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VocAlign Pro Plug-in
Tyler Variax JTV-59 by Line6
MAY/JUN 2012 Volume 10, Issue 3
Christy Nockels l Passion l Foursquare United Generation Desperation Band l Fike
US $5.95 Can $6.95
Tips for Tight Teams... an Interview with Sandy Hoffman
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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.
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Sweetwater-exclusive Interview with Brandon Heath
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.
SWEETWATER WORSHIP SOUND PRO 2012
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Essential Guides for You and Your Volunteers
Learn how this award-winning singer/songwriter found his voice — and his true calling.
Get the details on pg. 101.
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
RSS V-MIXING SYSTEM
Introducing the easiest way to find exactly the right case for your gear!
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
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.
PRO WORSHIP MUSIC
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:
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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
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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!
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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
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Drawbar and mixer control. Use the nine sliders to finish your mix and create killer organ tones.
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A New ClassSoul. Mixer. of Digital Heart. Analog
Combining 40 years of professional analog expertise with 25 years of digital innovation, Yamaha marks the birth of a new class of compact consoles. With sonic superiority from preamp to output, MGP-Series delivers a game-changing level of audio performance and functionality.
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*Apple, iPhone and iPod are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.
In my life I have had the opportunity to celebrate Easter a lot of different ways. From Sunrise services on the beaches of Southern California, to being over the sound team at a large church in Tacoma the year that Daylight Savings Time fell on Easter weekend (man, that was getting up early); From sitting in the congregation as a service attendee, to acting as a disciple on stage in an Easter play (I think they keep picking me to be a disciple because of my somewhat long and un-kept hair style). Of all the various ways for me to go about celebrating the risen Savior, this last Easter held something new for me. I held Easter Service throttling down the highway looking at streams, lakes, and the ever-amazing handiwork of God that is known as Mt. Rainier. But I am racing ahead of the story… I joke with people that I hit my second mid-life crisis two months ago. My first one I hit when I turned 30 (way ahead of schedule, but then again I like to be prompt or early when arriving at places). Ha! My second mid-life crisis was two months ago at the ripe age of 55 (yes, you can sing that old Sammy Hagar song “I Can’t Drive 55” around me). Judy and I have been looking forward to getting a motorcycle for some time, but the bouncy economy was keeping the purchase at bay. Then, while somewhat haphazardly checking Craigslist for prices on motorcycles, I came across a very nice used Harley Davidson Sportster with very little miles on it, and it was under priced by quite a bit. Long story short – we bought the bike, I took riding safety classes, and we got good quality riding gear. We live in the great Pacific Northwest, and with all of the hours put into our vocation, Judy and I haven’t had a lot of time to relax like we should. Now, with the motorcycle, we can tour around the region and see some of the sights and scenery that make the Northwest so special. So fast forward now back to Easter day. I rode for 55 miles round trip and had a simply wonderful time. It was relaxing and energizing all at the same time. It was simply beautiful to see God’s signature all over his created world. That day, it was like finding God on a Harley!
Finding God on Easter Sunday on a Harley? Features
VOL. 10, ISSUE 3
Product Review By Mitch Bohannon Tyler Variax JTV-59 by Line6
42 The Band By Tom Lane God’s Favor 43 Product Review By Michael Hodge Audio Plug-Ins for Pros: VocAlign Pro 44 Camera By Craig Kelly There’s A Train A Coming 46 Worship Team Training By Branon Dempsey Know the Flow: Connecting Songs in Worship 49 Worship Musician 10th Anniversary PreSonus GiveAway 50 Mandolin By Martin Stillion Experiencing Technical Issues 54 A Few Moments With… By Dwayne Larring A Sunday Morning Experience
10 From the Drummer’s Perspective By Carl Albrecht Drum Miking For Worship Venues 12 Keyboard By Ed Kerr Consider the Kale 15 Bass By Gary Lunn All Kidding Aside 16 Vocals By Sheri Gould Vibrato 18 Tips for Tight Teams...The Book An Interview with Sandy Hoffman by Bruce Adolph 26 Songchart “Manifesto” by The City Harmonic 30 Record Reviews By Gerod Bass • Christy Nockels • Passion • Foursquare United Generation • Desperation Band • Fike 36 Ministry + Artistry = Profitability? Creating your MAP™ By Scott A. Shuford Social Media In Action: Every Man Ministries 38 Authentic Worship By Michael Gonzales Command Presence 40 Guitar Grab Bag By Doug Doppler Picking Your Axe
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20 The City Harmonic by Aimee Herd
WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM MAY/JUN 2012
By Mitch Bohannon
Tyler Variax JTV-59
What’s in a name? That which we call of being able a guitar, by any other name would still to transform at sound as ____________? the touch of a No, I think even button…to go Shakespeare would have to from playing a agree that when it comes Hammond B-3 to guitars, the name is to a concert piano quite important. The grand Nobody new name behind the to an organic synth pad. notices them making the change, and Line 6 Variax stands for itself. I have wanted yet, the song is better served by playing Percussion to play a James Tyler the correct instrument. guitar for years, and after players have a variety of “toys” at their hearing that Line 6 teamed fingertips as well and can create rhythms up with him, I had to give and beats, whether from the incredible it a try! Several years ago Z-stik (read my article soon in Christian I reviewed the acoustic Musician Magazine) or the ever-needed Variax 700 and was very cowbell and congas, djembe, bongos, impressed and gained a and so on… Why shouldn’t guitar players great understanding of be able to do the same? what a Variax could do. As a worship leader, a high priority of mine is to have minimal distraction during a service. Normally, I’ll play two guitars during a service…changing only during a break. There have been many times that I’ve played back to back songs where I have wished I could have changed guitars, but for the sake of preventing distractions, I chose not to. Keyboard players have the benefit
Radiance Hex piezo pickup system, a 12-hour battery life with visual meter, and the ability to work seamlessly with the Line 6 POD HD multi-effect pedals. Top all that off with the fact that the guitar does not require you to play the Variax models, so if you choose to play in bypass, you’re playing a fantastic James Tyler guitar!! The guitar itself: when I opened the case (fantastic grey Line 6 gigbag included), I saw this stunning tobacco sunburst flamed maple top… WOW! The 22fret set-neck is very comfortable to play with a 24 9/16” scale length. It’s really a player’s guitar. Very comfortable neck, designed and shaped by James Tyler, provides easy access to the upper frets. Included in the packaging are all the accessories needed to use and take care of the Variax…the variax (CAT5) cable, battery, battery charger w/power supply, workbench connection, and USB cable. One noticeable upgrade from previous Variax guitars… the 3-way pickup selector switch actually becomes a fiveway switch (to respond like the 5-way switches on the other Variax guitars). To accomplish this feat on a 3-way switch, after pressing the “alternate tuning knob” one time, positions 1 and 3 respond as 2 and 4. The purpose behind these five selections goes way beyond pickup groupings…they actually change to a different guitar model. For instance, using the “T-Model”… positions 1 and 4 are based on the 1960 Fender Telecaster Custom; positions 3 and 5 are based on the 1968 Fender Telecaster Thinline; and position 2 is based on the 1968 Fender Telecaster. Wow! That’s a lot of guitars… and, I have not even discussed the tuning possibilities. The first Variax dial can change the guitar model while the second Variax dial can adjust the tuning. Never again will you have to tune your guitar to anything but standard tuning, yet you can immediately
Continued on page 52
With the James Tyler Variax, in one beautiful package, we are able to switch from a telecaster to a strat, Les Paul, ES335, and more… even amazing acoustic guitars! In this review, I will attempt to give you the best overview I can. However, if you find yourself identifying with the idea of desiring more tonal variety without doing a tap-dance on a pedal board or physically changing guitars, then go testdrive a JTV somewhere soon! When I led worship with the JTV-59, I set up backto-back songs where I needed different guitars. I started with the acoustic model… full and bright, and then switched in the next song to a ‘spank’ strat model. At the chorus, I rolled the selector over to ‘lester’ for that full-throttle Les Paul tone. As long as the strings are muted while changing models, the change is seamless. It would be noticed if I left notes ringing out while changing models. I really loved the grit and power I got from the ‘lester’ and ‘special’ settings. This guitar is full of variety. I felt that the character of each model was noticeable, as well as notably different from the others. I must say, the acoustics are “head-turners”… if you are the only guitar on platform and use the acoustic model; folks will be looking around for that beautiful acoustic guitar. Some specs on the JTV-59: Choose from 28 guitar sounds (18 electric and 10 acoustic), access 11 different alternate tunings instantly (guitars and tunings can be customized on your computer with the Variax Workbench). It has two James Tyler-designed humbuckers, an L.R. Baggs
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
WE DID IT AGAIN….
Audix is the industry leader in drum and percussion microphones and was the first to introduce professional mic pack assortments to the market. It is within this spirit of innovation that Audix is proud to launch 6 new and unique packs.
Introducing the BAND PACK SERIES!
Now, there is a mic pack for the entire band. Four different models offer the selection and price point you need to equip your band with the essential dynamic microphones required for vocal and instrument miking. BP7 PRO: A seven piece professional microphone package containing: two OM2s, one OM5, one D6 and three i5s. BP5 PRO: A five piece professional microphone package containing: two OM2s, one OM5, one D6 and one i5. BP7F: A seven piece microphone package featuring our Fusion microphone series containing: three f50s, one f6 and three f5s. BP5F: A five piece microphone package featuring our Fusion microphone series containing: three f50s, one f6 and one f5.
DP QUAD: The essential combination of microphones needed to effectively mic your kit! Contains two ADX51s, one D6 and one i5. FP QUAD: Like the DP QUAD, the FP QUAD is also the simplest combination of microphones needed to effectively mic your kit but does so by utilizing our lower priced, yet extremely impressive Fusion Series. Contains two f9s, one f6 and one f5.
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FROM THE DRUMMER’S PERSPECTIVE
By Carl Albrecht
Drum Miking For Worship Venues
There are tons of books on drum miking techniques for studio, touring, and clubs, but only a few that really address the challenge of miking a kit for churches. I’m going to add my thoughts and experience to that limited resource because many of you have sent emails asking for some clear information about what works best for miking drums in a “typical” worship setting. In this brief and “to the point” article I’ll stay focused on what most of you have described as a very frustrating and provoking topic. kick mallet. Then move it according to the sound: closer, if I want more “click,” or farther away if I want to hear more air. The Subkick is used only to add more “super-low” frequencies if desired. AND… always in a separate channel.
The overhead should be literally, “over your head,” about a foot or more higher than your head, pointing to the center area looking down at your drum set. I usually stand and look down at the drums and position the mike so it’s pointing slightly off center towards the snare. First, let’s settle the issue in general. YES, Make adjustments according to how your drums should be miked in any worship engineer thinks they are getting the best setting. At every seminar we do I almost overall sound of the kit. If you are mixing always hear the comment, “We don’t in stereo, use two overhead microphones. mike our drums at church. Do we need to (Condensers – don’t use dynamic mikes do that?” Yes… in almost every situation for overheads or hi-hat.) *Ex.- photo #2 * you should use microphones on the Overhead mikes are the way you get drums. This is for clarity and definition of the picture of the whole kit. I start with sound, not to make the drums louder than them and then add individual drum everyone else. If everyone else is miked microphones for definition. (Refer to or plugged into the PA, and the drums this web site for more - http://www. are left out, they will sound “muddy” and homestudiocorner.com/mixing-drumstotally unclear in the room and maybe part-2-eq/) I’m not a “trained” engineer, even on the platform. This is especially but as a drummer, this is how I hear drums true if you are using a drum shield. Some first. And this seems to be how the “real” of you have said that you’re in “the fish engineers get their drum sound working bowl” and don’t even mike the drums in best. that setting. YIKES! Not good. Don’t get carried away with EQ’ing the Only if you’re in an extremely small kit. Start by moving microphones first and room would I “not” mike the kit. (Less get the best natural sound you can, then than 50 people …maybe!) Even in a EQ as necessary. For drums in general situation like this, where we set up very I would cut those “boxy” sounding close as a band, and the vocal mikes are “mids” – around 400 Hz. (*You’ll see picking up the kit very well, I STILL would this in other articles and on the web-site put a microphone in the kick drum. (A I recommended.) Also, a standard trick Shure- Beta 52) Usually in a small venue is doing a low frequency cut (Hi pass the bass drum will lose definition rather filter*) on everything except kick and quickly when everyone starts singing, maybe floor tom. Now… let’s add the clapping, shouting, etc. etc. other drums. For a “normal” minimum of mikes I prefer Check out the photos for mike placement using a kick mike and one overhead on hi-hat & snares. **Photo #3 ** These microphone. (An SM81 or some other are the angles I start with – about 45 condenser for an overhead.) This is a degrees, and just over the edge into the simple setup. Put the kick mike inside the drums. I also allow a little breathing room drum using a short microphone stand. for the drums. The end of the microphones DO NOT lay the mike on a pillow, unless should be 2 to 3 inches off of the head. it’s designed to be used in that way… Again, it’s great to have an assistant (Like a Beta-91). *See photo #1 – In move the mikes around as you stay at this picture the Beta 52 is outside the the mixing console and listen. You’ll be hole, because there is a Beta 91 inside surprised how much the sound changes the kick on the towel. If the 52 were the with very little movement. Keep the back only mike, I would move it into the drum, directly in the center, pointing towards the Continued on page 48
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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By Ed Kerr
Consider the Kale
In Matthew 6:28-30 Jesus encouraged a listening crowd to not worry about daily provisions. He said they should consider the lilies of the field, noting that the beauty God built into each flower surpassed the glory of the wealthiest earthly king. And that God cares wonderfully for them though their blooms are only seen for a short time before they wither and fade. I read these verses recently and was moved by the fact that God cares about beautiful things. Though the blooms don’t last long, He chose to sprinkle the earth with flowers of mindboggling variety. He could’ve opted for three blossoms: your basic blue flower with pointy leaves, a red one with round petals, and a kind of white/yellow/ivory bloom that smells a little. That’s not our God, though, and that creative desire to do something more than just the minimum that’s needed is in each of us. For almost nineteen years of marriage I’ve seen this creative desire operating in my beautiful wife, Carey. She loves to cook. She often makes soup. But she doesn’t just make soup. She creates a delectable blend of seasonings, sausage, potatoes, and broth. And then she goes a step further and throws in fresh kale right before she serves the soup. The result is completely delightful and delicious. Layers of flavor . . . varied textures . . .Yum. She inspires me. Because of her, I like to consider the kale when I’m putting together a set of worship songs for my church. I could pull a chart I’ve used for 3 years for the opener, download something from CCLI for the new 2nd song I’m introducing, and ask another worship leader in town for a chart for the 3rd tune. Or I could throw in some kale. That’s right, consider the kale. I don’t want to just do worship, like Carey doesn’t want to just make soup. I want to think about what the band plays for an intro. Think about the vocal road map we use (solo vocal 1st verse, duet 1st chorus, group unison 2nd verse, etc). If this feels like too much weekly work or something you don’t think is in you, I hope you’ll take some time to listen to some new music. Or order something from the menu that you’ve never tried before when you go out to dinner. Or visit a florist shop and look closely at a dahlia. The implications from Matthew 6:28-30 for our work as worship musicians are worth considering. Regularly. Flowers fade quickly. A bowl of soup doesn’t take that long to eat. Our songs take 3-5 minutes. Intros and reintros are only a small portion of that time. But listen to some arrangements by Michael Gungor or Paul Baloche or Audrey Assad and I suspect you’ll get a glimpse of the creativity that can infuse our music. In these next few paragraphs I thought I’d make some soup for you. Throw in some kale. In an effort to find a song that most of us are familiar with, I’ll work with “How Great Is Our God”. The melody and lyric will be what we’re all familiar with, but I’m going to open my spice cabinet and pantry of musical devices and see what results. Since I play keyboard, I might give some thought to creating an intro figure that is based on an acoustic piano sound. That gets me thinking about songs I love that feature grand piano. One of my favorites for years has been “Ten Cent Wings” by Jonatha Brooke. Visit the page on my website related to this article and you’ll find a link to the song. It is a masterpiece of inventive harmony and melody, gorgeous string arrangements, and skillful songwriting. Here’s the intro’s piano part: Play through it using a grand piano sound, or click the link on my site to hear it. As I consider how I might use similar figuration for the verse of “How Great…” I’ve discovered that this part, derived from Brooke’s figure, works well.
