JOHN MARK McMILLAN
the Economy of Life
Visual Sound Dual Tap Delay
NOV/DEC 2011 Volume 9, Issue 6
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A Few Moments with Brian Doerksen
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VOl. 9, issuE 6
8 Product Review By Rich Seversonr Eastman’s AC622CE Grand Auditorium Acoustic/Electric Guitar
40 Guitar Grab Bag By Doug Doppler Rig Talk 42 The Band By Tom Lane Relevant Worship 43 Lighting By Greg Sisley Cheap Lights? 44 Camera By Craig Kelly Exposure Tools 50 Mandolin By Martin Stillion Let All Mortal Flesh/God Rest Ye 52 Product Review By Doug Doppler Visual Sound Dual Tap Delay 54 A Few Moments With… By Brian Doerksenr The Jesus Way
I was talking with my mother on the phone the other day (she is in her mid 80’s now, age wise) and we were talking about some of the popular singing shows on television. She commented on the fact that there are so many different ones now that it is hard to keep track of them all. I agreed with her. From time to time I do like to watch them myself. First, just as a fan of music. Second, as someone who is involved vocationally in the field of music, and lastly… I like to be observant and study talent and musicianship in other folks. But as I watch these programs, I see two things in many of the singing shows that can tend to pollute the clear stream of God-given talent. One: the contestants are faulty humans, just as I am. And two: the shows are actually competitions. First let’s look at the human side. It is a mystery why God takes perfectly good musical gifts (be it singing, or playing instruments, or both) and generously hands them out to fallible human beings like us in the first place. People can waste them, abuse them, use them selfishly, or on the bright side – use them as they were originally intended and glorify the One who gave them out in the first place. From the human perspective, that seems like either pretty risky investing or some truly bold and selfless giving from the Lord. I thank the Lord that he rains down giftings on us… just like the rain itself falls alike on the just and the unjust… that, my friends, is a true measure of generosity. Now let’s look at the competition aspect of it. In my opinion, if you are an artist and you are entering into a competition… that simple act can, right there, throw things off kilter. I understand that competitions are a ways and means of getting noticed, and that many folks in these shows are looking for a ticket out of their, often times, mundane occupations and a possible way into making a living doing music – which is important to them as artist. I get that. But I still say it can put you in a dangerous place where you are taking up your musical gift and using it to try to beat out someone else’s musical gift. The better approach is to encourage
Continued on page 48
10 From the Drummer’s Perspective By Carl Albrecht Drum solos in Worship 12 Keyboard By Ed Kerr In 1645 Columbus Sailed the Ocean Wide 15 Bass By Gary Lunn A Deeper Look at Bass Drum Patterns 16 Vocals By Sheri Gould Finding the Right Vocal Coach 18 Worship Team Training By Branon Dempsey Mark of the Artist 26 Songchart “Sins Are Stones” John Mark McMillan 30 Record Reviews By Heidi Todd Tommy Walker The City Harmonic Mosaic Hillsong Jon Bauer Elevation Worship 34 FOH Engineer By John Mills Practical Mic Techniques Part 3: Piano 36 Ministry + Artistry = Profitability? Creating your MAP™ By Scott A. Shuford What Should Your Advertising Do? 38 Authentic Worship By Michael Gonzales Why Authentic Worship Matters
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20 John Mark McMillan: The Economy of Life by Aimee Herd
WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM NOV/DEC 2011
By Rich Severson
Eastman’s AC622CE Grand Auditorium Acoustic/Electric Guitar
The top is a solid, pure piece of Engleman Spruce with a mother of pearl ring around the sound hole. No laminated woods in this guitar, it’s crafted with solid maple sides and back. This guitar just rings, creating What really sets this guitar apart a nice, bright, sustaining response that is its flamed maple binding, you can feel as well as hear. Everything which covers not only the body except the top is stained in a vintage but the fretboard and headstock rusty finish for an extraordinary look. as well. It has an impressive look The ebony bridge and fretboard typically attained only by high provide nice contrast to the light blonde priced, independent luthiers. top, and the understated mother The AC622CE has ‘worship of pearl fret markers add to its team’ written all over it. Its bright, elegance. but full, balanced sound Performance wise, it’s just won’t get lost in the as impressive. There’s a mix. It’s pleasing to light, easy action, precise look at, and best of all fretwork, and a fast profile it’s affordable! Lookout on the Mahogany neck . . Taylor . . .here come .plus a diamond volute for added the Eastmans! headstock strength. Fingerstyle players will find this guitar a dream. By the way - the AC622CE came with a playable set up right out of the box thanks to Eastman’s expert set up team. The first word that came to mind when I opened the case is “Stunning”. Esthetically, it’s a work of art: beautiful and classy. The guitar utilizes the Fishman Matrix VT pickup system with tone and volume controls located in the sound hole. Fishman produces a quality, workable sound; but as with most acoustic electrics I would recommend using a quality preamp to really dial in your sound. Eastman h a s been hand-crafting guitars in their China factory for over 10 years now, and orchestral instruments longer than that, so they know their woods and how to work them. I’m really impressed with their workmanship and their ability to refine a guitar from the requests of artists and customers Eastman hit the ball out of the park with the AC622CE! List price is $1,795, which equates to around $1,300 street price, and that includes a plush hardshell case! This guitar is a real keeper! You’ll find more info on their website at www.Eastmanguitars. com More specs; Body size; 16 x 5, Scale length; 25 1/2, Nut width; 1 3/4, X-bracing, bone nut and saddle.
Rich Severson has been a professional player and teacher for over 35 years, has toured playing guitar with some of the greats of Rock & Roll. Rich developed and published his own home study curriculum called Guitar College. Rich taught at GIT/Musicians Institute in Hollywood and Fresno Pacific University where he also directed the jazz band. Be sure to check out Rich’s various websites...
GuitarCollege.com, 99CentGuitarLessons.com and ChristianGuitarWorkshop.com
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
FROM ThE DRuMMER’S PERSPECTIVE
Some people come up to me and say different things about those moments. “I felt warfare or intercession during that drum thing you did.” OR “I could sense the Lord moving in our midst when you played on the cymbals.” OR “I just wanted to celebrate… or shout… or dance.” Leann, my wife, who is a very sensitive worship leader, says that the low tones almost always feel like some sort of battle is going. For her, playing across the cymbals almost always creates an image of the glory of the Lord. It can be different things according to what the Lord is doing in the individual.
By Carl Albrecht
Drum Solos in Worship
I know this seems like a strange subject to write about. After all, most of what drummers do in worship is just play simple grooves. Several times I’ve written about keeping it simple, not over-playing, and that most modern worship is just about playing great feeling grooves that make the songs sound amazing. My goal here is to explain what to do when the appropriate time comes for a drum solo.
