when eternity invades
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MAY/JUNE 2010 Volume 8, Issue 3
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The Far and Wide Issue…
You will notice some changes with this new May/June issue of Worship Musician magazine. We are in the first phase of our redesign process that will not only still include the printed version but also a digital version of the magazine – complete with links to our columnists, featured artists covered, record review recipients and our advertisers websites. In the near future our own website will start converting to mirror the changes to the print version. The digital versions are there to serve you in passing along the good content our talented writers and featured worship leaders bring to the table each issue.
voLUME 8, ISSUE 3
51 Mandolin By Martin Stillion Playing the Mandolin: Setup Jobs 52 Lighting By Greg Sisley “They’re more like guidelines than rules.” 54 A Few Moments With… By Manuel Luz How Many Lead Singers Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?
8 Product Review By Drew and David Konzelman Nord Electro 3
10 From the Drummer’s Perspective By Carl Albrecht Little Things Mean a Lot If you would like the digital magazine feel free to go to our web“It’s in the Details” site for the “how to’s”.
Even with the remarkable success of the iPad (over 500,000 units sold in the first month) and the fact that we are preparing iPad friendly versions of the magazines as well, we believe the printed magazine still has a lot of potential and purpose for our readers and we are whole heartedly committed to it. In fact we are in discussion at this moment with Hal Leonard Publishing to distribute the printed magazines to retail music stores across the country… how cool is that? Having both versions available should only open up more opportunity for us to be able to reach more congregations with help for their entire worship teams.
12 Keyboard By Ed Kerr Contrasts 15 Bass By Gary Lunn Crossing the Threshold Into Soloing
16 Vocals By Sheri Gould Tone Quality, Resonance I won’t be shy about this – I do like the iPad and I think it has a lot to offer folks. I heard one newscaster on television comment on how and Style-Part 2
he believes the iPad is a great tool for consuming content but not for developing it. That got me thinking. As a magazine (and as a conference producer for that matter) we are developers/manufacturers of good content. It is our goal to keep cultivating and producing useful and practical content... issue after issue – conference after conference. That is what we are called to do… to help you in your own pursuit of excellence in musicianship and ministry. This reminds me of that scripture that speaks of holding onto one thing with one hand and reaching out to take hold of another with your other hand… So let’s do that with this new issue – both the printed and the digital versions – pass them along and let them roam far and wide… reaching as many as possible – for His glory. Lord Bless Ya! Bruce & Judy
18 Tips for Tight Teams By Sandy Hoffman Worship Without Walls (Praising God In Public Places) 30 Record Reviews By Heidi Todd Marie Barnett Matt Boswell Meredith Andrews North Point Live Passion 33 Guest Room By Justin Fox God’s Favorite Kind of Worship 34 Foh Engineer By John Mills Compression 201 36 Creating Your Map™ By Scott A. Shuford Ministry + Artistry = Profitability? MAP™ 38 Authentic Worship By Michael Gonzales Worship Dangerously 40 Guitar By Doug Doppler Sound Advice 42 The Band By Tom Lane What About The Yoots! 46 Pocket Full Of Rocks and a Heart Full of Songs 7
20 Vicky Beeching: When Eternity Invades
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WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM MAY/JUNE 2010
By Drew and David Konzelman
Nord Electro 3
If you have ever wondered the origin of the flashy red keyboards gracing stages across the globe you are not alone. It took me a few months before I happened upon my first “Nord experience,” and since then Best of the New The most exciting addition to the Electro 3 is the vast improvement in piano sounds. The 3’s new piano library includes close-mic’d Yamaha and Steinway sounds. The Electro 3’s internal storage is eight times that of its earlier counterpart. Though some reviewers have wished for a few more instruments to be added, perhaps a Wurlitzer 140B, a Clavinet E7 or a Hohner Pianet, the new storage does lend itself to more user defined banks of sheer sonic bliss. The earlier piano sounds of the Electro 2 were so poor that we had to tour with a Yamaha
my life and music have not been the same. Having toured with the Electro 2 for the past two years, my brother David and I were excited to get our hands and ears on the new Electro 3 at this year’s NAMM show. In the first five minutes we were blown away at the improvements over the Electro 2. They seemed to have satisfied the desires that the Electro 2 lacked and wrapped the added features into a lighter version of the same size unit. The Nord Electro 3 is latest release in the highly acclaimed family of Nord keyboards. At first glance, only a redesign of the controls is evident, but the Electro 3 has seen a vast internal redesign and is satisfying the craving of the most demanding audiophiles. These new features, along with the stage-friendly design carried over from the Electro 2 results in an instrument with limitless potential and ultimate practicality for the touring or church musician.
Motif 8 which we used exclusively for its great piano sounds. If you have ever lifted a Mo8 in a flight case, you begin to rethink the touring lifestyle altogether. The piano sounds that come in the Electro 3 are a vast improvement and can also be swapped out for any of the other larger sounds available for free on the Nord website.
Brand new on the Electro 3 is a selection of high quality effects that include reverb with five algorithms including Room, Stage Soft, Stage, Hall and Hall Soft. In addition to these there is trem, panning, wah, phaser, flanger, a chorus effect and a ring modulator, which allows the user to create ethereal sweeping sounds with tone-driven feedback. The second to last place to tweak tones is in the three new amp/speaker simulators, allowing the perfect amount of grit to be added to the tone. The final frontier of sound for the Electro 3 is a three-band EQ with sweepable mid-range and a compressor that can be added before the tailored sounds are broadcast out of the hot red chassis of the new Electro 3. For any musicians who travel, this keyboard will fit just about anywhere except the under the seat in front of you. The elec-
tro 3 comes in two sizes: a 61 key version ($1,899) and a 73 key version ($2,199). But don’t let the price scare you, because like most things that are good, it hasn’t come without cost. Nord has lent their ear to the demanding players who toured with the Electro 2 and have answered the call to provide all the improvements are more- all wrapped into one fire-red box of beauty. If you are purchasing a keyboard for church or touring use anytime soon, do yourself a favor and consider the Nord Electro 3. Drew and David are members of the Konzelman Brothers and The Acclaim. They have lead worship and performed original music in the Pacific Northwest and around the world for the last 8 years. Read more about the rest of the brothers at www.konzelmans.com.
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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FRoM THE DRUMMER’S PERSPECTIvE
By Carl Albrecht
cially when I’m touring keeping my prayer life active is very challenging. Whether I’m alone or with the team I try to make a place for prayer. Those hectic moments before a service or concert are critical times to try to settle your thoughts into ministry mode. Even if you just have a few minutes get together with the team to pray. Stay in the Word. Simple, but true… we need to feed on the word of God. I can get so distracted with the news, books, and magazines that I’ll miss out on the most life giving words. I’ll even carry my bible on stage where my drums are and read it when there’s a break. Sometimes I’ll even make it a point to leave it open to a scripture I’ve been reading and lay it on the floor by the drums or even on my music stand. Keep your spiritual sensitivity on high. Being aware of the spiritual environment of the team and of the place your working in is also important. It’s not that I’m running around looking for ghost, but there is a spiritual realm that surrounds us. Just like the first apostles would go into a place and speak a blessing I often do the same thing. I also keep and spiritual eye on the team to see if there is something the Lord would have me pray about. You don’t have to talk about everything you’re sensing to be an intercessor on the job. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide. That’s why the Lord sent us His Spirit. During worship be a worshipper. This sounds like the obvious approach to being a worship musician. But so often we can get caught up in the “gig” mentality that we miss the most wonderful part of playing this music. Being in the presence of the Lord. God still inhabits the praises of His people. I try to always remind myself that I’m coming to meet with Him when I play, and that I’m taking everyone on the journey with me. All musicians should remember that they are worship leaders too. These are just a few reminders of the little things that have become BIG to me once again. I know some thoughts here are repeats of things I’ve said, but because they struck me so profoundly in the last week I felt it was time to get us all thinking about it again. Blessings on your journey, Carl Carl Albrecht has been a professional drummer & percussionist for over 25 years. He has played on over 70 Integrity Music projects; Maranatha Praise Band recordings & numerous other Christian, Pop, Country, Jazz & commercial projects. He currently lives in Nashville doing recording sessions, producing, writing and continuing to do various tours & seminar events. Visit his website: www. carlalbrecht.com or send an e-mail to: [email protected]
Little Things Mean a Lot “It’s in the Details”
I remember reading about Steve Gadd (Search for him on the web if you don’t know who he is.) being asked the question, “What one thing makes a drummer great?” The writer was looking for a simple magic formula to a very complex skill. Steve’s answer was simple yet profound. He said, “It’s ALL of it. All of the training, practice, experience, etc. make a musician who they are. There is no one thing.” Bravo, Steve! I’m no Steve Gadd, but I also hear this question from drummers quite a bit. I also wish there was an easy answer. But there isn’t. What’s probably more challenging for the worship drummer is that there’s the whole spiritual/ministry aspect to what we do. Besides having the right gear for the job, being skilled, prepared, and “practiced up” we have to be spiritually in tune to do well playing for worship. As they say “It’s in the details.” Often this phrase is used in reference to success, but let’s look at how that applies to being a worship drummer. I’ve written in many articles about all of the technical things needed to increase your skill as a musician. When I was recently on tour with Paul Baloche and Jared Anderson I was reminded of why I do them. Here’s a random list of “drummer moments.” Arrive earlier than everyone else. This isn’t always my fault, but because of travel schedules there were several times the whole group arrived to the venue at the same time. Because I use rental drums on the road it usually takes me 30 minutes to an hour more than everyone else to be ready for sound check. Note: even on a “regular” gig be early. Review new material. Jared Anderson was an extra addition to this tour. I have played with him before, but because he had given us newly released songs we had not played before, I spent extra time prepping his songs. I keep a pack of charts from every artist I have ever worked with and bring them with me for any artist on a tour. Even though his song list did not contain all the songs, I was ready when he called up a few older tunes later in the tour. Keep your spare parts up to date. I ran short on cymbal washers & plastic cymbal stand sleeves this tour because I did not restock my supply. I had to use duct tape a couple of times because I didn’t have the parts. At least I had duct tape. Also this reminded me of why I always ask for 2 snares for a job, and why I always carry my kick drum pedal. Also, any cables, batteries, sticks, drum parts, etc. you need… YOU should keep in stock. Play with your band as much as possible. This isn’t something I’ve talked about a lot, but it is so important. Your band should play together as much as you can. Besides services, gigs, etc. etc. Practice once a week or more. Paul Baloche and I were chatting about the problem of church bands not learning how to jell as a team. I know we’re all busy, but if you want to get better you have to work at it. Make the time to do it. The little musical details are BIG. Know the nuances of every song you play. Flow with the dynamics of the band. Dig in a little more when needed, and back off when there needs to be flexibility and space. Make sure the kick patterns are right. Do you play the hi-hat or ride cymbal for that section? How do you hit the snare? – rim shot? Or “in the center” only. As we toured I became more aware of the “little things.”…Because of the tone & loudness of my left crash cymbal I had to move it over to the right, behind the ride cymbal so it wouldn’t project into vocal mikes as much. Slight adjustments of tuning and muffling would change the feel of the drums. According to the songs I would adjust snare tuning and wire tension to change the feel of the backbeats. And so it went… It seems this whole tour was a reminder of how important the little details are. As a worship drummer/musician I also noticed that keeping my heart engaged is just as important as the technical things. Keep your prayer life active. Sometimes you just get too busy. Life can be so overwhelming that we don’t keep engaging in conversations with the Lord. Espe-
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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By Ed Kerr
As I write this I’m reflecting on how powerful our Easter gatherings were yesterday at Newlife church where I’m worship pastor. We joined millions of believers around the world celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. What an amazing God He is, and what an amazing privilege it is to be involved in music that reminds people of His power and love. Several things about our Easter gatherings were unique. During one of our songs we showed video of baptisms that had taken place the day before. After the drums, and keys. And a vocalist or two. Or five. Of course there are many variations of this basic team, but your team is probably something similar to this. Regardless of your instrumental configuration, though, you can create musical contrasts within your songs. Each member of the worship band helps make these moments happen, but I want to focus on a few things that we as keyboard players can do to contribute to them. strumentation again, and suddenly the lyric “I will bring praise” is exposed completely. Powerful. I can feel the momentum as I describe the arrangement. Listen to the recording of “Desert Song” from “This Is Our God”. Imitate that arrangement in your team and I know the band members and singers will feel it, too. Oh yeah, and the congregation. Among the many other things you as a keyboard player can do to bring contrasts to the sections of your songs is to use different sounds for the sections. I play a Yamaha motif XS8 in our services, and have set up a performance that lets me choose from four different sounds whenever I like. It’s great for moments like the chorus I described above after the bridge of “Desert Song”. I’m playing a grand piano sound at the end of the bridge. Then, when the band drops out for the chorus, I bring the fader up on my pad sound and fade out the piano. Suddenly there’s that lush, string-like texture of the pad, along with the sparse activity the acoustic guitarist is playing, and the section has a character unlike anything that’s been heard in the song. The crowd easily hears their neighbor singing out the lyric and we build into one last chorus, the band playing full volume. I’ve given a fairly exhaustive description of this musical roadmap that we followed so that our presentation of “Desert Song” would have nice contrasts between the sections. I doubt that anyone in the congregation on Easter would offer a comment afterward of “Man, the worship was strong today; I loved how you showcased the lyric by carefully crafting your instrumentation and volume levels.” Okay, I’m sure no one said that. But I’m also sure they felt something because of what we did in the band. Next time you’re rehearsing, think about the dynamics you’re using and the contrasts you’re creating. Each player and singer plays a crucial part in this. Are there rises and falls of energy, volume, and instrumentation? Peaks and valleys musically? Work some of these into your worship songs, and the payoff will be great. 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 a Yamaha’s Motif XS8. www.kerrtunes.com
m e s sage, an artist painted a huge picture on plexiglass illustrating our final song. As a portable church, on Easter we set up in a school gym rather than the school’s auditorium so that we’d be able to accommodate the crowds we expected. The crowds came. We rented lots of lights and a sound system that rocked. All of these elements seemed to drive home the reality of what Easter means in a really intense way. It was sobering, energizing and humbling to consider what Jesus did to open the door for us to know His Father. Every lyric we sang seemed to resonate with extra richness. The worship team did some things musically that added to the impact of the lyrics. They created great dynamics within the songs, making some verses quiet, intimate, subdued while some choruses were huge, loud, triumphant. As you consider how your worship time went musically on Easter or any other time, think about the dynamics that were involved. Was your presentation fairly static, with the team playing at a similar dynamic level throughout, or were there some of the contrasts I described above, soft verses, loud choruses, etc? If your worship team is like mine, you have an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, bass,
One of the simplest ways to give a section musical definition is to let the instrumentation be unique from the section that’s gone before it. If your full band plays on the intro, for example, have most of the instruments drop out for the verse that follows it. This is a really effective way to make the first lyric that’s sung prominent. When that drop out happens and most instruments go away, you can be one of the ones that goes away. Uh huh. Don’t play. I know, I find it challenging, too, but it really works. By taking away instruments on a given section, the return of those instruments later can make the next section a nice payoff, both lyrically and musically. One of the things my band did so well on Easter was to crescendo into a section and then suddenly drop down to almost nothing when the next section began. We did this in Brooke Fraser’s “Desert Song”. When the first chorus comes around, we do what the Hillsong recording did, most of the band’s groove going away, playing the chord changes softly. Then when the intro theme comes back, the band’s in full again. Great energy at that moment. Later, when the bridge happens, we sing it four times. First time the band is quiet, and they build and build and build through the last repetition of the lyric. What a great moment, the crowd singing “All of my life, in every season, You are still God; I have a reason to sing; I have a reason to worship”. As the band crescendos strongly out of the section, the listener might expect a big chorus to follow. But, we break down the in-