Try singing “The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty…” while you play this music. The original chords for this verse, in the key of G, are G, Em7 and C, each for 2 bars. Above I opted to adapt Brooke’s suspension/resolution vibe giving each of my chords 1 bar. I also repeated the root of each chord on beat 3 of each measure, as Brooke did. There’s not enough space here to detail what my entire arrangement might look like, but I do want to describe one more element that reflect Brooke’s original figure. One of my favorite things to do in preparing a familiar worship song for use in a worship gathering is to sing a familiar melody over unique chords. In the case of “How Great Is Our God”, it’s a beautiful surprise to quote Brooke’s intro literally, transposed down so there’s a G in the bass, as you end the chorus “All will see how great, how great is our God”. Like so:
In keeping with my soup analogy here, I’ve done a bit of borrowing from another recipe, if you will, using material from Jonatha Brooke’s “Ten Cent Wings”. The literal quote of her intro that I use in the above example needn’t be included if you’d rather create your own material throughout. The important principle here is that just as a chef can learn much from a master chef, you and I can learn much from studying the recordings of musicians whose work moves us. The worship songs that you and I present to our churches have eternally significant lyrics that can change someone’s eternity. I want to make each song as musically appetizing as possible.
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
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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By Gary Lunn
All Kidding Aside
I can’t count the number of times that I have been kidded about playing the bass. Some of the comments I’ve “endured” are, “How hard can it be? It’s just one note!” or “What’s that ‘rumbly’ noise? I don’t want that on my record!” My gospel-music favorite is, “How many bass players does it take to screw in a light bulb? 1. 3. 1. 3. 1. 3….” The truth is, bass is NOT the easiest instrument to learn. In fact, in my opinion there is NO instrument that’s the easiest to learn (except for the auto-harp, maybe), but the bass is one of the most “core-level” instruments in the rhythm section. It is very important and it does have a very significant voice in most styles of music. Plus, I think that the bass requires more precision than most of the other instruments, in that, wrong bass notes are more noticeable in a band than other instruments. Also, as I have mentioned before, while listening to “split-out” instruments in a mixing situation (studio or live) just simply mute the bass. The experience will be similar to muting the lead vocal. That’s why bass has a voice. Another important preparation is with your bass’s consistency in string tone. By this I mean it’s important to notice when you have one string that sounds more “dead” than all of the others (no life, no sustain, etc.). When this happens, it’s time to change to a new set of strings. Or, if you save old strings (which I do), you possibly can keep your “used’ string tone by finding one that sounds like the others do. A lot of bass players do not like the bright sound of new strings. Older, used strings have a darker, more retro feel to them. This seems to be the sound that is “called for” in a lot of music these days. In fact I see the use of flat-wound strings, which have that older string sound, now more than I ever have before. What would you like to learn now?” He played me a recording of an old Tower of Power tune (that was amazing, of course). I knew the song was way over his head, ability-wise, so I asked him, “Do you think you are ready to learn this?” He said, “Yes” so I offered to play it for him so that he could see what was required to “master” this masterpiece (which I could barely play). After 16 bars or so, he stopped me and said, “Hmm. I think I’ve lost perspective and have gotten too comfortable. I know that I am not at the level that I thought I was.” Yep. He had gotten a little too comfortable. There are other things to try to keep the juices flowing in the inspiration department. Find some music that you love, find out who the bass player is, and see if he has a DVD out, or is in a video where you can watch him play. Look in the forums (TalkBass, etc.) for information regarding bass clinics that are coming to your area. You might even get to see one of your favorites and ask him questions or schedule a lesson while he is in town. And speaking of questions, I would love to hear from you with any questions you may have regarding regimen, basses, equipment, lessons, feedback…. anything. Message me on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or email me at email@example.com. Remember, bass is a challenging instrument no matter what anyone says, but it requires dedication, patience and practice. Be richly 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.
In a live setting where no headphones and amps/monitors are being used, try to be aware of your own volume level compared to the other musicians. If you’re the loudest guy on stage, it means that the house engineer has to mix everything (the rest of the band!) around you. If you are in a hall/church where overall volume is an issue, remember that Soloing on the bass reminds me of the P.A. can only be as soft as the loudest another “bass-player-jab” joke where a guy on stage (I never want to be that troubled, married couple who haven’t guy!). Always ask the engineer if you’re spoken in months are sent by their playing too loud. If he/she says yes, counselor to a jazz club to listen to the be willing to accommodate them with a music for therapy. As soon as a bass good attitude. solo started they began talking more than Try not to get too comfortable with where they ever have.… Anyway, soloing at the appropriate time can musically move you are in your ability. In other words, the spirit within the worship, but solos always be willing to learn. Never let typically are rare in worship. That’s why yourself feel like you are “good enough” you need to be prepared for them when to not need to practice or look for new they happen. This requires knowledge inspiration. If you’re too busy with “life,” of chord spelling, familiarity with many that’s one thing, but if your attitude is different bass solos (they all will become “I’m great,” you could be in big trouble. a ‘part’ of you), and lots of practice hours Recently while in a lesson with a student picking them apart. Every time you learn that I had not seen in awhile, the young a bassist’s solo, you grow. The more you man told me how good he felt about his playing. I said, “Well that’s good, I guess. learn, the more you grow.
WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM MAY/JUN 2012
By Sheri Gould
Vibrato is often the subject of much speculation, misunderstanding, and concern. Why is this? How could something so innocuous be such a source of contention? I am going to venture into this somewhat controversial subject and try to shed some light, as well as clear up some commonly misunderstood ideas about vocal vibrato. Natural versus Unnatural A natural vibrato should come about as the result of air pulsating from the diaphragm (a natural occurrence when there is no tension) and therefore causing a vibration as it strikes the vocal cords. This vibrato is “air generated”. It is subtler, and does not change pitch (other than very slightly). It is more volume Why We Like It vs. Why We generated than pitch generated. It is Don’t such a natural sound because it comes We tend to like a natural vibrato because simply from the air striking the cords, not it’s, well . . .natural! When all things are from a change in position in the vocal working properly, without tension, a cords (which is how various pitches are singer should naturally produce a vibrato attained). A well-played flute will exhibit in their tone. A naturally occurring vibrato a natural diaphragmatic vibrato. is not overbearing or too prominent. It Although there are many ways to actually sounds good. It seems to be a manipulate the voice to create a vibrato, natural part of the rhythm of nature and so probably the most common is the simple we like the feel of it. process of bending the pitch. Since pretty Conversely, when there is NO vibrato, much any singer, experienced or not, it is the result of tension. Without tension, can change pitch, this puts vibrato within things would vibrate freely, but because reach of even the most amateur of singers there is a lack of control somewhere, almost instantly. It can make a young tension often creeps in and kills any hope singer sound instantly more “mature”. of a natural vibrato. When a singer has This is a pitch-generated vibrato and been properly trained, he or she can learn can be seen on a scope as oscillating to relax in ways that will allow the various between two pitches. For this reason it necessary parts of the body to vibrate. A is much more prominent. Whereas while properly trained singer has learned to use a natural vibrato generated from air will the correct muscles for support and tone, vary in volume slightly, it will NOT vary and therefore doesn’t inadvertently create radically in pitch. Because the pitch stays unnecessary tension by using the wrong the same, the tone remains prominent. In muscles. The end result is a naturally the unnatural, pitch generated vibrato, formed, comfortable to listen to –vibrato. the change in pitch become the most obvious feature on the voice, not the tone Typically, we like it! itself. Therefore we tend to find ourselves However, since so many people who annoyed by the unending changes in venture into the world of singing are NOT pitch we find in this type of vibrato. properly trained, the tension that often ensues makes a natural vibrato elusive. Additionally, there is the variable of rate In part because of this, many resort with this type of vibrato, whereas with a to finding other ways to manufacture naturally formed vibrato the rate at which a vibrato. Others, though, are often the air strikes the cords and causes a simply impatient. Since vibrato tends to vibration doesn’t vary much from singer exemplify the mark of a trained voice, the to singer. Most healthy diaphragms will average singer is, of course, looking for pulsate air at approximately the same rate. that vibrato in their own voice. When it This makes blending with others possible doesn’t happen fast enough, many will and easy. However, when someone is begin to employ techniques to create a contriving a vibrato through pitch change vibrato in a less natural way. THIS type the rate is up to the individual, and it often of vibrato is typically more noticeable, changes depending on circumstances. at an unnatural pace, and generally For example, when a person is young and more annoying to listen to. It takes over has nice tight strong muscles, there might the voice as the most prominent feature be a lot of control over the changing of instead of the tone itself and therefore we pitch. This control may be such that the tend to react more negatively to the sound vibrato can easily imitate the rate of a of the singer’s voice (even though we may natural vibrato. However, over time as the muscles weaken, that control wanes and not initially realize why). thus we have the infamous “vibrato so big you can drive a truck through it”. Regardless of the rate of vibration, a pitch-generated vibrato also has the dubious quality of…well…changing pitch! That in itself is a problem if you are attempting any kind of blending with another person. A pitch-generated vibrato can be annoying to listen in a soloist, but it becomes menacing when in the context of a group. There is NO WAY to blend with a pitch-generated vibrato because the singer is constantly changing pitch! Unless every singer in the group can learn to bend their own individual pitch at the same time, the one person with this strong, dominating type of vibrato will stick out. And can you imagine if everyone DID imitate the person with the pitch-bending vibrato? What kind of group sound would that produce? The thought is a bit overwhelming. Contemporary Styles of Singing with No Vibrato One of the things I hear frequently is worship leaders or producers asking their singers to “get rid” of their vibrato. Some of the newer contemporary sounds are often reflective of an untrained youthful sounding voice (which might not have developed a healthy vibrato yet). There are certain styles where an over abundance of vibrato, and certainly a pitch generated vibrato, seem completely out of place. But it’s important to bear in mind that where there is no vibrato— there is tension. Tension over the long haul wreaks havoc on the voice. A naturally occurring vibrato is not to be scorned; it is rarely offensive. Sure, a little straightening of the tone here and there for effect can be really nice. But a steady diet of a straight (tense) tone is a recipe for vocal disaster down the road. Whenever possible, allow the voice to do what it was intended to do: freely flow and vibrate!
Sheri Gould is an internationally acclaimed vocal coach. With a degree from the University of Ill, she has been coaching since 1979 and leading worship since 1985. For weekly vocal tips, check out Sheri’s FB page at www.facebook.com/officialsherigould. For information on products, including instructional DVDs, check out http://sherigould.com
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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TIPS FOR TIGHT TEAMS
Tips for Tight Teams... The Book
An Interview with Sandy Hoffman by Bruce Adolph
Hal Leonard Publishing has just released Sandy Hoffman’s new book, “Tips For Tight Teams.” This is the second title in the “Worship Musician! Presents” series. In it, Sandy explores worship team topics ranging from meltdowns to missions, and modes to modulations. In fact, the goal of his “Tips for Tight Teams” book is “to raise the skill level of the worship team to the point where it is no longer a distraction to the very people it endeavors to lead into worship.” In this issue, WM!M publisher Bruce Adolph interviews Sandy about some of the “Ten Top Tips for Tight Teams!” Bruce Adolph: Sandy, you’ve been writing for Worship Musician! Magazine for how many years now? Sandy Hoffman: I think 7 or maybe a little more... BA: That’s over forty articles that you’ve done in your column. How did you get started, first as a musician, and then get into actually leading worship? SH: As a musician, I had an aunt who played the ukulele… BA: No way! Ukes are very popular right now. SH: Yeah, I was 5 years old. She started teaching me a song about a lady named “Mrs. Mazy.” I was sitting in the hallway playing C, D7 and G over and over. (laughs) Then the Beatles debuted on Ed Sullivan and that sewed it up! BA: So you went from ukulele to guitar. Take it from there. SH: When I was 8, I formed my first band. We were called “The Outlaws.” We were so tough, man! People moved out of the way when we came down the hall– in the 3rd grade…(laughing). I pestered my teachers until the last day of school. They let us play in the amphitheater at the little elementary school in North Carolina where I grew up. I don’t know what songs we did, probably tunes like “Wild Thing” and “Hey There Little Red Riding Hood.” At seventeen, I began focusing on Christian music. A few years later, worship! BA: And as far as when you actually saw the modern worship music movement growing, how’d that come about? SH: I started leading worship in 1981. At the first church, it was so funny ‘cause I hadn’t ever really led worship before. I would get those little “Singspiration” or “Scripture in Song” books and take all the bindings off, punch holes in ’em, and put them in a notebook in the order we were playing. Basically, I’d play and they would worship and I would play and they would worship, until about 6 months in. I finally caught on to the flow of the Spirit and began to see what worship was about. That was how it started. In 1991 I moved to Last Days Ministries and worked with Melody Green as the manager of their music department. I spent 5 years at Last Days, honing new skills and leading worship as many as 7 times a week. That’s when Paul Baloche and Ed Kerr began to encourage me to write worship songs. It was a creatively fertile time, and ideas for my first books, “Beginning and Essential Worship Guitar” and “Beginning and Essential Worship Keyboard” were born there too. BA: What was your inspiration for the new “Tips for Tight Teams” book? SH: The book started with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). I was getting invitations to teach in Schools of Worship, Schools of Music in Missions, and was working with Jimmy and Carol Owens in their School of Music Ministries International. This curriculum, “Ten Top Tips for Tight Teams,” was birthed over those years. It’s an answer to prayer, really, to see it develop and come together in a format that can be used as a textbook for worship teams and leaders. BA: Let’s talk about a couple of chapters. The first one is “The Path to Practicing Praise: Team From the Top.” SH: “Team From the Top” gives answers from square one: “How do I join a worship team? What if I’ve never even played before?” Of course we talk about the fun stuff like buying a new instrument, but then we address the more serious questions like, “How do I build relationships with the worship leader and team? How do I grow in my repertoire so I can be comfortable to serve with the team?” These seminal elements are covered in Team From the Top. I think the meat of the book begins in Chapter 2, “Live the Life (through team mission based on Biblical principles).” One of my favorite clichés is: If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” We explore “the road” in Chapter 2. BA: What’s neat about your book is that it’s not always covering matters of the heart, but also some very practical musicianship things to do and practice. You talk about maintaining discipline as a musician, but also having the freeform to be able to jam. How do you think jamming benefits the worship team? SH: There’s a section called “Jammin’ to Gel!” The whole idea is you get into worship rehearsal and inevitably someone wanders off and begins noodling on some oldie or vamping on a chord progression. The next thing you know, you’re handing it off to one another, soloing and having a good time. If you can jam a bit like that in your rehearsals, you get comfortable with each other. Then when God inspires, your team is ready to flow. BA: In Chapter 4, you talk about “Get Out of The Garage (remembering less is more).” I always liked that metaphor. SH: We all know what a garage band is: everybody just gets together on Saturday night, turns all the amps up to 11, and it’s, “Let ’er rip!” In order for our teams to have a more professional presentation, it’s often important not to sound like that garage band. We need to become a bit more intentional in our song arrangements. There’s a band called “The Head and The Heart.” I first heard them probably a year and a half ago, just spinning the channels on the radio here in Santa Fe. As soon as I heard them I thought, “Hmmm, that’s gonna go somewhere.” A couple of months back I saw them on Austin City Limits. When they were interviewed at the end of the show, they said, “Man a year ago, we were still doing birthday parties out in Kansas somewhere, and now look at us!” The point with them is that they know what ‘less is more’ means. They get it. Their song arrangements are incredible in terms of sparsity. They have a wonderful knack for going from one acoustic guitar, handing it off to the piano, suddenly the whole band, then back to one acoustic and three part vocal harmony. The style is so engaging! It’s pretty folky and kind of alternative–their approach–but it’s edgy and interesting because they keep lots of holes in it, and you never know what’s coming next. They’re great at changing time signature, and even the entire feel of
Continued on page 52
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
In the New Testament book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul talks about how we—the Church— are “being built together for a dwelling place of God...” This is a large part of the vision behind The City Harmonic, probably because it’s also a large part of where they’ve come from. Read more about this unique and creative band and what drives their music, from frontman Elias Dummer.