rudiments, drum fills, and phrasing ideas from many sources. Build on what you know and don’t give up. All of these ideas will become part of your drumming vocabulary so that you’ll have more ways to express yourself as you play solos, new fills, and drum grooves in general. It is definitely an on-going process. But the main point of this article is not really the I sometimes even get an impression of technical part of soloing. That will always a theme or a specific reason for a sound be part of your growth as a drummer. that I make, but more often than not I Actually the term “drum solo” sounds a What’s more important is the spiritual just play and the Lord uses the music in little self-indulgent. It’s really just a musical term meaning to play a featured musical and emotional expression that should whatever way He wants. idea. I always prefer thinking of it as “a happen when you solo. Some would say So drum soloing in worship is not really time to make a statement.” Either way it is that a musician plays prophetically, or about the drums, or the drummer, but a musician’s moment to be featured during that they are playing a “song of the Lord” about what God wants to do in the midst when they solo. We not only sing psalms, of His people. When I keep that as the a song. hymns, and spiritual songs, but we also focus of what I’m doing, and don’t get You don’t have to be the world’s greatest “PLAY” them. All musicians can do this, caught up in the mind game of trying to drummer to play a solo. It is helpful to have including the drummers! show off, I feel relaxed and encouraged a larger drumming vocabulary to express Often Paul Baloche will turn to me during in my soul. yourself, and you should continue to develop this part of your skill throughout your musical “Praise Adonai” and just say “Carl, play When the presence of the Lord is the life. But really, what should happen is good for the Lord / or minister to the Lord.” focus of your playing it releases you to musical phrasing and an honest expression When this happens I do NOT think that flow in the spirit when you play. of what your heart feels during a song. This I need to do something to “dazzle” the is the key! “WHAT’S IN YOUR HEART?” crowd. I will start to pray and think of the Start doing this in your practice time at lyrics and sing to myself… then I’ll let the home, and also when you read the Word More about this later… and pray. Play your drums while praying music flow out of me. How do you “musically” play a drum solo? and just let the music flow from your heart. “Who is like HIM; the Lion & the Lamb; Don’t try to analyze it, or perfect an idea. I always think of drums as being a melodic instrument. Even though we may not have seated on the throne. When you read the Word make sounds pitches to use like other instruments, there Mountains bow down; every ocean on the drums as a response to the Lord. are still low and high sounds on a drum kit. roars; to the Lord of hosts.” This is a spiritual and musical exercise The kick and low toms are the deeper tones; that might feel strange at first, but the Lord Sometimes it’s thundering tom rolls smaller toms and snare are the mid range; will direct the sounds you make. It may with splashes of cymbals accented on and the cymbals are the higher, sparkling not be something you’ll do in public for sounds. This isn’t a strict guide but just a the melody. At other times it starts as a a long time… Well… maybe… only the whisper with light cymbals rolls and general starting point. I always hear drums Lord knows for sure… It could be sooner then gradually I’ll work my way into a in a musical or pitched context. than you think. grooving solo idea… I don’t ever know A good beginning exercise is to play a until that moment. Not to say that you ***Eph.5:19-20 19 speaking to one simple single stroke roll at the tempo of a can’t have a plan, but I usually try to let another with psalms, hymns, and songs song you know and accent the melody notes the music happen according to what I’m from the Spirit. Sing and make music from while you sing along. Try it while singing feeling in the spirit at the time. your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving “Open The Eyes Of My Heart” or “How thanks to God the Father for everything, in Great Is Our God” and see what happens. It would not be “unspiritual” to have the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. some sort of structure. There are times It may feel a little strange at first, but this is where you start. You should notice most of I think of the song the whole time I’m the accents land on your right or leading soloing. So the phrases will work in 4 or Carl Albrecht has been hand. If you play “Ancient Of Days” (*if 8 bar sections. Each section will usually you remember that old song*) the accents have a specific drum idea. I might do a professional drummer & will fall on your left or weaker hand. Now the A section all on the toms. Then as it percussionist for over 25 just move the accents around the kit or hit moves into the B section or chorus I may years. He has played on over cymbal crashes with a kick drum added at go to the snare with cymbals accents. It’s 70 Integrity Music projects; the same time. Even though this is a basic typical in any solo to build on a concept Maranatha Praise Band recordings & approach it works great as an exercise, and then work your way through some numerous other Christian, Pop, Country, and I often do some of this when I’m soloing variations on a theme. This is a very Jazz & commercial projects. He currently during worship. Move the notes around and standard approach. I may do that to build lives in Nashville doing recording sessions, mix it up; experiment; try many ideas… this structure and form, but there is ALWAYS producing, writing and continuing to do an emotional, spiritual sense to what I’m various tours & seminar events. Visit his is how you start to learn musical soloing. doing. website: www.carlalbrecht.com or send I also believe it’s important to keep learning
an e-mail to: [email protected]
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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By Ed Kerr
In 1645 Columbus Sailed the Ocean Wide
So, for like 5 weeks now I’ve had this key of the song. Here’s the scale of G cough. Regardless of the meds I take, the major and its associated chords: tea I drink, or the herbs I combine, it just 1: G major wants to linger. I feel a tickle in my throat 2: A minor and tell myself the cough is not going to 3: B minor win, that this time I will just keep breathing 4: C major in and out without assaulting everyone 5: D major around me with my hacking. Well, I’ve 6: E minor discovered that the cough reflex always 7: F# dim wins. It’s just something my body insists on So, in the key of G the 1645 progression doing right now. would be what you see in Figure 1. For you and I as keyboard players, there’s Let’s give this progression a tempo a particular reflex that we often give in to. We tell ourselves we’re not going to do marking of about 80 beats per minute. it, but when we listen to recordings of our Let’s say your arrangement calls for you to worship times or observe our left hands begin the song on your keyboard using as we play, we find ourselves doing it an acoustic piano sound as you play the though we intend not to. In my years of 1645 progression. Here’s what might playing keyboard and coaching other result when that reflex thing kicks in for players, I’ve seen that it’s something that you and I (Figure 2). (By the way, you we’ll just do unless we really think about can listen to each of these examples on my website, kerrtunes.com). not doing it. It involves our left hand. Let’s say you’re playing a song that incorporates what some call the 1645 progression. It’s used in many modern worship songs today, titles such as “How Great Is Our God” and Brooke Fraser’s “Hosanna”. Each of the digits in 1645 represents the “number” of a chord being played. These numbers are derived from the scale of the
a 6th, and it gives this figure much more interest than R5R. Secondly, I am no longer playing a series of constant 8th notes through each measure. I left out lots of activity, playing on each 8th note subdivision of beats 1 and 2 but then only playing on the beginning of beat 3, leaving silence through the rest of the measure. Play this example yourself. What’s going on here is what I call “The Internal Clock”. This concept says that we can leave out subdivisions within a measure as long as we’ve “defined” the meter well. We can trust that the listener will feel the pulse continue through the beats where you don’t play the subdivisions.
There is no end to the possibilities for activity you might play in any chord progression. Check out Figure 4, where in the right hand subdivisions are played only in the 2nd half of the measure and the There’s nothing wrong with playing left hand only plays a single note through exactly what I’ve written above for the the measure. progression. But what I want you to think I hope you’ll make this your own by about in this example is what the left hand is doing. Notice that in every measure the experimenting with the 1645 chord same pattern is played using constant 8th progression or any other progression you choose. Try it alone, or try it with your notes. The root of the chord is played, entire band at your next rehearsal. You th and then you leap up to the 5 of the and every member of your worship band chord and leap up again to the root of can think about their playing in terms the chord. Then the pattern reverses, of The Internal Clock concept, asking dropping to the 5th of the chord, yourselves if some of the notes that are then back down to the root of the being played could be left out. I suspect chord you’d first played. that they could be. What often results I’ll call this R5R for the rest of this when you omit notes is that the entire feel article. You could play R5R with of your arrangement changes. The music your left hand over each chord in can begin to feel less busy, more open, your song. The whole song. Just with a clearer texture. Another important let that reflex take over. I hope result of this work might be that the lyric by the end of this article, though, of the song can be more easily heard. you’ll discover some variations That seems like a great idea in a worship you could consider using in your concept, doesn’t it? left hand. Oh yeah, and about that Columbus For my first alternative, I’ll make thing in the title. I know the year’s wrong. a radical suggestion. Just use Just needed a rhyme with 1645. Forgive your left hand. Yep. One hand. me? Something like in Figure 3. A few significant contrasts exist here between this example and the previous one with the relentless R5R. First of all, I involved the 3rd of each chord, not just the root and 5th. I played Root, 5th, 3rd, root, 5th. That leap from the 5th to the 3rd is a beautiful interval,