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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By Gary Lunn
Crossing the Threshold Into Soloing
A friend recently asked me, “What do you think about while you are soloing?” I thought, “Wow! Great question!” I had to really think about that one before I wrote him back because so much of my journey through writing articles and the occasional teaching opportunities has been spent just trying to figure out why I play the style that I do – not what goes through my mind or how I execute a solo. Plus, I don’t get asked to do solos too often, so, I really haven’t had that much experience doing them. And honestly, I am totally fine not doing them! Back when I was with Whiteheart (an 80’s Christian rock band) I played a drum-and-bass solo every concert, but since then, my solo “opp’s” have been few and far between. There have been a few at worship conferences, as well as some live events around Nashville, and there are those opportunities where I just can’t say “no.” With that said, since I am a little tentative in that department, I figured that maybe there are a few of you who might feel the same “inadequacy.” So, let me share a few different ways that I occasionally “stumble” through them. Rules Any set of “rules” for soloing always run out and they will wear thin if you use the same ones too much. But, in worship, the main objective to strive for while soloing is to connect some musical ideas together that will lift up the Lord and usher in His presence. So, first and foremost, think about the cross when you solo, and its importance to your salvation. If you do this, I can assure you that it will have a huge effect on the way that you play a solo. From a musical standpoint I think that it’s very important that you try to develop some ideas beforehand, as well as the ability to chain them together. The only way to do that is through lots of playing and reviewing of scales. All the various things I have talked about in the last several months will definitely help you with soloing – from understanding triads to memorizing the note names on the bass. If you know where you are going, what you are playing, and why you are playing it - before you play it - then you will succeed at soloing. Tricks to Try There are several rules of thumb (so to speak). Many of them are related to particular styles, such as blues cliché riffs, or slap patterns, for instance---and considering what kind of music you’re trying to solo over, you can borrow licks from several different stylistic “lick banks.” Then as you think in scales, you simply make the licks that you want to play work in the key that the song is in. In fact, sometimes there are circumstances in which a single scale works well over a whole chord progression, thus enabling you to play the same style licks over the entire chord progression without having to change the key of the licks. Another trick is to try arpeggiating through chords. Experiment with the order of notes. For example, in a dominant 7th chord, instead of playing 1-3-5-b7-8 over and over, try playing 1-5-3-b7-1-8-b7-5. You have just created a short, thematic lick. Then, move it up 1/2 tone and play it again. ‘Up a 1/2 and again, so on and so on. Wow! It sounds like you know what you are doing!’ The truth is, you may not know everything, but you DO know something useful. The thing that makes that little riff sound cool is tritone between the b7th and the 3rd, so even if you only played that riff from the root (e.g., Bb) and then play it starting on E, you’ve created an eerie sort of chord substitution. Chord substitutions are something that I know very little about, but I’m sure there are plenty of guys that you could ask about that as you get deeper into this. Or, you can just experiment as you practice. Another little trick I use is that I try not to leave holes in a solo by striving to play the root or the fifth (of the present chord) on the downbeat every 2 or 4 bars. I feel a certain responsibility, even in a solo, to hold down the harmonic bottom end. Thirds work okay too, but they’re a little less harmonically obvious and not quite as secure feeling. Try playing as if the chords were in the relative minor (3 1/2 steps down from the root). You’ll end up playing mostly the same scales, but thinking about different chords can sometimes cause you to phrase things differently. Learn to play the melody of the song, and then develop ideas from that. Try to quote it somewhere in the solo; quote it at halfspeed, double-speed, or start it from an odd place in the measure. Try different rhythmic note values without giving yourself a break for as long as you can stand it. For instance, try playing only 1/4 notes or 1/8 notes, experimenting with wide jumps from different parts of the scale - even between different octaves. Then try making a conscious effort to make different notes play at different volume (dynamic) levels. The combinations are endless. But Seriously… These are all things to do when building a solo, but you have to practice – a lot! I must emphasize that all of these suggestions are just that; mere suggestions. But I offer them to you, as some things to try, as you attempt to build your own musical ideas. Just be careful to not work too hard on understanding specific techniques,
and then wind up looking like you are playing a solo right out of a textbook. It’s important to explore different ways to apply certain rules, but occasionally you will find yourself where you just need to throw forethought to the winds and play…play unto Him. Gary is a session player/ producer/writer in Nashville, currently playing for Lindell Cooley, Music for Missions International, and many recording session accounts. He attends Grace Church in Franklin, TN. www.myspace. com/lunnbass , www.facebook.com/ garylunn, www.gracechurchnashville.org
WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM MAY/JUNE 2010
By Sheri Gould
Tone Quality, Resonance and Style-Part 2
Last time I discussed various points of resonance and how to pinpoint a few. (If you missed part one, or any other back article, please feel free to e-mail me --my e-mail address is at the end of this column--and I’ll be happy to send you any archived articles that might be of interest to you.) In this article we’ll continue the discussion of resonance and tone quality as it relates to style. Head Voice/Chest Voice—EXPOSED! I would like to help shed some light on what I believe is a pretty serious misunderstanding with regard to singing. What I’m about to say will likely fly in the face of most current, contemporary singing advice you’ve heard heretofore. I believe the current use of the phrases “Head Voice and Chest Voice” exists primarily because of a misunderstanding of many things. In years past when singers were primarily trained classically, they were taught about resonance and tone placement. Through classical teaching methods, students were taught where and how to place their resonance. As they moved through various parts of their range, they might become aware of the resonance reverberating more or less in specific areas. For example, as they moved into lower areas of the range, they might feel vibrations and resonance all the way into the chest. Therefore the term CHEST REGISTER developed. This was a notation that a large portion of the vibrations of sounds were being directed to the chest cavity as a place to resound. Similarly, as notes got higher in pitch, a student might direct those vibrations higher into the head area, thus the term HEAD REGISTER developed. As people moved further away from studying voice in any kind of classical way and moved toward the NON trained voice of a contemporary or folk singer, a whole different connotation began to arise. Without proper training, control of the voice is lacking. Because the vocal cords are primarily made up of muscle, if the cords are not prepared, strengthened and trained properly there will be weakness in certain areas. As the weaknesses in the vocal cord structure remain but yet are stretched to capacity many different configurations of the vocal cords may ensue—not all of which are desirable. One of the common things that happen is that many singers lose control as they get higher in their range and therefore the vocal cords come apart and the singer ends up vibrating the cords together only partially. This naturally causes a thinner tone because there are less of the vocal cords being used. Additionally, the space created now between the cords allows for more air to escape causing the tone to be lighter and airier. Some singers actually perfect this transition from the full cord adduction to a partial cord adduction and create almost a ‘pop’ causing the break to sound very distinct. In olden times (and other cultures) this technique is referred to as “yodeling”. Now some pop singers strive for this anomaly! This break in the voice is a nuisance to most singers and can be rectified with proper training. However, this process has become associated with the idea and subsequent misunderstanding of a head VOICE. Once a singer allows the cords to pop open, extra air flows and the tone can only register up in the head because the larynx is so high in the throat. Therefore people have dubbed this now a head VOICE, and anything below the breaking area a “Chest VOICE”. There are not, nor should there ever be two distinct voices in a singer. Many places to resonate perhaps, but not differently produced voices that are so very different in sound, strength and construction. Having said this, I recognize that many contemporary singers have indeed capitalized on this untrained sound and incorporated it into their style. If this is something that you LIKE and want to do then that is fine. Many people however default to this style due to lack of training and it is an unwanted part of their repertoire. With incorrect information, many have been led to believe that they are stuck with these two voices and just have to work with them. This is sad and such a shame. Developing a style is one thing; feeling trapped is another. I am frequently asked if the “break” is harmful for the vocal cords. The answer is no, not in the sense that it hurts the vocal cords by causing undo stress. However, the loss is in the training of the muscles to break. Muscle memory is a powerful thing and once they are trained to consistently break at a certain point, it is difficult to UN-train them. This makes the job of learning to sing properly with a full voice and resonance wherever you choose—a near impossibility. So I don’t recommend developing that aspect of style, but I understand that it is popular and many, especially young girls and women, will be drawn to the style and sound that goes with it. Men generally do not experience the full popping and breaking of the cords mid range because they are aware of their falsetto and recognize that at THAT point the opening of the cords is necessary to hit the extra tones. Think PRETTY So much of what we hear today is really not much more than a lot of vocal gymnastics. The singer seems to be trying to see how many notes they can hit in one word! A lot of attention is given to a belt voice trying to yell higher and higher on stretched, fully adducted cords. But what I don’t see a lot of attention given to is… a pretty tone quality. Many of the tone qualities that we hear in contemporary music are very nasal. This nasality allows for a better maneuvering around the keyboard. A pretty tone allows for greater enjoyment by your listening audience. So although it’s always great to pursue a certain amount of vocal gymnastics—I’d like to consider myself a proper vocal athlete (trilling about with the best of them). I’d also like to think that I can create a tone that reaches into your heart and soul as well. I think we would do well as singers to venture into the area of resonance and tone quality more. The result could be very… BEAUTIFUL! Sheri Gould has a BS in Music Education (Vocal/ Choral) from the University of Illinois. A church music director (Choir/Worship Leader) since 1985, she also teaches vocal techniques at various workshops around the country. Send your questions to: [email protected]
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
TIPS FoR TIGHT TEAMS
By Sandy Hoffman
Worship Without Walls (Praising God In Public Places)
In the late summer of 1992, I met Karen Lafferty (composer of the Christian classic, “Seek Ye First”). We were both scheduled to teach for one month in Jimmy and Carol Owens’ “School of Music in Missions.” Assembled in Budapest, Hungary were fiftytwo students from all over Europe, eastern Europe, Canada, the U.S. and beyond. Each anxiously awaited the instruction and ultimate release into ministry that was waiting for them just around the corner. What an exciting time! The war between the Serbians and the Croatians continued, and we were not much more than one-hundred miles from turns worshiping publicly and sharing the Gospel with whomever would listen. The Language The Hungarian language, not being of the indo-european roots we were more familiar with, made it all but impossible to learn to say much more than “please” and “thank you” in Hungarian during our few short weeks there. Consequently, everything we sang or spoke had to go through a translator. All quite new to me then, but exhilarating none the less! The Fruit! To my amazement, the afternoon-long outreach went off without a hitch! No hassles from police, no hecklers, no unexpected rain showers. Just scores of Hungarian people, from gypsies to businessmen in suits, standing on the ground level perimeter, and taking in every word and song we had to offer! We took stacks of Bibles and other Christian literature with us, and the demand for these very quickly exceeded the supply. Who would have imagined such a profound response? Many received Christ that afternoon, and were “plugged in” to local churches where they could be discipled and lead into a mature walk of faith. We gave away every book we brought, including my own Bible in English! We prayed with folks right there on the street, and saw the light in their eyes as the Lord ministered to their needs. Awesome! Since that time in Budapest I’ve watched this scenario play out again and again. As we’ve traveled from Suva to Hyderabad, and from Houston to Sedona, the response has been universal: “Tell me more. I’m curious to know about your faith, and this God you worship so freely!” Think your team is ready to rise to the challenge of public praise? I strongly encourage it! If so, here are five tips to get you worshiping without walls. Five Steps To Public Praise 1- Say “Yes.” Such a simple little word. Something we say hundreds of times a day, and yet it carries so much clout, especially, I believe, with God! It must be His favorite word, don’t you think? “Yes” is the first step to worshiping without walls. Once we respond in the affirmative to His “go ye” command, doors start to open, logistics fall into place and wonderful, supernatural events begin to unfold. 2- Pray. Pray for your team. Ask for fearless hearts. Pray for favor from God and
man. Ask the Lord for a plan (‘cause if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there). Lift up those who will hear you proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ. Pray that their hearts will be ready to receive the great news, and that they will forever enter into the song of the Lord themselves! Cover the logistics in prayer as well. You don’t want to arrive at the worship site only to realize you’ve overlooked something as simple as the “juice” needed to plug in your sound system! 3- Plan. Make a check list and a timeline. Pray over these too! Ask yourselves questions like: where is the most strategic, high traffic place to set up the team? Do we need a permit to play there? What sound equipment is needed for us to be clearly heard? Where is the nearest source of electricity? Should we take a generator? What’s the best time of day to play? How long should we stay? What type of materials do we plan to hand out? What type of support personnel do we need to accompany us (a prayer team is essential!)? Most importantly, what is our ultimate goal for this session of public praise: Worship evangelism? Spiritual warfare? Prayer for the city? Raising public awareness of ministry opportunities we have to offer? You and God decide. 4- Go! In Acts chapter 1, when Jesus said we’d be witnesses, He began with a hometown location: Jerusalem. After that, He listed Judea, Samaria and the “end of the earth.” The point is, start small, but get STARTED! As your experiences compound, you’ll find more and more open doors to reach out with public praise; not just on your own home turf, but in your state, your country and to the ends of the earth. Go! 5- Reap. Finally, join in the harvest! Jesus said in John 4:35-36 that we shouldn’t delay because “the fields are already white for harvest. . .he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life . . .” Let’s step into the fields and pick the fruit! Public praise is an honor to God. It’s a spiritual war and a fantastic opportunity to love whomever passes by. Don’t you think if Jesus played the guitar He’d be worshiping the Father on the street corners too? Since we have been given such gifts, isn’t it our privilege to offer them back to Him in public praise? Let’s worship Him on the plazas, in the market, on the court house steps and in the coffee houses. I challenge you to worship Him anywhere . . . Beyond the walls, Sandy
the bord e r. One of our staff kept going home to Serbia on the weekends to check on the safety of family and friends. It was a bit intense for me! The Plan Just when I thought things couldn’t get more exciting (or stressful, as the case may have been), I was introduced to a whole new concept: worship evangelism. Karen showed up at worship time one morning with what seemed to me to be a hair raising plan. With no prior announcement or promotion (or legal permission), we’d just show up and minister at “Nyugati palyaudvar,” (yea, we had that same trouble pronouncing it). Nyu-ga-ti pal-yaud-var is a major intersection and train station on the “Pest” (east) side of the Danube River (which, btw, is brown, not blue). The plan was to haul a complete sound system with it’s own generator, musical instruments and all our students and faculty to this busy crossroads of Budapest. We were to set up in a circular pedestrian area just below ground level, then take
Sandy Hoffman serves The Grace Community Church in Santa Fe, NM, where he is the Minister of Worship Arts. Check out his new instrumental acoustic guitar CD, “Sereno,” at: www. EssentialWorship.com
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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With her own mother serving as a role model in worship leading—a rarity in that time and place—Vicky Beeching grew up in the UK, immersed in music ministry. It’s fitting groundwork for this pioneer of sorts, as Vicky, not content with the CCM status quo, forges ahead with a Brit-rock flare that is worship team friendly. Vicky’s heart is firmly planted in a solid theological foundation, but her creativity is expressed on the cutting edge; both musically and technologically. Read on and you’ll see what I mean...