Aimee Herd: Elias, you’re not afraid to journey out of the box with your music. I find it refreshing. I’m going to ask you about your album; but first, maybe you could give a little background on the band. I’d love to hear how The City Harmonic came about. Elias Dummer: We’re from Hamilton, Ontario , which is just about an hour south of Toronto . One of the things about Hamilton is, it’s been traditionally seen as a steel town. But over the years, industry—like it has in many places—has changed, and shrunk. It’s seen its fair share of challenges; the poverty rate as high as 25 percent. So the Church has sort of had to respond. The thing to come out of that is a movement of churches that has come to be known as “TrueCity.” It’s a partnership of local churches; they go under the slogan of: “Churches together for the good of the city.” It crosses denominational lines, traditional lines... it’s just Christian churches getting together to share resources, and do whatever they can do to make a difference in the city. That’s sort of been the story from which we’ve come; The City Harmonic; came from; three of us were part of a college-age program that was affiliated with TrueCity. We would get college students together to worship and sing and then they’d go out and worship by serving at one of the nonprofits around the city; a soup kitchen or clothing banks and the like. So, when we first made The City Harmonic about two years ago, all four of us at the time were
by Aimee Herd
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
all part of different churches that were part of different denominations. It may sound strange for a worship band, but it didn’t really seem all that odd to us. AH: No, it actually sounds wonderful! ED: I guess the biggest difference is that we’re not part of a “worship team” that came out of a particular local church worship expression. We’re more a group of friends and brothers who grew up out of a more collective worship experience. So, maybe not every song [of ours] will work for every church setting, but that’s probably for the best anyway! AH: You know, that whole vibe of unity that (I now see) comes from the Hamilton local churches coming together with TrueCity, can really be sensed in this recording. It’s kind of an underlying theme throughout the album... ED: Well, one of the most profound moments for me, so far in our ministry, was before we got heavy into touring... we were asked to take a part in the TrueCity conference—which is not huge, it’s like 150-200 people. But, it represents about two dozen different churches and denominations from around our city coming together to pool resources and to figure out how to do ministry better. So, what happened was, during one of the keynotes, they asked us to come up to the front and most of the conference gathered up in the front and prayed for us, to commission us in the ministry. I found out later that it was something like
WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM MAY/JUN 2012
the city harmonic: by Aimee Herd
Spirit, it’s just that we want to make sure we’re living a worshipful life. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He said to love God and to love your neighbor. In order for us to love God, we must love our neighbor. Yet, as worship leaders, we’re so often encouraged to keep our eyes closed and have our own sort of moment “on the mountain” on stage—and then encourage everyone in the room to do the same. But, it seems like maybe we’ve lost a great opportunity to look each other eye to eye and “be the Church” together. So, we go up there, and yeah, we perform, worshipfully, and it’s okay because people are able to engage with that emotionally. The dichotomy isn’t between worship and performance really, it’s between performing selfishly and performing self-LESS-ly. AH: I can definitely see that, yes. Focusing in on your music, I know people have come to know The City Harmonic through the song “Manifesto”, and that music video that went viral. Your new project came out this past fall, titled, I Have A Dream, and I want to get specific with a few of those songs because they’re really striking. When you listen to the album, you can’t help but gravitate toward the title song, but first backing up a few to the song “Mountaintop,” it seems to almost lead you up to the title song. ED: “Mountaintop” is partly inspired by the Martin Luther King Jr. speech, albeit loosely, but even more so based on Jesus taking the Disciples up on the mountain [where He was transfigured]. The Martin Luther King speech helped to give us the language to place that. So, you’ve got the story of the Disciples up on the mountaintop, and Jesus revealing Himself to them. They did what any selfrespecting Jew would have done; they basically said, “We can’t handle this, let’s build You a house to live in, and we’ll live over here, and we can stay here forever!” So they were saying two things... that the revealed nature of God belongs in a box, and the second was that feeling we have when experiencing these mountaintop events—we want them to go on forever.
God the Father sort of rebukes them in a way (gently), He told them this was His Son and they could trust Him. And, immediately, instead of building respective houses, they go down the mountaintop. They go back to the valley and are faced once again with hand-to-hand ministry. There’s a sharp contrast of what Christian culture often pushes-- “let’s go to this place and mountaintop experience where we will see God together, and let’s make that feel like it lasts forever.” Jesus corrects that. Peter says later, “So long as I am in the tent of this body, I will tell of these things.” Much later in life, Peter had learned that the reason we don’t need a tent to live in on the mountaintop, is because we—the Church—ARE the tent. AH: That’s really good... ED: That’s sort of where that song comes from; “We’ve been on the mountaintop, we’ve seen the glory of our God. He is here in the valley below. He is here, I feel it in my bones. We are the Body of our God.” That’s what it’s about. In the bridge, we take a little bit of a swipe at some of what we’ve made out of that idea; “we build our temples, we build our walls, but they can’t hold Him in...we are the Temple of our God and we can’t hold Him in.” And, like you said, it leads into “I have a Dream” in a way, because “I Have a Dream” is about what happens after all of that. That song is again; loosely taken from that Martin Luther King speech, partly because he used such great eschatological language in almost every speech he gave. But, “I Have a Dream” is about not losing sight of the goal. I think often, we make Christianity into sort of an escapist thing that gets us out of our troubles. While that’s true and while that longing is okay, we also see so many examples of God and Jesus, in Scripture, going out of Their way to redeem Creation and make things right again. We have this longing in us— we write these songs of longing with these things that say “things aren’t as they ought to be.” The goal of Christianity isn’t to escape those things, it’s for those things to be made right, until—us and God, together as the Church—we say “it feels like home.” AH: Elias, what does the writing process within The City Harmonic look like? Is it a collaborative effort, or do you bring songs that are already mostly written for interpretation by the band? ED: I think it’s a “both, and” for us— every song is a collaborative piece for sure. Every song has a different beginning; sometimes I’ll bring just the piano part and a vocal melody with no
24 different churches from over a dozen denominations—leaders, lay-leaders, pastors—just from around our city all praying to bless us as we headed out on the road. It was really profound. AH: Wow, that must have been a very powerful moment. ED: It really was. It blew me away. AH: Have you seen that kind of unity in other places? It just seems like there’s not enough of that happening yet. ED: Oh yeah, I certainly hear stories here and there as we travel. And we love to tell our story, obviously, because we find it encouraging. I do think there is some kind of a move like that happening... but, that maybe two things are going on at once. On one hand, there is a wellintentioned group of people standing up for what they feel is hard truth regarding traditional and Christian orthodoxy— maybe at the expense of others. I think to look at the Church as a multi-faceted thing, we have to learn how to respectfully disagree. That’s been some of the challenges at TrueCity, and there are certainly some messy elements to it. But, to abandon the debate [is worse]; even Peter and Paul disagreed, but it’s a good thing they didn’t just stop there. As a band, we really started out a little like Delirious did [with an element of performance to leading worship]. That has actually begun some lively discussions with people at times. I think sometimes we make leading worship “super spiritual” and the rest of life “less spiritual.” One of my favorite quotes is an old Celtic saying, “Milking the cow is holy.” Worship and worship leading—in my mind—is more of a reflection of the sum of who we are; our character and who we are on a dayto-day basis, than it is about whether I’m being led “by the Spirit” in the moment. We absolutely believe in being led by the
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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the city harmonic: by Aimee Herd
lyric at all, just a basic idea. Sometimes I’ll bring a song that’s much, much closer to being finished, and we’ll [fine tune] it in the studio before we hit ‘record’. Every song ends up being collaborative, but they all have different beginnings. AH: Out of all the songs on the album is there one song, or maybe two, that really stand out in particular from the rest? ED: I really enjoy the song “Holy Wedding Day”. It’s the second to last song on the album. If I bothered to listen back to the whole album, it’s probably one of the only ones that I’d still hit “repeat” on to listen again, and notice things that somebody did that I didn’t notice before. “Holy Wedding Day” brings a lot of the themes from the album to a point, and talks about that final moment, and the anticipation of the Bride. It’s coming before God and saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.” Something about that just gets me going. Another one... we really like playing “Mountaintop” live, because we get to whip out a big drum and terrify people a little while we slam on it! (Laughs) It just has a lot of energy and seems to really connect with people. Another song—that different people have talked about to us— is “Fell Apart.” It’s a song that contains a good amount of humanity in it, and I love worship songs like that. AH: Can you talk a little about the recording process—how it gelled you together as a band—and if there were any particularly special moments during the recording of this album? ED: We sort of do a lot of our creativity in the studio—almost like a kettle that’s about to boil over. We’ll have moments of yelling at each other and arguing about what we’re doing, and then we’ll have moments of saying, “Oh my gosh, that’s amazing!” There are a couple
of moments like that in particular—one when recording a song on the EP, “My God.” There’s just one guitar thing that Aaron suddenly did, and we all just stopped and said, “You have to do that, it’s something you have to do!” There have been a few things like that here and there as we work through it. Once we’ve got the songs established, and we’re excited about them, it’s almost more something that happens on a takeby-take basis. Because we were all there the whole time, sort of like a microcosm of the Church, we four musical brothers have to figure out how to agree to disagree in a musical context. Some of my favorite moments were actually times when emotions ran high and we’d gotten into it, but then resolved it with a great result. AH: Another sharpening iron. ED: Exactly. AH: A lot of bands or musicians are choosing to do more of a “live” recording in the studio as opposed to laying a lot of different tracks down, how did you go about recording this album? ED: It was definitely “both-and.” We did some songs laying down tracks live off the floor, and others—in the interest of time—we went layer by layer. But we did the whole album; start to finish, in 11 days. AH: That’s pretty quick. ED: It was breakneck pace. We would record all day (usually a 15 hour day), and then Jared [Fox], our co-producer would go and do edits for a couple hours before he went to bed , then we’d be in the next morning to do it all over again. AH: You mentioned you’re all from different churches; are you each a worship leader in your church? ED: At one point we would have all been involved in the worship at our church, but at this point, we’re touring so much, it’s more of a relational thing with the churches back home. Most of us are part of a shared home church now. That’s been refreshing, to go back and example of iron
fellowship with people who really don’t care that we’re in a band. (Laughs) AH: Let me ask you about gear; I noticed that you always seem to prefer an acoustic piano over a keyboard... ED: Actually (trade secret) we use an empty piano box with a controller in it that runs into a laptop with Reason that fits inside the piano. It’s actually a relatively cheap fully weighted 88 key controller permanently installed in a wooden box. AH: That’s pretty interesting. ED: Yeah, we do that because our sounds are piano sounds, I don’t really play a lot of synthy type of stuff. And, we thought it would be the best visual too. AH: Well, I love it, of course piano is my favorite instrument. ED: Yeah, I love it too; in fact I have a hard time writing on a keyboard. I find it much easier to write on an acoustic piano because of the dynamics, overtones, and the way it sustains. There are some things a keyboard can’t do in terms of creating emotion. AH: True. Elias, I know right now you’re busy touring. But, do you have any songs for a future album already in the works—do you normally write while touring or no? ED: Oh yeah, we’re always writing and working on things here and there. One thing we’ve had to sort of wrestle through this year, though, is Eric our bass player was diagnosed just before the beginning of this tour with leukemia. So, we’ve actually had some friends out with us, playing bass on this tour, while he’s been getting treatment. We’re just praying that his treatment goes well and that we get him back soon, and in the meantime, we’re trying to write. …And to figure out what the next step is for us, for our next album—doing it in a practical way. AH: Well, I’m sure everyone reading this will be praying for Eric, as we will too. ED: Thank you. The City Harmonic is made up of: vocalist/songwriter and pianist Elias Dummer, bassist Eric Fusilier, guitarist Aaron Powell and drummer Josh Vanderlaan. For more information on them, music, media and blogs, log onto: www. thecityharmonic.com To find out more about the innovative church movement TrueCity, visit: www.truecityhamilton.ca
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
Pre-Chorus And all of the People of God sang along
The City Harmonic (Dummer, Fusilier, Powell, Vanderlaan) The City Harmonic (Dummer, Fusilier, Powell, Vanderlaan)
B F♯ Verse 1 We believe in the One True God B F♯ B F We believe in the One True God♯ We believe in Father, Spirit, Son B F♯ D F♯♭5 /C B We believe in Father, Spirit, Son ♯m C We believe that good has won D♯m C F♯♭5 /C B We believe that good has won Pre-Chorus
Bridge B B♭5
Chorus F♯ A – men B A - men, yeah G♯m C♯ A – men B
© 2010 men, yeah A - Thankyou Music (PRS) (adm. worldwide at EMICMGPublishing.com excluding Europe which is adm. kingswaysongs.com) All rights reserved. Used by permission.
