its message, but instead the congregation, leaving us to follow her message has become all about you and even as she followed after Him. It was your emotional state. a marvelous example of what a worship leader should be doing. Own the Message It was clearly not the first time she had worshiped through the means of that song. Her familiarity with worshiping was so palpable it heightened everyone’s worship experience. This is something that can’t be “put on”. She spent time to get to this place. Not time “practicing singing” but time engaged in understanding and owning the true message behind her song. What a blessing for those of us in the congregation, we truly got the experience we were longing for that morning because of one woman’s commitment to becoming the “Ultimate Vocalist”!
Sheri Gould has a BS in Music Education (Vocal/Choral) from the University of Illinois. A church music director (Choir/ Worship Leader) since 1985, she also teaches vocal techniques at various workshops around the country. Send your questions to: sherigould1@aol.com

In order to communicate any message effectively, you have to truly understand it and feel its impact. This is one reason why it’s important to sing a song whose message you can truly relate to. It doesn’t make sense for us to try and connect with a message that really has no place in our lives. I often find it amusing when I see YouTube videos of little 7 yr old girls singing “I’ll Always Love You” or some other moving love song that they can’t possibly relate to or have anything other than a cursory understanding of. These Unlike other types of music, singing can types of performance are strictly designed direct your thoughts more pointedly. All to show off certain vocal aspects of the types of music are capable of moving child, but they do nothing to really move you and creating a response, but with the audience most of the time. However, vocal music we can communicate more when Whitney Houston sang the song specifically. Because we have the (especially in light of the role she played advantage of language in our music, we in the movie for which this was the theme can communicate very specific concepts. song) the song was truly moving. Her These concepts are designed to touch breathtaking rendition is rendered out people and reach them where they live. of not only impeccable vocal technique Those are the types of experiences that (encompassing the first 4 “Ps” perfectly) people enjoy and remember. So we need



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By Sandy Hoffman

Sweat it Out, Get it Out!
(Once More, With Feeling)
Repeat, repeat, repeat! Isn’t that how we usually prepare a new tune for presentation? We discover a fantastic new song then practice, practice, practice until the journey from discovery to ownership is complete. Once we’ve made that song our own, we enjoy the fruit of it by sharing it with our target audience: those we lead in worship. But what does it mean to “make the song our own” and just what is involved in this journey? Is there such a thing as putting too much effort into the process? Psalm 33:3 says for us to “play skillfully with a shout of joy.” I sometimes wonder if that joyful shout isn’t just the result of having finally gotten the song right. It takes determination, repetition and sometimes even re-education to make a song our own. We may deeply desire to sing or play a new tune only to find out that it is technically way out of our reach, at least for the moment. That’s when our “worship work ethic” must kick in. The question is: are we willing to “sweat it out ‘til we get it out?!” I bet you answered a resounding, “Yes!” ONCE UPON A SLIDE Back in the 70s, I had the shocking pleasure of hearing an unknown-to-me guitarist named Leo Kottke. It was a late fall Friday evening in 1973 and I was a bored teenager looking for some kind of entertainment. As I wandered the campus of UNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, I happened upon the university auditorium and peered into a side window. There on the stage was a single bar stool surrounded by three guitars. They were six and twelve string acoustic guitars to be exact. Being predisposed to a much heavier rock music style in those days, my first thought was, “Oh, this is gonna be a yawn. It’s probably just some lame folk singer I’ve never heard of…” Boy, was I wrong! Thankfully my curiosity got the best of me and I stuck around to find out for myself. To this day, still no regrets! What a mind blower of an evening it was! As the very first grand piano sized chord burst out of that humbucking pickupequipped twelve string guitar in Leo’s hands, my musical paradigm changed forever. Whoa! I just sat there for two and one-half hours, jaws dropped, eyes popped. I was totally bedazzled and mesmerized by every note and every phrase of every song! This was musically light years beyond anything I’d ever seen or heard. I began to feel that I desperately wanted a piece of that action. I wanted to hear those kind of sounds emanating from my axe. Was it doable? Could I ever learn to play at that level? Even though I could see and hear him with my own eyes and ears, I couldn’t begin to imagine what kind of technique would make such an astounding performance possible. It was an incredible demonstration of just how much music could come from a single guitar in the hands of a master! I was hooked from that evening on, determined to figure out how he did it, then do it myself, to the best of my ability. required to have it sound clear and glide smoothly as I slid up and down the fretboard. Whew, done! After only five short years and lots of re-education, I was playing Vaseline Machine Gun and smiling all the way through. (Wouldn’t you?)

From a worshiper’s point of view, was it worth it? Again, a resounding, “Yes!” You gotta sweat it ‘til you get it! And once you’ve got it, every ounce of effort you put into improving your vocal or instrumental skill pays off in easier song execution and removal of distractions to those you lead WORKING TOO HARD? in worship. In addition, it’ll give you tools Just how much sweat was it worth? How to make your song arrangements more long should it have taken me? A month? interesting, diversified and personalized A year? How about five years?! Five! to your style. So what if the song we’re Five years later I had finally polished learning isn’t even a worship song. No ONE Leo Kottke song (“Vaseline Machine worries. Each new-found technique can Gun” from the Takoma Records release: be applied generously to worship song “Leo Kottke, 6 & 12 String Guitar”). arrangements. Even open tunings, unique Alright now, don’t be such a “hater.” chord fingerings, finger picking patterns You’re probably thinkin’, “Sheesh, Sandy and yes, bottle neck slide can be applied must be a really slow learner.” It wasn’t to enhance the worship experience. that at all. It was just that I had so much to The only ingredient missing is your own imagination. Let it run wild! learn, and all by ear no less! First, I had to discover that Leo Kottke ONCE MORE WITH FEELING was playing in an open tuning instead of standard. This was totally new territory for me. He was pitching his strings to D-GD-G-B-D instead of the usual E-A-D-G-B-E. Can you imagine what this open tuning did to all the chord fingerings I’d ever learned in standard tuning? Right. I had to re-learn fingerings for every chord. Indeed, to learn the tune we must repeat, repeat, repeat. But along the way let’s remember to invest all those repeats into techniques which are far beyond our present skill sets. Don’t be afraid to aim high. Stretch your abilities so far that they may never return to the comfort zone where you started. Even if it takes us five Then there was the finger picking style. years to move to the next level, we should I’d never even tried that before. Now never give up! Romans 12:1 tells us that instead of holding a triangularly shaped being a living sacrifice is our reasonable plectrum (pick) in my right hand and act of worship. What a sure fire sacrifice strumming down-up-down-up-down-up, it is to work with all our might to improve I had to put these awkward little plastic our musical/worship skills in order that picks on my right hand fingers and attack we might be the best to bless! the strings with each, just one string at a Sweatin’ & gettin’! time. Even though I’d been a strummer Sandy since the age of five, for months it felt as if I’d never even played the guitar before! And there was still one more technical hurdle to get over before I could actually begin practicing the song itself! (Was I determined? Yes! Are you?) Leo often plays with a bottle neck slide on his left hand little finger. This allows him to slide from fret to fret (in open tuning) and play a major chord voicing in each. I got a wine bottle and cut off the neck. I smoothed the sharp edges and put the slide on my little finger. It hurt! I practiced with it in spite of the pain. It hurt some more. I gradually built up the strength and coordination
Sandy Hoffman serves the Grace Community Church in Santa Fe, NM, where he is the Minister of Worship Arts. Hear his latest finger picking guitar tunes at: www.WorshipWorksMusic.com



New Seasons New Songs Same Love
by Aimee Herd
We all walk through different times and seasons in our lives, and their impact on our hearts can be expressed in many different ways. In the case of a musician or songwriter, those experiences are usually communicated in the form of lyrics and melody. However, amid the context of a rapidly changing world, there is always one constant: God’s love. This is the backdrop for Paul Baloche’s new record; “The Same Love.” Paul shares from the heart about the album, friendships, and what he’s learned along the way...



Aimee Herd: Paul, you’ve been worship pastor at Community Fellowship in Texas for over 20 years now, that’s a long time. Paul Baloche: Yes, 23 years. AH: Can you describe a little of what that journey has been like for you?

the heart of a worshiper.” I was like, “I do?!” It wasn’t slick or put together well, but he was a guy that thankfully saw something in me; saw my heart. Thank God for people who are older in the faith who can kind of see things in people and call some of those giftings, which we might have never discovered if it wasn’t for their nurturing.

PB: Well, we came down years ago So, that was the beginning. I would to work with YWAM and Last Days meet together in the mornings with the Ministries, so that’s what brought us to piano player—Ed Kerr—we’d make PB: I’ve known Bruce and Matt Texas from Philadelphia. coffee, open up the Bible and just for over 10 years, back when they were just thinking about starting the spend time writing songs. AH: Keith and Melody Green’s magazine and doing a conference. So ministry. AH: It’s amazing how long some for me, I was honored that I remember of these musician and ministry the beginnings of the magazine, and it PB: Yeah, we actually lived in relationships have continued over the made me happy to think of all the years Melody’s motor home for a few months years; Ed Kerr, Carl Albrecht... we’ve been friends—that’s what the until a mobile home opened up on the property. I started plugging into the PB: Absolutely. There have been a plaque represented. ...Years of locking church down the road; just helping out, lot of milestones around relationships arms with good friends and trying playing guitar, doing kids church and lately; this year I’ve been married 25 to make an impact in that part of the youth worship, or whatever the need years, ministry for 20 years, same country. It was fun to think back on that journey and how God has blessed the was. manager for 12 years... ...Threads magazine and blessed that event, and of friendships and relationships like I After a few months the pastor asked me always thought it would be. I’m grateful to lead a few songs. I hadn’t really done for all of them. a lot of that so it was a little freaky, but I stepped into it with fear and trembling. (There were a lot of talented musicians there back in the day and I thought they would kick me out of town!) But, my pastor was really encouraging; he’d say, “Oh you’re a worshiper. You have

AH: And one of those threads of relationship that has been developing for quite some time is with Bruce Adolph, Matt Kees, and the Christian Musician Summits (CMS) and events, where you’ve been a solid teacher and worship leader at so many of them. This past November, you received the Roby Duke Creative Life Award at the CMS in Redmond, WA. What did that mean to you?



PAUL BALOCHE: New Seasons, New Songs, and the Same Love - by Aimee Herd


PB: “My Hope” was written with Ed Kerr. It’s one that I really believe in the message. These are turbulent times in our nation, and in the world. A lot of folks, even in our church, are losing jobs, and there is a lot of insecurity about the future. AH: Not to mention the people who think the world will end after 2012...
Paul receiving the Roby Duke Creative Life Award from Bruce & Matt at CMS Northwest 2011.