As a songwriter Ed has written over 100 songs with Integrity Music. He has a Masters Degree in piano performance. Ed and his family live in Washington State. Ed plays Yamaha’s Motif XS8. www.kerrtunes.com
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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By Gary Lunn
A Deeper Look at Bass Drum Patterns
I recently had an incredible experience as a musician in a worship band that was assembled to record a live CD with an amazing new worship leader/ songwriter at a wonderful church. Some of the musicians were more “seasoned” than others, which made for a perfect opportunity to share some valuable experience. There was an “aha” moment or two, particularly in the bass and drums category, and I thought that sharing those might answer a question or two from four different perspectives: the bass player’s, the drummer’s, the worship leader’s, and the band leader’s. Hopefully some of this information may help you to better understand your role as a bass player, as a drummer, or as someone who needs to be a better communicator with the members of their band. dynamics, busy-or-not-busy, etc., but it was hard to communicate due to headphones, drum shield, other musicians “noodling” around (don’t get me started…). Finally we had a chance to really talk, and we began discussing the kick patterns in the verses and the choruses of a particular tune. While we were talking, I remembered something important from my past that was a consideration of mine when searching for a kick pattern for drum programming. I said to him, “Just listen to the vocal.” Some time ago in my career (I am not telling you exactly how long ago… :) ) I used to program drums and play bass for several publishing companies. The songs that I had to program drums for were usually given to me on a tape or CD in piano/vocal form, or in guitar/ vocal form. Most of the time I was not given any idea what the writer wanted production wise, so it was up to me to try and figure out what drum styles, kick patterns, and other nuances of the drum part would be necessary for the song. Through consideration of the lyric, style, and intensity of the song, a certain kick drum pattern would always come to me and I could never figure out why. I tried to “zoom in” and pick apart the different sections of the song, searching for some logical reason why a bass drum part should be a of a certain pattern. Having listened to many CDs and records through the years (from a VERY young age), I had many drum patterns to choose from filed away in my brain. Many different drummer’s patterns, programmed drum patterns, loop patterns, etc., were all at my disposal, but I had to make a decision which ones worked and which didn’t. After “zooming out” and looking at each song as a whole, I finally made the correlation between the rhythm of the vocal and the drum pattern, particularly the bass drum pattern. words, some drummers perceive a song in a more mathematical format, and others perceive a song in a more musical fashion. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Some drummers write a chart for a song (take dictation of a song) that simply reads, “8 bar intro, 16 bar verse, 8 bar prechorus, 16 bar chorus…” and so on. Other drummers write a chord or number chart, complete with phrase indicators, notated licks and kick pattern rhythms written above every section of the song. Whenever I asked them exactly what they listened to in their headphones, the “mechanical-approach” drummers would say something like, “I listen to mostly click, then drums, bass, and a then little bit of everything else; Maybe a tiny bit of lead vocal.” The “musical-approach” drummers would typically say something like, “I listen to the click, the bass, the lead vocal, and a little of everything else, but I have to have a lead vocal to follow.” That information confirmed the answer to my question: A good bass drum pattern is hidden in the rhythm of the melody. So, getting back to my discussion with the drummer at the recording, I explained to him that typically a good song is written with a particular rhythmic cadence inside the melody. If you listen closely to it, you will generally be able to “pull” a kick pattern from it. As we began to discuss the next song he began to sing the melody to himself. I could almost see the neurons firing in his brain and his eyes got bigger and bigger as he exclaimed, “It’s in the rhythm of the vocal!!” He then “scat” sang the pattern he was going to play and it made total sense to both of us. From that point on we hardly had to discuss kick patterns in songs. He seemed to instantly know what to do as we played through them, listening closely to the vocal. During worship, sometimes dynamics, rhythms, and patterns seem to spontaneously happen. But if you’ve ever wondered whether or not those occurrences are truly inspired by the Holy Spirit, be sure to remember where the worship leader or songwriter got their inspiration. Be totally blessed!
Gary is a session player/ producer/writer in Nashville, currently playing for Lindell Cooley, MMI, home recording, and many recording session accounts, attending Grace Church in Franklin, TN. www.facebook.com www.gracechurchnashville.org WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM NOV/DEC 2011
The drummer I was working with was a young man that I had played with only a few times at church when he was just starting out as a drummer, particularly as a drummer for a worship team. During one of those early times he asked me how he could improve. I gently pointed out that, though he had great potential to be a very authoritative drummer, his internal clock lacked a little in the “consistency department.” I also mentioned that he tended to get a little “excited” toward the ends of phrases, particularly in anticipation of a drum fill. I knew that he had a lot of natural ability as a drummer (his unabashed, extremely zealous personality didn’t hurt either) and that all he needed to do was practice diligently with a metronome, loops, a drum machine, and play along with a few solid CDs with higher-level drummers playing on them (those kinds of CDs are almost always recorded with a click, so in a way, it’s just like playing with a click). I knew that if he did that it would vastly improve his skills and bring out more of his natural ability. Not too long after that he was called to lead the youth I have had the great privilege of and play drums at a church. Ironically, working with many amazing drummers it happened to be the church where I (Mark Hammond, Shannon Forest, Larrie recently recorded. London, Carl Albrecht, John Hammond, Upon arriving we quickly set up and Scott Williamson, Steve Brewster, Dan began to rehearse the tunes. After several Needham, Vinnie Colaiuta, Ricky Lawson, run-throughs and arrangement tweaks Paul Leim, and many more). Among all of we began recording rehearsals of the the drummers I have worked with I have songs (a process that is quite commonly noticed that they all compose their drum used for a back-up in case something parts in two slightly different manners. unfortunate happens during the actual Some of them are more “mechanical” event). Throughout the rehearsal, the in their approach, and some are more drummer and I talked about kick patterns, “musical” in their approach. In other
By Sheri Gould
Finding the Right Vocal Coach
So many folks I meet on worship teams would love to get better at singing. They’d love to have some vocal training. The problems are often multiple though and may seem insurmountable. Time, money, a lack of contemporary and/or Christian coaches, distance, etc are just a few of the problems that seem to overwhelm many to the point where they simply give up. Let me try to give you some suggestions that may prove helpful for you. TIME Sorry, can’t help you with this one… (just kidding). Here’s the truth: yes it will take some time. However, it might not be as much time as you might think. You need the time it takes to get to and from the lesson (unless you try Skype), the lesson itself, and some time to practice what you’ve learned. In a perfect world, you could find someone close by making travel time manageable. Perhaps you could take lessons on a bi-monthly basis rather than weekly, thus cutting down the travel time. Lessons are often able to be taken by the half-hour or hour (sometimes even an hour and a half). Instead of taking a weekly half hour lesson (which would be great-a weekly hour lesson would be even better!) try taking an hour lesson every other week if the distance is great. Find some time during your daily routine that you can use to sing and work on some of the things you’ll learn. Some of the things you’ll learn will require your undivided attention to practice, but others could be done while you are engaged in a relatively “brainless” activity (like taking a shower or washing dishes). For those other things, try to schedule a little vocal workout time at the time you might usually do something else that is fun but time consuming—like Facebook, TV, web-surfing, etc. Take a 15 min to a half hour to do some work on your singing before you do the other fun/relaxing thing that you might normally do in the evenings. Don’t schedule yourself for the WHOLE time you’d normally do something else—just part of it. That way you won’t feel like you’re giving something up, you’ll just be splitting the time and in the end you’ll accomplish a great deal, even in 15 min. $250 per/hr mark! However, I know folks who are getting quality lessons for $40-$50 an hour. There are lots of ways to find reasonable prices if you do your homework. Some teachers will do a lesson via Skype for cheaper than an “in person” lesson. Some teachers charge less for a full hour than for a half hour and so taking a full hour every other week might work out well for time and money. Local community colleges often offer voice lessons as a class offering. Sometime they offer a voice class as well, which is group instruction and can be MUCH cheaper and a great alternative especially for a beginner. A voice class can be a bit intimidating at first because you have to sing in front of others, but it’s a great way to get over the jitters that often accompany singing in front of a crowd. Lastly, if you can’t actually enroll in the school, you can try contacting the voice teachers directly. Often they give private lesson as well, at reasonable prices. BUT I WANT A CONTEMPORARY COACH! I know, I know…if you go to a college for a coach, you’re going to invariably end up with some classical training. This does not actually scare me as much as it might you. I know that in a perfect world; you would prefer to find a contemporary, Christian vocal coach. They are out there, but they are few and far between so you may have to make some choices for the overall goal. A little bit of classical training won’t kill you J in fact; you will learn some really valuable tools. The important thing is to make sure you communicate to your teacher what your goals are. If you do get “stuck” with a classical teacher, ask if you can study “Broadway Musical” type songs. They are typically delivered in a way that is much less classical and will more easily transfer to your contemporary style. a few instructional CDs and also teaches drums, keyboard and ukulele! Look for someone who truly has a background in voice—hopefully a college education. CONNECTING When all is said and done, you need to truly connect with your teacher. You need to find someone who genuinely sees great potential in you. Someone who, in fact, you actually enjoy being with. That personal connection can make all the difference. I had an amazing teacher in college. I feel that I owe everything I am as a singer to him. He believed in me when no one else did. He gave me confidence and great instruction and I just loved him. I even named my firstborn after him! Recently I ran into an old college friend and found out that she had the same guy for a vocal coach. She did not share the same incredible feelings that I have for this wonderful man. She thought he was “okay”. It was very interesting to me. She also LOVED another teacher that we both had earlier on that I felt was very rudimentary, at best, in her teaching style. So a lot of times it just might be “personal”. Much as I hate to think it, I might not be the best vocal coach for everyone! MORE IDEAS