B5 B ♭5 Pre-Chorus And all of B5 B ♭5 B add3 C♯sus C♯ F♯no5 And all of the peo - Chorus God ple of Chorus F♯ A – men B A - men, yeah Verse 2 B A - men, yeah F♯ A – men
B add3 C♯sus C♯ F♯no5 the peo - ple of God F♯5 D♯m sang along
We are free, He died and lives again Verse 2 We will be a people freed from sin We are free, He died and lives again be free, a Kingdom with no end We’ll We will be a people freed from sin We’ll be free, a Kingdom with no end Pre-Chorus And all of the People of God sang along Pre-Chorus Chorus And all of the People of God sang along F♯ A – men B A - men, yeah G♯m C♯ Chorus F♯ A – men B A - men, yeah G♯m C♯
We’re singing’ Chorus F♯ A – men B A - men, yeah G♯m C♯ A – men B A - men, yeah
© 2010 Thankyou Music (PRS) (adm. worldwide at EMICMGPublishing.com excluding Europe which is adm. by kingswaysongs.com) All rights reserved. Used by permission.
© 2010 Thankyou Music (PRS) (adm. worldwide at EMICMGPublishing.com excluding Europe which is adm. by kingswaysongs.com) All rights reserved. Used by permission.
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
F♯5 D♯m B B♭5 sang along Our father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name A♯sus4 D♯m F♯/C♯ Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven B B♭5 Give us our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses A♯sus4 As we forgive those who have trespassed against us F♯/C♯ B B♭5 D♯m Lord lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil D♯m A♯sus4 For thine is the Kingdom, power, and the glory forever F♯/C♯
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Christy Nockles Into the Glorious 1. *Ever Lifting 2. For Your Splendor 3. Wonderful 4. Into the Glorious 5. Be Loved 6. Waiting Here for You 7. Sing Along 8. Love Can Build a Bridge 9. You Love is Moving 10. Healing is in Your Hands 11. Already I Need 12. How I Love You] Into the Glorious is Christy Nockles’ 2nd full length release following her critically acclaimed first solo album: LifeLight Up. Completely produced by her husband, Nathan, this albums foundation rests on Christy’s unmatched vocal talent and wonderful songwriting ability. The central theme of Into the Glorious is how our God’s love turns the ordinary into extraordinary. This idea is immediately given to the listener by the first track, “Ever lifting” which is a fun acoustic-pop song that points us to a God who comes into our lives, reveals Himself and lifts us up to where He is. The title track, “Into the Glorious”, is a beautiful piano-led performance piece reminding the listener that we were created for more than this life by a God who longs for a deeper relationship with us. We are invited into the glorious by a God who can take us from ordinary to extraordinary by His love. Christy Nockles has been known as a “singer’s singer”, and as a vocalist myself, I am continually blown away by her amazing vocal control and the way she is able to use inflection and authenticity in her singing to help the listener connect on an emotional level with each song. This artistry is found throughout this album, but I noticed it the most on one of my favorite tracks, “Healing is in Your Hands”. Her vocal paints the picture of a fragile human race that can only be healed by the scarred hands of a loving Father. Previously released on the Passion album Awakening in 2010, this version is much more acoustic and raw. The acoustic guitar and old school piano on this track made me feel as if I was at an intimate worship service in her living room. This track was simply a wonderfully authentic moment on the album that I really appreciated.
*Gerod’s Personal Picks in bold.
By Gerod Bass
Another one of my favorite tracks on Into the Glorious is “Be Loved”. In this song we are encouraged to just let ourselves be loved by God by resting in His arms. It is a wonderful message to every believer that when we rest in the truth of Christ, we rise up singing and can truly rejoice in the freedom He gives us. Probably the best known song on this collection is a new, more stripped down recording of “Waiting Here For You” which was first heard on the 2011 Passion album, Here For You. This is the best pure worship song on the album and is quickly making its way into church worship services around the world. Other album highlights include Christy’s rendition of the Judds classic “Love Can Build a Bridge,” as well as beautiful worship songs such as “For Your Splendor” and “Wonderful.” I was very impressed with this release and any hint of a sophomore slump from Christy Nockles as a solo artist was quickly put to rest once I pressed the play button. This album is full of scripture-rich lyrics, incredible vocals, and even a few little surprises. I enjoyed the differences in style that were offered and overall, this is a really great release with a good mix of performance and worship songs for both personal listening as well as for use in a congregational worship setting. Passion White Flag 1. Not Ashamed (Kristian Stanfill) 2. White Flag (Chris Tomlin) 3. Jesus Son of God (Chris Tomlin & Christy Nockels) 4. How I Love You Jesus (Christy Nockels) 5. All This Glory (David Crowder*Band) 6. Lay Me Down (Chris Tomlin & Matt Redman) 7. You Revive Me (Christy Nockels) 8. One Thing Remains (Kristian Stanfill) 9. Yahweh (Chris Tomlin) 10. Sing Along (Christy Nockels 11. The Only One (Chris Tomlin) 12. Mystery (Charlie Hall) 13. 10,000 Reasons (Matt Overall impression Redman) 14. No Turning Back (Chris Tomlin) 15. Let Me Feel You Shine (David Crowder*Band) (Deluxe Bonus) 16. Who You Are (Kristian Stanfill) (Deluxe Bonus) 17. Jesus My All In All (Charlie Hall) (Deluxe Bonus) Passion’s new live album, White Flag was recorded at the 2012 Passion conference in Atlanta, GA back in January with over 42,000 young adults who gathered to worship and to help bring an end to slavery and human trafficking around the world. As with past Passion releases, this collection of songs features some of the best-known artists in the worship music industry including Chris Tomlin, David Crowder*Band, Matt Redman, Christy Nockles, Charlie Hall, and Kristian Stanfill. Not only did they lend their voices to the project, but raised a whopping $3.3 million to support various world projects that focus on “prevention, rescue, and restoration” for the millions of individuals entrapped in modern day slavery. As you can see, this is much more than your average worship album. The album kicks off with the highenergy track, “Not Ashamed”. This track is a pure rock worship song that is full of big drums, killer guitar licks and wonderfully bold statements of worship. I could just imagine the thousands of worshipers jumping out of their seats as they proclaimed aloud in one voice… “I’m not ashamed of the one who saved my soul!” A great start to a great album. The standout track on the album comes next in Chris Tomlin’s “White Flag”. This a passionate up-tempo worship anthem that speaks about the victory that Christ won for us over sin and death and how our individual surrender to Christ brings freedom. The driving drum beat and corresponding guitar riffs, mixed with Tomlin’s unmistakable vocals, create a true song of victory that is sure to become an instant worship classic. David Crowder*Band fans who are not ready to say goodbye will definitely enjoy their worship offering included in the regular compilation called “All This Glory”. This guitar-driven, down-to-earth song describes how God brought light into the middle of our chaotic mess of a world. This song concludes with the declarative worship statement; “Jesus! God with us! Jesus Christ has come and I’m undone!” Crowder fans who purchase the deluxe edition (with 3 bonus songs) will also be treated to a live version of the hit song, “Let Me Feel You Shine” from their recent release Give Us Rest. White Flag also boasts some wonderful tender worship moments such as Christy Nockles’ “You Revive Me”. This is a beautifully poetic piece that speaks of God’s unending love and reminds us that we were bought with a price by a loving Father.
Average church congregation could learn/participate on the first hear Can be learned/adapted by a band of average skill Lyrical creativity and integrity
Christy Nockels Into the Glorious Passion White Flag Foursquare United Generation On the Rise Desperation Band Center of it All Fike The Moment We’ve Been Waiting For
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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There are more than a few already-well known worship hits also contained on this release, including Charlie Hall’s “Mystery” (The Bright Sadness 2008), Brian Johnson’s “One Thing Remains” (as performed by Stanfill) and one of my personal favorites, “10,000 Blessings” by Matt Redman (Bless the Lord) The album comes to a close appropriately with the song “No Turning Back”, which ties in lyrics from the classic hymn “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”. Led by Chris Tomlin, this congregational song wraps up what is an entire album of heart-felt declarations of surrender and devotion to our Savior with the phrase “The cross before me, the world behind me. I will follow, I will follow”. White Flag is an incredible mix of well-known worship artists, memorable worship songs and heart-felt worship moments, but it is much more than that. This collection of worship songs represents a movement that is doing more than just providing the local church with great songs to worship with, it is making a difference to the hurting and the lost around the world in the name of Jesus, and that is something every believer should want to be a part of . Great job once again Passion folks! Foursquare United Generation On the Rise 1. Open Our Eyes 2. Oceans 3. Turn to the Savior 4. Break Down These Walls 5. Hope 6. Remain 7. Hearts Cry Out 8. Surrender All 9. You’re Coming 10. Rise 11. The Earth Will Sing 12. Holy 13. With You 14. Lay It All Down The United Generation Band began as the youth praise team at Puyallup Foursquare church in Puyallup, Washington in 2009. Three years later, much like the title of their first full length studio album, they are on the rise as an up-and-coming group of young songwriters and musicians who want to change their generation for Jesus through honest and uplifting worship. United Generation’s sound is similar to Hillsong in its foundation, but with a bit more of a youthful twist. Worship leader, Luke Breton Van Groll’s vocals are smooth and inviting throughout this release which brings 14 new vertical worship songs. The song that most stands out for me on this album is “Hearts Cry Out”, which features vocalist Kimberly Fader. The song begins softly with an almost ghostly pad and electric guitar theme, which draws the listener into worship. The song builds from this point into an almost Coldplay style, with the driving drum beat giving us the expectation of a big chorus, but then the song changes and takes us to an unexpected chorus that speaks of the victory that Jesus won over death and the grave as we sing... ‘Hearts cry out for Jesus face, all will fall yet He remains, for in His name it is done, He’s conquered the grave, He’s overcome!’ I really appreciate writers that can take a song to a different place than what the listener expects and yet still give you the big solid ending that you want. Great writing for such a young group! Some of the other notable songs on this offering include “Holy” which boasts a creative bass lick throughout, a very memorable chorus and a wonderful string section in the middle, giving worshipers time to breathe before the final chorus. “Oceans” is another great up-tempo worship song that has some tasty melodies throughout, and “Lay it All Down” is another driving worship song that speaks of God’s freeing power in our lives. “Turn to the Savior” boasts a chorus that will be stuck in your head for days after listening to it, and “Lay It All Down” wraps up the CD appropriately by reminding us that… ‘Where Your love is, there is freedom’. One of the other things I enjoyed about this album was that there were a lot of really interestingly deep instrumental moments. UG’s music definitely has some great depth to it and that is refreshing to see. The drum and bass tracks in this album are superb and create a really nice platform for the pads, vocals, and guitars to float over. Although I enjoyed most of the songs included in this collection, I would really like to see a bit more creativity both thematically and lyrically on future releases from UG. I would love to see the depth of their lyric match the depth of their instrumental capability, and I think with some seasoning, this will happen in time. I also think they could add some depth to their vocals by adding a few more harmony moments, but overall On the Rise is a solid collection of relevant vertical worship songs that, when woven together, point us to a God who is deeply in love with His creation. Most of the songs in this release are very sing-able, and will appeal to a wide range of worshipers. Desperation Band Center of it All 1. All To Him 2. Wonderful 3. Strong God 4. Magnified 5. God You Are My God 6. My God 7. Our God Is Coming 8. Center Of It All 9. This I Know 10. You Are The Glory 11. We Will Not Forget 12. Take Me To The River 13. River Flow Colorado based worship giants Desperation Band are set to release another high-energy collection of worship songs in their latest worship album, Center of It All, on April 10th. Known for songs such as “My Savior Lives”, “I Am Free”, and “Yahweh”, the new 13-track album is a call to believers around the world to make our God more than just a priority, but to be completely sold out for Him as THE priority in our lives. Joining front man Jon Egan in crafting the songs for Center of it All are some very notable names in the worship industry, including Matt Redman, Mia Fields, Kari Jobe, Meredith Andrews, and Jason Ingram to name a few. Further enhancing that collaborative spirit, Jobe and Ingram also lend their voices to the project, while Stu G serves as a guest musician. “All to Him” starts the album off with a powerful faded-in vocal phrase that lets the listener know exactly who this album is about… ‘Our Promise is Jesus, our answer is Jesus. All to Him we owe everything’. The driving drum beat and backing piano phrases in this kickoff song accentuate the powerful phrases of truth being sung, such as.. ‘For every battle that we face, He has conquered all; more than we can know’. This song sets up the mood for the rest of the album. “Wonderful” follows with another highenergy rock anthem that starts off sounding a little like an 80’s pop song, but then quickly changes at the pre-chorus before it builds into a resounding chorus about the hope that endures because of the sacrifice and sovereignty of our God. One of my favorite songs on this collection, and one that is sure to be a hit on Christian Radio stations everywhere, is “Magnified”. Co-written by Egan and Jason Ingram, this intense worship ballad is a sung prayer proclaiming the greatness of God. This song will give worshipers in your church a wonderful opportunity to praise the Almighty as they cry out... ‘Jesus wonder of the world, how we love You; Savior Son of God be magnified, magnified’. One of the more tender moments on Center of It All comes with the song “My God”. Kari Jobe joins Egan on vocals and also co-wrote this quiet, reflective piece that describes God as… ‘Living water for the thirsty, strength and power for the weak….holy and pure, sovereign and sure’. Egan’s vocal on this piece is superbly genuine and when mixed with Jobe’s soaring harmonies, create a sound that is nothing short of angelic. The strings are majestic on this track and I really appreciated the space this song gives for true heart-felt worship. The title track “Center of it All” has a little bit more of a techno feel to it, which although is not my personal favorite as far as arrangement goes, really brings home the main point of the album, that Jesus should not have to try and fit into our busy schedules of life. He should, at all times and in all places, be the center of it all. This is a worship song that we all need to
Continued on page 48
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By Doug Gould can’t hear acoustically! Once you’ve moved everything as much as possible, it’s now time to turn on the monitors. Now, what do we start putting in the monitors? What you can’t hear acoustically. That’s it! What I can’t hear next to me or in the room is what I need in the monitor. I had a worship leader standing right in font of a kick drum. It was literally shaking his pants leg. You know what he was asking for in his floor monitor? Guess! Yep! Kick! I said, “Whoa! Wait a minute. Are you serious? You can’t feel the kick drum? He said, “Yes, I can feel it and hear it.” I replied, ”So why do you want it in your monitor? He said, ”Because I always have I guess.” Old habits die-hard. This will take some practice, but if you apply some common sense practices, you’ll solve a boatload of problems and save a lot of money spent on technology that may not be necessary. What elements are necessary for a good monitor mix? What do musician’s require in their monitor mix in order to perform well? It’s not what you may think. It’s not a CD mix. You don’t have time to give them one either. You need to give them what they need, not what they want. Randy Weitzel, a dear friend who happens to be one of the best monitor engineers on the planet, gives us a recipe for what’s necessary in a musician/ vocalist monitor mix: STP: Self – Time - Pitch You need to hear yourself. You need to hear a tempo reference, snare, and kick; sometimes it’s just an acoustic guitar You need to hear a pitch reference, so that you can play and sing in tune. That’s it. Keep it simple. Use common sense. Practice, practice, and practice. Until next time.