That’s on the macro level, and then on the personal level, I feel like it’s saying, the same love that turned my life around when I was 18-years-old—playing clubs at the Jersey shore, and then “boom,” just having this encounter with God that changed my life, and that of a bunch of my friends over that year—that same love is the love that is still compelling me to live for Him and to walk out my faith. AH: Paul, you mentioned a couple of the singers and musicians who have contributed to this new album, but I know there are others... PB: Some are people I’ve met along the way and have asked, “Hey, do you want to write together?” On the song “Oh Our Lord”, (sings) “Ohhhhh our Lord, how majestic is Your name...” that’s with the band All Sons and Daughters. They lead worship in Nashville, and they’re also on Integrity Music; they wrote and played on “Oh Our Lord”, and also “King of Heaven”—which is an intercessory, prayerful cry for God to reveal Himself.

PB: Right! And if it is, then our hope better be in the Lord. also that I had a chance to know Roby The lyrics in “My Hope”; “nothing Duke. He was such an influence on my will change if all the plans I make go wife and I early on. I met Roby back wrong, Your love stays the same, Your in the mid ‘80’s—I was going to Grove light will guide me through it all...” School of Music in North Hollywood. I just really believe in that message, I was inspired by Roby’s playing and and the icing on the cake was having his ministry. So, [the award] was quite Kathryn Scott sing on it. Kathryn has an honor. managed to sing a song on each of the last four records I’ve done, so again AH: I want to ask you about your it’s relationships, friendships... Just like new album The Same Love, can you getting to write the song with Ed. talk about a few of the songs from the project both from a lyrical and also a Ed and I probably wrote a sonic point of view? For example, one couple hundred songs together (no of the first songs to really catch my ear exaggeration) back in the day. And and my heart is “Look Upon the Lord”. then he moved to Nashville and then PB: “Look Upon the Lord” is that kind of deep epic worship song where you’re trying to get into a “Holy of holies” moment. Interestingly, the first line in the song came from one of those “in between” moments at church. (sings) “Look upon the Lord, stand in awe of His beauty, Look upon the Lord...” That’s all we had, so when I got with [co-writers] Kari (Jobe) and Jason Ingram, the rest of the song just kind of spilled out. Musically speaking, we tried to keep it more reverent.... but how would you describe it? AH: Well, I don’t hear a lot of songs that use the duet style of singing in unison, but with an octave in between— it’s a different sound and it works well on that song. PB: Yeah, I wanted it to feel less like a duet and more like co-leading worship. AH: What about the song “My Hope”?

My favorite songs on this album would be, “The Same Love” (written with Michael Rossback, my bass player and keyboardist), “King of Heaven”, “We Are Saved” (which I co-wrote with Ben Seattle, so we hadn’t written together Fielding and he also sings on it with in probably 15 years until we wrote me), and “All Because of the Cross” this song together. It felt strong—like (I wrote that with my guitarist Ben a beautiful thing in the Spirit—to be Gowell). reunited with him and collaborate Michael Rossback and Ben Gowell coagain. produced the record. I wanted these “The Same Love” is a song that really guys to push me—they’re in my band, summarizes where I’m at. On the they know me well, they’re young guys macro: the same love that we read who are really talented, and I respect about in the Bible is calling us by their giftings—I really wanted them to name... and the same God who was push me vocally and musically. ...To crucified is calling us all by name... keep me from going to some of the “You call the cynic and the proud...” I places (in a musical way) where I would was thinking about how there is a spirit always sort of go. of cynicism and jadedness, outside the AH: That shows a lot of trust in those Church but also in the Church, there’s such a spiritual battle against the guys on your part, that you would let Church. But what I feel like I want to say them direct you in that way. to those who are cursing the Church and cursing God is that His message PB: Yeah, and I wanted to just do to them is: “Come to Me, I see why the production of the album with the you’re mad and disappointed and why band that we always play together as. you’re hurt. But, come to Me anyway.” I didn’t want to go to Nashville and I believe He’s calling them personally, get a big producer... We travel as a by name, if they would just open up band—we’re like a band of brothers! Every time we go out to minister it’s like their hearts ever so slightly...



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PAUL BALOCHE: New Seasons, New Songs, and the Same Love - by Aimee Herd


done so many records together— she was deep into the “mom” stage and told me, “Look, I don’t need to do this for my ego, why don’t you get some fresh voices on your record?” So, it started with Kathryn Scott and Sara Groves, and over the years . . .just different voices. And yet, Rita is totally involved behind the scenes; she’s a great song editor, and she’s my vocal producer. Nobody can produce vocals (like her). For example, when you’re in that vocal booth, she can hear if you’re uptight or trying too hard, so she’s a big part in that. As far as being on the road, she’s like, “Y’know, a men’s retreat for us. you have a good thing—you and your guys...” She’ll AH: That’s awesome. come maybe a third of the time, but it wasn’t something that was practical PB: It is. We like to go out and at least in the last few years because serve, and we’re usually involved in somebody had to be home [for the teaching—we rarely do a “concert,” it’s kids], we couldn’t both be away. But usually a couple of hours of worship, now we’re kind of hitting that “empty and the next day: teaching a bunch of nest” thing so that could all change. classes. And when we’re done, we like to just hang out, share life and be AH: In addition to the new album, accountable to each other. It’s been a you’ve also got three new teaching really good, healthy thing for all of us. DVDs out, what are they teaching on? So we said, “Let’s make a record, we know how to do this!” PB: One is songwriting, one is leading worship and the other is a AH: Does Rita (Baloche) travel with worship band workshop. People can you on the road, or does she mostly just log onto www.leadworship.com to see work on the recordings with you? them and for more information. They’re almost like a “last will and testament” PB: It’s evolved over the years, I on teaching worship leading (laughs)... feel like there should be a disclaimer because people ask me all the time, AH: Not planning on going anywhere “Where’s Rita, why isn’t she singing on soon, are ya? this?” I’m like, “You should ask her!” (Laughs) A couple years ago—we’d PB: (Laughs) No, no, but that other

series I did was almost 10 years ago now. There are a lot of new things that I feel like I’ve learned and wanted to pass on. They’re just basically how I feel about songwriting, leading worship... each of them are over two hours long. People can watch a promo for each one at the website. AH: In all the workshops in which you’ve taught, are there one or two things that always seem to come up, and get mentioned as the most common challenge for a worship musician or songwriter to overcome? And if so, how do you suggest they overcome that? PB: That’s a good question... The first thing that comes to mind is that people have a challenge just getting their congregation to sing—to get them involved. There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, but a lot of it requires getting on your face before God. I highly suggest doing that in the sanctuary (during the week or prior to the service), walk your sanctuary and pray for the people there that you serve, and for the people who will be sitting in those chairs. Really get them in your heart. When Jesus looked over Jerusalem, Scripture says that He wept because of His love and compassion to see these people overcome, rise above their circumstances and connect with the Father. So, I’ll tell people to start there. There isn’t a one-size-fits all “spiritual tube sock” that’ll fit every situation, but God will give you ways to inspire worship. You don’t want to guilt or manipulate them into worshiping. And it’s also important for you to spend time during the week, maybe you and a few core members of the team, worshiping and singing to the Lord in private. So then on Sunday morning, it will feel like an extension of that—just an overflow of something that’s already been happening earlier in the week. Then if you’re patient, eventually, people will begin to follow you. AH: And, while you’ve taught in these workshops, and ministered to people, can you share a time or two that you’d say was a very rewarding moment you’ve experienced within that context?
Continued on page 34




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© 2012 Integrity Worship Music/Leadworship Songs CCLI # 6180933

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One Sonic Society Forever Reign 1. 2. 3. 4. Beautiful Savior Always * Forever Reign * God You Are My God 5. As For me 6. Almighty God * 7. The Greatness of our God 8. Now and Forever 9. Just to be with You* 10. Burn Christian producer and incredibly talented song writer, Jason Ingram, has joined forces with former Delirious? guitarist Stu G, and drummer Paul Mabry (Hillsong), to create the worship band, One Sonic Society. Their 2012 debut album, Forever Reign is a collection of songs from 3 previously released EP’s that have been joined together to create an amazing collection of power worship anthems. The CD begins with “Beautiful Savior” as we are immediately drawn in by the familiar guitar sounds of Stu G that have helped revolutionize the modern worship sound. The intensity and honesty of Jason’s voice pulls the listener in further, and you can’t help but sing along as this song plays. Another of my favorites on this album is “Always”. Co-written with Kristian Stanfill, this song begins with an almost military-style drum beat as Jason’s soft vocals remind us that our help is in Lord and that He is our refuge and strength always. The powerful chorus leads us to the hope of a God that comes to our rescue in every circumstance. The song ends with a nice melody that is based on Psalm 121 as Jason and the backing choir sing- “I Lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord” which becomes a stirring anthem of hope and truth. The title track, “Forever Reign”, was co-written by Ingram and Hillsong’s Reuben Morgan and is probably OSS’s best known song. This wonderful worship anthem is quickly rising up the charts around the world and is becoming a staple song selection of churches everywhere. The chorus reminds us that in the midst of the trials of this life, we need to run to the arms of a caring Savior whose love is always enough, and whose embrace is like nothing else. Even though it is not the “meatiest” worship song I have ever heard, it is becoming one of my personal favorites based on its singability for
*Gerod’s Personal Picks

By Gerod Bass
congregational worship, uniqueness of melody and style, and overall message. In a world of cookie-cutter worship songs, “Forever Reign” stands out. This album is full of refreshing truths, and the song “Almighty God” is a great example of this. We are greeted by a soft, stirring guitar intro as Jason’s vocal paints a picture for us of a place where the Almighty God dwells. It is a place of refuge for the weary, where we can be renewed. The powerful chorus reminds us of a God who never fails, a fortress in time of trouble. When I saw the track list for Forever Reign, I was excited to see that “Just to be With You” was included, as this has already become one of my favorite worship songs. Co-written with Paul Baloche, this song has a very personal feel and is one that each listener can identify with as we come before our God in desperate need of His love and renewal. This song brings us back to the basics of what we truly need in our Christian walk: intimate personal time with our God. “The Greatness of Our God”, “God, You Are My God” and “Burn” are examples of some really nice mid and slower tempo worship offerings in this collection that contain wonderful themes of praise, mixed with strong lyrical content that are sure to find a place in your church’s regular worship repertoire. Although Forever Reign does not boast any big breaks in musical concept from what is the current trend in Contemporary Christian Music, the tracks contained in this collection are just different enough to keep things interesting. This is a true worship album full of memorable choruses, stirring guitar licks, great drum work, and soaring vocals. Jason Ingram’s voice is inspiring and honest, and as I listened, I couldn’t help but close my eyes and worship along with him on almost every song. If your congregation loves honest worship music that will move them in mind and spirit, you have got to pick this CD up. Don Moen Uncharted Territory 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Uncharted Territory* You Will Be My Song Somebody’s Praying For Me* Great Things Your Love Never Fails 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Lord Have Mercy * Ransomed Divine Exchange* My Portion You Will Ever Be No Fear He Loves You Thank You Jesus Burn