There are many great coaches that offer online lessons via “Skype”. Chris Beatty with vocalcoach.com, Brett Manning and Associates with singingsuccess. com are two that I know of - both out of Nashville. Brett Manning and Seth Riggs (speechlevelsinging.com) also certify teachers and may have one in your area. These are all well qualified and teach in a contemporary style. I’m sure there are many more as well. These are ones I’m familiar with and can whole-heartedly endorse. I have not found Skype to be as effective as I’d like, so I don’t personally offer it, but if you’re in the New York/ The more important thing in my opinion New Jersey/Eastern PA area and looking is that a teacher be qualified. I think a for a good vocal coach—give me a student can work with a teacher that may holler! not be the exact perfect fit stylistically as long as the teaching is solid. Too often MONEY we opt for the “church organist” who has Sheri Gould has a BS in Muset up shop in her home because she’s sic Education (Vocal/Choral) Many people are concerned about the from the University of Illinois. A amount of money that voice lessons can convenient and very cheap. Or, perhaps church music director (Choir/ the guy down the street at the local music cost—for good reason. Depending on Worship Leader) since 1985, where you live they can be very pricey. store because he’s available (and cheap), she also teaches vocal techniques at various but he most likely is really a guitar player In some parts of the country lessons with workshops around the country. Send your a decent vocal coach can easily hit the who is self taught vocally or has listened to questions to: [email protected]
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WORShIP TEAM TRAINING
By Branon Dempsey
Mark of the Artist
Ever heard these statements? - “if only my playing was good enough”, “if only my singing was good enough”, “if only my service to God was good enough.” In each of these statements, there is a measure to be met. It’s almost as if we are looking for acceptance or validation for being “good enough.” The real question is: What does being “good enough” really look like? And to whom? If and when we achieve a successful outcome, does it really bring the satisfaction we are searching for? Does it qualify us any further for doing God’s work? Does God love us any more when we succeed? Does He love us any less when we fail? You may lead or participate on a worship team, write songs or enjoy playing music for fun. As artists, we can become too self-critical. When this happens, we compare ourselves to others, get down on ourselves, and/or put limits on our dreams all because we fear that we are not “making the mark.” The real truth is you are already good enough in what you do, hence, why God has blessed you with this talent, why He’s given you a vision, and where He’s placed you in service. The “mark” I’ve found to measure my growth as an artist comes from 2 Timothy with the Spirit. The only present measure 1.6-7: “For this reason I remind you to in ourselves is found in the marks of fan into flame the gift of God, which is in Christ’s workmanship - Gal. 5.22you through the laying on of my hands. 25/Eph. 2.10 For the Spirit God gave us does not make Worship Team Training us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” - Branon Dempsey First, God has called us each to a specific art for a specific craft. The only Branon Dempsey is the CEO/ fear to have is the fear of not investing Founder and Training Director in what God has invested within us. of Worship Team Training God has not blessed you with a gift to (www.worshipteamtraining. be compared to others, but to be shared com) a ministry providing with others. live workshops and online We are told in 1 John chapter 1 that there is no fear in love because Christ has perfected His love through us. By His strength and by His shaping, smith-work, and the sweat of our brows, he fashions us for good use by the power of the Holy Spirit. This ultimately should help relieve the pressure of measuring up to others. As God lit the flame within, now you fan into flame your talent and gift with the help of the Spirit. Train under His guidance as you set your mind on things above: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. As developing artists, may we live by the Spirit in keeping in step
resources for local worship ministries.He holds an MA in Worship and BM in Music Composition/Performance. Featured WTT Radio Show Host on Creator Leadership Network to 70k listeners, Instructor/Speaker at Christian Musician Summit, New Column Writer for Worship Musician Magazine and TCMR iLevite Magazine and CCLITV Video Training Contributor. Worship Team Training is sponsored by Creator Leadership Network, Christian Musician / Worship Musician Magazine / Christian Musician Summit, Sibelius USA and G3 Music Publishing; endorsed by Promark Drumsticks and Jim Hewett Guitars.
Copyright 2011 Branon Dempsey | Worship Team Training | Administered by For His Music. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the United States of America. www.worshipteamtraining.com
for more info on this retreat, please visit www.worshipteamtraining.com/events
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John Mark McMillan
The Economy of Life by Aimee Herd
John Mark McMillan strives to be connected to his audience in a remarkable way—to “sing the heart of the people,” as he puts it, and maybe also to sing the heart of God back to them. It becomes a rare conversation put to music—sometimes raw, sometimes tender, but always truthful and not holding back in reality. Step into JMM’s world for a little while and see what drives that creative process; read on… Aimee Herd: John Mark, as I’ve been listening to your new project, Economy, I’ve noticed there’s a uniqueness in the music and a real poetic aspect to your lyrics. That really sets it apart from much of what is heard on CCM radio these days. Were there particular experiences out of which this album was born? John Mark McMillan: Well there was a good bit of time between the previous album and this one. The previous one, The Medicine, I released on my own in 2008, and then it was re-released by the label two years later. During that time there were some interesting experiences. I feel like, when I’m writing; I’m writing for myself, but also for the group of people that I do life with. We’d had some of the best years of our lives in some ways... we’ve all had babies. Collectively, in my band, we have nine kids total. We’ve worked so hard for so long, and it’s starting to really gain traction with things we’ve dreamed about for a long time starting to happen. So, in one sense they’ve been some of the greatest years. stress and tension. But, we’ve had a down, or you can ask for help. lot of that, and then a couple people we know had miscarriages. It’s been AH: I really like the comparisons a challenging time dealing with really and the poetic nature of the track grown up problems that we didn’t think “Chemicals.” much about in the years before this JMM: “Chemicals” is probably my album. favorite song I’ve written. It’s about So, I think this project was written from what we think love is. In the world that kind of place—trying to figure out of entertainment and art there’s an how those two things exist in the same expression of love, and even in the world. Sometimes it’s difficult to wrap Church, there are ideas of what love your mind around the fact that life can is. But, in my own life I want to know be really great and really tough, or a love that’s more than just a chemical really beautiful and really ugly at the reaction. I love the excitement of playing onstage, I love being in love same time. with my wife, I love the feeling of being Speaking into the community that we a part of a community that is doing serve, we don’t ignore the ugly side of something important. I’m not an antithings in our music; we try to be honest emotional person because I think they, and put it all out there. I think if we’re [emotions], are incredibly important. speaking the truth, then there’s nothing But, I want to know that what I have is wrong with talking about the ugly; if it’s going to last. true, it will ultimately shed light on the Truth. I think it’s important to deal with That song is looking at situations around that are not lasting and asking those things in our music. “what will it take?” There are more AH: Well, when you do that, the questions than answers, but the answers music becomes very relate-able and it are there and the questions set the stage for them. It’s about watching things can also bring healing for the listener. that were really good go really bad, JMM: Absolutely. and thinking about how that seems to happen in every aspect of life, but how AH: I know the first single off of there has to be something greater than Economy is “Sheet of Night”, but I’d just the things we see around us. like to have you first talk about a few of the other songs off the album that AH: I appreciate the creative really caught my ear...such as “Love approach to the lyrics in that song; You Swore.” good descriptions... JMM: Well, in this case the words are more important than the ultimate meaning... like in the first line: “A room sometimes is a body with the loneliest view...” The original line was “a body sometimes is like a room with the loneliest view.” But it just sounded so good singing it the other way. I thought, people are going to wonder what in the world I’m singing about, but it makes sense to me. AH: Talk about the title song, “Economy.”