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
Aimee Herd: Vicky, I love the title and concept of your new record Eternity Invades, because when that happens— when eternity invades—we are absolutely changed every time. What was your purpose, and what did you hope to capture in this recording? Vicky Beeching: I think some of it came from me needing a fresh vision of worship. I feel like sometimes, we as the Church can treat it as a warm up for the preaching. Or, you go to so many worship events, and sing the same songs, and think “what are we really doing here?” I’ve been asking God to really open my eyes to everything that worship can be. He did that for me in quite a mindblowing way—He gave me an insight into what actually happens in the spiritual realm when we worship. (Not to make it sound weird) But, there actually is a real meeting of realms, isn’t there, when we worship. I love that verse that says, “God inhabits the praises of His people.” I’ve done a study on that for the last year—on what it means for the God of eternity to actually inhabit—not just our music and our praise—but even a room, venue or our hearts. We can expect the stuff of eternity to break in and actually change us. So, I wanted to share the things that God has been showing me to raise all of our expectations, so that when we come to worship, it’s so much more than singing, and more than getting ourselves ready for the preacher. Because eternity does invade, and you may never be the same again. AH: It’s true. How can we—as the Church, and as a congregation—really get a hold of that concept? VB: It’s a good question. I think it’s one of those things that’s best, as they say, “caught” rather than taught. To become a worshiper who opens yourself up to that, to go into a context of worship or a devotional time, and ask God that the things of Heaven would collide with your heart and your spirit. You’ll begin to experience that. I’ve been doing more of that, and as I worship I’ve found that He can bring healing to me—physical and emotional healing—and He can bring revelation of things that I didn’t understand either from the Bible, or in regular life. So, doing that, and then also reading about the things of Heaven in the Bible, and beginning to put together a mental picture of what it’s like there, according to the book of Revelation. It’s letting those things become a part of you so, when you worship with your feet here on Earth, you can imagine being caught up in that.
AH: At the risk of spending a lot of time on this, it’s just so intriguing… I think a lot of us can just gloss over that verse—“God inhabits the praises of His people”—but when you stop and think about what it’s really saying, it’s quite amazing. VB: It really is, and I think we’ve sold ourselves a little short. We can expect many things in worship, great music, lights or power point, or even a great emotional experience, but those things should be eclipsed by the expectation that the God of the universe would be there Himself. AH: I think too, there is an aspect of fear of the unknown, and being uncomfortable with even the mystery of who God is. VB: Yes, there is that element; there are some aspects of charismatic worship that can seem a bit scary. But, I’m a real believer that you can have the Word and the Spirit, as equal parts of the Godhead who can be present and working in our worship, and there’s nothing to be afraid of, if it’s genuine Holy Spirit activity. AH: You mentioned something in your bio that I found very interesting. You said that writing songs for the Church deserved as much theological training as a pastor would go through. You—growing up in the UK—attended Oxford. Can you speak to that thought a little, because here in the States, I don’t think that’s the norm? VB: It’s actually not the norm in England either. To be a worship leader here... to be totally honest, that job didn’t exist 30 years ago. It’s a newfangled thing. My mum’s been leading worship all her life and she jokes that her job really wasn’t a job till recently. Back then, for someone in my mum’s position, it was an unsalaried role without any training. You just showed up and usually someone else picked the songs for you. So, people writing new worship songs and playing them is relatively new thing. (Except that King David instituted it years ago) The fact that we’re not using the old hymns as much anymore; a lot more choruses and modern worship songs, that puts a huge responsibility on the writers to make them good. People remember the lyrics of songs way more than sermons. That makes songwriters the primary theologians for the younger generation, because they’re all listening to their iPods, but not really devouring A.W. Tozer books. So, looking at it like that, if the pastor had to go through all that training, it’s only appropriate that the songwriter, the person delivering the songs, and choosing the set lists, they need to have a good theology too.
AH: There’s an importance placed on worship when you’re reading through the Old Testament. The singers, instrument players and song leaders were integral parts of the Davidic kingdom. There is a real theological content there, even just regarding worship, if you choose to delve into it. Do you find it easier to write songs since you’ve had that training to fall back on for lyrical content, and when there are certain concepts that you want to convey— do you find your training becomes a basis from which you can draw? VB: Yeah, I think it is. I’m thankful for it, it was great to be forced to learn those parts of the Bible that don’t seem particularly interesting. I had those mean professors yelling at me to learn it! It’s good to know a lot more about the Jewish context that Jesus came into, that’s one of the most valuable things I’ve learned. AH: Vicky, you live in the States now, what brought you “across the pond” to live in America? VB: Well, I moved six years ago to Nashville. I had been living and working in London with Soul Survivor Ministries, where Matt Redman and Tim Hughes have been based. I just had a real heart for the States that wouldn’t go away. I joked with my pastor at the time, “Be careful how many times you send me to the States for ministry conferences, because every time I go, my heart for the States just gets more and more.” Eventually I felt like I had gotten to the point where God was telling me to move there. EMI came to London and said they’d love to sign me if I would move to Nashville. So, I was there in Franklin, Tennessee for five years, and I loved it. Then, I had always wanted to live in southern California, and after 5 years, I moved, since my job is such that it doesn’t matter where I do it from, I just need my laptop. AH: And, you might as well be in the sun while you work. VB: (Laughing) Yes, I might as well try to get a tan—although I’m still so pale! So, I’ve been there for a year and a half, and I’m not on staff at a church, because of my schedule. I do love going, though, and not having to participate—just being able to receive, especially after tours and traveling. AH: Let’s talk about your new album, Eternity Invades. First of all, sonically, how does it differ from your first couple of projects? VB: Well, I must say that I love this album more than any I’ve made so far—I love the sound. When I was figuring it out, in the
WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM MAY/JUNE 2010
VICKY BEECHING: When Eternity Invades
very conceptual stages, I decided I wanted it to sound like I sound live. I think the other albums, while the guys did a great job, I think they’ve sounded a bit over-produced, a little bit “slick” sounding, a little too Nashville-CCM sounding. When I play live, it’s got more of a British rock, raw kind of feel to it. It’s got more energy and a lot more electric guitar. It kind of ebbs and flows with that energy; I love dropping things down and then really building up bridges to a big crescendo. And, vocally, that brings out something in my voice that the other recordings just haven’t brought out, because the music was a lot smoother. So, I decided I wanted to start with real band instruments, not programming, and not using a bunch of session guys who play on every record. I went with an indy producer—Jonathan MacIntosh—his wife is Sarah MacIntosh. AH: Yes, and you’ve co-written a lot of songs with her on this album. VB: Yeah. When I moved to San Diego, I connected with her. We were actually sitting, having a cup of coffee when we came up with the idea of Jonathan producing the album. It was pretty hilarious, we were literally sitting there saying, “Yeah, that’s a great idea!” and the next minute we were in the other part of the house where there’s a studio. He was freaking out about the idea, and we spent the next two weeks recording two songs; Salvation Day and Blessing and Honor, as a kind of a demo for Integrity (now my label). They really liked what they heard based on those two songs and they said that we could continue. I love the sound, because it’s got a sort of live element to it like a Hillsong album— more like a British band kind of sound. AH: It “breathes” more. VB: Totally, it’s got space. We had a sit down meeting, Jonny and I, to figure out what it was that we didn’t really like about a lot of Christian music today. We weren’t meaning to be rude, but we wanted to be
honest. A lot of CCM albums have too much in them. We were thinking about the average band in a church listening to a CCM album full of so much stuff, and them wondering how to replicate it with a four or five piece band. So, we tried to make it uncomplicated—a lot of the guitar lines are simple and really hookie—so the average church guitar player could actually play them. We were trying to give the Church an album that’s ready to go that a worship team could pull off and play all the parts. AH: I know that some of the songs on this recording have a bit of back story to them; can you pick a couple to talk about how they were written and where their inspiration came from? One, I’ll mention right off the bat that really drew me in was Breath of God. VB: Oh cool. Breath of God, and all the songs really, tie back into the Eternity Invades theme. Breath of God, for me, was a reminder that when we worship and God inhabits our praises, the Holy Spirit is actually there to empower us and fill us up. There are other things that can happen in worship, like deliverance. But, Breath of God was really about us coming to the context of worship, and not being afraid to say that we’re empty, weak and worn out, because we are human and that’s how we feel a lot of the time. It was inspired by the book of Ezekiel, where Ezekiel looks out on the valley of dry bones. The first verse talks about the Holy Spirit and His activity in creation, like the Word of God going out and by His breath, darkness and nothing became beauty and creation. And then in verse 2 it talks about the dry bones from Ezekiel’s vision, when he spoke the Word, the bones came to life. And as we ask the Holy Spirit to breathe on us, our darkness and nothingness become a thing of beauty, and our dry bones not only come alive, but become a mighty army. AH: I can really see that theological vein throughout each of the songs’ lyrics. VB: Two of the others that have meant
a lot to me are Deliverer and Break Our Hearts. Deliverer, again because of the concept that Eternity Invades, and when we come into God’s presence, we can actually ask and expect to be changed. So, if we’re coming to Him, struggling with different kinds of bondage, we can actually believe that by the power of His presence there, since He is the Liberator, He will set us free. I’m trying raise people’s expectations of what can happen when you sing. I’ve actually had people who’ve sung that song in worship, and have come up to me afterward and said they really felt they’d gained a freedom that they didn’t have before. Sometimes in the middle of the song, I’ll just keep playing instrumentally and ask people to get really honest in their own heart before God about the things that they struggle with. Often in worship, we’re not that honest; we put on a brave face and pretend we’re okay. A bunch of people came up to me after that worship set, and said that when I’d played instrumentally and given them time to talk with God in their hearts, then we went into the bridge, “...Your blood is enough to break every chain...” They said that as they sang that, they could sense God breaking stuff off of them. My heart and prayer is that it would happen like that again and again. AH: Isn’t that awesome? It’s such a sovereign work of God when that happens during worship. VB: Yes, totally. And the other song, Break Our Hearts, is a song about social justice. I’ve been getting quite involved with [trying to end] human trafficking, I’ve been on a bunch of different trips in Mexico City and Lima, Peru and Amsterdam. ...Just kind of seeing some of the darker corners in the world. After seeing all that, I felt my heart was not broken enough compared to God’s heart. His heart is grieved and broken and devastated over all these things in the world, and I find it easy to keep turning the channel on my TV, or go back to my comfortable life. So, my prayer after all those trips became, “God, would You break my heart with the things that break Yours.” That became the chorus of the song, and the verses are specific, “It’s time for us to live the song we sing and turn our good intentions into actions...” It talks about us being distracted by things when we need to be paying attention to the things God weeps over. I always wanted to write a lyric about money, and I managed to get it into the second verse: “It’s time for us to change how we think and how we spend until we look like Jesus again.” I got one in about money, so I’m glad about that! (Laughing) AH: Vicky, as a fellow, female worshiper-of-God, I was excited to see the online ministry you’ve launched, WomenInWorshipNetwork.com. Can you talk about that a little bit? VB: Yeah! I am so ridiculously excited about that. It was only launched a month ago, and we’ve already got over 200 members in the members’ area of the site
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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VICKY BEECHING: When Eternity Invades
