Category Archives: Creative Worship

“Serious” Listening Skills Needed

What I'm Listening To Now....

What I’m Listening To Now….

Lots of blogs talk about what the blogger is listening too “right now.”  I went through a phase a few years ago where I only listen to Shane and Shane, particularly their “Upstairs” CD which had me totally captured.  Since then it’s been kinda nominal as far as obsessively listening to certain music or musicians.

That’s actually a bit out of my character since I have been known to obsess about things in spurts.  I might be stuck in a “thing” for a while and then get bored and look for the next obsession to brood over.

Then a while back I watched a movie.  Nothing unusual about that since I watch lots of movies. It’s a great film and I would recomend it do anybody who enjoys history, pirates, and the commraderie of men.  The film was Master and Commander and the film score features Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach.

Now I’ve had Yo-Yo’s cello playing Bach Suites in my CD Player before the movie came out but something about the two of them together triggered a note in me and I’ve craved the music obsessively ever since; especially the prelude in G major.

I listened this morning again and found myself in such awe and amazement at the simplicity and complexity of the piece.  Bach was truly inspired.  There’s this dual sided kind of expression in the piece, with large intervals that speak to me of the contrast between what I want and what God wants for me.  A kind of struggle of the heart that I identify with.  Like Paul in Romans, willing but weak to perform good and deny the flesh.   And so, I am brought to tears as I listen and the more I listen the more I hear in the piece.  It’s only 2:22 minutes long and leaves me wanting more each time.  So, I put it on repeat in my iTunes and hide in the piece as the Lord speaks to me in every note ultimately, like the music, finding joy in the end.

Thank YOU LORD for the talent and gifts you bestowed on Johann Sebastian Bach.  I’m so glad that he acknowledged his life and music were a gift from you.

SDG – Soli Deo Gloria
J S Bach appended these initials at the end of each of his Cantatas scores.
  Soli Deo Gloria, to the Glory of God alone,
they signified his deep devotion and desire to serve God through his music. (ref)

SDG

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Filed under Check it Out!, Creative Worship, Devotion, Latest Music Binge, musician

More Capo Info

I recently got a call from Ric Flauding, one of the musicians without whom my CD would not have been possible. Ric composes, orchestrates, arranges and plays guitar beautifully. His knowledge and experience far exceed my own. And in the few hours that I’ve spent with him and his wife Denise I’ve grown as a musician and person, and come to truly appreciate them as friends and fellow worshippers.

Anyways, Ric calls me the other day about an article he was writting on the capo. We had a great conversation about using capo’s and about one of my pet peeves- offering our best to God as musicians. I’ve said it on my blog before, “If we are created in the image of God and He is the creator of the universe, then why does the christian music scene seem to be following behind the secular?” And, “I wonder what the great writers of the music of the church like, Handel, Vivaldi, Mendellsonn, Bach and others would have to say about the quality of some of the music we call great.” (ok, so that’s another post)

So, as I said we had a great conversation. Ultimately, we talked about capos and the article. To read what Ric has to say visit Soniccontrol.com. It’s informative and covers some very good, very practical instruction.

Get a cut capo here.

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Filed under Creative Worship, Cut Capo, Gear, Guitar Tips, Music Education, Resources, Worship Guitar, Worship Leaders Speak

Things I learned from a Honda Civic commercial Part 1:Ducks in a Row

This is the first a several posts I hope to write over the next few weeks on Worship Team Leadership and Team-Work. I was inspired by the following videos. Be sure to watch all four of the videos of The Making of the Honda Civic Choir TV Ad and see why I learned so much.

I hope you enjoy the videos and that you, too, will glean some good worship team building tools for your ministry.

To watch all three videos of The Making of the Honda Civic tv ad  visit this site and click the “watch” option.

Leading a choir or worship team can be as simple or complex as we choose. The final product usually reflects which. We get out what we put in.

While watching the Honda Civic Choir prepare for the TV ad I was challenged and reminded about many things. The first was being organized or “having my ducks in a row.”