Overall impression Average church congregation could learn/participate on the first hear Can be learned/adapted by a band of average skill Lyrical creativity and integrity

One Sonic Society Forever Reign Don Moen Uncharted Territory) Shane & Shane The One You Need Paul Baloche The Same Love Jeremy Horn Sounds of the Broken
highest marks

Praise and worship veteran Don Moen’s eagerly anticipated worship album Uncharted Territory delivers a powerful Gospel message of hope in the familiar “Moen” style we know and love. This CD is not full of big drums, loud guitars, or endless drum loops. This is a simple, honest worship project whose songs point the listener to a caring God who walks beside us during our most difficult times. The CD begins with the title track “Uncharted Territory” where the singer is pouring out his heart to God about his fear and feelings of loneliness. This immediately connects him with his audience in an emotional way. Here, he asks the question, “Where are You, Lord?” and thus identifies with every human heart that has ever felt lost and alone. The chorus reminds us of the things that Christ has done for us and asks God to teach us how to pray and sing His song in the midst of sadness and tragedy. Some of the other offerings in this collection that caught my attention were: “Somebody’s Praying For Me”, which is a neat little reminder that God surrounds us with faithful people who lift us up in prayer during our hard times. Although it wasn’t my favorite song musically, (just a personal thing), the message that Mr. Moen conveys here went straight to my heart. During difficult times, we tend to focus so much on our problems that we forget that there are brothers and sisters in our corner lifting us up before the Lord because they love us. I am always on the lookout for worship songs that are a little more “liturgical” in form but still hold true to the contemporary nature of modern worship music. I was delighted when I came across track 6, “Lord Have Mercy”. This is my favorite song on the album, and is one that I will definitely be using this coming Lenten season as a Kyrie during our Wednesday evening Lenten services. It is a confessional song that offers up a personal confession before God and then cries “Lord Have Mercy”. It is another great reminder that we are called to come before our Lord in humility and ask for the forgiveness that only He can give. I find it interesting that Mr. Moen includes this song, and I think he is trying to say that in our times of greatest struggle, we need to remember who has forgiven us; and that because of that forgiveness, we have eternal life. “Divine Exchange” is another strong lyrical song on this project that takes us back to the suffering that Christ endured for our sake. Here we are reminded that, “Christ took the nails that were meant for us, and that love alone is what kept Him there”. Truly, it is one




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of the best lyrical ideas on this album. This CD is full of great little musical themes and motifs, and those who enjoy a more country feel will enjoy this collection of worship offerings. This is classic Don Moen contemporary worship with a softer feel. It is full of great reminders of what we as children of God mean to our Father, especially during those tough storms of life. The impact of the book of Psalms is felt throughout this release as Don mirrors many of those same cries in his own life, and urges us to do the same as we seek the peaceful presence of our God in times of struggle. This is a CD with some nice worship offerings that are easy to learn and to sing. Uncharted Territory is VERY thematic, almost to the point of making some of the songs forgettable. I think he could have delivered the same message without giving us 13 songs that sound somewhat similar in musicality and feel. But maybe that was his point. Maybe we can’t hear enough about what our God has done, and continues to do for his people in the midst of doubt and uncertainty. The songs of Uncharted Territory do what they are intended to do: they encourage those in need, and point us to the source of hope . . .Jesus Christ. Shane & Shane The One You Need 1. Liberty * 2. Your Love 3. Without You 4. Future Version * 5. Because He’s God 6. The One You Need * 7. Miracle 8. Victory 9. Running to You * 10. Grace is sufficient 11. Lift up the Light * 12. Praise Him After a short break from recording, Shane Barnard and Shane Everett are back with their latest release, The One You Need. Now with a home base and rooted worship ministry at a local congregation in Dallas, Shane and Shane are shifting their ministry focus and concentrating on their families and their local community. Part of this process has been to sign with a new label, “Fair Trade Services” (Laura Story, The Afters, Mercy Me). This has allowed Shane and Shane to create a completely self-written and self-produced project. Right from the first note of the first track, it is easy to tell that this project is quite a bit different from their previous releases. The One You Need draws from a variety of musical styles including Southern Rock, Gospel, 70’s Funk, and of course the classic Worship Anthem centering around the themes of Faith, Hope, and giving Unending Praise to our God. The opening track, “Liberty”, kicks off the album with anticipation and energy as the theme of freedom in Christ is presented first and foremost. This is a song of pure joy and good news that makes the listener want to sing along and dance about the freedom we have in Jesus. The next two offerings, “Your Love” and “Without You”, are simple songs of love and praise that point the listener to the neverending love of our God. These both would be great for corporate worship as they are easily singable and playable. “Future Version” is a fun song with funky 70’s, Stevie Wonder kind of feel. I found myself grooving along in my chair as Shane and Shane reminded me through the lyric that there is nothing that can separate us from God, and that He loves us in spite of our brokenness. This idea is a theme throughout the album, and is one that our world needs to hear constantly. The most personal track on this release is also the one that is my personal favorite. “The One You Need” is a prayer from a father to his child. It conveys a longing to know Jesus, and to experience the joy of Salvation. It is a song that resonates with every Christian father and reminds us that we are all beloved children of God. The best worship song, and one that many will enjoy singing in their congregations, is “Lift Up the Light”. This is a powerful worship anthem that calls upon God to shine His light on us so that we may share it with others, and it has a chorus that is sure to be running through your brain long after you hear it for the first time. The rest of the musical offerings on this release are well done, and most are just different enough musically to keep the listener’s attention throughout. The songs are rooted in scripture with a nice mix of corporate worship song possibilities and performance-type tracks that could be used as pre-service, offertories, or “special music” songs. Although I appreciated the eclectic musical nature and heartfelt emotion of The One You Need, I would have really liked to have seen this album offer a bit more in the way of spiritual “meat” for the listener. Overall this is a solid effort and contains some wonderful moments both for personal listening and corporate worship. Paul Baloche The Same Love 1. The Same Love* 2. We Are Saved 3. King of Heaven* 4. All Because of the Cross 5. Your Blood Ran Down 6. My Hope 7. Oh our Lord* 8. Christ the Lord 9. Reign in Me 10. Just Say 11. Loved by You 12. Look Upon the Lord* 13. Shout For Joy World-renowned songwriter and worship leader Paul Baloche has again met and exceeded expectations with his latest worship release, The Same Love. This album brings us 13 new songs in the classic Baloche style that we know and love, with some refreshing differences from his previous two releases, Our God Saves and Glorious. As an avid Baloche fan, my expectations for this release were very high, especially after hearing some of the demos from the free pre-release CD at CMS Northwest back in November. So with great anticipation I put the CD into the player and away we went… The album begins with the title track, “The Same Love”, which was co-written with Michael Rossback. This song begins softly and crescendos into a memorable chorus reminding us that we are still loved with the same love of God that created the universe, healed the blind, suffered the cross, and set us free. Like most of the songs on this album, “The Same Love” is superbly written, easy to sing, and very intimate. I really appreciate how the track ends with the phrase…. “You’re calling, You’re calling, You’re calling us to the cross”. This is a wonderful action statement that transcends the song and calls the believer to lay down their burdens at the foot of the cross, be forgiven of their sin, and receive the rest that is in Jesus. The message of hope that we hear in this worship piece is undeniable. Another one of my favorites on this collection is the bluesy sounding track, “King of Heaven”. In this fun little ditty, we get to hear Baloche guitarist, Ben Gowell, plucking on a banjo throughout this song, while drummer Carl Albrecht creates a thumping heartbeat with his intricate drum technique. The bouncy feel just makes you want to sing and dance along in praise. It is a bit repetitive but the melodies are so good, it’s forgivable. I am always amazed when songwriters can take a single chord progression and write multiple melodies that work well together mixed with an honest and passionate lyric. This could be used as is a great opening song for welcoming the Holy Spirit into your time of worship. Paul Baloche and his team are very ‘timing savvy’ when it comes to releasing their music. Here we are about ready to jump into the Lenten and Easter Season, and lo and behold the next few songs directly point us to the cross, the blood of Jesus, and even a great Easter song. Brilliant! Paul provides us a medley of “Nothing But the Blood” and “Oh the Blood of Jesus” held together with a new chorus in the song, “All Because of the Cross”. It is an interesting take on some classic hymns and I loved how he tied them together with a relevant chorus that will ring true with worshippers. The following song, “Your Blood Ran Down”, continues this theme and is a nice stripped down piano-led piece complimented with a string section that showcases Paul’s voice. “Oh Our Lord” is similar to “King of Heaven”, and is another uplifting and joyful song that has a bit of a U2 feel with the delayed guitar and building backbeat. The melody is memorable and the lyrics are full of truth and honesty. The Easter song I was speaking of is called, “Christ the Lord”. This song of celebration shares the victory that Christ won for us on the
Continued on page 48





PAUL BALOCHE: New Seasons, New Songs, and the Same Love - by Aimee Herd


leaders in some of these other countries. That’s another thing on my heart is to help raise up the next generation of worship leaders. I’d like to continue to do what I do: having nights of worship, training worship leaders... but also to be intentional about defining those next generation leaders in different cultures and languages—discipling them, encouraging them and being available and becoming a friend to them. Kind of “passing on the baton.”

trust the Lord that it’s okay to take little “seasons of Sabbath.” In every season of your life, you have to seek God to find the balance between marriage, ministry, music, travel, and local church. AH: Looking back at that journey you’d mentioned in the beginning of this interview, what would you say are a couple of the most important things you’d learned and come away with from that time—as a worship leader and songwriter—that you would want to pass on to others in that mentoring kind of way?