connected to and who you are supported by to help you in your leadership role. AH: And, then some female worship leaders have families, so there is that dichotomy too. VB: Oh totally, and childcare and being pregnant, raising babies, and recovering from being pregnant—I get a lot of people who talk to me about that. Like, how do you worship with guitar when you’re nine months pregnant?! (Laughing) It’s quite tricky. AH: You just mentioned that you have a bedroom full of guitar amps, can you name off some of your favorite gear? VB: I’ve become a big fan of electric guitars as of the last five years or so; I find I have to strum a lot less. On acoustic I’m strumming all the time and it’s quite busy. I’ve got a Gretsch White Falcon, which is the guitar on the front of the album cover, that’s my pride and joy, I love it. AH: Did you name it? VB: (Laughing) “Gretchen.” It was the only name that seemed appropriate! So, there’s Gretchen, and then I’ve got a Gibson acoustic J-150 blonde with a black scratch plate with white flowers on it. I’ve got an Epiphone Valve Junior, just a little amp I rehearse with, and I’ve got a blonde AC-30 Vox, on loan in my room at the moment, which is amazing and maybe one day I’ll own my own one of them! AH: Now, I heard you were thinking of writing a book, is that in the works yet? VB: Yeah, it’s been an interesting journey, though a little backwards, I’ve had two publishers give me contracts, and then I didn’t really know what to write. They were like, “Write us a book.” And I said, “I think it’s supposed to be the other way around where I have the idea and I call you.” But, it’s got me thinking; there’s definitely a book on the way someday. I keep coming up with ideas and then going, “No, I don’t think that’s quite it.” It will happen, but for me, I take it quite seriously because ever since I was about 10 I’ve wanted to be a writer. So, I’m not willing to write a book like a worship leader puts out, a kind of token accompaniment to a CD. I’d really like to set the bar high and try to write something that can stand alongside other writers. I think in years to come, when I do less worship stuff, and I get old (Laughs), I’d like to be a writer and a speaker. So, I’m going slowly on the book thing, because I want to make my first one a good introduction to the world of writing. Visit Vicky Beeching’s website at: www.VickyBeeching.com
(at the time of this interview). The idea grew in my heart over the last 10 years after traveling around and having girls and women coming up to me and saying that they need encouragement. Women are looking for a mentor or someone in their local area who has the same heart, because they feel a bit alone. I think it’s fair to say that in a band worship setting, there are a lot more guys than girls; especially worship pastors, there are a lot more men doing it. So, I figured we could use cyberspace to bring everyone together. I bought the domain name about 3 years ago, and it took me until last month to actually get the site done and working. The home page of the site is for everyone. It’s got articles, there’s one by Rita Springer, and one by Rebecca St. James, another coming from Kari Jobe, so we’ve got a lot of good people writing for it. Then, if you click on the members’ part, it takes you to the real site which is this big social network where you can create your own profile. You can also upload your own songs so people can listen to each other’s songs. And then there are groups that you can join. There are groups for every state in the US, or if you’re in England, Australia—you can meet people in the forums. My hope is that people never again have a reason to feel disconnected. In the forums you can ask all kinds of questions like, “What key should we sing this in?” or “How do you, as a woman, lead a band full of men?” Stuff like that to make it easier for people who are coming through and doing the same job as me. AH: So it’s primarily for women who are on a worship team, or leading, or aspiring to lead? Or just women who love to worship? VB: It’s actually all of that. I think my
primary reason for starting it was for women who were leading worship with a team. So the can ask practical questions like, how to transpose songs from “guy keys” into “girl keys.” The more I thought about it though; I wanted to make the site relevant for any woman or girl who has a heart for worship. One of the groups is called, “I Love to Worship But I’m Not a Worship Leader.” Then, when I do the interviews with people like Rita and Rebecca St. James, I make sure I ask questions that aren’t just relevant to worship leaders. AH: Vicky, what would you say is the biggest challenge for a female worship leader right now? VB: Good question... I would say it depends where you are. The challenges are much greater if you’re traveling all the time. But, wherever you are, probably a lot of it for us as women is emotional. And, I’m not like a “girlie girl” at all! My bedroom is full of guitar amps and I wear jeans and a t-shirt every day. (Laughing) But, I’ll be the first one to admit, I think women are wired to need emotional support; to need that sense of connection. Often, if you’re the leader, and you’re leading a band and have a sound team who are mostly or all guys— and a pastor who is male—you can feel a bit isolated. So, I would say the biggest challenge is to find people whom you are
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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Words & Music by Vicky Beeching Jonny MacIntosh Sarah MacIntosh Words & Music by Words & Music by Words & Music by Vicky Beeching Vicky Beeching Vicky Beeching Jonny MacIntosh Jonny MacIntosh Jonny MacIntosh Sarah MacIntosh Sarah MacIntosh Sarah MacIntosh
INTRO C,Bb2 F, Dm, C, Bb2 , Bb2
VERSE 1 Dm7 F Dm7 Dm7 Dm7 els filledspeak angelsfilled with name shout Your nameshout Your name ris who with air is who speak and shout speak name is filled with and shout Your angels who Your and The angels who speak and m7 m7 C Gm7 C C C mosphere is changing as eternity invades eternity invades mosphere The atmosphere is changing as ng as eternity invadesas eternity invades is changing Dm7 F Dm7 Dm7 Dm7 uddenlyabove us the floor of heaven breaksof heaven breaks he floor above suddenly above us the breaks ddenly ofAnd us the floor of heaven floor heaven breaks C2 C Gm7 Csus C2 C Csus C2 C Csus C2 C Csus n, Spirit falls down,Spiritwillsay urwe will As Your we will say r Spirit falls down, we falls down, we will say say
CHORUS CHORUS CHORUS Fsus F Fsus F Fsus F Dm7 FsusDm7 Dm7 F Dm7 d ho -Blessing and ho power glory and power glory and power Blessing and ho Blessing and ho -power nor, glory and -- nor, glory and nor, nor, G7 G7 Bb G7 G7 Bb Bb Bb name, Be to Your name, betotoYourname, be to Your name be to YournameBe toYour name Be name, be Your name sus F Fsus F Fsus F Dm7 Fsus F Dm7 Dm7 Dm7 rai - ses throughout theses throughout the ages All of the prai --All of the prai -the ages All of the prai ses throughout ses throughout the ages ages G7 G7 Bb2 G7 C F G7Dm7 C C F Bb2 Bb2 Bb2 Bb2 C F Dm7 CCBb2 Dm7 C Bb2 Dm7 C Bb2 F name, Be to Your name, forevermore nameforevermore be to YournameBe totoYourname, be to Your name forevermore Be name,be toYour name forevermore be Your
VERSE 2 2 2 Dm7 F Dm7 Dm7 Dm7 aywe willlike the sun will like Yousun yshining OneYou shining see the sun we willsee Youwe see day shining like the shining like the sun C Gm7 C C C oeye towithbeauty,face with beauty,Loveto eye with Love face withFace to eye to eye with Love face eye beauty, eye to eye with eye with Love Dm7 F Dm7 Dm7 Dm7 ngwith the elders, we will throw our crowns wewith the elders, crowns throw our crowns g will throw our we will elders, we will throw our crowns Standing with the Csus Gm7 C Csus C2 C Csus C2 C Csus C2 e shoutJesus as we shout feetof Jesus the feetshout eet of At as we of Jesus as we shout
TCHORUS CHORUS REPEAT CHORUS
E BRIDGE Dm7Bb2 Bb2 Dm7 Dm7 Bb2 Dm7 megaAlpha, the Omega ethe Alpha, the Omega the You’re the Alpha, the Omega /A C Csus C Csus F/A C Csus F/A F/A ainer of allTheSustainerof all (6X) reator and Sustainer ofand (6X) eator and Creator (6X) all Sustainer of all (6X) CsusBb2 Bb2 C Csus C Csus C Bb2 Csus C Youare, Yes You are are, Yes You are ou are, Yes You are re Yes, You
TCHORUS CHORUS REPEAT CHORUS
© 2010 Integrity Worship Music Integrity Worship Music andworldwide by EMI © 2010 Integrity Worship Music and Thankyou MusicMusicand Thankyou Music (adm worldwide by EMI (adm worldwide by EMI © 2010 Integrity Worship 2010 worldwide by EMI (adm Thankyou Music © (adm and Thankyou Music CMG Publishing,excluding Europe,which excluding Europe, kingswaysongs.com) CMG Publishing, excludingCMGPublishing,is excludingEurope,kingswaysongs.com) by which is administered by kingswaysongs.com) Europe, which administered by whichis administered by kingswaysongs.com) CMG Publishing, is administered c/o Cody Road, Mobile, AL 36695 and EMIMobile, ALCody and EMI CMG c/o Integrity Media, Inc., 1000Integrity Media, Inc., c/o IntegrityRoad, Mobile, AL 36695 Road,EMICMG 36695 and EMI CMG c/o Integrity Media, Inc.,1000 Cody Media, CMG 1000 Cody Road, Inc., 1000 36695 and Mobile, AL Publishing, Inc., TN 37024 Publishing, Inc., PO Box 5085, Brentwood, PO Box Publishing, Inc., POTN37024 Brentwood, TN 37024 Publishing, Inc., PO Box5085, Brentwood, TN 37024 5085, Brentwood, Box 5085, All rights reserved. UsedAll rights reserved. Used by Permission All rights reserved. Used by Permission All rights reserved. Usedby Permission by Permission
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North Point Live “Awake” TRACKS (personal picks bolded) 1 God Is Alive 2 Bless Your Name 3 It Is Well 4 Hands Of The Healer 5 Everything 6 Nothing Can Separate Us 7 We Crown You 8 Jesus Reins 9 Glorious 10 Forever Changed 11 A Mighty Fortress 12 Glory To God Forever 13 No One Higher/The Stand 14 Rise and Sing In a word, “energy”! The album is aptly named “Awake” because the team sounds as though they’re standing on the balls of their feet throughout most of the recording. It’s a wealth of fast songs, not so easy to come by for most worship writers. There’s a great balance of singing forcefully without sounding too forced and they did pretty well in this regard. I have to say that the level of force through the entire album left me wishing for a little bit of “linger”. Even when some of the lyrics would suit some sustained reflection, no more than a couple of measures would go by without everyone pushing and driving again. It became a little wearing, explaining the only 3 marks for overall impression. Nonetheless, the band does a good job being right where they need to be instrumentally and include plenty of dynamics throughout each song so that even the driving songs give you a break here and there. Lyrically, there’s thought and originality; not so much rhetoric that is so easily found elsewhere. And a bold move was to include songs written by other worship writers mixed in with their originals. They fit well and complemented the overall expression of the album. A personal favorite of mine, Tim Hughes’ “Everything”, was covered and though it takes on a whole new feeling, I had to give North Point props for doing it justice. I’m grateful to them for the victorious, joyful expression of who God is. Great job! Matt Boswell “Gravity & Gladness” TRACKS (personal picks bolded) 1 Doxology 2 Our Glorious God 3 Christ Is Risen Indeed 4 O God Of Our Salvation 5 I Will Sing 6 Glory In The Cross 7 Beautiful Wonderful Cross 8 In My Place 9 In Excelsis Deo 10 Jesus Died My Soul To Save 11 Endless Mercy Of God 12 Come What May An album with a clear theme, the cross, makes its approach with a sense of childlike innocence. A subject so weighty as Christ on Calvary is delivered with an unexpected levity. You can hear the influences of exposure to amazing hymns as well as someone who loves to read. There’s a good mixture of emotion and conviction in Matt’s voice, well framed by a variety of instruments. Can’t say enough about the lyrical content; it’s focused and honoring. Though the words are many and meaningful, they are phrased with the melody in such a way that people would have a pretty easy time of singing along in a congregational setting, although memorization is unlikely unless you have an amazing memory or sing the songs a lot. You’d want to sing these songs with your eyes open, but I don’t think that would take away from the meaningfulness and personal expression. There’s a laid back mellowness to many of the tracks, which is good. I’d challenge Matt to stretch the range of his vocals to add variety and color and break things up a bit. That said, the focus is where it should be and people singing these songs in their own churches will be grateful to not be put through massive vocal acrobatics. It would not surprise me to hear many of these songs used as featured music in Easter and Christmas services for years to come. While they have sustainability, they are still sincere and personal. Overall impression Average person could learn/participate on the first hear Can be learned/adapted by a band of average skill Lyrical creativity and integrity North Point Live “Awake” Matt Boswell “Gravity & Gladness” Marie Barnett “Heaven Came Down” Passion “Awakening” Meredith Andrews “As Long As It Takes” highest marks Marie Barnett “Heaven Came Down”
By Heidi Todd
TRACKS (personal picks bolded) 1 Hidden Places 2 Jesus’ Name 3 Heart Of My Heart 4 Call Upon Your Name 5 Poured Out 6 Nothing Separates Me 7 He Is Lord 8 We Remember 9 Great Is The Lord’s Love 10 Heaven Came Down 11 Oh Lovely One 12 Every Tear A very different style of music for a worship album, this is reminiscent stylistically of alt-country stars like Emmy Lou Harris and Neil Young, with a little bluegrass mixed in for good measure. Simple, personal, every day people music. You can easily imagine Marie perched on the edge of a wooden stool, eyes closed and having a personal conversation with her Savior. There is no flash here, no polish. It’s a very sleepy, reflective album that sounds most suited to the stillness of one-on-one times of devotion. It is such a departure from what you’re likely to hear in most churches, and while that’s not a bad thing, fewer people will know how to relate to it on the first hear. High marks to Marie for being true to self and sharing a unique expression with an audience that I hope will embrace her sincerity and her gift Passion “Awakening” TRACKS (personal picks bolded) 1 Awakening 2 Say, Say 3 Our God 4 How He Loves 5 Healing Is In Your Hands 6 King Of Heaven (Isaiah 61) 7 You Alone Can Rescue 8 Where The Spirit Of The Lord Is 9 Rise And Sing 10 Like A Lion 11 Chosen Generation 12 With Everything Because I’m so slow to jump on any bandwagon, any time the worship “giants” appear together like this on a Passion album, I unintentionally take on a “prove it” attitude. Well, dang it, they got me, these giants. I am won over. With the first track, it’s easy to see where the rest of the album is going and you look
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
AS LONG AS IT TAKES IN STORES NOW!