Doug Gould is the founder of Worship MD (Market Development) a consulting firm that helps Professional Audio and Music Technology manufacturers build relationships with the church through education. He also teaches Audio and Music Technology at Valley Forge Christian College in Phoenixville PA as an adjunct. The companies that support his activities are Audio-Technica, Presonus, Aviom, D’Addario, Evans, and Planet Waves, Pro-Mark, Listen Technologies.
Sometimes it’s Not the Sound Guy’s Fault!
Over the last ten years I have presented workshops to hundreds of worship and technical teams offering practical, common sense solutions to the problems we are having in our churches as they relate to music and sound. It was one of our presidents who said, “The problem with common sense is that it’s not too common.” He was right, whoever he was. Common sense, everyday practices that every professional musician and tech apply at every gig are virtually unknown in the church. Why? Because those serving on their worship and tech teams are volunteers and have never done this professionally outside of church. The ones serving on our teams are salesman, schoolteachers, housewives, cops, etc., and don’t have any real-world experience in what it takes to make it work. “Everything I learned about Church Sound, I learned in my Bar band.” This will be the name of a book I’ll write someday book someday. (I am taking orders now if you’re interested) In it I will demonstrate all the things that we had to learn by doing it the wrong way so many times. The advantage we had was that we were playing together all the time: Five to six nights a week. and rehearsing in our spare time. When you’re playing together as a unit things really start to gel. You start listening more and getting to know the people that you’re playing with; their strengths and their weaknesses; what works and what doesn’t. What did we do before we had monitors? I was playing in rock bands in the sixties. This is before musicians had monitors. (Think Beatles - Shea Stadium). In those days, we had to listen to each other. This is a concept that is foreign to a majority of worship teams. We had to hear ourselves in the space or the environment that we were playing in and respond to it accordingly. Our worship teams only hear themselves through a monitor. They don’t hear their neighbor standing next to them because if they did, they would ask the sound tech to give them “More Me!” They don’t hear the room either. Play Less, Listen More! Arrangement! Music is just as much about listening as it is playing. One thing that will definitely improve the quality of your worship service is when the musicians have more time to gel and listen to each other and to the space that they’re in, and stop playing all the time at the same time. It would be so refreshing to see a musician on a stage, at a service, actually laying out (not playing). This is called arrangement. As a sound guy, if I have eight musicians all playing at the same time, at the same dynamic level, with all the same patterns; background vocalists all singing unison, three guitar players playing Les Pauls ( a popular electric guitar made by Gibson) in the same fret position, with no new sounds appearing or fading away; I can tell you, without exception, that this is impossible to mix or to make sound musical. A band that is arranged mixes itself. Worship leaders: Take time to arrange the band. Give them direction where and how you want them to play. Do not leave this to chance. Start by mimicking the songs you’re covering as close to the original as possible. Even if you don’t want to do it that way for worship, it’s a useful practice to learn how to play together. One of the reasons are platforms are so loud is because we aren’t listening to our surroundings. Arrangement will go a long way to helping reduce the levels, and here’s another common sense approach that will help: If you can’t hear something, Move! At your next rehearsal, have the band turn off the monitors and just try to play by hearing yourselves in the room through the main house system. This will be a very strange experience at first and will definitely take some getting used to. (Just the rhythm section is fine for now, no vocals are necessary yet). After a ten-minute fun-filled jam, ask yourselves, “What couldn’t we hear?” You might say, “I couldn’t hear the acoustic guitar, or the hi-hats” Before I turn the monitors on and start adjusting, I will try to move musicians closer to the things that they CAN’T HEAR and farther away from the things that are too loud. Isn’t that what we do in life? We move in to the things that are hard to hear and shy away from the loud noises. It’s no different here. It’s common sense. Put in the monitors what you
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
Shining ever so brightly, the CL Series is the newest addition to the Yamaha digital mixing console lineup. 3 models – CL5 (72 mono, 8 stereo inputs), CL3 (64 mono, 8 stereo inputs) and CL1 (48 mono, 8 stereo inputs), all feature 24 mix and 8 matrix busses (also usable as mixes for a total of 32 mixes) + stereo and mono output busses (for a total of 35 mixes), 16 DCA’s, 8 mute groups, 16 user defined keys, 4 user defined knobs, 300 scene memories, 2-track and multi-track recording/playback and much more. With extraordinary capability to creatively color your sound, the CL Series highlights a premium rack featuring Yamaha’s inventive VCM analog circuitry modeling technology and the acclaimed Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5033 EQ and 5043 compressor. In addition to the consoles, 2 new rackmountable I/O units – Rio3224-D (32 inputs, 16 outputs) and Rio1608-D (16 inputs, 8 outputs), offer expandability via Audinate’s highly flexible and scalable Dante™ network. Visually appealing with a channel color bar, channel naming, sleek new faders and an iPad/iPod shelf, and easy to use with Yamaha’s familiar Centralogic™ operation, touchscreen, CL Editor, and StageMix for iPad® app, all the features you’ve come to know and love from the evolution of Yamaha consoles have been taken to a whole new level.
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MINISTRY + ARTISTRY = PROFITABILITY? CREATING YOUR MAP™
By Scott A. Shuford
Social Media In Action: Every Man Ministries
Over the last two columns, we have intentional men’s ministry. core following on each of these channels. addressed where you should start and The Social Media Campaign Results are ongoing, but at the time I’m what you should share. Now let’s take a We set out to bolster awareness of Every writing this, we have seen: look at a real world case study. Man Ministries and to find strategic • Increased Twitter following by more Every Man Ministries (EMM) was ways to improve search engine rankings, than 900%. founded in 2000 by Kenny Luck, the Men’s to create new online communities on • Increased Facebook following by pastor at Saddleback Church. They have Facebook and Twitter, and to search out 690%. a “simple” goal: to revolutionize men’s existing communities that tie into Every ministry, free men spiritually, and ignite Man Ministries. We also assisted in • Uploaded more than 430 practical spiritual health worldwide. created compelling stories that position leadership advice videos to YouTube with a return of more than 41,000 With a passion to reach, relate to, and EMM as a visionary movement in men’s views combined. We scheduled a re-ignite men to become God’s men living ministry, which inspired others to spread gradual rollout that will take 2 years to out God’s purposes, Every Man Ministries the word about the organization. complete. engaged us here at FrontGate Media to What did we share? Our content bolster social media engagement. buckets included things like Kenny Luck: • Developed and executed over the Men’s Expert, EMM Appearances, 1550 content updates for Twitter and There are two Target Audiences: Documenting the Movement, Pastor Facebook. 1. Man to Man Movement (M2M Training, Book Excerpts, Videos, and • Uploaded more than 100 practical EMM connects men across generations, several more, including the Questions leadership advice videos to GodTube bucket I outlined in my previous column. ethnicities, and socio-economic groups to with a return of more than 9,800 views spiritually impact the world and to fulfill We focused on the ministry, but also on combined. Kenny as a regular guy. the Great Commandment and Great Send me your Social Media questions Commission in this generation. Through What might the typical buckets look like its men’s conferences, EMM offers life for you as a Worship Leader? Scripture and I’ll try to answer the most popular and leader development pathways to that is impacting you right now, church topics as we explore this topic together. mobilize men to flex their spiritual muscles events, weekly set lists, church leadership, and empower them to obtain spiritual problems you’ve overcome (tactfully health. The challenge with the M2M is in stated,) favorite songs, song histories, developing and executing a social media mission/vision/values, your personal campaign that identifies, leverages, and passions (family, sports, tech, comic targets the most searched and pressing books, whatever) and more. Remember issues facing men. to have your Questions bucket! Tune in Creator Worship 2. Church to Church Movement Highly successful, strategic video Online Radio: (C2C) solutions delivered via YouTube were at Teaching & Training EMM provides a living, breathing the heart of this particular campaign. After Hear it today… Use it church-based model that is fully researching the scope and effectiveness tomorrow. developed, easily launched, well of EMM’s social media presence, we developed a targeted plan to provide resourced, accessible, affordable, and Programming includes: serviceable at every level. The challenge new channels for content delivery through with C2C is ensuring the EMM church Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube and WorshipTeamTraining.com model is synonymous with intelligent and developed and maintained an integrated Richie Fike (Indie Extreme)
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.
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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Bayside Church - Roseville, CA One-Day Intensives Sept 13
Grace Chapel - Franklin, TN One-Day Intensives Oct 4
Overlake - Redmond, WA One-Day Intensives Nov 8
THREE GREAT CONFERENCES COMING YOUR WAY IN 2012
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From Generation to Generation A Workshop that Only Crowder Could Present The Servant Drummer Arranging Worship Songs with a Band Thoughts on Songwriting Building a Solid Foundation with Bass & Drums Tones & Tricks for Electric Guitar Musical Styles & the Worship Bassist Vocal Harmony & Improvisation Keyboard Master Classes (Parts 1 & 2) Wow How? Getting Your Song on Next Year’s Collection Digital Mixers for the Non-Mega Church (Most of Us) When Commitment is There, But Skill is Not Marching in Step With a Guitar Army Live Streaming Your Church 2 Keynote Messages
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BRENTON BROWN & BAND BRENTON BROWN DANIEL ORNELLAS & BEN SHOWALTER SCOTTY MURRAY NORM STOCKTON SHERI GOULD TOM BROOKS BOB HALLIGAN JR DOUG GOULD RICK CUA WILL McFARLANE, TOM LANE, TONY HOOPER JON COOK PASTOR JERRY GILLIS
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By Michael Gonzales
Command presence is the way a person presents themselves to the public. The way to measure command presence is by the reaction of your audience. When you speak, do others get a sense of your selfconfidence? Politicians are one group of people who demonstrate a great deal of command presence. When an official enters the room to face the media on important matters there is usually a sense of “awe” in not only what the person is saying, but also how that person conducts himself. Another person with command presence is a drill instructor, but I do not recommend that you run your group with that kind of authoritarian style of leadership. What about the person who has been in a worship team for a while? Let’s say everyone knew Rob since he was in the Jr. High worship team. Then Rob graduated to the high school and college worship teams. Years later he not only makes it to the celebration worship team but was recently appointed the new worship leader. Here is where the problem lies— many people know him as “Little Robbie”. You know the guy; a little plump, torn jeans, nerdy t-shirts, with a beanie. So when he wants things done, instead of people jumping on it right away, they think, “Oh how cute,” instead of, “Wow, I want to be like that!” The problem is that Rob still conveys a picture that he’s this sweet, nice, talented fellow, but people don’t really take him seriously. Part of that problem is command presence (or lack thereof). gestures. I was more proactive in my personal presence instead of having people correct me. I also started speaking to my worship team not from behind a music stand but standing closer to the group drawing us closer together. If you really want people’s respect make sure you have something to say. Don’t just babble. Once you start rambling from the stage or to a group you start to lose people, and once you lose people you lose credibility.