Continued from page 24 PB: This past year we were in Europe. To be in another culture and try to learn a few songs in their language can be a beautiful experience; to try to meet them halfway and not just come in there and do your own thing. But to learn some of their culture and honor them in that way. So we went to France. (Of course we did a French worship album about two years ago) And we went to Germany and Finland too. We sang a few songs in their language. It takes a little bit of work, but the reward is...you can just sense such a spirit of unity that overcomes the language barrier. You I want to be a good steward with any can feel people’s appreciation, and opportunity that God would bring my you feel like you’ve really connected way, and I want to finish well, by God’s and come alongside to serve with them. grace, as a husband, as a father, and as one who ministers. My father passed AH: Will you be doing another album away just recently, he was an awesome in another language in the future? man—96—he led an incredibly full life. And my mom now has Alzheimer’s PB: Yes! We’ve got a French album (she’s in her ‘80’s), and I want to make in the works along with a Brazilian and sure that I respond to this season of life. a Spanish album in the works. [The first French album] has really opened I also want to learn how to rest, up doors with the next generation because I’m wired to work. I want to

PB: Think of Sunday morning as a family time, no matter how big your church is. They’re not an audience; they’re your family. So think of Sunday morning as being in a giant living room, and love the people. Before you put together your set list, think about AH: Well, and that’s the people you’re going to encourage what a good leader in worship, and ask God for His heart does; help to raise up for them. those coming after him. From the outside it can look the same And the thing with God is, there’s something as a rock band that’s playing to an new on the horizon audience. Think of yourself and your He can lead you in no team as a “team of pastors” with matter what your age instruments. is. Any other plans for As far as the songwriting goes; as the future? you’re leading, pay attention to those PB: I’m really at that point where I moments in between songs where things just sense a sort of seasonal change. rise up in your heart toward the Lord. (Laughs) I am mindful that I’m not 25 That’s where the best songs begin. Pay anymore (I won’t try to get away with attention to those impulses from the wearing skinny jeans). But, I hope to heart as you’re in the midst of authentic pass on the things I’ve learned, as it says worship. Find a way to capture those. in 2 Timothy 2:2, “that which you’ve I always record our worship times, and learned, entrust to faithful men...” I later—during the week—I’ll go back feel like I’m a “Timothy” toward some and listen to the moments in between where I’m still learning and gleaning the songs, where those little prayers are from those who’ve gone before me, coming out of my mouth when I wasn’t and then I’m a “Paul” to those who are trying to be clever, but just sincerely trying to connect. come after me. Paul Baloche and his band will be doing a worship tour across Canada beginning April 12th, from Ottawa to Victoria B.C. Check his website for tour dates and times, CDs and DVDs: www.leadworship.com When it comes to gear, these days Paul alternates between his trusted McPherson, a Collings and a ‘41-000-28 Martin in acoustic; and in electric he plays a ‘67 Epiphone Casino.



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By Scott A. Shuford

Social Media: What Do I Share?
So based on the last issue’s column, now From a more formal strategy standpoint, that you’ve planted your embassy in one I want you to think about the types of or more of the social media countries, things you have available to share. We’re what do you share? going to call those content buckets. Each As we explore social media more content bucket is an area where you deeply, let’s take a look at what you can have ongoing stuff to share. Stuff is should share. Notice that I said, “should.” defined as information, pictures, videos, There are lots of things you “can” share, or anything else you can think up. You but as you’ve probably already noticed are going to use these buckets to create from other people’s posts, there are lots of specific posts for your social media things you don’t really need to be sharing. outlets. One of our core Audience Delivery Services at FrontGate Media is Social Media. We have a lot of experience in this area. I spend my time working for our clients to develop a strategy around their ministry or business. I’m going to share our strategy with you. As I’ve mentioned before in this column, we are all about Fan Development, and you should be too. You want to provide value to your friends, fans, and followers. You want to engage them in a way that builds them up. You want to connect with them more deeply, and they want to connect with you! Social media is certainly about being… well, social. It’s about sharing life together. AOL calls it your Lifestream. That’s a great name. It’s great to get a bit more personal with folks and share your life. Remember that they want you to share in what they are doing too, so do keep an eye on your friends. Some worship leaders post every single thing that comes into their minds or in their daily life, including pictures of the dentist examining each mouth in the family. That does accomplish the goal of sharing more personally, but for most of us, that’s a bit over the top, even though we love you Carlos. ;) I want you to add in a bucket named Questions. That’s going to remind you that you should be asking your friendbase some questions along the way. Don’t be that friend who only talks about themselves. Hopefully, you can see how easy it is now to post relevant, interesting, engaging information at least 3-5 times per day, every day. Once you’ve listed your content buckets, then you are ready to figure out how often to post from each bucket. Rick would not only be trying to figure out what to post, but also what NOT to post. You can also pre-schedule at least a week’s worth of posts in one sitting.

Remember your Questions bucket? You can write posts specifically for that bucket, but you can also just take content from the other information buckets and turn those posts into questions. Instead of a post like: “Saddleback This Week: For most of us, we have lots of information Easter Performance at the Town Center” to share, so that probably needs to be you might ask instead “Will you be able more than one bucket. I worked together to join me at the Town Center this week for years with Rick Muchow, the worship for our Easter Performance?” pastor at Saddleback Church. Let’s Send me your Social Media questions use Rick as an example. In addition and I’ll try to answer the most popular to pictures and videos related to his topics as we explore this topic together. worship leading, to his church, and to his passions for family and kayaking (and probably other things too), he has multiple information buckets to choose from. Content buckets for Rick might include Rick Muchow the Worship Leader, Rick the Trainer of Pastors, Where’s Rick? (appearances), Rick’s songs/ Tune in Creator Worship albums, Rick’s latest articles, Rick’s book Online Radio: snippets, Rick’s gear, Saddleback’s set list, Saddleback’s calendar, Saddleback’s Teaching & Training teaching series, and more. Hear it today… Use it That’s all related to his church-work life. We haven’t even listed personal areas yet, and each of us should. What does God have in your life, as passions or struggles, outside of your music and service to the church? That’s where you can get more personal.


Scott is excited about the upcoming Biola Media Conference (BiolaMedia.com,) and is a regular speaker at the Christian Musician Summits. He has led classes for us at NAMM as well as teaching on marketing to the Christian Leadership Alliance. Featured in Adweek, Scott is the President of FrontGate Media, the #1 culture-engaged media group reaching the Christian audience (www.FrontGateMedia.com) and the largest in-reach to Church musicians. He is also the co-founder of Creator Leadership Network: online radio for worship leaders (www.CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com). Email your comments or questions to Scott@CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com.

WorshipTeamTraining.com Richie Fike (Indie Extreme) Monica Coates Tom Jackson NewReleaseTuesday.com Rick Muchow (Saddleback Church) Tech Talk with Wade Odum and more… Twitter: @CLNetwork Facebook.com/CLNetwork

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By Michael Gonzales

The Dynamics of Change
Change can be very difficult, exciting, exhausting, fearful, or a combination of the aforementioned. So those in leadership have a certain responsibility to make sure the execution of a vision is carried out . . .but sometimes there is a cost. You might lose a worship team member, some of your players and singers show up each week a little bitter, or even worse: people in the church start leaving. In your prayer time you see that things may not be turning out the way you expected. In fact, if things get worse you sense that you are losing support from your biggest cheerleader—your pastor. One of the biggest change events happens not when the pastor stops wearing a tie or starts wearing jeans, or the choir gives up a certain dress code on stage; it happens most when the worship leader goes from one style of music to another. The most common change is moving from “blended” music to a more progressive style. People start saying, “What’s this Israel Houghton music? I used to like the Maranatha! Music standards.” If people don’t say it, they think it. made up of completely new players and singers without any communication. Communication prevents many wounds. Here’s another common instance of change. The pastor wants to make a move. Usually it is the new guy, the pastor who has settled in but after a year or two he makes his move. Something inside of you feels an uneasiness to comply. That is also a bad sign, because if the pressure for change becomes too great then you wind up leaving either because you have been let go or you have already found another assignment. Remember, you cannot just commission change, you have to make sure you have the proper people to help carry out the vision. Especially in the case where you have been let go, then the church leaders exert their own pressure to get somebody to fill that slot, only to realize down the road they wish you were back for a variety of reasons. point is: everyone on your team and the media-team need to be prepared for change. I was on a worship team where we got a new PA system, and guess how the sound team learned how to use it—by playing with the knobs each Sunday for three months instead of really learning it. They weren’t prepared for change. The pastor was frustrated but couldn’t really fire the volunteer. That church did not think about all aspects of worship, and by not training the audio staff they did not invest in a proper resource to help the body of Christ in that place. So get a plan in place. Share it with those that need to know. If it is a personnel problem don’t just say, “We decided not to have a keyboardist anymore,” and after the person steps down three months later, you bring someone else in because you were afraid to be up front for fear of hurt feelings. If you are being pressured to change, take a deep breath and give it to God. Let me tell you . . .nothing lasts forever on this earth. In my position as a university professor I walked into a committee meeting the other day and realized my colleagues from other disciplines across campus were all young kids with bright ideas. I was the oldest dude in the room! I realized two things after that meeting—I have to keep changing myself, and someday I will not be the flavor of the decade—it will time for change. Build a plan, go in a direction, have passion for that to become a reality, be prepared to answer the opposition, get them on your side, accept responsibility for your actions, give it all to God. Change will never occur unless you take that first step!