Listen to these songs for use in corporate worship:
Only to Be Yours How Great is the Love As Long A It Takes
(co-written w/Paul Baloche)
Sign up for Meredith Andrews’ and Pocket Full of Rocks’ online communities and download FREE chord charts, leadsheets, instructional videos visit www.meredithandrews.com or www.pocketfullofrocks.com!
MORE THAN NOISE • IN STORES NOW
Listen to these songs for use in corporate worship:
WONDERFUL, EVER CLOSE TO YOU JESUS DIED MY SOUL TO SAVE, LET OUR GOD BE PRAISED
forward to the following tracks. The worship leaders flow well together from one song to the next, passing the baton to each other to create movement and variety. While I would never encourage any artist to imitate another artist, I would say that in principal, when you craft a live worship experience, this is a good way to do it – moving in and out of varying expressions and energy levels. Though at times a couple of the faster tracks take on a “heard it” feel and the lyrics lean a little toward the uninventive, it’s obvious that the truth of the songs won’t be lost on the listener. No question, this album is full of power – it makes you wish you had been there during the recording. And if you are in a place where you can turn up the volume to a nice respectable roar, you almost feel like you were. As a worship leader, you hope to create an avenue where people can connect with, and get caught up in the timeliness presence of the Most High. Passion has done it again. Meredith Andrews “As Long As It Takes” TRACKS (personal picks bolded) 1 Never Move On 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Only To Be Yours Can Anybody Hear Me As Long As It Takes Come Home All Will Fade Away What It Means To Love Live Through Me My Soul Sings In Your Arms How Great Is The Love
By Heidi Todd
tainly full of songs that are easy to include in many settings and situations though. The ideas and structure behind the songs makes many of them adaptable to multiple audiences, so if other people were to sing her songs, they would still stand on their own merit. To give the level of credibility that her voice is deserving of and her ability to write a song, I hope that her next release is way less produced. I kept wanting to remove a lot of the layers that rounded off all the rough edges and covered over any raw quality that could have made this album more interpersonal. It’s obvious these songs are sincere and meaningfully connected to Jesus – sometimes adding so much production value removes the connection from the artist to the audience. So Meredith, keep the beautiful contributions coming – looking forward to hearing more. Heidi is on the Creative Arts staff of Puyallup Foursquare Church, where she’s been for over seven years and was recently made the worship pastor at a new satellite of PFC. Her background is primarily in worship ministry (starting at age twelve) while also enjoying work with youth, women, tech arts, and more. [email protected]
Sung from a youthful heart, the songs on “As Long As It Takes” reflect someone on a journey much like David wrote about in the Psalms. He would ask questions, make requests, express his fear before the Lord but punctuate everything with a “yet I will praise You”. He was honest about his void, while still declaring what he knew to be true – that God fits and fills every void. Meredith, not new to the avenue of writing and recording, delivers a confident but palatable vocal performance. Sometimes she soars, sometimes she rests, but makes room throughout, for the instrumentation to weigh in on the emotion of the songs. I wouldn’t call this a cut and dried worship album. It’s cer-
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By Justin Fox
God’s Favorite Kind of Worship
As two dozen teenagers and I hefted a monstrously heavy wooden bench and prepared to slog it through the snow to the other side of the camp, I knew this was a different type of worship for most of us. Some people wouldn’t even call it worship - but God does. I’ve often wondered what God’s favorite type of worship is. Have you ever wondered if God has a favorite style? What does He like best? R&B? Passion? Soul Survivor? Bluegrass? Hillsong? Hymns? What do you think, really? We all say that He appreciates and receives our praise no matter the style, as long as it comes from the heart, but secretly...if it was just you and He, having a Macchiato at Peete’s (His coffee preference for sure), and you asked Him...Do you think He might have a favorite? Well, guess what? He does. God says this through the prophet Amos: “I’ve had all I can take of your noisy egomusic. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.” (Amos 5 - The Message) As a songwriter and contemporary worship leader, this passage is a tough one to wrestle with. His comment about music stings and challenges. He also offers no redemptive instruction regarding music at all. Now, I realize there are many other references throughout the Bible where music is encouraged as a true expression of worship. I know God loves music, but there seems to be two things He loves even more; Justice and Fairness. These are words with a sense of action embedded into them, action that awakens other virtues, as well; Compassion, Generosity, Service, Kindness. The questions we have to ask are; What would it look like for us to worship God the way He wants? What could this look like for our congregations during a “contemporary worship service” in which we seek to please God with our praise? And the toughest one of all; Are we really pleasing Him now? As I’ve been wrestling with these thoughts, I’ve had the opportunity to facilitate some unique worship expressions in a variety of ways, and I wanted to share the latest experience. Recently, I was the “speaker” and “worship leader” (use of quotes, because I’m still trying to figure out those titles) for a group of high school students in the mountains of Washington. I focused our times together around various postures; Praise,
Continued on page 51
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WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM MAY/JUNE 2010
By John Mills
sit in the mix better. When Sally goes for that high note in the Sandi Patty song, it should not make your ears bleed. As well as when she goes to a quiet section we should still be able to hear her.
Last month we spent some time on the basics of what a compressor is, what it is used for, and what all the knobs do. This month I want to give you some basic settings to get you started on specific instruments and situations, I also want to dispel a nasty myth that many people typically believe about using a compressor to fix mic technique. First let’s hit some of those basics. Here are a few thoughts before we get into the numbers. When learning compression, try starting out with the “auto” button engaged. If your compressor has one, this button automatically sets the attack and release for you. It is not always completely correct, but it does do a pretty good job of guessing what you want to achieve. If you have an OverEasy button, turn that on. Over Easy is a trademarked process of controlling the compressor’s knee, but simply put, it is a little more musical sounding type of compression. One thing to note is that every brand of compressor sounds a little different. That’s why top studios have many different types of compressors. For our practices though, we are not interested in the subtle differences, but more in controlling the dynamics of our instruments and vocalists. “I need more compressors” is not always the solution. I run mostly digital consoles these days, so even though I have the ability to put a compressor on every channel, I honestly only use about 6 to 8 compressors in a typical worship band setting and one compressor on each vocalist. What should I compress? I typically compress vocals, drums, bass, and acoustic guitar. When I’m short on compressors I make decisions in that order. A word to the wise on subgroup compression. Compressing with sub groups is a topic we will save for another day, but in short, be careful using it. A compressor “compresses” the loudest thing it hears. So if you have a sub group of 8 background vocalists and use only 1 compressor on that group, the loudest singer will be triggering the compression for everyone else. It’s useful for controlling the overall dynamics of them, but will completely mess up if the blend of their vocals you are feeding the subgroup is off or if one person overpowers the others from time to time it will just turn everyone down. A better solution here is to have a compressor committed to each individual vocalist, or at the very least, put one on the lead vocal and one on a subgroup of the background vocals Learning to hear what the attack and release settings really do. This is actually a good trick to setting the compressor up in general, but be sure to follow all the steps and please note… these settings are not correct settings for a kick drum, but meant to allow you to hear what the attack and release are doing. See later in the article for actual settings I recommend. Insert your compressor on a Kick Drum. Set your Ratio to 8:1 Set the Threshold so you are getting about 10db or even 20db of compression. Set Attack all the way fast. Set Release somewhere in the middle of the dial. Turn the output gain back up as to match the amount of compression you are seeing. (You can check that you are correct by alternating the bypass switch. You should NOT notice a difference in volume. Tone, yes, but perceived volume, no. Now start moving the attack toward a slower setting. You’ll notice that the drum starts to get more click or “attack” coming through. Find a nice setting that allows punch but still controls the latter part of the sound. Turn the Release all the way fast to start. Now while listening to the overall tone and decay of the drum, move slowly toward slower settings. The compressor should fully release BEFORE the hit of the next drum, and you should be able to find a setting that adds to the overall tone or thickness of the drum. And think about this. A drum is a very short “time wise” instrument. So you’ll almost always use fast attack and fast release settings. Vocals and instruments are more musical and sustain much longer so therefore their release rates are more matched to the music time wise. The magic… where do I start. All right, now that we have got all that out of the way, let’s go after some of those magic numbers. Remember these are starting points; at the end of the day always trust your ears. Vocals: The idea with vocal compression is to smooth out their dynamic range so they will
Threshold: Set so there is always a little compression taking place. Maybe –1db on soft sections and –10db on loud sections. Ratio: 2:1 for lead vocals, and 3 or 4:1 for background vocals. Attack: About 25ms Release: Should be somewhere around 200 to 400ms. Output: Don’t forget to bring the output back. If you are seeing –4db on the gain reduction meter boost the output by +4db. That way you make up the gain you lost in the compressor. Drums: The biggest benefit of compressing drums aside from controlling their dynamics is that we can achieve a punchier sound. Try these settings. One compressor on a sub mix of the drums will often be a good solution. But like I said above, the loudest thing in the subgroup triggers the compressor, so be sure to balance the levels of the drums so the compressor is hitting evenly on all the drums. That said I always prefer to have an individual compressor on each drum.
Threshold: Set so there is about –4db on normal hits. More compression will return a more “squashed” sound, which is often desired, on a snare. Ratio: 4:1 Attack: Set as fast as possible. I find 3 to 15ms will let a nice bit of the snap through. Listen to the “click” on the drum when choosing this setting. Release: Kick/Snare 20 to 75ms will fatten up the tone, or meat, of the drum. Toms might be as high as 500 if it has a lot of sustain. Output: Don’t forget to make up the gain you lost from compression. If you set it so you see -4db on the compression meter, then turn up the output of the compressor by +4db. Bass: Since the bass guitar is the feeling and driving force behind most contemporary worship music, I tend to want it pretty solid. I don’t like the low frequencies jumping around as if they were coming and going.
Continued on page 44
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
We like to pack things in tight. Offering so much for so little, Yamaha’s LS9 digital mixing console features a USB recording and playback device, virtual effects rack, a variety of EQ and dynamics, and recallable head amps. In addition, 16 or 32 channel models can be easily doubled to 32 or 64 channels via Mini-YGDAI expansion slots in a wide range of formats. Throw in an intuitive interface and an attractive price tag, and it’s easy to see that the LS9 is stuffed with potential.
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. • P O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90620-6600 • www.yamahaca.com . ©2010 Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.
CREATING YoUR MAP™
By Scott A. Shuford
Ministry + Artistry = Profitability? MAP™
Editor’s Note: We’re happy to debut this new column! Focusing on a balance between the business of music and ministry, Scott will take your questions and share successful strategies from his experiences working with Integrity thread is about making ends meet. For me, that is M + A = P which is the MAP™ I think I have for you. His comments during our conversation signaled to me that Jadon has settled into his calling. As we talked about his experiences on the road and with the label, it was clear to me that he understands and accepts that in this season of his life, he is called to lead the church body into deeper relationship with Christ. Jadon is still a younger, new family kind of guy. With the platform he has, he can go several directions. He feels strongly that he is called to lead Soccer Moms and the rest of the body of Christ into deeper connection with God through singersongwriter driven songs of worship and life. He’s not excluding any opportunity that might come up, but he is clear about his primary calling and audience. This is a huge step for most artists to make: to understand the context within which their artistic gift is going to be the most useful within the body of Christ. I think it’s hard for us as creative, artistic people to not feel like we’re somehow cutting off our arms if we define our art, or God forbid limit it in some way. However, without firmly answering this question for yourself, you cannot pursue a path to stability and profitability. If you are called to be the next Switchfoot or P.O.D. then you are not on the same path as the next Chris Tomlin or Steven Curtis Chapman. What is God’s calling on your music? Send me your answer to that question and briefly explain why you think what you think or know what you know. Now that we will have settled the question of your mission, next time we’ll talk about the tectonic power shift that has affected the entire music industry and all music artists, including worship artists and ministers just like you. Scott has led classes for us at NAMM and the Christian Musician Summit. He was recently featured in Adweek and is the CEO of FrontGate Media, the #1 pop-culture media group reaching the Christian audience (www. FrontGateMedia.com) and is the co-founder of Creator Worship: online radio for worship leaders (www.CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com).
Can Ministr y + Artistry = Profitability? Absolutely. How you get there will depend on your answers to several key questions. Let’s nail down the first question. The first question to ask yourself is “What is your mission?” This is not as simple an answer as you might first think. What is your calling? What, exactly, has God called you to do? Who has he called you to minister to? Are you called to write music for the world to hear or are you called to minister within the church? For most of us, those are two completely separate things. Are you rock solid in your answer to this question? I recently had a conversation with artist and worship leader Jadon Lavik. Our conversation together revealed to me that Jadon had answered this question, and more importantly, accepted his answer. I first met Jadon when he was a Saddleback Church music ministry intern. We’ve kept in touch over more than a few years. Soon after his internship, he was signed by BEC Recordings, hit the road opening for top Christian artists like Natalie Grant, and went on to put out a total of four albums. As I write this, he is just about to release his first new album in several years. He’s gone indie and is looking for his MAP.
Mus i c , Wo r s h i p Together, Vineyard Music, Rick Muchow (Saddleback Church,) and others in the areas of social media, public relations, advertising and promotion. Email questions on this topic for future consideration to [email protected]
Welcome to the first of a multi-part series on marketing for worship leaders. I’m prayerfully excited to begin this dialogue with you in the hope that God will bring us together to help extend your reach in worship music and the arts. One of the most frequently asked questions I hear is “How do I make it in the music industry?” I’ve heard that question stated in many different ways, but the common
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By Michael Gonzales
You Live It. Now Wear It.