If you want to be a leader, you have to lead, and one way to demonstrate command presence is to be on top of your game musically. If you are not sure of a song you can only fake it so far and after a while others will realize, “Hey, if Rob Some people would ask, “Why change doesn’t care, then why should I practice Robbie? That’s who he is.” There is so hard?” Learn the songs well. Others always room for change—especially will really admire your efforts, even if in when a person can change for the secret. better. Leadership starts with command These days it doesn’t hurt to have charm presence. and be given a platform to present your The first suggestion I would make to Rob is to re-evaluate his appearance. I was a fairly new university professor and was approached once by a dean who suggested that I think about changing my wardrobe. When that happened I listened patiently on the outside but inside I was screaming, “You talkin’ to me?” ideas, but be careful that your charisma doesn’t supersede the glory of God. This is where some of our top leaders in the church go wrong when the money and trappings of a successful ministry start pouring in. Some people push aside God’s glory for their own glory. Stay on course and be His servant and use One thing I did notice when I began an everything He gives you to make a outward transformation was how people difference in the world. looked and treated me. I got more respect, Finally, you have a story to tell. Your life and as one person told me, “When you is the story of an amazing transformational enter a room you command attention.” I journey you’ve been on. Share that with am not seeking attention for myself, but I others. Let them see God’s power in understand what he meant in that people you. He is a great craftsman and you listen more intently once I have something are the raw materials He has chosen to to say. Let me also tell you that it took me change. When those things happen and a long time to come around. It was a few when you enter a room, people won’t see years before I started to take the dean’s “Robbie” they’ll see Jesus. words to heart. Once I started taking action, then I began seeing a change. I wasn’t “Mikey” anymore. Michael Gonzales, Ph.D. The second thing I had to correct was Professor, Biola University firstname.lastname@example.org body language. I began standing taller and watching my posture and hand
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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By Doug Doppler
Picking Your Axe
Finding that perfect instrument can be a to help keep the strings from going sharp bit of a challenge, especially if you’re not if you’re inclined to grip or strum hard. quite sure what it is you need or should be looking for. SGs BRANDS AND FAMILIES Although they are also made out of As a general rule, the majority of Praise mahogany, SGs are much thinner, and and Worship electrics can be broken hence lighter, than Les Pauls. Though not down into three main families - Fender, as embraced by the Praise and Worship Gibson, and hybrids. While the Gretsch community, these are great guitars for family is also a great option, most of the Church. They stay in tune extremely well, instruments you’ll encounter in retail fall and are great for both lead and rhythm. into these three main families, so for the The most common modification you’ll see sake of this article we’ll keep our focus is adding a slightly hotter bridge pickup on them. to beef up dirty rhythms and solos. Stratocasters Most commonly associated with players like Jimi Hendrix, Strats are great for belllike clean tones, and warm distorted neck tones. They can, however, get a bit thin in the bridge position, which is why Lincoln Brewster opts for the “Eric Johnson” mod, which assigns the bottom tone control to the bridge pickup. Telecasters If you’re careful to not have too much treble on your amp, the bridge position can deliver everything from Country spank to classic Stones. The biggest challenge can be dialing in a fat bridge pickup tone that doesn’t make the neck pickup get too dark. A Nashville Tele uses three pickups in conjunction with a five-way switch to bring a Stratty configuration to the Tele that makes this a great choice for Praise and Worship. Les Pauls Between the vintage re-issues and chambered instruments out there, it’s pretty easy to find a Les Paul that won’t break your back. Known for brilliantly rich bridge pickup tones, the neck pickup can get a bit “tubby” so make sure to watch how much gain and bass you have when using the neck position. Since the scale is a bit shorter than on Fenders I’d suggest using .010 gauge strings set high and the instrument is buzzing it often hints at a neck related issue, so move on to the next candidate. KICK THE WHEELS
I have bought a number of instruments over the web, but generally the only way you’re going to know if it fits your hand well is by playing it. Before I ever take a guitar off the wall at a store I’ll gently strum across the strings with my thumb and bit of the nail. If it doesn’t sound good I’ll move on, no matter how pretty the instrument is. If it passes the thumb test the next thing I’ll do is see if I like the shape, width, and radius of the neck. If you have big fingers stay away from guitars that are narrow at the nut as they’ll be difficult for you to Hybrids play in tune. If you do a lot of soloing, Brands like PRS and Ibanez borrow trying bending at the 15th fret on the 1st from both the Fender and Gibson camps and then 2nd strings to see if the guitar to offer some really smart options that frets out. If there’s a tremolo, try playing a address the pickup, tuning, and scale chord, and then see if the guitar stays in length issues that players face. PRS guitars tune after depressing the bar as well as have a lot of traction in the Praise and raising it if the bridge floats. Worship market since they are in many ways a Gibson alternative. Ibanez on the other hand has had a hard time shaking PLUG IT IN their “shredder-only” reputation, which is If you’re serious about buying, bring unfortunate since they build a number of some of your gear in as well as your main guitars that are viable Fender alternatives. axe. A guitar can pass the wheel kicking test but still not sound right through your rig. Before you buy is a great time to find TONE that out. Scale length, pickups and configuration, your pick attack, and the rest of your gear greatly influence the way your instrument AFTER YOU BUY sounds. A great place to get hip on tone is your local music store. Play a bunch A lot of players (myself included) find of Strats, Teles, and Les Pauls and get to that changing pickups can make a big know their character. From there you’ll difference in terms of fine-tuning a guitar have a much better idea of what kind of for your set up. When selling an instrument, it’s ideal to also offer the original gear so tone you’re looking for. the buyer can take the instrument back to stock if so inclined. As far as additional mods, try not to do anything that will FEEL permanently alter the instrument, as that Feel is broken down into a couple of key will dramatically reduce the number of areas, some which can be adjusted like interested buyers and quite possibly the action and string guage, where others resale value. like thickness of the neck or width at the nut generally cannot. Action that is too Doug Doppler is signed to high is hard to play, and can buzz when Steve Vai’s Favored Nations set too low. Get to know where you like label and is currently in your action set and as you try out new production on the Get Killer instruments keep in mind how it’s reacting Tone DVD series. He and his to where the action is currently set. If it’s wife Melissa live to serve the Kingdom and are members of Cornerstone Fellowship in the San Francisco Bay Area.
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
More Music, More Joy, Less Budget
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By Tom Lane
One of the great Bible stories is about Jonathan, Saul’s son and David’s friend. It must have been hard for him being the King’s son himself, not to be as highly favored as David. But as a result of his accepting the role of brother and servant to David, David was able to do what God had appointed him to do. Jonathan was favored also, but it looked differently for him. He was faithful to what God set him apart to do and that’s what counted. His own father was, in fact, jealous of David’s favor and tried more than once to kill him; a good picture of a man being eaten away from the inside out due to a severe lack of security in who God made him to be. Jealousy robs us of joy! With creative people there are competing forces at work against us, and unless we’re at peace with who we are in Christ, we will be tempted especially through insecurity and pride. Insecurity squelches the natural talent and beauty we are given, and imprisons us. Pride causes us to elevate ourselves instead of allowing God to, and causes us to manipulate others and circumstances. The more secure and confident we are in Christ, the more able we are to bloom where He has us planted without being jealous of another’s favor. Have you ever found yourself disgruntled, discontented, envious, bitter, jealous, etc.? To a degree we all have, but for some it’s a season that some people never seem to get beyond. It’s actually a very real type of inner torture and misery that steals our peace, in life and in worship. Moving beyond it requires first choosing not to live there and being okay with ourselves, and what we bring to the table. Though we play a specific part as musicians, leaders, and singers on a team, it’s important also to know what spiritual gifs we have. We bring more to worship than just our talent. If we can separate our talents from our gifts, we will serve with more freedom and confidence in the ways God designed us to. It also keeps us from trying so hard to be who we’re not. God’s favor rests on all of His people, but as in Jonathan and David’s story, it didn’t mean they were the same people. Favor doesn’t imply that we get to have everything another has, but we do get what we don’t deserve! One of the hardest things for creative people to do sometimes is rejoice in another’s praise or credit. Somehow we feel it means we’re “less than”, and immediately tend to compare ourselves to the one being praised. If we can learn to hear it not as a threat, but instead a blessing, we’ll add years back to our lives. Why worry or be concerned over who gets the notoriety and praise, when it’s God’s right to dish out favor and honor as He pleases? Paul stressed learning to be content with what we have— that’s what we’re accountable for and where we’ll find the most peace! There’s always something we need to work on and be aware of in order to become faithful right here and now. For starters we can plow our own fields well and not pay so much attention to what others are doing in theirs. Here on Earth, some will go before Kings and Queens with their talents, become famous and adored. Others will live out an entire existence here quite possibly going unappreciated and un-noticed. Again, God’s favor works out differently for each of us, but we will all be rewarded according to God’s standard of mercy and compassion! As you stand before God alongside your band mates, celebrate the fact that everyone brings something different. Let the apprehension, insecurity, jealousy, and resentment be a thing of the past. Focus your heart and mind on fulfilling your call, and waste no time worrying over another’s place or position—It’s not worth it! Not only will you be happier, but God will pour out His favor on you in ways that you can’t imagine. Like Jonathan you may well be the reason someone else succeeds in fulfilling their call and gets to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Improving Musicianship | Inspiring Talent
Seeing Love Shine Through
New Seasons New Songs Same Love
Big Tent’s Revival
the Art of Re-Assembling a Band
5 Cool Things I Saw at NAMM
TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play
The Great Commission Worship Musician:
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MAR/APR 2012 MAY/JUNE 2011 Volume 10, Issue 23 Volume 9, Issue
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RainSong’s H-WS1000N2 Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar One Sonic Society l Don Moen l Shane & Shane l Record Reviews Paul Baloche l Jeremy Horn Glenn Packiam l John Waller l Rebecca St. James l Aaron Gillespie
MAR/APR 2012 Volume 17, Issue 2
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Jill Phillips • Jesus Music Again • Randy Stonehill Oats • Andrew Greer • Audrey Assad • Tanya Godsey
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Nashville, TN is home for Tom Lane though he is involved in ministry and music around the world. As a singer, songwriter and guitar player, Tom has been teamed with many worship leaders and artists. He continues to record his own work, lead worship, and writes regularly for various worship publications worldwide.
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
By Michael Hodge
Audio Plug-Ins for Pros
If you are passionate about writing and recording . . . If you are really serious about a career in music . . . If you want your recordings to sound professional . . . It’s time to invest in some Professional Plugins! This month I’m going to look at some plugs that can revolutionize your mixes and get you down the road to excellence in your craft. It reminds me of an old song...“Why should the Devil have all the good music?” VocAlign Pro Have you ever wondered how these big producers like Dr Luke get Katy Perry’s vocals so tight? Here’s your answer: Synchro Arts’ VocAlign Pro. I was excited to review this plug-in since I love tight vocals & BGV’s. I’ve spent countless hours editing and aligning BGV vocal parts. It’s tedious work no matter how much you love the artist! I’ve been using VocAlign for months now and can’t imagine producing without it. What Melodyne and Autotune do for Vocal Tuning, VocAlign does for Vocal Timing. VocAlign is a long time staple in the Film world. It is “the” go to plug-in for dialog replacement. It grabs the peaks and transients of the overdub and aligns them exactly to the original. Top producers have also been using it for tightening Lead, Rap, and BG vocals, as well as Horn parts. So let’s dive in! VocAlign comes in digital format only. Downloading is painless, and authorization requires the infamous iLok key. You can buy an iLok key on Ebay or at Guitar Center. Caution… don’t ever drop it, step on it, or lose it. Authorizing on both MAC & PC is straightforward. Synchro Arts sends the info to iLok.com and then you download it to your permissions chain on your key.The first time is somewhat confusing, but after that it’s cake. INSTALLATION: There is a DAW compatibility chart on the website; h t t p : / / w w w. s y n c h r o a r t s . c o m / downloads/versions/versions.xml For this review we used Pro Tools 10 Native, Nuendo 5, and Cubase on PC /MAC. They all found the VST/RTAS/ AudioSuite plugs right away. Logic Pro on MAC was just as happy. On Pro Tools 10 there are some helpful notes on the VocAlign website regarding a small bug. (QUOTE) “Do not set the Display Units in Pro Tools to Bar Beats there is a bug which may result in the aligned audio being sent to the wrong position”. Note: the PT folks claim to have fixed this issue in an upcoming release. APPLICATION: In daily use VocAlign is somewhat similar to Melodyne in how you import audio etc. In Cubase, Nuendo, and Logic, the actual process of Aligning vocals etc. is very much the same. In PT 10 it is slightly different because it’s treated as an Audio Suite plug-in. There is also a standalone version available. For Logic and Nuendo/Cubase versions aligning requires several steps. Now before I share them, if you are new to using sends, auxs & side chains, don’t be intimidated. There are several steps that you must take to use VocAlign. It’s more than just adding an effect like a compressor on an audio track in your mixer. I do promise though, that the by third track you align, it will be second nature! Also, once you learn how to use a side chain, all kinds of creative engineering tricks will be at your fingertips! These are basic techniques and tools you need to learn anyway. So here goes step by step for Cubase: First open an AUX/EFX channel with VocAlign. Now, find the “target” Vocal track (the one you want to align with your original), and add VocAlign as an INSERT plug-in. Next, in VocAlign, enable the Side Chain input button on the top, and it will turn orange. Now take your original master vocal and assign one of its SENDS to the VocAlign SIDE CHAIN. Make sure it is enabled and has good level. Next you let Vocalign import the original vocal in real time by clicking the Capture button and hitting play at the beginning of the section. Once the tracks are imported into VocAlign, Stop the transport, and simply hit the edit button, and you’re done! FYI: There is also a helpful video tutorial on the website. The pitch is not changed, the timing is nailed and you will love the results. I had great results with lead doubles and BGV’s. I tried it on a pair of electric guitar doubles that were close but not exact. Vocalign turned them into super tight doubles that could have taken an hour or so to edit by hand. The process and results were the same in all three DAWs. This amazing plug takes your BGV vocals from
good to great in no time. I tried it on a horn section and lined up the players to the lead trumpet. If you have good isolation between players it works even better. PRICE: There are several versions of VocAlign. Project 3, and Pro 4. Project 3 sells for $325.00, ($289.00 street) and is probably fine for most applications. Pro 4 sells for $585.00 and is going to be somewhat higher in quality do to increased alignment accuracy. Pro 4 has a more sophisticated algorithm and can align up to 5 minutes of audio at a time vs. 2 minutes with Project 3. Most people won’t hear the difference, especially in a BGV stack. I recommend getting the Project 3 if you are on a budget, and upgrading later on as you grow. VocAlign is an amazing “must have” plug-in that will take your productions to the next level. I do recommend you take the time to study the manual. It’s always nice to KNOW what all those extra buttons and features actually do! You can find more info about VocAlign and Synchro Arts’ other products and demos at: http://www.synchroarts.com WISH LIST: Not much. VocAlign does what it claims and expertly well. The manuals cover a lot of technical instruction that could be included in video form. That would be nice.
Michael Hodge is a producer, engineer and recording artist. He’s a guitar player on staff at Lakewood Church in Houston TX. He and his amazing wife Carrie Mcdowell Hodge record and lead worship together at conferences internationally. Their passion is for the nations and to stir up the next generation of worship leaders both singers and musicians . Michael is in constant pursuit of great tones and great gear! WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM MAY/JUN 2012
By Craig Kelly
There’s A Train A Coming
I’m sure that no one thinks of a church service as a show, production, or an event; but the same professional commitment and dedication that the pros have in their work should always be brought to your position as a volunteer. If you give 110% in your outside job, then you should at least give 200% in your efforts and work ethic at church, right? As a thirty-five year veteran in television production, it is ingrained into my brain that no one, outside of the crew, should ever know that there are problems along the way of producing a TV show or production (when possible). I think that the past is riddled with stories of heroic efforts to save the production or event from unforeseen failure – especially a live event. I also think that the people involved in those event-saving stories had probably prepared themselves, at least mentally, for anything to happen and what to do if it did happen. Do you prepare? Do you check, double check, and triple check your gear, equipment, and station surroundings before each and every live production? Of course, not everything can be thought through. If your legs give out while operating a camera for example; but you can plan on a making sure you are safe at all times. Perhaps you are a bit complacent because nothing has ever happened on your watch. I like to remember that everything in my production world is manmade and electronic – both ingredients for failure. As for God’s plans – I can’t help you there. You have all heard of the saying “The show must go on”, right? In the secular world, that generally means that as a crew, team, production member, or staff that, no matter what, we have to do whatever is humanly possible to finish the event so that the end viewer, attendee, client, customer, parishioner, congregation member, audience member, or crowd never has a clue that something has gone sideways. In reality, there are enough possibilities of system or human error in presentations involving production gear of any type that it’s always best to back up everything where possible. The pros do it, why wouldn’t you do it at church? Maybe you can’t double up on everything you do, but maybe you can do things that would make the least impact. How about running an extra camera cable or intercom cable into the room, so if there is a failure the new cable can easily be connected? How about having a standby microphone nearby, just in case? OK, these are probably obvious choices, but have you thought through as many failure scenarios as possible, and what you would do if it happened to you? I’m not a pilot, but I was told once that an airplane pilot doesn’t practice crashing... they practice recovering. How about you? Are you ready? luckily got the arrivals. Most people rarely know what challenges we all go through.