Another area of concern is what I call the AREA 51 SYNDROME. It is where you are trying to lead but you spend too much time experimenting. Some things work, but most of the time they don’t. When I If you, like so many people, are going went to Christian Assembly in Eagle Rock, through this experience (or have gone Tommy Walker would present new songs, through it), I hope you can relate to the but he had the wisdom to stop presenting dynamics of change. the material over and over again as he “Getting over a painful experience saw they were not accomplishing what is much like crossing monkey bars. he had hoped for. It does no one any You have to let go at some point in good pressuring people into worship. order to move forward.” -C.S. Lewis We all need the power of the Spirit of God and to work with Him to yield good As you embark on change, don’t do it fruit. in secret. You will need the support of Here is another example of change. your peers and your pastoral leaders. It is good for you to put a plan together on Your church is now going to meet in a your own, but before actually executing rented church facility instead of meeting it make sure you share your vision with in a middle school gym. You make the the inner circle of decision makers who move and your soundman is excited guide the church. Once that is done, because now your church gets to use make sure you get the green light to share that fancy soundboard equipment, but with your worship team. A bad sign is the problem is it is the system is more when worship team members are being complicated than the simple Mackie replaced and before long the team is portable speakers he used to set-up. My

Michael Gonzales, Ph.D. Professor, Biola University mike.gonzales@biola.edu



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By Doug Doppler

Bringing it Home to the House of God
Just in case you’ve been wondering, I ALWAYS look forward to writing this column. Right around a day or so before the final deadline the Holy Spirit puts something on my heart and away I go. This issue, a week or so out from deadline, I shared with Bruce that I was still waiting for my download and he kindly gave me a kick-start on the inspiration. So, once again, thank YOU Bruce Adolph. As you’ve gotten to know me through these columns, you’ve probably figured out that I’m a bit of a rehearsal nut. I love to play, I love to practice, and I love to bring my best for the Lord. Like each of you, I get bogged down with life and am not always able to do as much as I would like before rehearsal, or sometimes even the first service. So, the scope of this article is going to be about being effective within the framework of making the music fun to play and inspirational to Worship to! Let me start by saying that if you have not had a chance to check out PlanningCenterOnline.com . . .run, don’t walk to your laptop, iPhone, iPod, or desktop. My life is made manageable thanks to this AWESOME program. It allows me to download the songs and charts, as well as view key arrangement notes. If you’re looking for a tool that allows you to know all the things you want to know come rehearsal, put this program on your tool belt. In a word . . .it ROCKS! I love signature lines. Hillsong’s Nigel Hendroff is someone who has inspired me every bit as much as Joe Satriani or Jeff Beck. He knows what to play, how to play it, and just as importantly: when to play it. I’ve learned SO much from him that this is a great opportunity to frame some of what I consider to be an amazing Worship guitar experience with what I’ve learned from and through playing his parts. For starters, it just drives me nuts when people ad lib on his parts to the point where it doesn’t sound like them anymore. The fanfare at the top of the song (to me) should set up the “I know I’m about to Worship” moment, as opposed to, “It kind of sounds like that song” one. Signature lines at the top of the song allows the congregation to prepare to enter into Worship. As much as I do add some subtle embellishment to them, I do very little to actually change them. With a cooking analogy in mind, think of adding some salt if you feel you want to change something up. That being said, some of us just struggle to find the original part at all, so let’s open up a can of Doppler’s Practical Soup. Scale singing is something that guitar players don’t do much of, but if you get in the habit, it can do so much to help you find the intervals your fingers can miss. Find a piano and using the white keys, just toggle C D, C E, C F, C G, C A, C B, and C and its octave while singing the pitches. Now hit the same keys while calling out 1 2, 1 3, 1 4, 1 5, 1 6, 1 7, 1 1. Most guitar players have a tendency to think in a linear sense, and this will do a lot to open up your ears and fingers to hearing and effectively playing different intervals. the bass note movement of the chords if you don’t have the charts in front of you; which in theory, if you’re driving and have your iPhone plugged into your car stereo (like I do), you won’t! The other great thing about getting comfortable with the bass note movement in terms of thinking of it as say ||: I ii- V :|| is that it doesn’t matter what key you’re in, that movement is still the same. If your team toggles between male and female Worship Leaders, this skill is an invaluable one.

Dynamics are like salt - it’s that one spice that you need a bit of in just about everything. Many, if not most guitar players, suffer for Monotonitis - playing at the same dynamic level over and over and not knowing why their playing feels flat. My suggestion would be to watch a Stevie Ray Vaughn DVD and take note of the range of dynamics he gets out of his right hand, and then try to imitate that. I also do a lot in setting up my tones to insure I can step on various buttons that bring my level up and down, essentially framing the loudest I can be in a section. In turn, my right hand allows me to play up to that volume and back down again dynamically. Perhaps the best demonstration of this can be found in the video clip you can link to by scanning the In talking with my Worship Pastor about below QR Code on your mobile device– my presentation at a recent conference as or by searching for Doug Doppler, Zoro, I gathered my thoughts for this article, I and Norm Stockton on YouTube. shared my practice of downloading the Until next time, much love to you, and set onto my iPhone with him. Without a God Bless... huge amount of surprise I found that he did the exact same thing. Living with the songs is a great way to practice the art of learning arrangements without your instrument in hand. The ear training exercise I mentioned a moment ago is a great way to get comfortable with intervals for learning to find notes that are not right next door to each other. Getting comfortable with the scale degree numbers is also a great way to map out 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

Lose the Attitude
I’m not sure what it is about the muso make up and personality that makes us prone to feel so entitled, but I feel that it’s an attribute we’ve become much too associated with. Musicians are some of the most insecure people that I’ve found, coupled with a deep need to feel significant, and subsequently they develop some bad behaviors. I see it all the time and it’s never really justified. Honestly, I think we need to grow up and be willing to admit it. If there’s one place I feel there’s no room for bad attitudes, it’s the worship ministry. But I know from experience that feelings are hurt every week in churches for some reason or another. The platform of worship is not a territory to defend or own, so why do we become so attached and feel entitled? And why are we so easily offended and miffed when others invade “our space?” It was never ours! Do you ever feel like there’s a pink elephant in the room and no one wants to call the spade a spade? As lovingly as I possibly can I want to say this to anyone involved with a worship band/team; we have a greater mission than performing or impressing, and it’s not fulfilling our own musical or ministry ambitions, it’s about pleasing God. We don’t do that when we consistently act out in our flesh instead of the spirit. If we don’t have good attitudes, then in reality we don’t have a good ministry. What difference does it make if we sound good and play well but treat other people as insignificant or unimportant? What good do we do if we ensure we have everything the way we want or like it in the name of excellence or good production, but run right over people to get there? It’s not worth it, and it does matter! Again, I know we are human and will make mistakes and there’s grace for that, but we should know better and at the very least, know that the Word instructs us on bad behavior. Young people excite me. They’re not nearly as weighed down with baggage, and are still full of zeal and passion. For those in mentoring and fatherly/big brother type roles, you know that they do need us to help them along. I’m at events all the time and there are always young musos hanging around watching us, taking it all in. Even in worship on Sunday morning they’re watching to see what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. That alone makes me very aware of my attitude. I’m as selfish as anyone and have my own issues, and I’ve not always been the right or best example for sure—but I do work hard to be because I believe it’s extremely important. anger, bitterness, disappointment etc., the better and stronger our relationships will be. It’s not that we must come to the worship table as perfected people . . .we can’t! But we can come in spirit and truth, and that begins with integrity personally, and with God. If serving in worship becomes too routine, we can become callous and oblivious to the Spirit of God desiring to engage and commune with us. We can coast on autopilot for a while, but God will get our attention sooner or later. We have to work to not let it become a gig that we do with no heart attached. The ideal is to be as balanced and healthy as we can possibly be, checking our own spirit constantly. Ask questions like; are we irritable, short, curt, offensive, or self-serving? Do we prefer others, protect our space, or position? To be human is OK, but we need to let God help us grow beyond our humanity into the people He calls us to be. The more I do in the worship arena, the more convinced I am that God is more passionate about people than performances and programs. Regardless of the skill level of a team, we never have the right to treat people sub par, or to call them out and embarrass them in front of the team. If that’s happening on your team or in your ministries, I highly encourage approaching the offenders privately and holding them accountable to a higher standard.

If some of the most talented and respected musicians on the planet can maintain humility, then even more so, we who represent the King of Kings that came as a servant to all, ought to bow What I encourage is honesty. If we’re low! prone to blow up or be critical, let’s be honest about it and confess it to those we’re offending. Work hard to change Nashville, TN is home for the things we do poorly as opposed to Tom Lane though he is involved defending ourselves or rationalizing. in ministry and music around the Asking forgiveness and apologizing world. As a singer, songwriter goes a long way, and people are and guitar player, Tom has more understanding when we admit been teamed with many worship leaders and our shortfalls. Also, the healthier we are artists. He continues to record his own work, regarding our own issues of insecurity, lead worship, and writes regularly for various
worship publications worldwide.