LOVE ONE WOMAN... MANY BASSES
When looking back on our lives, there are things we probably wish we could do different. For me, I should have learned to ride a motorcycle. There are days when I think, “Man, I should have been a fighter pilot” or “I should have been a U.S. Marshal” like my nephew. The one thing that re-surfaces in my thoughts is how I would have been a different kind of worship leader. For one thing, I would have worshiped dangerously. Let me explain it this way. There are people I know who may or may not be believers, but there is something very real, very tangible about their lives. They risk the future by telling the truth today. It’s like when a police officer pulls someone over and asks, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” Reality shows reveal a hilarity of answers. “Uh, you want my number for a date?” “You want to buy my car?” “You found my iPhone?” Then there are those people that give a surprising answer, “I’m sorry officer, I was speeding. I have a problem with a lead foot but that’s no excuse. I really appreciate what you folks do out there. Give me what I deserve as a reminder to do better.” Wow! What does an officer say to that? Well, there are times when I wish I was a more authentic, more real, and as a result more dangerous.
it the thing the evil one does not want to have happen in our daily lives. Prayer is a strong weapon and when the Holy Spirit is in agreement with our petitions—stuff happens! The other powerful thing that happens over time is people on the worship team get a clear picture of what each person’s strengths are. Those that have excellent leadership abilities seem to rise to the occasion and pull the team together. Other team members raise the bar of excellence by their musicality. They have the ability to make a mediocre song seem remarkable. There are also those that have expressions of joy all over their face and the way they worship can make anyone turn from sour to sweet. The worshipers I love are the wise ones. They don’t have to be the worship leader, but when given the chance they share power that God can only give. The words those individuals speak do not bring glory to themselves but point to a holy purpose that is selfless and not selfish. My final comment is that a worship team is like a Swat team (another metaphor with dangerous implications). Swat team members are specialists, trained in one main task—stop the bad guys now! Worship team members are also specialists trained in ushering people into the kingdom now! Swat team members become so close, they are like family to each other. A worship team should become tight like the Swat members. The team becomes more cohesive and that cohesiveness is one less thing people in fellowship have to criticize or worry about. Finally, a Swat team knows their tools. The worship team needs to apply that principle as well. Each worship team member, unified, becomes one sacrifice of praise. When the worship team is in sync with God’s Spirit, the assembly of believers become one big dangerous representation of evidence hoped for and Christ’s power by dying for us. Worship may lie in traditional things we do each week, but the focus of worship is experiential and goes beyond the boundaries of time. For we are worshipers of Christ today and as far as God Almighty is concerned, we are connected with the worshipers throughout the ages. To Him, it is all one big worship experience and you and I have the privilege of being His dangerous worshipers. Michael Gonzales, Ph.D. Professor, Biola University [email protected]
STICK WITH ONE WOMAN...
What I do like about many worship teams today is their ability to mobilize in prayer (another dangerous act).
Love One Woman... Many Faders
In the history of the early New Testament church, what Christians did was considered dangerous enough for Pliny (A.D. 111-113) a Roman governor, to find out what Christians did during worship. One of the things that was interesting in Pliny’s report was the gathering together of believers for a common meal. That may not seem very perilous, but stick with me. I am reminded of a church I know that actually has a person in charge of ministering to the worship team by making a meal for them each week. I would say that is rare today and something worth considering. One of the great things about meeting together is there is power in numbers. What I do like about many worship teams today is their ability to mobilize in prayer (another dangerous act). It is dangerous because
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By Doug Doppler
but remember - you just gave your extra D string to the other guitar player. Picks just seem to be everywhere, except when you REALLY need one. I’d suggest taping one to the back of your headstock, cause some day, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you for a favor - to borrow your pick… Of course the battery is new. Know any bass players with active electronics? I love these guys, but sometimes they just seem to think that since the battery worked when they bought their bass, it always will. Of course, none of us have ever had the power go out to our pedalboards, so just out of consideration for the other guys, let’s start keeping some extra new batteries around in case “they” might need them… I don’t need an extra cable. Yes, actually you do, and one day you’ll find out why... Of course I know what key it’s in. OK, so maybe YOU’VE never started a song in the wrong key. I’ve found that marking up the set list with the key or first chord for each song is almost foolproof - as long as I look at it… I’m not really that loud. I can’t speak for you, but my amp has two settings in the ears of many Worship leaders - off or too loud. But seriously, let the other guitar player play through your rig, and stand directly in front of your amp twenty-five or so feet away to see what everyone else hears. If you play with a 4x12 cabinet at Church, try doing this on a semi regular basis, just to get tuned in the the directionality of your sound. Take appropriate action with your volume control and your team will thank you for it… We’ll get it right in the second service. We serve an amazing God who loves giving second chances. I do question myself when I’ve made sloppy mistakes - am I really bringing God my best? Faith not works, I know, but I also know that practice works too… I can leave my gear here. That’s what I used to think until the thieves broke in and stole my amp and footboard off of the Worship platform. It wasn’t safe, it probably never will be, so if you really can’t live without your gear, take it home… In closing, I’d like to encourage each of you to think about ways you alone can raise the bar on what you do as you honor God with your instrument. Too many times I’ve gotten caught up in what I was doing and sometimes lost sight of why I was doing it. Be Blessed! Doug Doppler tours the world as an instrumentalist, has played on two Guitar Hero video games, and along with his wife Melissa works to help worship teams develop their gifts for the glory of God.
In the 40 years that I’ve been playing guitar, and I’ve had just about every imaginable disaster strike. If it can go wrong, it has, and it just might again today, so be prepared… Honey, did you hear something? I carry ear plugs with me everywhere I go. They live in my left jacket pocket, and I usually carry an extra set or two in a ziplock in my pants. If you play next to a drummer, try putting a single plug in the ear that faces the abuse coming from his cymbals. You’ll thank me in a decade or two when you can still hear your phone ring… I never break a string! I usually don’t break strings - unless I don’t have extras. I change strings before every service and I leave an extra set in my car just in case I need them. Ever given an extra string to the other guitar player and then have yours break? As they say in the data world, if it’s not backed up in at least two places, it’s not backed up… I can use any pick. It’s big, it’s made out of felt, and it’s nearly impossible to play anything other than a bass with it. OK so you can use a quarter,
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By Tom Lane
What About The Yoots!
One of the things I do in life is work with youth (yoots I like to call them!), it’s a passion for both my wife and I. We run youth events, camps, lead teams around the world. We are truly inspired by them and many have become some of our dearest friends. What I love about young people is the lack of religious baggage attached to their creative expression. If they’ve not yet been told, “you can’t do it that way,” then it comes out naturally free and uninhibited; the way I think God meant it! Needless to say the language of music is powerful despite the fact that the style and relevancy changes from generation to generation. My hope is that we’ll embrace this next movement of minstrels and artists and help them to lead their generation to Christ. This needs to be a huge focus in my book for any looking to be a vital and thriving ministry in worship. There’s a church I’ve been going back to down south for the last 8 years to lead worship. In that short time the 7 member youth group has grown to 120 plus in their small community. There were no musicians at first and now there are bands, singer-songwriters, and worship leaders along with a lot of sharp young leaders in general. This happened because the former Youth Minister who’s a lifelong friend, the Pastor, and a group of parents at the church decided to create a time and space for them to step into their gifting and grow their talents. They’ve not just built something for them but allowed them to participate in the building and now they’re a growing force! I’ve learned a lot from their model and seen it work over and over throughout my friend’s youth ministry career. Though it’s obviously not only about musicians and artists they’ve clearly produced a bunch of them and he’s not a musician at all. For one we can’t be afraid of the messes and issues that come along with young creative people. They’re human like us all and God does not demand they be perfected to be allowed to step into responsibility or roles. My buddy is great at spotting a talent and giving them room to use it. This isn’t for all, but I want to challenge those who think you only put the more mature or seemingly together ones up front. I’m not saying make them all elders in your church but I am saying let them play a song, run a mixer, lights, powerpoint, etc. For some, all they need is to feel needed to do anything or a part of something. In time the relationship is what earns the right to encourage and disciple effectively. We are not so great in The Church at letting people “get it” by way of the Holy Spirit versus our telling them what all they should be doing and how exactly it should be done. We all struggle with being somewhat of a mess and God specializes in cleaning up the messy. So, invite them all, let them come as they are-that’s the Jesus Model! Part of the deal is being willing to also deal with problems and attitudes when they come but you can do that without driving them on to someplace else. And that’s the reality for us Church, we have a few short years to influence them or we lose them to a World full of other opportunities. We have to create opportunity for them! Internships are a wonderful thing and a big reason these guys have been so fruitful. When people grow in skill level, faith, maturity, etc., they carve out a little job description and give them more responsibility. One such kid that I’ve known since he was a runt, is now their new Youth Director. They mentored and trained him and then handed it off to him. That’s an Apostle Paul model that we need to see more of I believe. They’ve done it with a number of their worship leaders and musicians who’ve also moved on to pursue what God has for them. If we are willing to be inconvenienced and quick to befriend we can really help steer the course of young talents. Programs are becoming more of a bore to them; they are drawn to life and friendship. If they feel safe they’ll trust you with the stuff of their lives. Artists are already a misunderstood and misfit tribe, it’s no wonder they’re immediately fulfilled with affirmation and praise of any kind. To intentionally deflate them thinking we’re keeping them humble is a more hurtful way to guide them. If they’re a part of a healthy community where they’re not high and lifted up but just normal kids they’re more likely to be better grounded as they mature. That’s in essence the role we play as leaders in the Church. Serving and facilitating doesn’t mean accommodating every need, we can’t do the impossible and that’s why too many burn out. Mentors guide and steer best out of true friendship, which conveys you’re in the battle with them not just a boss. I’m going on record to say I think we are going to see a new breed of Worship Leader in the near future. It’s not enough too simply camp out in our own pep rallies and give people what they want to hear every week. The young people I know are already saying that’s not what they intend to do. They do want to worship, they do want to serve and be Godly, and they want to be who they are. If History teaches us anything it’s that styles change. What we now know as modern worship won’t be modern in a few more years. Not to say songs lose their meaning or impact, many will live on but the messengers are going to look and sound different! There’s a boatload of young musos in our churches and just like we did, they’re watching their heroes and icons, studying them and dreaming how they can do what they do. We have to step up and present them with heroic faith, integrity, friendship, leadership, and encouragement. Jesus is not an alternative or religion, if they connect with Him as the Person and Lord He is then the fruit that comes out of that relationship is what will enable them to be relevant and impacting. So Let’s not forget those Yoots, they need us!! Nashville, TN is home for Tom Lane though he is involved in ministry and music around the world. As a singer, songwriter and guitar player, Tom has been teamed with many worship leaders and artists. He continues to record his own work, lead worship, and writes regularly for various worship publications worldwide.
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Continued from page 34
Threshold: Set so there is about –6db on the gain reduction meter. Ratio: 4:1 Attack: 15 to 45ms Release: 300 to 450ms, depending on the song. Output: Don’t forget to make up the gain. Acoustic guitar: I like the acoustic to have a nice attack but also to be consistent. Going from finger picking to hard strumming will require a bit of a threshold adjustment usually, but these
settings should get you started. Threshold: Set so there is about –3bd on the gain reduction meter. Ratio: 2.5:1 Attack: 5 to 15ms Release: 200 to 300ms. Give or take depending on how fast the song is. You should see the meter fall just a hair faster than the natural decay of the note. Output: Yup, you got it… make up the gain. Remember, these settings are only guidelines. If it sounds bad, don’t blame me, trust your ears. Oh, and that nasty myth I mentioned at the beginning… compressors shouldn’t be used to fix bad technique. Instead of slapping a 5:1 compressor on that vocalist because he can’t seem to hold the mic in the same place, why not spend some time going over proper mic technique with him. Be nice. A humble sound person who teaches (and is also teachable) is the best kind. Till next month, John John is an 18-year veteran of the road. He was a frustrated Electrical Engineer who hated college. Left school to pursue a career on the road as a drummer, ended up as a sound engineer, and after being blessed to work for many of the top level Christian worship leaders including Chris Tomlin, Lincoln Brewster, Shane and Shane, Paul Baloche, and many more, has landed at a job as an audio engineer for a design firm. He says, “I guess Mom was right, she always knew I’d finally got a real job.” Check out www.EliteMultimedia.com and www.TechTraining101. com for more about what John is up to.
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If you’ve dug into the Old Testament at all, especially 1 Chronicles and Psalms, it’s hard to miss the importance placed on songs and worship. That concept is reiterated in the New Testament in both Ephesians and Colossians, where it says to sing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” to one another and to the Lord. That’s what came to mind after talking with Michael Farren, frontman for Pocket Full Of Rocks. In fact, the phrase of “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” really covers quite well, the different aspects of music Michael has been writing for three albums now.
Aimee Herd: Previously your CDs have come out of a place of spontaneity, was this new release, More Than Noise, approached in the same way? Michael Farren: Very different. I love the spontaneity that you can find sometimes in worship settings, and that’s the world I come from. It’s where I’m comfortable. But, it doesn’t translate very well commercially. I’m not trying to be commercial, but there is a broad audience that we would love to reach as well. So, this album is very pointed toward the setting of actually operating in the craft of songwriting. For me as a writer, the Lord really had challenged me to go there. The spontaneity thing is safe and it feels very warm and fuzzy to me. I love those moments. But, one of the gifts that God has given me is to be a songwriter. I had never really spent a lot of time honing that craft on a daily basis, the way some other writers do. So, three years ago, I started writing here in town with other guys who really stretched me. It was “iron sharpens iron.” But, it was a pleasure to sit down and have these guys kind of kick my tail to be a better songwriter, and to be disciplined with it. So, for this album, we sat down and prayed, asking what God wanted for this album, and we ended up writing 50 songs for it. I loved it! I loved every session, every moment of just wrestling through lyrics and lines and prayers and books. It also has to come from somewhere personal. But, it was really neat to watch these songs take shape when they were labored over in a good way. I’m so used to seeing these spontaneous moments take another life, but it’s really cool to also watch the ones that you didn’t feel quite as warm and fuzzy about [at first], become something you feel really warm and fuzzy about after. A good friend, Tony Wood, he told me once, “Michael, you write when you feel inspired, but I write until it IS inspired.” It really rocked me. That there are two sides to this thing; the discipline of it, and—as a worship leader— there’s the sensitive side as well. Long answer, but it’s my favorite thing to talk about. (Laughs) AH: It’s great though, I can hear the passion. Was it difficult for you to make that transition in songwriting? MF: No, it was a little awkward the first few times, but I’ve been writing with some phenomenal guys and they’ve been very gracious and encouraging. Collaboration is a very different thing for those who are just getting into it. You’re kind of used to being in your prayer closet, or alone with God, or leading worship when those moments hit. Then all of a sudden you find yourself in a room staring at a guy that you don’t know very well. The songs we want to write have to come from a very intimate place, so very quickly, you’re having to let your guard down with guys that you don’t know that well, and try to write from an honest and transparent place. That’s why it might feel a little weird at times. And then, there are personalities that are involved sometimes. I can honestly say, though, that I have not had a bad co-write here in Nashville. I have had co-writes where you meet, your personalities are different, you shake hands, have a coffee, write a song and walk away.