JMM: That song is just a cry for help, to be honest. I think when you have a bit of success you can begin to create this world in your mind where you have control of things—whether it’s musical success, or success at your job, or even with your family. But eventually, But at the same time—and not to you’ll run up against something that sound too cliché—they’ve been some of you absolutely cannot change, no the hardest years too. We’ve had some matter how badly you want to change friends pass away, and there have it, and no matter how smart you are; been a lot of people getting divorced. you run up against something that you I don’t know whether it was because just cannot do anything about. You can of the economy; money problems... either let those things sort of shut you
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
where it feels like they’re singing for a community. It’s not just about them, it’s about doing something together. That was the feel, so I had that title, and thought it might be cool to write a song JMM: “Economy”—while it’s the title with the word “economy” in it. track, it doesn’t necessarily represent the whole album. But, I decided to name I had a little riff and ended up writing the album Economy because I liked the the song about the economy of life sound of the word. And, if I could look and death. The downside of naming at it having a specific meaning, I think the song and album “Economy” is that it would be to define the sound of the people will think of money and financial album: economy class—in the back things. with the regular people. This album is for the people. In my mind, it’s a AH: On the contrary, that could be an community album in that I didn’t write asset because the financial economy is most of these songs with myself in mind. so in the minds of people, this will grab Kind of like Tom Petty or Springsteen— their attention.
JMM: Yeah...and part of the thing about a down economy is that outside of what Jesus offers; we’re in a permanently down economy. Anything we do outside of Jesus will— at some point—cease. I guess the whole question is “can I overcome the economy that I was born into?” Not the financial economy, but the economy of life and death. AH: The spiritual economy. JMM: Yeah, totally. So, that’s what that song is about. And, I guess if I’m honest, I’ve had times when I’ve struggled with my faith. Not in a weird way, but some nights I’ll lay awake and think “what do I really believe?” Because it’s been challenging with friends dying and others’ relationships blowing up... but I guess it’s part of growing up when you find out that people you’ve trusted and looked up to turn out to be actual people. AH: ...and they fall off the pedestals
WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM NOV/DEC 2011
John Mark McMillan: The Economy of life - by Aimee herd
we put them on. JMM: Totally, and it’s our fault for putting them on pedestals. And I’m finding as a leader that I’m as messed up as I ever was... you do your best, but you don’t know. I’m like; I think this is what we’re supposed to do... So, in a lot of ways the whole idea of the song “Economy” is a statement of sorts; looking at the world falling apart around you, but saying, “I believe.” AH: In listening to the songs, “Who Is This” and “Murdered Son,” these are amazing worship songs, yet you seem to approach a worship style from a different angle than most verticallyfocused lyrics. Talk about that approach a little...
songs on the acoustic guitar thinking it would be more of a folk-sounding album. But when I brought them to the band, all these cool ideas started happening. And it turned into more of a rock album than anything we’ve done before. “Seen the Darkness” started out with more of a very folksy, high capo stringy, jangly kind of thing. Then James said, “You just need this noise going throughout the entire thing.” He said, “Let me just play nothing but noise...” And then I think he might have doubled it too. Then I said, “Yeah, and at the end let’s just let the noise go on forever.” So we did about a minute and a half of just noise. So the whole song was based around this acoustic guitar part and this noise. We added some community vocals, like some “Ohhh’s.” All these different sounds started to pile up, and in the end we had something that was pretty large-sounding. We had the noise at the base and then a ukulele on the verses and a whole lot of voices. It’s kind of interesting how that one became such a rock tune. It’s one “What do I want to say?” “Glory to of our favorite songs to do live. One, God’s murdered Son who paid for my resurrection...” That was just AH: When I listen to your music, a conversation I really wanted to have it’s pretty evident that there might be that day. And then, in turn, the song some particular influences there...you serves a group of people who also mentioned Springsteen... wanted to have that conversation. I JMM: (Laughing) don’t approach it as writing music; I approach it all as a conversation with AH: On the first single, “Sheet of God or within myself. Initially I don’t Night,” it really has a Springsteen feel think, “Are people going to sing this?” to it, not just musically but also in a That’s more of a back-end kind of thing. literary sense. JMM: Springsteen is a huge influence. All the cool kids got into Springsteen about four years ago and they were all doing Springsteen-sounding stuff. I got way into Springsteen about that same time but then I just couldn’t leave. I saw him live a couple of times. It was so cool. I took my wife because she didn’t totally get it—I took her to the show and she was blown away. It was the last time they came through Charlotte with the whole E-Street Band. Being a Christian, and for those who are called worship leaders who are responsible for a lot of our conversation; I feel like we could learn a lot from Bruce Springsteen. He is able to sing the songs of the people. The songs he sings; he knows he’s singing the heart of the people and the pain of the people. Almost ten years ago (after 9/11), his “Rising” album was able to bring healing to people—especially back where he’s from in NJ—in the most unbelievable way. If you asked me who
As far as “Who Is This,” it really evolved from sort of a live thing. I never sat down and wrote that song, I would just play these chords and the band would start playing and we would kind of jam on it. Eventually, it developed into a song. When we went to record it we were like, “Is this really JMM: For one thing, my approach a song?” Our producer said, “Let me to writing worship songs is not really hear a version of it.” So we played him different from writing in general. I the YouTube video of it. He said, “Yeah, love to write songs; I enjoy it. And just do it.” So, we went in a recorded it the worship songs are the same way just like we’d done live—that was cool. because it’s a part of who I am— I’d love to do a whole album of just they’re just part of the group of songs those kinds of songs... I’m working on at any given moment. In a lot of ways I look at music as a AH: Yeah. All spontaneous . . .that journal. If I’m touched or really drawn would be cool! Now, just musically to that subject matter [I’ll write about it]. speaking, the song, “Seen the Darkness” has a very dramatic sonic I guess you’d have to preface it too scene going on, you really created an with the difference between cultural atmosphere on that. Talk a little about worship songs vs. Biblical worship. where you’re coming from in terms of My approach is different in that I don’t the musicality. sit down and say, “I want to write a worship song.” I sit down and ask, JMM: I originally wrote most of these
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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John Mark McMillan: The Economy of life - by Aimee herd
and it’s almost the size of what he brings that’s phenomenal. They’re all a massive force in the whole thing. AH: Speaking of massive forces, in the time we have left, talk a little about the gear you prefer. JMM: I love gear, but I’m not really a ‘gear-guy.’ I don’t know enough about it. (Laughs) My number one gun is my Elliott Tone Master—they’re the greatest guitars ever played, I’m not hyping it up. A guy out of North Carolina builds them. He builds them for Peter Stroud, Sheryl Crow’s band leader. The Tone Master looks a lot like the Fender Jazz Master, but it’s built so much stronger—the strings are through the body, so you don’t have the issue with the strain. He doesn’t order the neck, he builds the neck. I got to go pick out the wood and write my name on it. They’re phenomenal, but the only thing is it’s hard to play it next to another guitar because the pickups are so hot and the tone is just huge. Half the time I take it out of the case and it’s still in tune. I love it for traveling because I’m never afraid it’s going to break, it’s so sturdy. I also play a Gibson 335 that my wife bought me a few years ago. And I also play a Jerry Jones Baritone—I love that it’s the Lipstick pickup, which keeps it from sounding like a heavy guitar.
I’d want to be like as a worship leader, I’d say I want to be like Springsteen. There aren’t too many other people in the universe—inside or outside of the worship world—who can sing the heart of the people like he does. That’s what we’re called to do; help people sing their own song. So, I’ve been really into Springsteen and it’s almost gotten ridiculous; the band guys are really tired of it. Now all the cool kids are into Peter Gabriel...
and Lee Worley on the drums. On the album, my good friend Joel Corey is one of the two producers of the album. And, we have my brother-inlaw Andrew, who plays keys and sings backup. It’s kind of a family band; Lee and I grew up in the same city together, we’ve known each other since we were kids. James and Jon (Duke) are brothers and they’ve also known Lee since they were children. AH: Do you call them the “sons of thunder?”