By Kevin Wilber

TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play
When you pull the VoiceLive Play unit out of the box, the first thing you’ll notice is the simple interface and the rugged construction. With a large LCD screen, 8 soft-touch buttons, a scroll knob, and 3 foot-switches, you can immediately see that some thought and testing has gone into the interface and layout. And you’ll be impressed with the solid metal chassis and the way that the foot-switches are angled away from the soft-touch buttons and scroll knob. This effects processor was designed to be used on a table top alongside of your recording gear, or on the floor as a stomp-box as you sing live or in the studio. Let’s get some details out of the way first. The VoiceLive Play has one XLR input for connecting either a Dynamic or a Condenser mic. OR . . .you can purchase a special mic from TC-Helicon called the MP-75 that has a button on the microphone that allows you to control the VoiceLive Play right from the mic! There is a mic gain wheel on the side of the processor, and an LED light that changes from green (for acceptable input levels) to yellow, and then red when you are pushing it too hot and your signal is peaking. An Aux input allows you to attach a CD player or MP3 player and sing along with your favorite songs and artists. You can also use the Vocal Cancel feature to remove the lead vocals from the track and put yourself in as the frontman for the band. Left and Right XLR outputs let you send the signal to your recording interface, or to the mixer for your live setting; while a headphone output is included for private practicing or studio applications. A USB interface (and included cable) allows you to connect the VoiceLive Play to your computer and tweak and download effects using VoiceSupport software (downloadable from the TCHelicon website). Simple interface buttons are labeled Genre, Setup, Effects, Favorite, Practice, and Mix, with an additional 2 buttons for Back, and Store. You can page through the effects using the scroll knob, the arrow buttons, or 2 of the foot-switches! I love devices that give you flexibility and have thought through the different ways that you may be using the unit. One additional feature that isn’t immediately obvious is that this effects unit has an ambient mic built into it. Stick the VoiceLive Play near something loud and the Roomsense mics will pick up key info from the music you are making. It will then automatically adjust your harmonies and Hardtune effects to make them sound killer! Once I had a mic plugged in, and had attached my headphones, the first thing I did was to hit the Genre button and begin scrolling through the various factory presets. In the Genre window, you can choose from All Effects, Favorites (where you keep effects that you have tagged as you’ve found ones you like, or edited presets), Showcase (a sampling of what’s possible with the vocal effects), Songs and Artists, Pop, Rock, Alternative, Country, Hip Hop/Rap, Dance, Echo, Doubling, Reverb, Harmony, Hardtune, Megaphone, Extreme, and Character. Each of these categories then has numerous pre-built effects to choose from. For example, choose the Songs and Artists category and you’ll find effects that are named Jaylo on Floor, Edge of Gaga, In Air 2Night, Geddit Started, Taylor Sparks, I am Eggman, YMCA people, No One Alicia K, Hey Jude-Y, Summer 1969, and Want U2 Want Me; just to name a few. If you’re a music fan, you will immediately begin to recognize artist and songs that have an iconic sound. Choosing any of those patches will instantly add those iconic sounds to your voice! I honestly don’t know how long I was lost in this category while paging through different effects and busting out my best rendition of my favorite songs! I spent a good 15 minutes doing my best Phil Collins impersonation, and then clicked over to the Summer 1969 patch, picked up my 6-string, and starting wailing about the best days of my life! It was about then that I realized that the guys painting the office next to mine were being treated to a full-blown acappella karaoke concert! I sure hope they appreciated my full-throated crooning J The other category that captured my attention for an extended period of time was the Harmonies tab. I was blown away by the number of harmony options that are available, and by how smooth and responsive the effects were as I ran through some favorite vocal lines and just closed my eyes and enjoyed how GOOD this thing makes me sound! One more cool feature is the 3rd footswitch labeled “Hit/Hold for Talk”. In any of the presets, by kicking on the “Hit” feature, you will get another layer of effects for that patch. It might be the addition of some delay, or reverb; or it could be some harmonies or some Hardtune that is added. It is different for each patch, and it’s a lot of fun to scroll through each effect and see what surprise the “Hit” button is going to bring. You c a n also hold this button down and the unit will shift to “bypass” mode so that you can talk to your audience with an unaffected sound between songs. The effects sound amazing, and the responsiveness of the unit might as well be called instantaneous, as my ear could not detect any lag between my vocal input and the effected output. The last feature that I’d like to focus on is the “Practice” feature. The Practice screen gives you valuable feedback about your pitch while you sing. In fact, the stats monitor runs continuously as you use the VoiceLive Play and will give you an up to the minute record of how accurately you’ve been singing. After using the practice tool for some time, you can use the information it gathers to help you focus on improving specific areas of your vocal performances. Not only can this be a valuable tool for you to use to improve your own vocals, but for those of you that train and work with other vocalists, like a worship team for example, this will be an extremely valuable tool to help work on some rough areas with your singers and let them see and receive immediate feedback on songs or vocal lines that may need extra attention. Or imagine being able to use this tool during auditions to give immediate, objective feedback to the singers that are auditioning! What a relief to have the selection process not just be a matter of “opinion”, but also to have documented evidence that allows to help people understand why they might not be selected for the team this year, as well as giving them practical advice for areas they can improve on for the next audition. The VoiceLive Play has an MSRP of $345 Enjoy using this sweet little processor. know I sure did! For His Fame, Kevin
Kevin Wilber is the Pastor of Worship Arts for Sunrise Baptist Church in Puyallup, WA. He is also teaches music lessons for Piano, Bass, Guitar, and Drums, and is a Piano Tuner and Repair Techician. Find out more at www.SunriseBaptist.org and www.SoundTechPiano.com




By Craig Kelly

What Does Being a Camera Operator Mean?
This month, I decided to take a different approach and asked professional TV Camera Operator Colleen Corley if I could share an article she recently wrote for a blog-site she contributes to. Colleen is a fellow member of the free TV Camera Operator group on Linked IN, the professional business connection web site. I’m appreciative of the fact that she agreed to let me share this with you. Although this insight isn’t offered from the viewpoint of a church shooter, or what would find inside your church setting, I think she has put this into a nice perspective and that you might find it interesting if you want to hear what it is like for some professional camera ops. I think that this is valuable to every camera operator – even volunteers. Here is that article; What does being a Camera Operator Mean? 30 years of camera operating has given me interesting perspective and after 30 years the answer changes. I have been asked several times now what it means to be a camera operator. What it means and what the job is are two completely different questions - I’m going to answer the first one. Thirty years ago my answer would have been different. Perspective is how we view the world based on our experiences, mine have changed, and so has the way I perceive the job I have done for so many years. The job of a camera operator goes beyond the pictures captured; it means a share in the responsibility for the content created using images supplied by the operator. Good communicators; being a camera operator, means having a strong character and being able to face challenges. Paid to work in TV! When I first got into the television industry I had grandiose ideas of what shooting for television would be like. I thought I’d be picking the shows I wanted to do but quickly learned that wasn’t the case. Generally speaking, camera operators never choose who to shoot; freelancers take pretty much all calls. Operators are hired for jobs and shoot whatever or whoever is in front of them. Generally, even though camera operators are part of the team, it’s either for the day or “shooting” portion of the production. Back in my early days I didn’t think of the consequences or destination of the content of my footage; I was being paid to shoot live music, newscasts, sports, interviews, documentaries, whatever; I was being paid to work in TV! Being a camera operator means different things in different productions. I believe as a camera operator, when we take a contract we need to think of the messaging that we are contributing to putting out into the world. If the messages aren’t appropriate, the job should be turned down. The negative programming and messaging coming from Hollywood, and the rest of the world now, is not helping to build a better, healthier world. Being a camera operator means realizing that your pictures will influence the perception of how people understand messages, and taking that as a serious responsibility. When I first became a steadicam operator a client called and asked me to shoot a pornography film. They were excited that a woman was operating a steadicam because they had a new actress that really wanted a female camera operator. The director wanted to use the technology as a technique that would give the film an identifiable look and style. I turned them down flat. When they came back with quite a large money offer and the promise of continued work, I told them that it wasn’t about the money but about the content, and I wasn’t interested. The lost money came back in the form of other work, and other doors opened like they always do. Being a camera operator on a small or large set or show means being a problem solver, being able to take charge, get things done and “in the can” under the worst conditions. “The show must go on” is actually true! The camera operator on set needs to be able to multitask and work with all levels of people on set: the techs, director, talent, clients, audience, and everyone else who may have anything to do with the shot. Being the camera operator also means being reliable and a storyteller. If there’s only “room for one” when shooting a story, it’s the camera operator that goes; up in the glider, down in the sewer, on the chairlift, in the bobsled; which means coming back with good usable footage and sound every time; no matter what the shooting conditions, because a lot of times there’s only the opportunity to get one shot. Communication is very important, camera operators need to interpret what the director wants and capture it under uncontrolled conditions quite often. Being a good camera operator means being flexible, because no matter how well prepared the production is, things change. In TV when things change, instead of getting upset, the best thing to do is to fix the problem ASAP - because “the show must go on” - and on time. Lastly and most importantly, I believe being a camera operator means respecting the people being put in front of the lens. It is vitally important to understand that for a moment in space and time a camera operator is allowed into someone else’s world, their space, their 3 foot bubble; for a close up look inside. From my perspective, being in front of the camera can be an intimidating place to be. Sometimes the subject matter is personal, fragile, political, illegal, immoral, and unpredictable. I’ve interviewed and worked with political leaders, homeless people, rock, movie and sports stars, children, refugees, drug addicts, prostitutes, pros, people of literally all backgrounds and I treat them all the same. I treat them as I would want to be treated, with respect, consideration, and interest in their story. Being a camera operator means respecting and being part of the crew, the team that pulls the show together and makes the magic happen. It’s generally an amazing experience to be part of any good crew, it doesn’t matter the size, and a good crew is vital to presenting subjects and content in the best possible way with the resources available. To be a good camera operator, in a nutshell, means to visually contribute to the airwaves of our world in thoughtful, responsible, professional and caring ways with a team of like-minded individuals ... well that’s in an ideal world anyway. Thank you for sharing some interesting insight into to a great industry Colleen. NOTE: Colleen Corley is a Vancouver, BC Canada Writer, Jimmy Jib Operator, Camera Operator, Editor, Producer, and Director - 31 yrs and counting. Her original post can be found at; http://eyesay.hubpages.com/ hub/What-does-being-a-camera-operatormean. As always – please feel free to contact me at ZoomIT.cam@craigjkelly.com about anything you read here. I encourage comments, feedback, rants and raves. Pass this on to your pals and fellow crew members too – why not? It’s free. NOTE: The TV Camera Operator Group on LinkedIn is a free group for anyone interested in connecting with TV professionals around the world.
Television director 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 freelance 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.



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By Branon Dempsey

Beyond the Set List (Part 2)
In Part I of this article, we examined the Biblical importance of lyrics. In worship, God takes His words and the words from his people seriously. Therefore, in worship leading, we have a responsibility to use words that matter, because our worship matters to God. In continuing this conversation, its good to understand why and how our words of worship can move us beyond the set list, and into deeper intimacy with the Almighty. Just the other Sunday, my family and I went to visit a new church. As we walked through the parking lot, we could hear the driving bass and crashing of cymbals coming from the building. Upon entering, I wondered if we had enough money to pay the cover charge. We found a place to camp, and proceeded to sing and worship. The band had a good set of musicians, who could play well. The worship leader had a nice voice and sang a few songs we knew. One problem. We couldn’t hear the words. Nor could we hear ourselves and others sing above the worship band. witness their spiritual depth. Why is this God, the life of His people, and the truth important? Perhaps, we are to connect of His message, we’re just singing songs. with our Lord on a deeper and more As you lead with the band, make every human level. effort to make the words audible and When I think about the power of lyric, sing-able. I think about how the words move my Again, think about who’s singing in mind, soften my heart, and stir my soul. the church – not just your own voice. This is found in making connections from These are not accomplished musicians, Scripture to song. From the Bible, what but average Joes who want to honestly song titles can you connect from some of connect with God. these key lines found in the Psalms: “I will sing and make music with all my soul.” Picking a lower key, adjusting the – Ps. 108.1 to the songs: “How Great overall volume, and/or re-arranging the Thou Art” and “Beautiful One.” How instrumentation of the band, can help about this passage: “But from everlasting our music serve the lyrics. Ultimately, we to everlasting the LORD’s love is with serve those who fear him.” – Ps. 103.17 to God by uniting His people and helping the tunes: “All Hail The Power Of Jesus them respond in cooperate worship. Name,” “Everlasting God,” and “From Personally, the most memorable times in the Inside Out.” worship I’ve experienced, are when the The beauty of song and lyric is simply congregation connects with the words a tool. As God draws our hearts by well- in music as sung prayers to God. As crafted music, words give us another said before, when a good melody and voice to make confession to Holy God. message are in sync, the impacts on the There’s nothing like the power of a great church are huge – especially when they melody that’s married to a great message can hear it! that unites our hearts in praise. God is honored by our words, as we sing of His - Branon Dempsey word. When we do, we join in harmony with Scripture as it says: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that Branon Dempsey is the CEO/ openly profess his name. “ – Heb. 13.15 Founder and Training Director
of Worship Team Training® (www.worshipteamtraining. com) a ministry providing live workshops and online resources for local worship ministries. Branon is called to lead worship teams, leaders and artists in becoming authentic worship-followers of Jesus Christ, serving 40+ churches per year. He holds an MA in Worship and BM in Music Composition/Performance. Featured WTT Radio Show Host on Creator Leadership Network to 70k listeners, Instructor/Speaker at Christian Musician Summit, New Column Writer for Worship Musician Magazine and TCMR iLevite Magazine and CCLITV Video Training Contributor. Worship Team Training® is sponsored by Creator Leadership Network, Christian Musician / Worship Musician Magazine / Christian Musician Summit, Sibelius USA and G3 Music Publishing; endorsed by Promark Drumsticks and Jim Hewett Guitars.
Copyright 2012 Branon Dempsey | Worship Team Training | Administered by For His Music. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Visit: www.worshipteamtraining. com