46 MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
And then I’ve had the other experiences where you become lifelong friends. I was blessed to have great writing partners in the beginning, and we’re still writing [together] for different things now. AH: Well, I know the first single on this new album, called Alive, you wrote with Stu G of Delirious, so was that a writing session where you just shook hands over a cup of coffee, or was it a really good one? MF: (Laughs) No, it was a good one, we became friends and have written a couple songs since then. Stu was awesome, he’s just a gifted, talented guy. He is very hard to get with though, so when I have opportunities to write with him, I jump at them. AH: You wrote the song, Love Whispers Your Name, with your teenage daughter, Madison. That must have been a very special experience. MF: Yeah, it was a very special moment on the album for me. As a parent, you hope your kids will end up loving music as much as you do. Sure enough, they do, and it looks like there’s a call of God for music in their life and they seem very happy—and it scares me a little as well. (Laughs) But, she’s a great songwriter. Parents tend to overblow the facts about their kids, but Madison, who is just 15, is turning into a phenomenal songwriter.
AH: That’s exciting. MF: She sat down with me to write When Love Whispers Your Name, and help me hash out a verse. I wanted to write about a topic that I really couldn’t wrap my brain around, but that she deals with, through friends she knows. ...Kids that are troubled, and that cut themselves... She helped me kind of “go there,” for the story. A few weeks ago, she took the stage for the first time with Pocket Full of Rocks in our hometown. I introduced her as one of the co-writers and called her out on stage. That was so cool to have my daughter on the stage with me for the first time ever to sing the song. She has a beautiful voice, and that’s actually her singing on the album. It was very special moment for me. AH: And for your wife, Alisa as well no doubt. MF: Oh yeah, that particular night Alisa was standing side-stage with tears, watching our daughter step into what she’s built for. Our youngest daughter who is 12, is coming right behind her. We’ve got a house full of musicians. (Laughs) AH: I love it! I’m a parent too, so I understand completely. Talk about the song Let It Rain, a song that was born out of spontaneity. It’s been around
for a while, and has been recorded by others, such as Smitty, but although it originated with Pocket Full Of Rocks, you’ve never recorded it. What made you decide to put it on a record now? MF: It’s crazy. It actually was not supposed to be on this album; it came more as a directive from the label—one girl in particular who just said, “You know, I’d love for you to attempt a version of that.” We’d never recorded it though. We have one live clip from long ago, and that’s all we’d ever done with it. Honestly, every time we set down in the studio to track it, it just felt like it missed something. I would never even put that song in my set lists, it was just kind of that one that you pulled out in the moment. It seemed like if I did put it in a set list, it would go over like a lead balloon. That song is not one that you just throw out there all the time, it’s “for a moment.” So, when they suggested doing it, we were hesitant. Ed Cash, who produced the album, had never heard the song before, which we harassed him about. (Laughs) “Man, you must live in a cave on the other side of Nashville if you haven’t heard it!” He said, “Well, play it for me.” So, Pocket played our version of it there in the studio, and by the end of the song he was leaned back in his chair with his hands in the air, worshiping. We were still skeptical about using it, but he started building a track, and giving direction for it, and everybody was smiling at the end of it. It was very cool; it’s taken on a new life
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
POCKET FULL OF ROCKS and a Heart Full of Songs
Cates and Tony Woods. I just walked in with the first few lyrics and said, “Guys, this is what I want to say.” We went to write it, and it was labor—it was a labor of love. I didn’t feel goose bumps; it was just crafting a song. It was a process of writing, but then one week later I did it live, and people flooded the altars. So, it was a really neat moment for me to see a song that you labored over, and didn’t feel warm and fuzzy and spontaneous about [in the writing of it], have the same effect on the audience. It was a real eye-opening thing for me that it takes both. My wife says that in those spontaneous moments, I’m not a song writer, but a song receiver. She told me once, “You’re not writing that, you’re receiving it.” I think she’s right. In one instance you’re a songcrafter, and in the other instance, you’re a song-receiver. Both are powerful; we have to work at both, because they both take discipline. AH: You play piano/keyboards and guitar, so what do you prefer to use when writing a song?
for us. To every one of us it still feels like it has “something on it.” That had always been a fear of ours, that we’d studio-track it and it would lose something. But, it doesn’t feel that way to us. It didn’t feel contrived or forced. When we were tracking it, David—the drummer—was in tears while he was playing the drums for his take. We were very grateful, [recording it] was an unexpected neat moment on the album. AH: I find it interesting that you began this interview by telling me your comfort lies in that spontaneity in worship, when often it’s the opposite for worship teams and artists. Can you speak a little to the value of spontaneous worship, and how a team can incorporate that more in churches where it’s maybe not the norm? MF: Honestly, it’s a tough one. There’s really no set way. I’ve seen teams where everybody tries to go there and it’s chaos. Then you have the other extreme where no one is willing to take a step and see if there is something to be said or sung. So, I think it falls on the head of a good worship leader who will take a chance. And, it always relates back to private worship. I’ve said it a lot through the years that worship leaders who worship in private have no trouble leading worship in public. There’s no switch they flip when they leave their closet and step on stage. It just feels like an extension of those moments in personal life where you’re singing your prayers, and crying out in moments to God where no other song [except what is coming to you spontaneously] will fit. It’s an extension of that. It can take a bit to get used to. You get butterflies in your stomach when you feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit to lead off in a lyric that previously has not been sung. And yet, it has powerful results. In reality though, not every church is going to be open to it, and that’s okay, you just need to know your church. For nine years,
48 MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
I was at a crazy charismatic church in Texas and that was where a lot of those songs [on previous albums] were written. We had a lot of freedom from the leadership to the people who attended. The church I’m at now is a young church plant that’s only 3-years-old, and I hardly ever do that right now. I think we’re going there [eventually], but if I went there now, it would throw them off completely. I think in times like that you can go there very subtly—almost sneak up on them—they don’t even realize that we’ve caught a refrain, they just think the overhead guy forgot to put the words up. (Laughing) Basically, you just have to know where God has you. And, always approach it from a mindset of being a blessing to the Lord and a blessing to people. The spontaneity part of my world is very limited at the moment, and I really miss it. AH: Well, let me ask you this... Now that you’ve done a couple records in the more spontaneous style of birthing of songs, and then with this latest one, where you’ve specifically sat down and written and cowritten songs; what do you prefer? MF: You know what? I prefer both, I really do. I think both have incredible importance and neither one is wrong. I was the one who was limited; I had limited myself for two albums, when I refused to sit down and co-write with people. Who knows what could’ve come out of that. So, the next album, I can assure you, will be a little of both. It’s the oddest thing; I can write for other people (I’m a staff writer with Word Records), and that’s what I do when I’m home, day after day—I sit down and have sessions where I write. But, the next album will have a little of both on it. It was a very moving moment for me... The song Come As You Are; the first line is “He’s not mad at you...” I wrote that with Chad
MF: Whichever one I’m not burnt out on! (Laughs) That really is how I work, I go back and forth constantly. I have a piano in my dining room, and six acoustic guitars laying around the house, all tuned to different tunings. Now that I’m writing every day for other projects as well, it’s just a practical way to keep from getting burnt out on any one instrument. I’ll pick up a guitar that’s a different tuning and it sparks melodies in my head, and then I’ll go back to standard and capo it up high, and that will spark other melody lines. Or, I’ll be stuck on piano for a week and a half, where everything I write I’m hearing it on the piano. It’s just not locking yourself into something that’s going to limit your creativity. I keep a lot of options laying around. I do have a mandolin that I cannot play, but I’ll dink around on it and it sparks some ideas that are fun to play with, you never know sometimes where a song will come from. AH: And, you can always have Ricky Scaggs come over and play your mandolin. MF: (Laughs) Oh yeah, absolutely! Actually there was this one song that almost made this album called, The Sound of Your Voice... (you’ll think I’m crazy) I wrote it in a dream. I woke up and the whole song was written in my dream. (Laughs) I recorded it, but it was already written! AH: Oh wow, that’s pretty amazing. MF: It doesn’t happen a lot, but I’ve got about half a dozen songs that were sparked in part or in whole from a dream. The older I’ve gotten the more I’m learning to roll my butt out of bed and grab a pencil and write it down. As humans, I think we always want to put everything in a box, but with songwriting you can’t. Just be disciplined, and allow it room to breathe. AH: What would you say was the most impacting songwriting session you had
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POCKET FULL OF ROCKS and a Heart Full of Songs
during the formation of this album? MF: All the guys I wrote with on this album have become pretty close friends to me and still are. And, you kind of know halfway through a song... “we’re onto something here.” Come As You Are was one of those songs, written with Tony Wood and Chad Cates. About halfway through we said, “You know, this is the kind of song that God can really use.” We felt it was a song that people need to hear. There’s a song called, Jesus Died My Soul to Save; I wrote two verses and a chorus, and called my friend Matt Boswell, a worship leader in Dallas, he is a young-old soul and he writes in this “hymnish” fashion. I called him up and said, “I’ve got this song that I’m writing, I need a bridge and one more verse...” He hears it and flips out and sends it back, and as soon as I hear what he’s written for it, I knew instantly that it was a great song for the corporate Church. It’s hard to define what the impacting moments were; obviously having my daughter there was one. Overall I was just blessed to get to write with people I really do adore. They’re my heroes and my friends, and out of 50 songs—I kid you not—there wasn’t one song that I didn’t want on the album. That’s how good these guys are. Picking 11 out of 50 is a real pain! Now we’re trying to figure out what to do with the others, because we didn’t write them to be wasted. But that’s what the publisher does; tries to find homes for them. AH: Michael, you’ve referred to yourself as a “ballad guy,” can you talk about some of the most important elements when writing a ballad, for songwriters who would like to give that a try?