AH: (Laughing) Man, I’m feeling really old now because this is all JMM: (Laughs) They have been music from my high school years: called that, not by me yet, but they get Springsteen, Genesis (Peter Gabriel’s it a lot. former band)...when these bands were AH: I’m sure. just getting started! JMM: It all comes back around. AH: Well, I can think of one particular worship leader who seems to have that ability to sing the heart of the people, and that’s Kevin Prosch. JMM: Oh totally, he’s my other major influence and hero! I have so much respect for him. And, he’s a huge Peter Gabriel fan too! (Laughs)
online communication-of-choice; The Ruckus Room. There you’ll find exclusive YouTube music AH: Talk a little about your other band members. JMM: Yes they do. Lee has this videos, his blog and news of the unbelievable feel on the drums; there’s latest with John Mark and the JMM: We have the Duke brothers just something incredibly unique about band. (James and Jon) on guitar and bass, the way he plays—behind the beat— AH: That’s cool, so they go out on the road with you too?
My acoustic is a Gibson J-45 that I bought for my wife a couple years ago; it’s a phenomenal sounding acoustic. I’ve played other J-45s and none of them sound as good as this one. And then I’ve got this Hofner, which I used a lot on the album. It’s a gift from a friend JMM: It is interesting to have James of mine, and it was probably built in the and John on my left and my right, 50’s. It’s got this amazing sort of nasty, however. (Laughing) But, they’re very jangly kind of sound. I have a vintage laid-back. I love those guys, they bring AC-15 (VOX), but I’m always back and a real interesting fire to everything we forth with amps. do—everyone does. Everybody brings something to the table in our band, and Logging onto: thejohnmark. I look at it more as a band than just me com will get you to John Mark with some guys. McMillan’s website, and his
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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Sins Are Stones (1 of 2)
John Mark McMillan
INTRO D Asus
VERSE 1 D Asus All our sins are stones at the bottom of your oceans Bm Asus G2 Asus D And all our filthy stains have been washed a- way CHORUS G2 D By the blood of a son, I have overcome the grave G2 D Asus By the blood of a son, I have overcome the grave, the grave
VERSE 2 D A Recompense is made for the guilty and the shamed Bm A G2 A D For e- ternity is gained in the arms of the slain CHORUS G2 D By the blood of a son, I have overcome the grave G2 D A By the blood of a son, I have overcome the grave, the grave
G2 Asus Oh my soul, praise him, Oh my soul G2 Asus Oh my soul, praise him, Oh my soul
Sins Are Stones (2 of 2)
G2 D By the blood of a son, I have overcome the grave G2 D A By the blood of a son, I have overcome the grave, the grave
G2 Asus Oh my soul, praise him, Oh my soul G2 Asus Oh my soul, praise him, Oh my soul G2 Asus Oh my soul, Oh my soul G2 A D Oh my soul, Oh my soul
© 2011 Integrity’s Alleluia! Music CCLI#5921832
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
By Heidi Todd
TOMMY WALKER: The Pursuit Of God 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Earnestly Taste And See Just You You Are Here Take Your Place I Fix My Eyes On You Speak To Me Create In Me (Prelude) Create In Me Nearer All About Your Glory Who Are You (Prelude) Who Are You
a simple sound. That can be an upside or a downside, depending on what you like. This has a decidedly sedate and old fashioned sound to it, so if you’re looking for something with a current, or cutting edge musical expression, this may not be the album for you. If you’re a “Tommy-ite”, you’ll appreciate it. THE CITY HARMONIC: I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home)
love the line in “Spark” that says, “when we care for our neighbor more than we care for style”. That line pretty much paints the picture of what this album focuses on – but know this – they are not short on style. They’ve got plenty of that. The vocals are beautifully done – a great balance between raw passion and careful skill. The crafting of the song order is obvious as well. Not “story telling” in the more traditional sense, but a journey to be sure. Each song can be enjoyed individually, but if you have time to pop this album into whatever listening device you love the most, get comfy, carve out some time, and listen to the intent.
1. Yours 2. Spark 3. Mountaintop 4. Fell Apart Tommy Walker is an institution in the 5. Be Still, O My Soul worship music world. He’s known (and 6. Wake Me Up admired) by musicians from multiple 7. I Have A Dream (It Feels Like MOSAIC: points of the compass, as well as artists Home) Teach Us from every genre and style of music. In 8. Le Reve a word, he is refined. His restrained 9. Love 1. One musical expression and Harry Connick Jr.10. Holy (Wedding Day) 2. Teach Us esque voice are very controlled, but of a 11. Benediction To Love very high caliber. 12. Bonus – Manifesto (Radio edit 3. Japheth Song for a limited time only) Though Tommy Walker is well respected, 4. Love Will Never Fail his music isn’t for everyone (although 5. Don’t Lose Heart we’ve probably all sung one of his songs First impression on the first track – great! 6. Return To Me at one time or another). In this effort, I I’ve listened to and reviewed The City 7. Seek The Lord found the songs and delivery true to his Harmonic before and this new release 8. Trust The Lord nature of excellence. The style holds little doesn’t disappoint, even with pretty high 9. Fear The Lord appeal to me personally, but the musician expectations. They’ve kept their sound 10. Out Of Eden and vocalist in me can’t help but think relative to the times, but they don’t mimic 11. Be Like You very highly of what he is able to produce. to the point of distraction as can sometimes 12. Nothing But The Blood/Jesus be the case when you’re staying current. Paid It All As he has been known to do, he mixes Undoubtedly there’s a Cold Play influence 13. Poor In Spirit in all kinds of styles, including gospel, (one of the most influential bands of our southern rock, and a Latin flare, even time), but who can fault them for that? Okay, super disclaimer…I’m not a incorporating harmonica on more than This one’s definitely getting added to my cold-hearted jerk, or at least I don’t think one track. Uncharacteristically, you’ll personal play list. so most of the time. First of all, there’s no notice strings throughout, all of which are courtesy of a large string section he Their sound is larger than life, kind of epic. denying that the strong points of Mosaic put together for this album. He pushed Though I wouldn’t normally expect to hear are the quality of their voices and their the acoustic guitar more than the electric songs like these in most of the churches I ability to harmonize. It’s clear that they on this album as well. He has a high visit, I wish it were more the rule than the invested a lot of creative energy into comfort level in multiple expressions and exception. Please, churches everywhere, their vocal integrity. has brought in guest female vocalists see what you can do to squeeze some Where I struggled is in a couple of of these songs into your services! They’ve throughout. things – the album seemed oddly like utilized basic instruments with learnable it was from another era, in which it The songs are done expertly, but have melodies without losing lyrical interest. I probably would have been highly popular. And being outside of the Overall impression current musical box isn’t necessarily a strike against any band, but in this case, Average church congregation could learn/participate on the first hear it’s not quite far enough outside of the Can be learned/adapted by a band of average skill box to be unique or quirky.
Lyrical creativity and integrity
Tommy Walker The Pursuit of God The City Harmonic I Have a Dream (It Feels Like Home) Mosaic Teach Us Hillsong Born is the King Jon Bauer Forevermore Elevation Worship For the Honor
There’s a ton of scriptures, and because of its adherence to the Word, with a little reworking, it would be a great kids album for teaching the Bible through song. Again, not trying to be a jerk – memorizing scripture and the meaning behind each scripture is massively important and shouldn’t be ignored. It’s just kind of difficult to take it in as an
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
adult in its current format. The album is sweet and honest and in the right context will be dearly loved. HILLSONG: Born Is The King 1. The Westward Procession 2. Joy To The World 3. Born Is The King (It’s Christmas) 4. Emmanuel 5. We Three Kings 6. O Come Let Us Adore Him 7. O Holy Night 8. Silent Night
5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Chasing After Me A Prayer Away Fall Over Me Forevermore Life Of Worship Hosanna
Sometimes it’s hard to peg an album as a full out worship album – so much of the time there are songs mixed throughout that wouldn’t be quite as at home in a worship service in church. This is one of those albums with a variety of songs for a variety of contexts.
great moments with plenty of large sound and a good mix. I couldn’t help but hope they recorded this album over the course of more than one worship service – 14 songs? If this was all done in one night, they have some marathon worshipers in their church, no doubt. It was fun to hear some throwback 80’s guitar licks and synth pads added tastefully into a few of the songs. A favorite line in one of the songs “Give Me Faith” was, “my flesh may fail but my God, You never will”. This song sounded pretty personal – as if something must have been a catalyst for needing to make that reassuring statement. And the lead male vocalist has an interesting and highly listenable tone to his voice. Two songs earlier, however, was a song whose words were fatally predictable and a bit trite. In an otherwise great effort, perhaps because of the sheer number of songs on this album, some of the songs sounded under-worked, particularly in the lyrics department. But they quickly regained momentum and direction for the last third of the album, even including a call for salvation, followed by “You Reign Alone” featuring a more-than-capable female vocalist whose voice was barely featured in the first two thirds of the album. Please get her in there more next time around; she was great. It’s a beautiful expression of worship that I found enjoyable to finish out this round of reviews.