The power in music is not found in its volume, but in its lyric. Most Nashville studio musicians well tell you, that when recording, they focus on what the lyrics are saying to help them interpret the musical direction. Good words help explore the height, depth, color, and emotion of the song. How much more Now that we have looked at the power so, when worshipers experience this of lyrics, how do we as leaders, empower discovery in rendering praises to God. our congregations? Simple: give them In talking about lyric and its power, we words to sing. This is what I refer to as need to first learn the definition of lyric. “singing the songs of your church versus According to Webster’s New World singing songs in your church.” What it Dictionary (on my Mac), it says: “Lyric means to sing the songs of your church – expressing the writer’s emotions in an is to know the songs of your people. In imaginative and beautiful way.” This other words, what are the songs you hear description alone has its own lyrical from the relationships around you: songs of struggle, health, and family? Or would quality. they be songs of victory, healing, and When I think about lyric, I can’t help blessings? Second, match the momentbut think about the Psalms. These ancient by-moment needs of your church to writings were actually the first known Scripture and prayer. Before putting a set songs in written form. Not only are the list together, I spend my time reading and Psalms used to describe the glory of God asking God to help me identify with the and the recounts of His greatness; they happenings of our congregation. I simply also serve as a form of communication. inquire of the Lord by saying: “what are When we see how David and the other the songs that Your people have a need Psalmists address, exclaim, and pray to sing; and how can we honor You by to God, we also feel their emotion and them?” Without singing about the life of



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Continued from page 8 what about the neck and fretboard you ask? The necks are easy to play. Performance Shape Casting™, a process invented by RainSong, allows the necks and fretboards to be cast simultaneously as a single graphite matrix. This also allows something else I desire in an acoustic guitar – low string height over the fretboard. Yes for us West Coast guys – we like low action! The necks don’t twist, warp, bow, or need any adjustment whatsoever. This model comes with a truss rod, just in case you want to adjust the neck relief to your own preferences. This particular model has a N2 style neck. The N2 is a result of a collaboration with artist Steve Miller and Master Luthier John Bolin. The neck design is based on a modified “U” profile that has been popular in guitars since the 1950s. It feels comfortable when you wrap your hand around it. The fretboard has 21 frets and a nut width of 1&3/4”. Let’s talk about the electronics. Because graphite is a natural enhancer of electrical energy, the all-graphite construction works wonders with pickups. This model comes with a Fishman Prefix Plus T with an on-board tuner. Since there is no wood, what about the looks of it you ask? RainSong believes that graphite is not something to cover up. Their guitars are finished clear, to expose the three-dimensional beauty and distinction of graphite’s weave. Layers of clear UV protective finish is applied, sanded, and buffed until only the thinnest mirrored surface remains. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I really like the look of graphite myself, and this H-WS1000N2 model is simply beautiful. A few years back RainSong moved to Woodinville, WA (my home state). I guess they just wanted to be closer to me because they knew how much I like graphite guitars! Oh, did I mention how light this guitar is to hold? Yes, another bonus to an already fun guitar to play. The instrument comes with a really modern shaped hardshell case to match the overall vibe. I am impressed from start to finish with this guitar. So whether it is winter, spring, summer, or fall… just go ahead and grab your RainSong, jump in your car or get on that “big ol’ airliner” and tour anywhere in the world. Your guitar will still be in a good mood and ready to play when you get there! Does RainSong think their graphite guitars will last? The warranty is for the lifetime of the original purchaser. You gotta like that! www.rainsong.com H-WS1000N2 Retail $2,399.00 (but remember – never pay retail – you can find them for around $1,800.00 or so) – check out their dealer list on the website. Continued from page 32
cross and the hope of eternity that we have in Jesus. This is a high energy worship offering that will have your congregation out of their seats, singing at the top of their lungs this Easter. “Reign in Me” and “Just Say” follow and are intimate songs of worship that center around the themes of surrender and longing. “Loved by You” is a humble song of prayer that incorporates another string section and classical guitar. I just love how Paul creates space by using the lighter instruments on these tracks to give us time to breathe and worship. That is the mark of a great worship album. “Look Upon the Lord” is a gorgeous duet with Kari Jobe, backed by piano and strings. This song is simply angelic and is one of my favorites The album ends with another upbeat song of praise, “Shout for Joy” which has an almost tribal drum backbeat and that keeps the song driving in a nice direction. Paul’s vocals glide above the rhythm as he calls us to…. “Shout for joy! See what love has done, He has come for us, He’s the saving One!” It is a wonderful ending track that wraps up the entire album nicely. Besides Kari Jobe, there are a number of exceptional Christian artists that appear on The Same Love including veteran songwriter and One Sonic Society band member, Jason Ingram, Kathryn Scott, and Hillsong’s Ben Fielding just to name a few. The Same Love is a worship album that presents songs with more stylistic variety than some previous Baloche projects, while still holding true to the classic format that has made him one of the most prolific worship writers of the modern era. Paul takes a few more risks musically on this album, which is very exciting to see. This worship collection is full of scripture-rich lyrics, quiet prayers, memorable choruses, and wonderful expressions of love to our God that are sure to be in the hearts and on the lips of worshippers around the world. Jeremy Horn Sound of the Broken 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Sound of the Broken * Now is the Time Only God Who Saves Sons and Daughters Surrender Emptied * Where You Are Faithful Father of Lights This Reflection *

song ends with a victorious end-lyric of “..once in chains, now Your freedom reigns” which had me singing out loud in my chair with a big smile on my face. Another selection that had me singing along and thinking about my own faith was the song, “Emptied”. We have all heard songs that speak of a similar idea of emptying oneself and surrendering all to the Lord, but Jeremy takes this idea a little further as the song goes on and points us to a God who hears the sinner’s prayer, sees the empty hands, and fills them with His love and grace. What a great way to point us back to what God has done, and is doing, when we humble ourselves! As a child of the 80’s (Yes I am getting old) I appreciate a good rock guitar tone and some screaming licks, and this album is full of them. That being said, after listening to the first 5 or 6 songs, I found myself wanting to hear a piano-led song, or something a little quieter and different. You really don’t get that chance until the last song, “This Reflection”. I read somewhere that this was written in far less time than the others on this album and was recorded in one day. This is proof that not all good songs take a lot of time to write. This is simply a wonderful, honest, confessional song that reminds us again about just how amazing the sacrifice our God made for us was. The lyrics are very bold and point right to the heart of who we are in Jesus. We are told to “…remember who you are and what you’ve done and that your sins have been washed in the blood”. Jeremy gets very “real” in this last song, as if putting an exclamation point on the end of his album and pleading with us, the listener, to not forget what Christ did and to remember who we are now because of it. He ends the song with the simple phrase that should ring true in every heart that hears this song, “ …Jesus is all you need”. This album had a few really nice moments but overall I found this CD had too much similarity of style from song to song. I love guitar-driven worship, but I want to see these young upcoming worship leaders who write music take some bigger musical risks in their albums. I would have liked to have seen Jeremy go a bit deeper with a few of these tracks lyrically, especially on his choruses. I found myself on more than one occasion being drawn in by his opening verses that were full of life and very personal, just to be disappointed by the lack of depth to most of his choruses. I will say that he has a very down-to-earth style about him which gives his music a nice honesty and transparency, but I would like to see some different musical style woven into future projects.
Gerod Bass is a ministry veteran who has been serving God’s people through worship and youth ministry for more than 20 years. Since 2009, he has been living his dream, serving as the Minister of Worship and Music at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Tacoma. Gerod is a singer, guitarist, songwriter, and recording artist who has a passion for taking Biblical truths and implanting them on the hearts of God’s people through music.

Jeremy Horn’s third release, Sound of the Broken, is a simple, straightforward collection of honest worship songs that are relevant, and bring the listener back to the core of our daily need for a Savior. The best song on this CD is the title track “Sound of the Broken”. I really enjoyed this song, not just because it boasts incredible guitar tone and an overall groove that I was tapping my foot to, but also because I love worship songs that remind us of our sinful condition and how our God loved us enough to offer Himself as our sacrifice. The




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By Martin Stillion

Playing the Mandolin: Advice from Andy
In January I had the very great privilege of sitting down for a private lesson with Andy Statman. If you haven’t heard of Andy, I urge you to check him out. A true musician’s musician, Andy is a widely acknowledged world-class master of two completely unrelated instruments (mandolin and clarinet) and three widely divergent musical styles: bluegrass, bebop, and Jewish traditional music. These days, the music he plays with his Brooklyn-based trio sounds like a hybrid of all three—and it can turn on a dime from playfully quirky to deeply spiritual. The problem we’re seeking to correct is a weak picking attack, where at higher speeds the right hand isn’t keeping up with the left. Andy’s first piece of advice was to hold the pick parallel to the strings. Your goal is to hit each note cleanly, without dropping, flubbling, or cracking any of them. Ten minutes of this per day for six weeks, Andy says, will make a big difference in my playing … and, I suspect, in yours as well. I just hope I’m able to prove him right before long.