reality is, the Church at large and the radio audience—that’s not what they want to hear. They want to hear the songs that lead them to worship, or songs that encourage them and help them make it through another day. You can’t over think that. Pocket has been blasted in reviews, even for this new album, that it’s cliché and trite and saying the same things over and over again. And I say, “Yeah, that’s the point.” There are only so many ways to phrase things in the English language, and at the end of the day, your job is to encourage people, or lead people deeper into relationship with God, or to give them a song that lets them express adoration and worship. You can’t over complicate this, it’s writing for people. One day I will do a solo album of all the weird, quirky stuff that I love to write, and I promise you it won’t have any effect compared to what we do with Pocket. It takes both. More and more, I’m learning to embrace a broader world, and all that God can do. Recently, I did some songs at the Bluebird Cafe here in Nashville. They’re songs that I would never do on stage with Pocket Full Of Rocks, but for that night, it was exactly what the night needed; artistic, weird, quirky songs. Then, I’m back in the bus, headed for “worship land” the next day, but that’s the way I like it. AH: It’s nice to have that outlet for the artsy stuff though. You mentioned before, having a piano in the dining room and six acoustic guitars lying around, can you tell me what your preference in gear is? MF: I use the Yamaha CP300 Stage Piano for my main keyboard. I don’t do a lot of patches, I just need a great piano. It’s the best unit I’ve found, for the feel and the sounds you get out of a stage piano. I use Avalon Guitars, they’re made in Ireland. I was actually turned on to Avalon through Matt [Kees] and Bruce [Adolph]. I was then endorsed by Avalon at one of the CMS events, so I’ve been playing them for a couple of years. I also have old Guilds and old Yamaha guitars hanging around that I love, but that’s it, I’m not a picky guy. I don’t haul around a lot of peripheral stuff at all. The other guys in Pocket are gear-junkies, though! (Laughs) AH: Any specific plans for the future for Pocket? MF: Well, whenever you have a new album out, it’s just traveling, traveling, but that’s what you do. It sounds trite but the demand goes up when you have a new album out, and the phone starts ringing, but, it’s a good thing. We are blessed. We’re worship leaders and worship writers, that’s what our hearts beat to do. Radio has been kind to us, and that has opened up a whole lot more of the traveling itinerary. No matter what the stage is, we’re just trying to be who God called Pocket Full Of Rocks to be. For more info on all things Pocket, visit: www.pocketfullofrocks.com
MF: Be incredibly, brutally honest. I’m learning, as a ballad guy, what usually strikes people in a ballad is the honesty of it. In doing so much writing outside of my album, now I’m the guy that other artists are coming to [to write for and with them]. And I tell them, “What is your heart saying? What do you say when you’re on the stage...? And, they’re reply is usually [what becomes] the lyric, and they didn’t even catch it. They’ll say, “We’re really passionate about blah, blah, blah... and that blah, blah, blah is usually the lyric. When I sing it back to them, they’re like, “Oh... oh okay.” With ballads, I think you can over think them. In the secular world, I’m a huge fan of the old school balladeers; Billy Joel, and all those songwriters... they were honest, whether positive or negative, they were honest. Other people have different takes on what it all means, what a ballad looks like or how to form one. For me, I just think people, even non-musical people, resonate with the lyric that they sense is coming from somewhere transparent and honest. AH: I want to see two ballad-guys come together; I want to see you write a song with Mark Schultz. MF: Oh... that would be amazing. He’s one of those guys who can tell a story, and he does just what I described. He takes a real-life thing and writes about it. He drives home that point of being really honest with the lyric. I love “artsy” stuff, I really do. I love the cool, artsy singer-songwriter stuff that nobody’s ever going to hear. I can go to the songwriter places here in downtown Nashville every night of the week and hear the most amazing, intriguing songs. But, the
50 MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
By Martin Stillion
Playing the Mandolin: Setup Jobs
Have any of the following ever happened to you? 1. You notice that your old standby mandolin has become harder to play, doesn’t seem to have the tone or volume it once did, or has developed a buzz or other problem. You grab a great bargain on a vintage mandolin from eBay or Craig’s List, and when the mando arrives you wonder how anyone ever played it: it won’t stay in tune, there’s a mile between the frets and strings, or it has a bad repair. You get a brand-new mandolin named after a city in Texas, but built in a factory in China, that looks nice—but when you play it, your fingers hurt (and so do your ears). Another player lets you try out her instrument, which has a highly respected brand name on it, but tells you there are things about it she wishes she could change. And you agree. won’t turn it into a Gibson Master Model, but it can spare you a lot of frustration. I’m far from being an expert on setups—which is why I always let someone else do them for me— but here are some of the problems that a setup job can fix: Intonation When your strings are in tune but the notes you’re playing on them are not, something’s wrong. The bridge could be out of position, or it could be improperly compensated. The neck might need an adjustment. The strings could be dead. Or there could be a problem with the fretboard. Speaking of which… Fretboard issues Sometimes I think they’re called “frets” because they can give you plenty to worry about. But if you’re going to spend a lot of time mashing your fingertips against tiny metal bars, you should take steps to make the process as comfortable as possible. Frets that feel “sharp” under your fingers need to be properly crowned. Frets that aren’t level may result in “dead” notes on the fretboard, i.e., notes that don’t sound because a particular fret is too high or too low. Sometimes the fretwire can be slightly bent at the ends, which can cause intonation problems or even catch your E string after you push down on it. A good fret job involves making sure the frets are straight, properly seated, uniformly high, and comfortable to play on. In some cases, a fretboard develops too much “relief” or a “hump”—a spot where the wood of the And afterward, we even carried a few lighter boards on the way back. Now that’s a picture of God-pleasing praise! How about for you? Is there an action step you could make toward justice and fairness in your life? Could you take that step today, tonight, this week? I didn’t regret one second of this service, and I doubt I’ll ever forget it. Did I get to share some of the songs I’ve been working on and preparing for years? No. Did we cry, get goose-bumps, or experience warm, tingly sensations as a band played? Not exactly. Our footsteps created the rhythm, our voices shouted a crude, spirited melody, and a beautiful song rose to the heavens. We obeyed. We served. We gave. We offered a real, one of kind gift to God, a sacrifice, and I KNOW He loved it. And how am I so sure? Because that’s His favorite kind of worship. Justin Fox is a touring songwriter, worship leader, author, and recording artist. He lives in Southern California, close to a Peet’s Coffee, with his family of six - Find out more at www.JustinFox.com fretboard itself is warped. Sometimes this can be fixed by adjusting the truss rod; sometimes a luthier will need to pull the frets from the problem area, plane it down, and replace the frets. And finally, if the frets are so worn that you can’t play a note cleanly, then it’s time for a full fret job. I’d classify these procedures as “repair” rather than “setup,” but still, my money was well spent. Frequent string breakage If a particular string breaks more often than others, it could be due to the string binding up somewhere along its path, such as in a slot on the bridge or nut that isn’t properly cut. Or it could be hitting a “burr” or sharp edge in the metal of the tailpiece or tuner. Action If your strings are too far off the fretboard, or not far enough, you’ll have difficulty playing. A technician can adjust the action by raising or lowering the bridge, the nut, or the depth of their slots. If you want to know whether a particular technician is experienced enough to work on your axe, ask: “What’s your preference for the action at the 12th fret on a mandolin?” If you don’t get a reasonably immediate, confident answer that is very close to “four sixty-fourths of an inch,” then you should probably keep looking. Mystery noises or tone problems A buzz or a muffled sound can be something benign, like a loose tailpiece cover or poorly fitted bridge, or it could be something deadly serious, like a loose top brace. Don’t ignore it; have it checked out. Hardware troubles Sometimes a bridge, tuners, tailpiece, or other item of hardware just isn’t doing its job and will need to be upgraded. Barring a major problem with your instrument, a standard setup job should consume about two hours of labor, tops, plus new strings and/or parts. If you need help finding a technician, try asking in the Forum section of mandolincafe.com. Trivia question: (I had run out of these, but here’s one that’s too good not to share.) Which fast-food tycoon was so impressed by an elementary-school mandolin band that he bought new instruments for the whole group and sponsored a recording project, resulting in an LP titled Favorite Old Church Hymns? Multi-instrumentalist Martin Stillion, a 15-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.
I’ve actually had all of these experiences in the past few months (well, except for number 3—I’ve learned to stay away from those mandolins!). And in every case the solution is the same: the instrument needs a setup job. This is not a bad thing; it happens to every mandolin eventually. Specialty shops usually set up mandolins before selling them, but big-box retailers and some Internet dealers might not. Rule of thumb: if your mandolin literally comes to you “out of the box” (i.e., in one of those trapezoidal cartons with the maker’s logo), you should assume it was never set up, and have it checked out before you try to play it. A setup job Continued from page 33 Thanksgiving, Petition, Obedience, and Celebration. During the “worship through obedience” gathering, we explored the ideas of justice and fairness - how those play out in generosity and service, and what it would like for us to put some muscle into or worship, to back up our words and prayers with action. I had the idea of attempting some kind of service project for the camp. It turned out that they needed a 30 foot long, 1,500 pound workbench moved from one shop to another...300 yards... through the snow. If we could help with this, it’d be a huge blessing they said. We agreed to make it a part of our worship, and instead of singing a few songs in a nice, warm auditorium, we put on our boots and headed out into the weather. The camp’s hosts had fashioned beams going under the long bench so that each student had a hand hold. We remembered the Israelites and the Ark of Covenant. We laughed, sized up the job, cheered each other on, counted to three, and lifted! It was hard work, but nothing could wipe the smile off our faces! It took all we had to get that table to it’s new spot. We were spent! Our aching arms, legs, and backs proved the effort (and to think there’s actually a computer program called “EASY WORSHIP”). We cheered. We celebrated.
WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM MAY/JUNE 2010
“They’re more like guidelines than rules.”
I got a one-day pass from the “Can’t Say ‘NO!’ To Anyone Who Asks For Help” Recovery Center, so I thought I’d take a moment and share a few thoughts about building and upgrading church lighting systems. Recently I attended a children’s drama where they plugged a 1K follow spot into the single circuit (uh-oh) in their sound booth, blowing both the spot and, unfortunately, the audio as well. Luckily, as they reported, it “happens all the time,” so they were able to quickly reset the breaker! Life is too short for that kind of stress. Whether designing a lighting system for new construction, retrofitting an existing worship space, or simply adding some new lights to your rig, following a few simple rules can save a lot of headaches later, and will help guarantee a great performing system. FOLLOW A MASTER PLAN Unless you have specific expertise in AV system integration and are current on the newest tech advances - not just in lighting but in the other areas of AV as well - please get some professional help when you’re thinking about upgrading your lighting system. There are key questions that need to be asked long before purchase and installation. Your system should be efficient (power consumption, lamp life, ease of maintenance); inviting (aesthetically draw people in); integrated (cooperate well with itself and other systems); intentional (free you for present vision and not limit future dreams); and be scalable. This is a tall order, but there are people that can help you achieve all these goals. Many factors play a role when planning a lighting system for a house of worship. Beyond creating an atmosphere for corporate worship, the lighting should support all the other activities that may possibly occur in the space: reading, sports, viewing video, theatrical productions, video taping or broadcast, meetings, maintenance, emergency situations, etc. There should be collaboration between your house lighting (the room lights) and environmental lighting (everything else that helps create the experiential environment); they should be designed to create synergy together - something greater than the sum of the individual parts. I really encourage you to get professional guidance for any tech upgrade or change. From the simple question of “What if we moved the projection screens over there?” to the more exciting “Let’s do the U2 360 light show in our church,” your response should be the same: get some help. AV consultation is a specialized field, and these people know what works and stay current with developing technologies. At this stage, you are looking for a master plan. Then, when you are satisfied with the plan, go shopping or get your bids. The guy who sells the gear isn’t necessarily the best person to ask what you need. Larger AV integrators offer both design and sales. Ministries like the House of Worship Resource Team (howrt.com) will guide you for free. Integration of the lighting with your audio system, video projection with its accompanying lighting needs, wiring, and location are also high priorities for consideration. It’s tough to look at those speaker-shaped shadows on the walls, not to mention house lights that shine directly on the projection screens. A lighting system you can hear through the main PA will make you lose sleep. Correcting these types of issues afterward is ALWAYS more expensive than preventing them beforehand. An AV master plan provides the perspective to see how all the pieces of the completed project will interact. Besides being an intentional plan to accomplish your ministry goals from a technological, organizational, and relational standpoint, it can serve as a common reference point for all decision makers and systems. Get some help to create your master plan and follow it. If it is going to be accomplished in phases, review and update it regularly. Don’t let your church be limited by poor decisions made previously. Let people skilled in building you an AV integration roadmap walk you through the process. If they are good, you’ll even have fun doing it! MAKE IT SCALABLE A system whose performance and capability improves after adding equipment is said to be a scalable system. Scalability is a word we use to describe a lighting system’s ability to be readily enlarged and to handle either increasing use or complexity with ease. In a church lighting system, it refers to the ability to add more fixtures, to grow as you grow (in quality, equipment, skills, and expectations), and to create more complex and intentional lighting effects. For example, let’s say you decided it would be cool to add some LED color wash over the congregation. A dozen fixtures at fifteen channels each will require power, hang-points, data connection, and a bunch of DMX channels. If you planned for scalability, this expansion is easy, because you have the extra circuits, your rigging is flexible, and your controller expands. Nearly all developing lighting techs are designed with scalability in mind. Most controllers come loaded with updatable libraries of the most popular fixtures; this allows easy addition of new instruments to your lighting arsenal. They also supports multiple DMX universes (512-channel groups of lighting control). Low power-consumption fixtures, wireless control, and higher efficiency lamps promote scalability. A good IT (intelligent lighting) fixture can replace several incandescent fixtures, and provides an enormous boost in flexibility for variable color, edging, patterns and texture. Lastly, I encourage you to follow the “Master’s Plan.” Pray about your lights. Really. I can think of at least three appropriate moments for prayer: (1) before you start, pray that God will guide you to whatever it is He wants to see happen; (2) during the process, pray that you make good decisions, and (3) afterwards, pray that your lighting system enhances the message that God loves people and wants a relationship with them. Whether working, rehearsing, or performing, it’s all worship and at the end of the day, it’s all about Him. Use every resource you can find to make the worship environment the best you possibly can. If you need any help, e-mail me at [email protected]
com. Peace. Greg Sisley is on the pastoral staff at Faith in Kent, WA. He does lighting design and consultation with PRO Lighting and Sound, and is a member of the House of Worship Resource Team.
By Greg Sisley
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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A FEW MoMENTS WITH…
By Manuel Luz
How Many Lead Singers Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?
How many lead singers does it take to change a light bulb? One. The lead singer holds the bulb, and the world revolves around him. Recently, I was talking to someone new to the Christian faith. Which is also to say that he is new to the evangelical Christian subculture. He knew that I was a worship and arts pastor, and so our conversation eventually drifted to the weekend services at his church. In the conversation, he said something that jolted me momentarily. He referred to the person leading worship at his church as the “lead singer for the band.” At first I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he was a new Christ follower, and without a Christian background to give you a frame of reference, the obvious equivalent phrase to “worship leader” is “lead singer. ” So I was pretty sure he didn’t mean anything by it. But that got me thinking nevertheless. What was his experience of his church service? Was he experiencing worship? That is, was he being led to an encounter with the Living Triune God, and responding to that encounter in a transcendent way? And if so, what was the role of the “worship leader” in the actual “leading” of worship? One thing I knew—my friend was experiencing some really good music in his services. And the truth of the matter is, music and all the arts are transcendent by nature. The arts take us someplace, spiritually as well as emotionally. Art is, as Jeremy Begbie asserts, “capable of affording genuine knowledge of reality beyond the confines of human self-consciousness.” Just go to a rock concert and watch. People are being ushered somewhere. The question is, to where are they being moved? I’ve been a “lead singer” for a number of bands over the years. I know what the role entails, and what is expected of it. And I don’t see anything wrong with being one. But I shudder to think that some people might experience me as a “lead singer” when my role and calling in church is to be a “worship leader,” to serve my congregation and lead them to encounter and glorify God. A. W. Tozer tells a story that goes like this: Jesus fulfilled scripture when he rode a young donkey into Jerusalem (John 12:1216). The great crowds came to meet him, taking palm branches and spreading them out before him, praising his name, shouting “Hosanna! Hosanna!” The donkey, looking around at the crowd, then thought to himself, “Wow! I must really be great!” In the grand scheme of things, I have to remember that as a worship leader, I’m just the donkey. Our role is that of a servant. We are to lift up Jesus, and allow our congregations to come before Him, so that they might lift him up as well. As worship leaders, we must never forget that. Because there’s a big difference between a donkey and a jackass. Manuel Luz regularly leads his church in worship in Folsom, California. We highly recommend his book, Imagine That: Discovering Your Unique Role as a Christian Artist from Moody Publishers, imaginethatluz.com.
MAY/JUNE 2010 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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