Jim C • As for anecdotes more specifically about superhuman effort, a few years ago, I inexplicably collapsed during the 1st few minutes of Fox Championship Rodeo - a production I worked for 7-10 yrs. I came-to a few minutes later to find that my producer/ director had summoned the onsite paramedics (who are there to attend to gored bullriders & trampled cowboys) while he ran my camera. I sat out the remainder of the 1st half (VIOLENTLY So, I’ve mentioned before that I ill and barely outside radio signal), but manage a free LinkedIn group called clambered up to the position in time TV Camera Operators. This is a great for the 1st bucking shoot to open at the global networking and informational outset of the 2nd half. site available to all industry participants and is intended for camera operators to Carmelo O • This happened during a share information with me as I research live show about a singing competition. writing these articles. Recently, I posted The jib operator and the engineer were the challenge of - Tell me an example trying to level the jib when suddenly of “The show must go on” that you were one of the weights of about 50 pounds involved in. Although these examples are fell from the jib, landing right where not from church productions, they will the participants were sitting (since the give you some great examples of going jib was on the second floor for the full above and beyond in the world of TV. shots). Thankfully, no one was hurt, but These are just for your enjoyment. I do I was very scared just knowing what not recommend that anyone risk their could happen. After that the weights lives for TV. You may not run into any of were tied and secured. these scenarios at church, but I hope you enjoy a few behind-the-scenes, global TV There you have it – a few behind the scenes stories from the TV Camera stories. Operator group on LinkedIn. Please feel to join the group, check out my blog at Doug M • During a live broadcast of craigjkelly.com, make comments, ask our morning show “The Good Life”, I questions, invite your friends, poke fun, tilted the camera upward for a mirror shot and ended up catching the camera, at or just say hello at zoomit.cam@ craigjkelly.com and please – think safety! weight box, and monitor - basically the entire upper assembly. It was noisy, but the talent and guest didn’t blink and I stood there holding this assembly until the next commercial. Engineering forgot to bolt everything down after some work had been done. You’re welcome gentlemen.
Loy N • I was on zone crew on the Amazing Race in Geneva, Switzerland. Just before contestants arrived, some local kids threw the clue box into the lake. I jumped in, plucked it out, and
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.
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
The Musician’s Choice
Truly Professional, Truly Personal
M-48 Live Personal Mixer
Drew Bodine – Songwriter, Lead Vocal and Guitar Drew Bodine Band, www.drewbodineband.com
Never before has a personal mixer given you this much control and exibility over your monitor mix. Each musician can have their own unique arrangement of 16 unique stereo groups chosen from 40 common sources. Adjust mix using level, pan, 3-band EQ and solo. Enhance the auditory experience using built-in reverb and an ambient mic. Expand your options with multiple headphones jacks, separate balanced outputs and auxiliary input.
“The M-48’s are the best sounding personal mixing system that I have used. I sing better because the built-in reverb makes my voice feel live through my in-ear monitors.”
Check out Drew’s interview at www.rolandsystemsgroup.com/drew
Digital Console Connection
S-MADI REAC to MADI Bridge Connect the M-48 Personal Mixing System to any popular brand of digital console using the S-MADI REAC to MADI Bridge. By using a digital console’s MADI interface (sometimes an optional card), you can connect to the S-MADI and send up to 40 sources to the M-48 mixers. The S-MADI includes a built-in split port for connecting a local M-48 so the console operator can easily monitor or assist any musician’s position. Alternatively use the split port to send 40 channels to a multi-channel recording solution such as the SONAR REAC Recording System.
For more information on the V-Mixing System visit www.rolandsystemsgroup.com/vmix
WORSHIP TEAM TRAINING
By Branon Dempsey
Know the Flow
Connecting Songs in Worship
When it comes to worship leading, how do you deal with the “deadspots” in between songs? True, silence is golden, but not when long durations induce people into a coma. Keeping a consistent flow in worship not only engages people in God’s praise, but also sustains connectivity and intimacy. With just a few tweaks, you can help change those awkward moments and sighs into intrigue and engagement. On our Worship Team Training Facebook site, I’ve encountered a few folks who have struggled with this issue. It’s also one we cover extensively in our one-on-one private WTT Weekend Workshops for worship teams. There are many reasons why the flow in worship may be disconnected. It can range from lack of preparation, to lack of musical ideas, or simply not knowing what to do when the song is over. There is no magic bullet to this answer, nor a one size-fits-all. However, we will look at three ways to help spark your creativity in making a good flow for the next worship service. Connectivity by Key: As keys change throughout the worship set, so does the range of pitch and tonal landscape. If you push the key too high or too low, regardless of how well it may benefit the worship leader, it can hinder the congregation and force them to withdraw. Good ranges are middle C to C Treble line or D (middle) to D (treble line). Choosing good keys is about finding comfortable ranges for everyone. Light (Hall) Key of A | Forever Reign (Ingram/Morgan) Key of B | How He Loves (McMIllian) Key of C. Another trick is to end the final chord on the tune “Forever Reign,” using a keyboard synth patch to slowly fade into rd By Skip - Moving by Fourths: Happy a C2 chord (omit the 3 ) to begin the verse of “How He Loves.” You can also Day (Cantelon/Hughes) Key of C | Your Grace is Enough (Maher) Key of F | Glory use the electric lead to outline the chorus to God Forever (Beeching/Fee) Key of B by few notes as a companion to the | Here I Am To Worship (Hughes) Key of strings. Ideas are endless, just pick one or two and practice to build familiarity. E. Connecting the Hook or Melody: There is more than one way to begin a song, but connecting them… that’s another song. Let’s say, from the example above, we’re moving from “Hosanna” to “Marvelous Light.” Near the end of “Hosanna,” we’re holding out the G chord for 4 bars and vamping the lyrical line “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna.” Afterwards, move into the bridge of “Marvelous Light,” sing/ play once through: “lift my hands and spin around…” Upon the next section, direct modulate into A, right on verse 1 and move through the tune. Sometimes, beginning with the bridge or an ending vamp of a song can bring a fresh change to the mix and build up.
Once you’ve worked out the kinks and your team is comfortable, try one of your ideas out in a service. Remember the simple things as well: brief passage of a related Scripture verse, key line of the next song’s Chorus or a short meaningful prayer (not a sermon). Final encouragement: have fun! Now that you’ve done all to prepare and rehearse your parts, test your wings and see how it flies. Connect with the music and the moment, as each song completes the musical landscape. Enjoy the flow of worship, unhindered, as people continuously lift up sung prayers to God. Worship Team Training - Branon Dempsey
Another idea is moving from “Glory to God Forever” into “Here I Am To Worship” by using the Choruses. On the last line of “Glory To God Forever,” the last chord is an F#sus moving back to the 1 Chord. Instead, move from F#sus to BMaj. sus (5th chord of new key) – hold for 2 bars – begin to sing the line “so here I am to worship…” and now your into the song’s key of E. This modulating method is referred to as “Pivot Chord Modulation,” Not just a song set, but a key set. Like as you pivot on the 5 chord of the new a large orchestral work, each movement key, and resolve to the 1 of the new key. generally has it’s own key, context and Connectivity by Groove: this flow into the next musical section. Moving movement is one of the easiest, yet is often from key to key not just sets-up the new overlooked in stringing songs together. tonal center, but also delivers a sense Simply, you’re using the instrumentation of emotional direction. For instance, of the band to change gears. A few as you’re choosing songs for worship, ideas: ending on the song “Your Grace is arrange them by a progression of keys. As Enough,” as you hit the final chord, hold in a well-constructed melody, ascending that last note (fermata) and during that or descending keys can set the tone and same time, have the drums begin the next mood of the music flow. Two approaches tune “Glory To God Forever.” To spice it of key arrangements are to move by step, up, you can go Church of Christ style and and by skip. sing the chorus acappella with drums, By Step – Moving by Scale: Hosanna and let the band enter at the top of Verse (Baloche/Brown) Key of G | Marvelous 1 along with all voices.
Branon Dempsey is the CEO/ 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
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
THE LEADER IN DIGITAL WIRELESS
XD-V NEWDigital Wireless
More performers have purchased Line 6 digital wireless systems than any other brand.* From instrument wireless to handheld, lavalier and headset mics, all Line 6 digital wireless systems are built on the same digital wireless platform—the most advanced in the pro audio industry. They utilize precision modeling to provide the sonic nuances of the most popular wired mics, EQ filters to compensate for mic placement, and even cable length resistance. All systems feature one-step setup, compander-free 24-bit audio clarity, and ultra-reliable, license-free operation around the world. In addition, the new XD-V75 systems feature signal encryption, 300-foot range, and 14 channels—all available all the time, anywhere in the world.
I was consistently impressed with both the tone and range of the unit… I was set up and running in wireless bliss in less than five minutes.”
—Bruce Adolph, Christian Musician
Precision Modeling Technology
XD-V handheld systems offer up to 10 spectacular models of the world’s most popular microphones. Headset and lavalier varieties provide EQ filter modeling, and Relay series instrument wireless features cable resistance modeling. Perform with the confidence that you have the right sound for your voice or instrument.
The Line 6 digital wireless platform, developed by wireless pioneer Guy Coker, is the most advanced in the pro audio industry. Operating in the 2.4GHz band, Line 6 wireless systems feature 24-bit, compander-free audio quality and encoded DCL™ (Digital Channel Lock), ensuring signal integrity at all times.
Line 6 digital wireless systems use a common technology platform that allows users to mix and match components for maximum versatility. A system can be made up of any combination of instruments and microphones. For added versatility, transmitters are compatible with standard third-party microphones.
One-step Setup, Worldwide
Choose a channel on the transmitter and receiver and they lock together. Large multimicrophone systems can be configured quickly and easily, no need for RF tuning, squelch adjustments, or intermodulation calculators. Line 6 wireless systems are fully FCC compliant and operate license free worldwide.
STAGE. YOUR REVOLUTION.
*Based on January to September 2011 data supplied by MI SalesTrak®
©2012 Line 6, Inc. Line 6®, Relay® and DCL™ are trademarks of Line 6, Inc. All rights reserved.
Continued from page 10 of the microphones towards the hi-hat so you get as little hi-hat sound in the snare mikes as possible. The hi-hat mike is as far away from the snare drums as possible and about six inches high off of the “closed” hat. I prefer pointing it half way between the edge and the bell of the top hat. Tom miking should be approached the same way as the snare drums. A 45 degree angle and about two to three inches off of the head just on the edge of the drum. ***See photo #4 (pg.10)*** As an exception to the “dynamic” mike on drums rule, I like to use the Shure Beta 98’s on my toms. (Mini-condensers) They have great response to the high-end snap I like to hear from toms, but still reproduce the low tones. These mikes don’t look like they could do that, but they do! On a budget I would be happy to use Shure SM57’s on all the drums and a PG series of mikes for the condensers. (PG81) You would save a lot of money without losing that much quality. In fact in many large studios the SM57 is still a drum standard. Start with a basic miking set up if you’re not doing anything at this time. The kick microphone plus an overhead is a great launch into drum miking. Remember, you are miking the kit for clarity, not to overpower the rest of the band. And, as a drummer, you have to control your dynamics. Adjust to the room you’re playing in, whether it’s a small chapel, choir room, home meeting, or mega-church. Smaller sticks, hot rods, or brushes may become necessary tools for your situation. In fact I just came back from a tour with Paul Wilbur where I had to use hot rods for one of the venues… and a small stick for side stick sounds. Let me know how it works in your situation. You can contact me at my website – www. carlalbrecht.com -- I also have a DVD about drum sound at my website called “Drum Miking Made Easy.” Check it out if you want to dive in deeper. Blessings on your drum mix, Carl Continued from page 32
sing and is one that I am sure will find its place in churches around the world. Another of my favorites found on Center of it All is the anthemic worship offering, “You Are the Glory”. A humble and emotional prayer to God, this song has some really nice moments as the song progresses going from quiet, contemplative verses to a solid, robust praise chorus. I couldn’t help but lean back, turn up my speakers and sing along. Great song of worship! As a worship album, Center of It All has it where it counts; memorable choruses, honest and sincere Biblically based lyrics, a significantly relevant theme and wonderful instrumental moments. Jon Egan’s emotionally charged vocals only add to what is going to be one of the great worship albums of 2012. Fike The Moment We’ve Been Waiting For 1. The Moment We’ve Been Waiting For 2. Grace 3. Jehovah 4. Wait 5. Song of Sacrifice 6. Glorious You Are 7. Behold Our God 8. My Savior Lord 9. In This House 10. Be Still 11. Outshout the Lies 12. Chosen 13. That’s Why I Praise Dana and Richie Fike have been leading worship and writing as a husband and wife duo since 1999, and have been serving the local church as the Worship Pastors at Vanguard Church in Colorado Springs since 2002. Their first indie album, Make a Noise received critical notoriety and featured the song, “Ascend to Heaven” which was nominated for a GMA Dove Award in 2009. Now signed by Integrity, the duo have released their first fulllength major label debut; The Moment We’ve Been Waiting For. Strong vocals, intricate harmonies, and a fresh writing style greeted me right away with the first track, and as I got deeper into the release, I knew I had found something special. The best overall song is the title track where Dana’s voice shines and takes us on a worship journey that paints a beautiful picture of what the day of Christ’s return is going to look like. The lyrical content is rich and meaty and the melody is memorable. What I loved the most about this song is that we don’t get the title phrase until the final bridge and it is a gem of a lyric… ‘And with the parting of clouds, His eyes are on His bride. The restoration is now, for she is lily-white. All of creation will shout, “This is the moment we’ve been waiting for!’ The lyrical pictures painted in this opening song completely blew me away, and I couldn’t wait to hear more. Richie sings the next song, which is a simple
and honest acoustically driven number called “Grace”. His vocal is a bit more on the raw side with a gritty, bluesy quality, and is a nice contrast from Dana’s. The two of them together produce a rich, warm vocal as they weave their way through this straightforward rockGospel tune. A lovely Gospel choir adds to the integrity of this track, and I could almost swear I was I was in a Southern Gospel church praising the Lord with the community. “Wait” is a fun catchy pop-acoustic kind of song that reminded me of some of Caedmon’s Call’s early coffeehouse-stlye music. At first listen this song may seem lyrically simple and fun; but the message contained within is actually surprisingly deep as we get what is almost a little parable about the importance of patience in the life of believers, and that in every circumstance God is still in control. In stark musical contrast to “Wait” is the deeply moving and vertical worship song “Glorious You Are”. Adorned with a gorgeous string section and piano backing, this song is a very intimate prayer both proclaiming the wonder of God, and examining the need for believers to stay close to His heart. This one is one of my personal favorites. I really appreciate it when songwriters find ways to write worship songs about stuff that mainstream writers sometimes forget. “In This House” is a perfect example of a song that fills a “gap” as songwriter Brian Doerksen puts it. This is a great worship song about the church on earth, and how God wants us to worship and return to Him daily in His house. Way to find the “gap” Fike! I know our church will be singing this very soon. “Outshout the Lies” is a very upbeat rock tune about how the truth of Christ has overcome the world, while “Chosen” is a very eclectic acoustic guitar piece that speaks of the conquering power of God and how He chooses us as dearly loved children. “The Moment We’ve Been Waiting For” is indeed a hidden gem among the big name, guitar driven, synth heavy world of modern worship music. Each song is lyrically rich and steeped in scripture, and the vocal contrast between Richie and Dana is exceptional throughout. The songs are diverse and Godhonoring, and I really appreciated the lyrical pictures that were painted within. Overall, I was very impressed by this duo and I can’t wait to hear more from them on future releases.