Now, not everyone will tell you that. Some other instructors, myself included, have recommended holding the pick at a slight angle. (In fact, below is a link for a video where bluegrass great John Reischman gives a very clear demonstration of how pick angle affects his tone). That being Martin said, I agree with Andy that the flat grip Multi-instrumentalist is going to be more beneficial for me right Stillion, a 20-year veteran of worship bands, plays at Seattle’s I actually went to Andy for advice on now. Bethany Presbyterian Church. In composing, which he dispensed patiently and thoroughly … but he seemed surprised Next, Andy had me play through the his other lives he’s a husband, that I wasn’t asking him anything about following exercise (Fig 1). Conceptually, father, writer, editor, Webmaster, composer, playing the mandolin. Finally, after about it’s pretty simple: just go up and down the and musician. Learn more than you wanted to an hour, he asked me to play something G scale, adding a note each time you know about Martin at www.stillion.com/ for him. First I offered up a slow tune (no repeat the pattern. In practice, it’s not that martin or www.emando.com. problem) and then a fast one, in which I easy. Play it as fast as you can, using flubbed a few notes. Andy gave me an a single pick stroke for each note and assignment, which I’m now going to pass keeping a strict down/up/down pattern. along to you. Use open strings rather than the 7th fret.


Fig 1


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 


 


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       



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2012 Schedule*

Biola - La Mirada CA - June 2012 San Jose CA - July 2012 Ridgecrest NC October - 2012 Dallas TX - October 2012 Sandy Cove MD - February 2013
*locations and dates subject to change

Continued from page 7
This year two other major events were going on at the same time. Audio Technica was hosting a starstudded affair celebrating their 50year anniversary, and Mapex drums (with our friend Gregg Bissonette) were presenting a “drum-off contest”. And even with all of this going on, we still attracted 1,300 folks and filled the Pacific Ballroom at the Hilton Hotel. Opening that night was the worship team from Lakewood Church (Pastor Joel Osteen’s ministry from Houston). In fact, the church sponsored the airfare for 22 people from their worship team to come and support the event and take in the NAMM show. We appreciate their generosity. Two of our friends were a part of their team: Michael Hodge the music director, and Israel Houghton, one of their worship leaders. They had a big band on stage and they did a great job leading the crowd in worship. They were tight and could really play. I remember towards the end of their set the sax player stepped up and just wailed! Good stuff. When they walked off the stage a friend came over to me and said, “And that’s your opening band? Wow!” Next up, our good friends from our Christian Musician Summit in Buffalo (CMS@TheChapel), the Blues Counsel. Theses guys have been

playing together for years on end as Kingdom Bound’s house band. Kingdom Bound is a large Christian music festival in upstate New York who also partners with us in our CMS conference in Buffalo and now in Nashville. Each member of this band is a great player and they teach for us at our Buffalo conference. Not only that, but a few of them are our regular columnists for the magazines… Rick Cua (bass), Tom Lane (guitar), Will McFarlane (guitar), Tony Hooper (guitar), Tony Morra (drums) and Emedin Rivera (percussion). Sitting in that night on Hammond B3 was a top tier musician I want at any event I do – Tom Brooks. The Blues Counsel blazed through a tight set of tunes that hilighted each of the player’s talents. Several guys took turns in the role as front man and every one played their hearts out. At the end of their set another person walked up to me and said, “These guys are great you should bring them back to close next year”. I appreciated his enthusiasm for the band! But now we were ready for the closer this Thursday night and it was none other than Lincoln Brewster himself. I have seen Lincoln probably 25 times in concert over the last 10 years and I’ll tell you what I told him, “The last few times I have seen Linc, he has been at the top of his game. He has always been really good, but there is something that lately has stepped up to a new level”. His trusty bassist (and our bass columnist for Christian Musician magazine) Norm Stockton was joyfully playing to Linc’s left and the band was shining bright there at NAMM. The audience was really excited and Linc’s guitar tone and playing was inspired. Linc’s guitar tone wasn’t the only great tone of the night… when Linc stepped up to the mic to talk with the crowd… the ministry tone of his comments about the Lord and why we all need Him in our lives as Savior was

something else as well. Linc has been exercising his gift of evangelizing the last few years at our events, and this night the Holy Spirit was moving as 8 people a c c e p t e d the Lord. Wow! What a great way to end a wonderful night of helping usher people into God’s presence. The buzz from that night was like a sweet fragrance that wafted into the convention floor. For the next three days I would meet folks (many of them I didn’t even know) who would come up and say how much that opening night at NAMM meant to them, to be able to worship God there at the Hilton Hotel. I want to thank the Lord here in print… for what He has done for us three years running now at NAMM, and Lord willin’, we are already planning the 4th Annual Night of Worship. If you are led, ask the Lord to continue this night of worship evangelism. Think about coming out yourself. The concert is free and NAMM has a way you can register and attend the show at a low cost through their Hot Zone training classes we present there at the convention center on Saturday to train worship leaders and teams. Another amazing thing the Lord did. NAMM offers several different topics of training in their Hot Zone classrooms and our classes on worship had the biggest attendance out of all of them. Praise God for that too! I am humbled to think that the Lord has entrusted me, knowing the fallible human that I am, with the role of preparing the stage for these events. It is such a blessing and I am grateful for it. I indeed am honored to have the best seat in the house and get to watch it all unfold. It is simply amazing! Bruce & Judy



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— Brian Vaughan, pastor of worship and music (Grace Church , Eden Prairie, MN)
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By Rich Kirkpatrick

Cut-and-Paste Creativity: The Death of Art, Music and Connection in Church Worship
Having traveled a bit and visited many churches this past year, I see a pattern in the modern worship world. In fact, for the past decade I have been in that category as a worship leader. There are Twitter feeds sharing set lists of the songs worship leaders choose. People in the pews or theater seats across America experience more of the same on their Sunday morning worship music menu than ever before. This one-size-fits-all thinking might be the death of true creativity. And, as a result, it may flatten our ability to connect deeply to our community. Does putting efficiency above creativity and innovation really work in our favor, anyway? There are guitar sites, Youtube channels, and businesses built on showing how to paint-by-numbers. This includes the tone, sound and look of the most famous worship bands out there. Even the hipster dress code, as I observe when speaking or attending at worship conferences, conforms to plaid shirts, Toms Shoes, and v-necks. The worst offender is the skinny jeans. Seriously, fashion sense is really not a problem and creative people lead in this. But, why so monolithic? Today’s recipe for success is the “me-too” cover band. Churches echo sermon series and graphics from the popular houses of worship. Everything is downloadable with a click. A local artist I know recently said this: “Cover bands are where dreams go to die.” After dying in laughter for a few minutes, sadness overcame me when reflecting on our Sunday experiences. The idea of being an “artist” and the calling that God has given artists dies in a cut-andpaste mentality that pervades our Sunday programming. Creativity is really “copytivity” in this world. And, it goes beyond music, shaping the sermons preached in our pulpits, graphics on our website banners, and fog machines. Some will balk at this perspective. They will ask, “If it works, why not use things that are efficient and popular?” or “Why reinvent the wheel?” The idea is to measure the ends, not the means. “If a pastor in another town preaches better, why not use his sermon instead of your own?” This is faulty thinking. We create not because creating is our goal, but to create indigenously means the people I serve, the people I am called to reach and the city I live in matter. If we know the people as we should, we should actually be able to connect far better to them than someone else who does not know them. We should employ good tools. Yes! And, the innovation of some churches challenges us all. Being influenced and inspired is one thing. Copying as a habit is another. We can take the best practices and become better. If we ban innovation, creativity and the skills and work this requires we may lose our voice to the very people we want to reach. It seems that many local church gatekeepers readily applaud ministry that looks like the successes of other churches rather than champion the indigenous creation from their own people. My friends in the business world do this all the time. One company sells computers successfully, so reverse engineering takes place by competitors. The idea is to emulate the success and hopefully exceed the level of your competition. In church work, our thinking may actually be similar. The thought is this: “If a song is popular on the Christian radio station, then surely it will resonate with people in our worship services.” Instead, creative leadership says this: “We need to worship and lead culturally from who we are and from who spiritually we desire to be.” In the first case, no question is asked and answered about the assets and opportunities existing around you. The second idea starts at home then outside content is validated or dismissed. When you are blind to self-awareness the only option left is to copy another’s identity. However, when you know who you are, you set the stage for creativity. What then is the possible motivation behind copying? Cut-and-paste creativity is about efficiency. We can download from the Internet complete sermons, including outlines, small group handouts, and polished graphics. We do this, because it is efficient and looks and feels like the successful church we admire. Learning the process and finding inspiration from these incredible ministries and their leaders is a must. Best practices are mined by competent leaders. But, we should never simply copy without full disclosure. If we champion the need for authenticity, should not that value steer us to create rather than emulate? Inspiration and mastery call us to create while ambition or fear drives us to cut and paste. Most have the best intentions. To reach a community is the heart of most pastors I know, but fear of letting go of the process to reach those people narrows the bandwidth of the local church. What if people not like us actually become leaders and start steering things? That fact is inevitable. Time offers us a shelf-life. Legacy is ours to own or abdicate. Would we want to lose our legacy to the creative energy of leaders who have no personal relationship with us? Failure has value. When we copy another’s success, we lose our ability to fail with our own creativity. This one fact alone stalls us! Innovation allows mistakes that we choose to make, not that others prescribe for us. This is how we learn, after all. The trendy church culture is gullible, fickle and ever-changing. Songs, sermons and personalities are fluid. A church needs to birth from their identity to be a force that lasts. If we pass on anything, it should be from who we are, not microwaving the left overs other’s create. We often feel the intense pressure to live in the now, and worship the god of efficiency. Where do we go from here? The idea is that in order to pass a timeless faith to people across borders of culture, time and generations we need to grow in the discipline of innovation and creativity. The solution is not to produce 100% original material. It is not to ban use of the many wonderful training tools, ministry models, and sermon content at your fingertips. What is the solution? Love and lead people first by learning who they are before integrating generic, market-driven, and mass-produced systems. We should value innovation because often the needs of our own people require homemade solution rather than boiler-plate, off-theshelf fare. Could it be true that innovation and creativity in worship and ministry connect deeper with our people over time than the CCM radio playlist and downloadable sermon outlines?
Rich Kirkpatrick has served in local church ministry as a worship pastor, and musician for the past two decades–from church plants to mega churches. Currently, Rich is a writer, worship leader, and songwriter residing in Temecula, California. You can dialog with Rich on email (rich@ rkweblog.com), on Twitter (@RKWeblog), or at RKWeblog.com–a top influential blog on leadership for creatives and influencers. In addition, Rich hosts thought-provoking podcast at WorshipMythbusters.com.





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