Jon’s style is lively; with not a lot of repose, but plenty of drive. I had a hard time having very much to say either way about this album. It’s recorded well and has plenty of inspiration. I didn’t dislike it, but just didn’t relate to it. The things of the Lord are so often profound in the simplest of truths and expressions – Jon keeps the approach simple in his lyrics. It’s not often that we review an entire My nudge to him would be to push the album of songs not written by the people lyrical creativity a bit – to try to find a way who recorded it. But in this case, they’ve to say it without coming right out with it. been creative enough that you don’t feel But truth is truth, and good is good – the like these Christmas standards have been songs are encouraging and the music is overworked or over-tooled. I feel like I’m done well. I have a low threshold for being taken back to a Christmas more like repetitiveness and predictability, which when I was a kid, even though musically may be why at times I struggled with this album is subtly sophisticated. some of the songs. I found myself wishing Has Hillsong featured banjo before that more of the songs took their cues from and I just missed it? This is great – not “Forevermore” which takes time to reflect cluttered or overly complicated – but on the Lord with a bit more earnestness. interesting and so much fun. I’m reviewing in October and seriously considering ELEVATION WORSHIP: breaking my rule about decorating too For The Honor early for Christmas after hearing this! 1. Exalted One It’s great to hear Darlene Zschech in 2. Lord Is My Rock/You the mix with so many others, including Lifted Me Out kids. They all pay homage to a simpler 3. For The Honor time of pure adoration and reflection of 4. God Be Praised Christmas. The songs are done uniquely, 5. The Church but not gimmicky. Grab this one up 6. The Highest quickly if you don’t have your Christmas 7. Victorious music 100% picked out yet for church 8. We Rejoice services; there’s sure to be something in 9. Give Me Faith here you will want to incorporate. 10. All Things New And for that matter, I’m guessing you’ll 11. The Gospel want to just play it at home as well. 12. You Reign Alone 13. Give My Life To You 14. Our King Has Come JON BAUER: Forevermore It’s not every year that there is foot stomping Christmas music, but 2011 is one of those years! This is an unexpectedly deconstructed Christmas album from Hillsong, known for packing a ton of punch into every song. I was especially joyful during “Born Is The King”, smiling despite myself. 1. 2. 3. 4. Our God Light Of Another World Come And Save Us Beautiful Name
Heidi’s background is primarily in worship and production, joining her first worship team at age twelve. Having been on staff at a Northwest church since 2001, she is now works as assistant to the Northwest Foursquare District Supervisor in Tacoma, WA. This fulfilling role has made it possible for her to pursue her passion for being in multiple churches, working with worship and production teams and sharing those For The Honor is a live album that churches’ innovative ideas with as many is nicely done. There was plenty of other churches as are interested through variety of intensity, in that not every song her website www.nomadicreative.com. sounded just like the other. It had some
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We help churches create God-honoring and life-changing worship environments and experiences.
If you are having worship ministry challenges, or wish to make the main event more than a plain event, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.
The three systems that I often see are: • The Helpinstiel Piano Sensor www.helpinstill.com The Barcus Berry 4000 System www.barcusberry.com The C-Ducer System www.c-ducer.com
By John Mills
Practical Mic Techniques
Part 3: Piano
Ahh the Piano… one of the key elements in not only today’s contemporary music, but also a mainstay in traditional worship as well. There are about as many valid mic techniques for capturing the sound of a piano as there are grains of sand on the seashore. Just like the two styles mentioned are very different, so are the techniques used in placing this rather complex instrument in the mix. Contemporary piano, as heard on many of the more modern songs, has a much more aggressive, bright, forefront of the mix sound. Whereas a more traditional song would warrant a warm, rich, full, enveloping sound. Lets spend a few minutes discussion how to achieve these sounds. While there are many techniques possible I am going to focus on 3 specific setups that I typically use. What kind of mic? Pianos NEED a condenser microphone. While a dynamic mic can reproduce sound from a piano, the piano has too many amazing harmonics that the dynamics usually miss. So I always lean toward condensers. TECHNIQUE 1 – Traditional Sound In this setup the mics are placed to capture more of the overall sound of the entire piano. Place the first mic about 8” back and 8” above the upper third of the sound board as shown in Technique 1. The second mic goes more over the low-end strings at about 8” above them as well.
The affordable solution. (2) Shure PG27s – this is the best entrylevel condenser mic I’ve ever used. Set it up as illustrated. TECHNIQUE 2 – Contemporary Sound My favorite setup here is to put a couple of nice condensers fairly close to the hammers to capture the main attack of the keys.
If I had to pick one for contemporary sounds, I am a big fan of the Helpinstiel system. It captures a very clean, upfront sound. The other two, in my opinion, tend to be more muffled. If I had to pick one for traditional sounds, I would go back to mic technique 1 or 2. I am not a fan of the pickups for a rich piano. They lack the air, wood, and richness that the microphones capture. TECHNIQUE 4 I know I said only 3, but this one is more of a blend of the above 3 and is my current standard for piano setups as it is amazingly versatile. I would get the main attack and upfront sound from a Helpinstiel Pickup system and blend it with a mic on the low end, similar to the traditional setup. The big trick here is to roll off the lows on the
Mic Suggestions Shure KSM137 – my favorite pencil condenser Shure Beta181 – pricier, but being sideaddress, they are easier to get in there and shut the lid to keep the drums out. Audix ADX51 – a very nice, versatile condenser Audix SCX25 – side-address and a large diaphram in a small package… this is a nice option. Affordable option Audio Technica Pro37 – for a sub $200 condenser this is a great mic. While it works for some, I have never been a fan of a boundary mic taped to the piano lid. But if you want to experiment for yourself, the basic rule of thumb is to center it up left to right, and be about 8 to 12 inches away from the hammers. TECHNIQUE 3 – The pickup While this is not a mic, it does count as a transducer. This type of device rejects feedback and extraneous noise like no other, but it does sacrifice the richness and intricacies of the piano, so therefore it lends itself more useful in a busy or full mix of other instruments. All of the various makes and models all need a little help with EQ, as they tend to be more midrange sounding than the natural piano sound. So be prepared to take some mid EQ out of the input to get the piano out of honkey-tonk land.
Helpinstiel and fade out the low end pickup on that system. Then add the mic for the low end and sound cavity richness. The mic will have a little top end and some mid range EQ rolled out of it. On the more rocking tunes, I would favor the Helpinstiel and most likely mute the mic. On ballads and more open, soft songs, I would add the mic in to open up the richness of the piano. I am a big fan of Technique 4, especially if you are trying to get rid of feedback and/ or drums or other instruments leaking into the piano mics. Hope that helps a bit. John
The other option is to go with one of the following companies who make piano mic systems. These usually come with clamps, mics, and instructions. Higher priced, but worth the money. Audix SCX25A-PS - The unique shape of these mics really allows them to get in and not be in the way if you wanted to close the lid completely. DPA 4099P – This is a killer setup as well. They have some great videos on YouTube demonstrating the different sounds achieved just by moving the mics around.
Earthworks PianoMic System – Hands down one of the best sounding mic setups I’ve ever heard. But be prepared . . .this kind of quality is not cheap.
John is currently the Audio Crew Chief & System Engineer for the Kenny Chesney Tour. Check out www.JohnDMills. com for more about the giant sound system he has out and cool pics from the road.