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: email@example.com.
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.
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
SEATTLE / TACOMA
SPRING GUITAR SHOW 2012
Guitars Amps Mandolins Lap Steels Ukes Banjos Pedals
Sunday, May 20 9:30am-4:30pm Meydenbauer Center Bellevue, WA
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Admission $7.00 On-Site Food & Drinks Free Workshops and Clinics
Exhibit Tables $75.00 each
For information or booth reservations call 253-445-1973 The Seattle-Tacoma Spring Guitar Show 4227 S. Meridian #C-275 Puyallup, WA 98373 firstname.lastname@example.org
11100 NE 6th Street l Bellevue, WA l 98004 Directions 425-637-1020
Do n’t fo rg et ab ou t ou r Fa ll Gu ita r Sh ow in Ke nt Su nday Sept. 16th
By Martin Stillion
Playing the Mandolin: Experiencing Technical Issues
OK, it’s time for a couple of anecdotes chords, anything you need to do. So I’ve been keeping up my sleeve, the then, here’s a technical issue that’s been better (I hope) to make a point. bothering me, which I believe I may have finally solved. The first is a story I heard from a friend who’s a college flute instructor. She was For quite a while I’ve had trouble hearing teaching at a Christian college, and my instruments in the monitor mix at my one of her students abruptly quit her flute church. Could be a number of reasons: lessons. This student claimed that the dead acoustic spots on the platform, primary reason to make music was to other musicians’ preferences for what worship God, and it was too difficult to they need in the monitor mix, or perhaps worship him while focusing on improving even partial hearing loss as I gracefully her flute technique. So she switched to age. But whatever the reason, when voice lessons, as if singing required any I can’t hear my instrument, I either play less technique than playing the flute. tentatively or whack it too hard, which makes me a less effective musician. The second is something that happened to me on an overseas musical mission trip The solution begins with the headphone that went horribly wrong. It’s a long story, jack on my preamp. No, I’m not using but I was part of a worship band that was a pair of headphones—I need to hear thrust into performance situations without the rest of the band as well as myself. adequate preparation. We sounded And years ago I tried a Shure wireless so bad, we were driving people away in-ear monitor, but found it cumbersome. from our concerts! When we asked the Technology, however, has finally caught manager to schedule more rehearsal up to my needs. I bought a Bluetooth time, we were told, essentially, “Don’t transmitter (the kind you’d plug into worry about that, you’re here to serve.” your stereo in order to use wireless headphones), paired it with an ordinary Now, I have a whole theological Bluetooth one-ear headset of the type soapbox I could climb onto, but I’ll try you’d use with a cell phone, and plugged to keep my remarks practical. Both of it into that headphone jack, with the help these cases involve someone assuming— of a ¼-inch plug adapter. Voila! It works, incorrectly, I believe—that worshiping the components are small enough to throw God through music somehow means in an instrument case, it’s significantly sweeping technical issues under the rug. cheaper than the Shure was, and I no And I just don’t agree. Ignoring problems longer need to worry about whether I’m doesn’t make them go away. Unresolved in the monitors. Much better than hoping technical issues make you a less effective the problem would go away on its own. musician, which makes you less effective I suppose I look a little silly wearing a at leading worship. Bluetooth on the platform, but not as silly as I would look with a full studio headset. The way to get past a technical issue, so that it doesn’t distract you from worship, is All this depends, of course, on having a to deal with it. Whatever it is, slow down preamp and/or a DI with a headphone and take the time to get it out of the way. jack. If your mandolin has an onboard Practice your flute, learn your mandolin preamp (as in a Godin, Ovation, or Crafter) or you use a simple belt-pack preamp like a Fishman G series or Baggs GigPro, then you’re out of luck as far as the preamp goes, but you can look for a DI box with a headphone jack, such as the Moen Buffalo. Or you can shop for an all-in-one preamp/DI unit. I use a three-channel rackmounted Rane MAP33—which is no longer made, was exorbitantly priced when new, and is more preamp than almost anyone needs. The single-channel Rane AP13 is a lot easier to find and much more affordable. You could also look at the Radial ToneBone PZ-Pre. Some units, such as the popular Baggs Para Acoustic DI, I’m told, would require a separate headphone amp to make this solution work. Perhaps you play in an acoustic situation and are immune from the perils of plugging in. Perhaps this solution isn’t something you need right now. And, to quote Stuart Smalley, that’s OK. There’s still a general principle here. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to identify something that’s been holding you back as a worship musician— something you’ve been hoping would just go away, be it a buzzing fret, a problem somewhere in your signal chain, or that A-flat harmonic minor scale you’ve been meaning to practice. Now go and improve your effectiveness in worship by finding a solution to that problem. It’s the right thing to do.
Multi-instrumentalist Martin Stillion, a 20-year veteran of worship bands, plays at Seattle’s Bethany Presbyterian Church. In his other lives he’s a husband, father, writer, editor, Webmaster, composer, and musician. Learn more than you wanted to know about Martin at www.stillion.com/ martin or www.emando.com.
MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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Continued from page 8 play in Drop-D, DADGAD, ½ step down, fullstep down, open G or A or whatever your technically-tuned mind can create! It’s really fantastic that you would no longer have to make the audience (or congregation) watch you tune or watch you change guitars! Play whatever, however with no distractions… just great music! This alternate tuning (A.T.) control is easily customizable and can store ten of your own creations. No need to connect to a computer, just hold down the A.T. knob to enter ‘program’ mode and play the notes above or below the 12th fret (0fret point or nut) to store how you want the string tuned above or below standard pitch. I’m a big capo user. With the simplicity of customizing the A.T. knob, before each song set, I could quickly store each capo position and easily turn the A.T. knob rather than set my capo between songs.
TIPS FOR TIGHT TEAMS
Continued from page 18
the song will change in an instant. I’d like to see our worship teams do the same thing! So on the one hand, people are facilitated to worship in a comfort zone. On the other hand, they never really know what’s around the next corner. BA: Yes! And what else I think a lot of worship leaders are looking for is the kind of flow you discuss in Chapter 7, “Find The Flow.” That’s where you can experience “schmaltzification” (another one of your new words, of course). SH: Ah, yes: schmaltzy-schmarmy. Schmaltzification helps us to “mellifluate” (another coined word). We flow. We play improvisationally in free-worship mode. Openended, schmaltzification allows people time for individual expressions of worship to the Lord. BA: Hmmm. . . SH: As a kid, when I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan I said, “I gotta do that! Everybody will pay attention to me if I play guitar and sing well.” The longer I’ve been a worshiper, the more I realize that the goal of worship is not to draw attention to oneself or to the team. It’s actually to diminish self-focus so that attention to the Lord increases. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to work until we’re skilled at a level where we don’t distract people anymore. At that point, we fade into the background and all eyes are on Him. The people are focused on GOD instead of us—and that is the goal of “Tips for Tight Teams.”
Sandy Hoffman serves the worship community in Santa Fe, NM as a Minister of Worship Arts. Find out more about his “Tips BA: In Chapter 9, you talk about “Lead and for Tight Teams” online at: Be Led (in every area of life through personal www.WorshipTeamWork.com leadership and humility)”. I think that’s another big topic that worship-guys grapple with.
SH: You know the old saying: “lead, follow, or get out of the way!” I’m not too big on that “get out of the way” part, but in every area of life we’re either leading or following at any given moment. The “Lead and Be Led” chapter begins with the heart-things, making sure we’re always worshipping warm: our hearts, hands, and voices staying ready for worship. Then it gets into the practical areas like putting the song list together, always moving upward in key. I like to at least keep that as a rule of thumb. But over the years I’ve discovered some creative ways to actually modulate to a lower key, from song to song, while fooling the ear into thinking you went up instead of down. Those are fun! You’ll read more about them in Chapter 8, “Make the Mod’.” Then we boil it down to some dos, don’ts and things to avoid in worship. Do choose and use good quality songs. Don’t manipulate, facilitate! Create a comfortable environment for people to worship without manipulation! Avoid uncomfortable keys and awkward song sequences, etc. BA: How about other things to avoid? Does that include drinking too much coffee before you hit the stage? SH: That’s actually back in Chapter 3, “Worship Warm.” We cover it because caffeine constricts the vocal chords and dehydrates. If you’re really committed, (laughs) you avoid coffee! And no chocolate or dairy products either (oh, that hurts)! BA: This book has so much to offer! I believe it has something practical for every church and every denomination. What is the ultimate takeaway you expect for the readers? SH: The goal of “Tips for Tight Teams” (and it doesn’t matter if you’re Pentecostal, liturgical or anywhere in between) is to raise the skill level of your worship team to the point where they’re no longer a distraction to the people they are leading.
INTRODUCING the BOOK SERIES
Tips for Tight Teams
by Sandy Hoffman
My overall opinion…this guitar is a winner! To purchase all the instruments that this guitar models would cost tens-of-thousands of dollars. And, you can’t forget or overlook that this is not just a cool modeling guitar… it’s a James Tyler guitar through and through. On Easter Sunday, I had my lead guitar player, Francis Ousley try out the JTV-59 through his Line 6 HD500. (Back in the early 80’s, Francis played lead guitar player for Bob Seger). We connected with the Variax (CAT5) cable and it sounded great! Francis took to the guitar quickly and used four different models during the worship set (including the acoustic, which was a nice touch). List price for the JTV-59 is $2099.99 with a MAP price of $1499.99. www.p33music.com www.bos-capos.com Mitch is one of the pioneers in the development of the cutcapo, an alternate tuning device used by many worship leaders today, including Chris Tomlin and Rick Cua. He is a worship pastor in Sulphur, LA, a regular contributor to Worship Musician and Christian Musician Magazine, and has been part of CMS since 2004. Mitch and his wife, Noelle, have been married for 20 years and have 3 awesome kids!
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MAY/JUN 2012 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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A FEW MOMENTS WITH…
By Dwayne Larring
A Sunday Morning Experience
I was on the phone catching up with Bruce Adolph a few days ago and he asked if I had anything on my heart that I would like to write about for this issue. I shared with him some things I have been thinking about and we agreed that it would be worth putting some thoughts down. Well, little did I know at the time that I would get a call that would change up what I had planned. I received a last minute call on Friday from a good friend of mine who is helping lead worship at a new church plant in West LA. His regular guitar player was snowed in at Lake Arrowhead after a storm rolled through. He said he was in a bind and needed someone to help fill in. I happen to have some other friends that go to the church as well and have heard some really great things about this new community so I was eager to see what was happening over there and gladly said yes. It is now Monday, the day after and I would like to share with you some thoughts about my experience yesterday. I showed up in front of a movie theatre in Westwood at 8:15 am and saw a group of people standing out front waiting for someone to open up so they could transform this cool little theatre into a church for a few hours. After all, WE are the church and where 2 or more are gathered…well you get the point right? A few minutes later a guy showed up and before you know it there was a children’s church area set up over by the concessions stand and guys were unloading a trailer with a sound system and a couple flood lights that would serve as the “stage” lighting. Only there wasn’t a stage, just a little area between the front row and the screen where the band set up at a slanted angle. What stuck out to me the most was the attitude of the people. There was such anticipation and joy, like they couldn’t wait to get set up and start the service. It was clear to me that their expectations were high. They knew that they were a part of something special. After getting the sound set up and quickly running through the set list we got together and prayed for the service as people made their way in. We played a couple songs to start with and then they went about their family business, greeting the people around them and announcements etc. The pastor then shared the Word. After the message we came back up and worshiped together in response to the Gospel that had been shared. We started to make our way through the rest of the set list and things started to flow in a natural and authentic way. At one point it was as if there was no barrier between the band and the congregation. We were all worshiping together as one voice. There was a flow that was natural and organic. The worship leader was leading as if he was just another person in the congregation that just happened to be leading the charge. Sure we had run the songs before hand but that was just so we were all on the same page musically speaking. The worship ebbed and flowed as the Spirit was leading. It wasn’t anything spectacular or planned out but it was real, it was authentic. The pastor came back up at one point and prayed for some specific things that he felt that the Lord was dealing with and we just continued to pray and worship. The people were truly meeting with God. It felt like we could have continued for ages but we had to end and get out of there because after all, they had to get ready to open the theatre for the early matinee of whatever movie it was that they happened to be showing. my church home”. I asked him if he had ever been to a worship conference or read any books on leading. He replied “no, I just spend time during the week worshiping by myself and praying over the set. I want to make sure that I have actually spent time where I am trying to lead people”. At the core that’s what it really comes down to. You can’t lead people to a place you haven’t actually been yourself. It’s one thing to play a set of songs in church on Sunday and it’s an entirely different thing to “lead” a congregation in a time of worship. There’s a massive difference between performing and serving. Unfortunately, I see a lot of people who can’t seem to distinguish the two.
This is not meant to be a mega church vs. small church plant rant, not at all. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of playing with another friend of mine who leads at one of the largest churches in Southern California. There were producers, stage managers, tech teams and lots of rehearsal time. It was a very big operation. The awesome thing is that I had a similar experience there that I had in that vibey little theatre in LA yesterday. Jesus was there meeting with people in a special way. I guess it comes down to the fact that both of my friends had actually been where they were leading the people. Let me ask you, have you spent time in the place you are trying to One of the main things that I took away lead people? from my experience yesterday was how simple it all was. There were no service producers or committees to have to run things through. No stage managers Dwayne Larring is an LA keeping us on standby getting ready to based producer/songwriter “load” the stage. No dress rehearsals or who was a founding tech run thrus. There were no mid week member of SONICFLOOD band rehearsals. The musicians were not and has produced artists “pros” at all, in fact, a couple of them such as Matt Redman, Tim Hughes and might not even get a chance to play at Ben Cantelon to name a few. Dwayne is a lot of bigger churches. After the service currently in the band The Hymnals, and I was chatting with my friend who was is the Creative Partner in an exciting new leading and I said that I had no idea online worship music production service he was a worship leader. He quickly called Modern Worship Producer. He replied “I’m not, at least I have never had is also involved in developing worship teams and speaking at conferences any ambition to be. I’m only doing this worldwide. Dwayne can be reached at because I was asked to help and this is email@example.com.
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