Having a plan and preparation makes things so much easier, don’t you think? After all, our perfect example, The Almighty Creator, had a plan from before there was time, didn’t He? (Matthew 25:34) So we would be wise to follow His example.

Before we introduce a new song to our teams and choirs, before we have our first meeting for the “Big Holiday Production,” before we practice or rehearse we should prepare.

The Honda Choir didn’t just come together like the Big Bang Theory. Someone had a vision and communicated it to a team of folks who would help him fulfill that vision. You can see how the planning team hashed out what they wanted and each one understood the direction and expectations for the final outcome.

So, my first lesson taught me to go back and rethink how I prepare before events, services and practices. Make sure I’ve thought through all aspects and have communicated with my pastor and staff involved when needed. Get my plan on paper or do my homework, be sure everything is ready for the team or choir so they can do their part to fulfill the plan. That means making sure the music is ready, (one of my weak areas), in the right key for each musician, etc.. I love the Planning Center because it helps me in these areas.

There you have my first thoughts… until my next post, blessings!

View all Honda Civic TV Ad Posts

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Filed under Creative Worship, Honda commercial, Music Education, Videos, Vocal Tips, Worship Education, Worship Leaders Speak, Worship team

~Vocal Blending Tips

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I’ve always been attracted to musicians who could really sing together, blending their voices until you couldn’t distinguish between them as they sang as one before the Lord. Musicians like Shane and Shane for instance.

Have you ever listened to a worship team and wondered who the lead vocalist was because they were all “leading” and all the singers stood out in the crowd? How about this, have you heard a team and couldn’t figure out which one was singing which part because they all sang “together” so well? Which would you rather listen to? Which one do you think represents worshippers who worship as one voice? (II Chronicles 5)

When we sing lead we use all our expression or all our tone to express the song in a way that others will “feel” the song. For back-up vocalist it’s a different story. If we are all trying to sing with our “lead voice” we’ll crash and the impression we give of the song will be lost in the personal expression of the singers doing their own thing.

Singing as one or blending is probably one of the most important aspects of singing as a group. Without blending everything just gets noisy. So how do we effectively teach our worship team to blend? What tools can we give them to start blending right away? Check out this teaching video by Paul Baloche, over at the ccli website, on Blending and learn some good techniques you can put to practice right away.

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Filed under Creative Worship, Music Education, Videos, Vocal Tips, Worship Education, Worship Leaders, Worship team

Does Live Looping have a place in the worship setting?

I don’t know for sure if this is the best demo for live looping to get my point across since Arthur Lee Land isn’t a worship leader but I couldn’t help myself! This is probably the best live looping demo video I’ve seen that gets explains it simply and clearly.

Live looping may not have to go this far in the worship setting but if you are a lone worship leader this could be a cool way to start the worship set during the call to worship. Songs that might work for this could be songs that have a repeated progression throughout like, Empty Me~Gene Way/ John Gomer or You Alone~Jack Parker/ David Crowder.

I used live looping during our Christmas Concert this year and it went great! I’m still trying to perfect my skills but I hope to be proficient at it enough to use it stealthily.

Talk back and give us some comments on this one. I’d like to know what you’re thinking.

See more of Arthur’s stuff.

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Filed under Creative Worship, Gear, Music Education, Resources, Videos

New Song Cafe

NewSong If you’re looking for new songs or need to know how to play a particular song, here’s a great resource.  Stop by WorshipTogether.com and visit New Song Cafe.  Here you’ll find videos where worship leaders share stories about how their songs were written and then lead you through the structure and chords of the song.   Log in to create an account and enjoy watching and learning.    Here Chris Tomlin demonstrates his song, Glory in the Highest on the New Song Cafe. 

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Filed under Check it Out!, Creative Worship, New Songs, Resources, Videos

More Creative Ways to Worship

These 4 Videos have been posted here for the sake of creativity in musicianship and fun. The first two show the exciting instrument called the Chapman Stick. One using a loop station. Very Cool.

The third is a another example of the Zendrum, highlighting a little known instrument called the Theremin, (a synthesizer,) along with Chapman Stick. Enjoy!

see more about the Theremin.

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