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Every Time, All the Time
Front of house engineer Patrick Mundy knows a good thing when he sees one. Take for example Yamaha’s M7CL. Beating out any and all competitors, the M7CL is chocked full of useful features making his life at FOH a breeze. Asked what he enjoyed about the mixer, Mundy had much to say. Here’s just a sample. “When mixing artists whose music you may not be familiar with, having access to all your channels in a pinch is crucial. With most competing desks, plus or minus thousands of dollars in the price range, you’ll end up flipping through pages trying to find what’s ringing in monitor world or over the mix for FOH. Yamaha’s M7CL is a true professional board. Being a professional is about being consistent and fast every time all the time. The M7CL gives me a flexible customizable work surface that does not stunt my creative vision as a mixer.”
California Based Freelance Engineer mixing festival gigs such as SXSW and Rock the Bells as well as House of Worship festivals such as Light at the Lighthouse and Calvary Chapel events.
Mundy offered up some of his secret sauce settings that he uses as a starting point. Check them out and download them at www.yamahaca.com/mundy
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. • P O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90620-6600 • ©2011 Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. .
MINISTRY + ARTISTRY = PROFITABILITY? CREATING YOuR MAP™
By Scott A. Shuford
What Should Your Advertising Do?
Let’s talk advertising for a bit. I’m not talking about you reconnecting with your own audience built from your concerts and your web site. I’m talking here about advertising such as buying the Feature of the Week on HearItFirst.com, or a Featured Download on iTIckets.com, or New Artist Watch on NewReleaseTuesday. com. The advertising I’m speaking about here is where you are reaching out to an audience that is not already on your web site, your email list, or attending your concerts. There are more than a few philosophies about what advertising should do. Many of them have merit. If you’ve tested something and it’s working for you, DO IT! I’m not going to make this into a white paper about all my research on the various ways to approach advertising. call to action should drive them to a place an immediate gratification item like where you can capture their information. a free music or book download right In many cases, I don’t think advertisers in there online. Companies and ministries the Christian or faith-based `markets have working the crowds at our FrontGate the brand awareness and overall clout Media festivals and events get this. They to make an immediate convert from an almost always do data capture at events. external audience. Immediate converts The latest data capture prizes at events are great. In a perfect world, I’d love are iPads and Flip Video, but really it’s to have everyone respond to my pitch all about what your target audience might and buy what I’m selling. What makes want, and how you can tie that to your advertising an art and not just a science brand. Giving away an iPad is great if is the imperfect world of trying to get your you know the people you are connecting with are the actual people you want. message seen or heard. These types of approaches work just as well online, in print, on the radio, or on television. They work especially well on the internet because of the relative low cost to advertise versus other media outlets. We’ve run campaigns through our media group that have yielded tens of thousands of consumers for the advertiser, and that can be just from one large promotion like our “Spiff Your Space” campaign via HearItFirst.com. What are your thoughts on this topic?
How much more effectively can you communicate about your product or service in 3-5 touch points instead of a single exposure? Why not give your target consumer an easy to say “yes” item! Collect everyone’s information so you can reach out to them at least 3-5 I’m simply going to make a case for the more times to deepen their interaction philosophy that makes the most sense for with you. Get as little info as you need the most people based on my experience in order to reach out to them again. That watching everyone’s campaigns through may be a first name and a mobile number FrontGate Media. Most of the music, or email. If they tune into your brand, publishing, film, and other product-driven you can probably get more info from companies and ministries in the Christian them later. market advertise through our FrontGate All of this depends on your brand Media group. strength. Max Lucado, TobyMac, and Some people pursue immediate conversion: see their ad, buy their stuff. Other people use their ads to generate awareness as in “Available Now!” As for me, most of the time I think advertising should be all about Data Capture. Compassion certainly have a stronger relative brand value, and can expect stronger response following ANY advertising philosophy versus a new author, artist or cause. Most of us working in marketing are not working for a Max or Toby.
Data Capture means that main purpose In exchange for a viewer giving you of your advertising should be about getting the viewer to give you their their mobile number or email, give them contact info in one form or another. Your something via a contest, or even better,
Tune in Creator Worship Online Radio: Teaching & Training Hear it today… Use it tomorrow. WorshipTeamTraining.com Richie Fike (Indie Extreme) Monica Coates Tom Jackson NewReleaseTuesday.com Rick Muchow (Saddleback Church) Tech Talk with Wade Odum and more… Twitter: @CLNetwork Facebook.com/CLNetwork
Scott will be speaking in the Creator Leadership Network track at the Christian Musician Summit NW and has led classes for us at NAMM as well as teaching on marketing to the Christian Leadership Alliance. He has been featured in Adweek and is the CEO of FrontGate Media, the #1 culture-engaged media group reaching the Christian audience (www.FrontGateMedia. com) and the largest in reach to Church musicians. He is also the co-founder of Creator Worship: online radio for worship leaders (www.CreatorWorship.com) . Email your comments or questions to [email protected]
Tune in Now at
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The Chapel at Crosspoint Buffalo, NY
A conference for musicians, lead worshipers, technicians, songwriters, indie artists and creative types of all kinds to improve skill and inspire talent for God’s glory! REGISTER ONLINE www.ChristianMusicianSummit.com
MAY 4 - 5, 2012
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BRENTON BROWN & THE WORSHIP REPUBLIC
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By Michael Gonzales
Why Authentic Worship Matters
Being a worshiper of God means we I am not God’s next-in-line patient. No, are set apart and so loved by Him for God is covering me and he’s covering doing so. you, protecting us, assuring us He’s never We show our devotion by being a letting go. What he wants is to teach us living sacrifice and all that it implies. But life’s lessons so we can help others with I noticed some things about others and what we’ve learned. This happens by staying focused. I’m sorry to say, I have myself that probably bother God. said a prayer while texting someone. That First, I admit, my name is Michael and I needs to change in my life. am a multi-tasker. I do not want to be a I just sent a message to one of my “God-snacker” taking bites of his persona university students. The message reads while being preoccupied with other matters. When I play on a worship team something like this, “Fred, this is your I do have those delicious God-snacking professor from the university. Please moments. For example, “Wow, that song stop texting in class. It is prohibited, moves me and draws me close to God.” distracting, and written in the syllabus.” And then a few minutes later I am staring What I thought was amusing was his out at the audience wondering who just response that he was looking something up for class during the class period. walked in late to service. How many times do we have excuses Probably one of the worst things about for God like, “Well, Lord, you really God-snacking is being one way on don’t understand. “ That’s funny because Sunday and someone else on Monday. He understands completely—especially Oh yeah, big time worshiper on Sunday, when we’re trying to pull a fast one. He DMV line-cutter and critic on Monday. is the ultimate truth detector as well as lie You get the point here, authentic worship detector, and there’s no way we can fake is a daily act and sometimes it involves our way out of it with him. I have a friend the act of waiting, which is also an act who happens to be a judge. When I was of doing. waiting for him in his courtroom, I saw Waiting for God is not like waiting for a young man go before the judge. The my oral surgeon. By the way, my oral young man was there for multiple traffic surgeon is from Italy and when I asked violations. When the judge said, “Young him what his last name means in English, man, you have a warrant outstanding,” he said, “Well, it means evil. I am not the young man replied, “Your honor, Judge evil but my family name is Evil,” (so I do Smithers dismissed that case last year.” The judge looked over several dockets have a real Dr. Evil taking care of me!) and replied, “I don’t see anything in your file about a dismissal. Are you sure it was last year?” The young man replied, “Yes, sir.” Then the judge looked down at him while moving his glasses toward the tip of his nose and blurted out the following, “Young man, Judge Smithers died three years ago. I was at his funeral. Nice try.” I have never seen a person shake so much out of fear. I carry that picture with me mentally because as much as my nature wants to go a different way than God’s way, I do not want to wind up like that young man with fear and trembling over a bad decision. God hears the heart of the authentic worshiper. He understands where we are at in life and He is the remedy to our problems and invites us to become part of the solution for someone else. So my advice while waiting on God is— do something. Authentic worship matters because there is no room for artificial believers in the presence of the Master. It’s funny that we sing about our authentic love and devotion to God, but all it takes is one person to change our thinking and we’re off in another direction. I’m writing about one aspect of how we disappoint God . . .not giving him 100% of our time, talent, or devotion. What helps me work through my own failures is knowing that if I choose to serve the real God, then my commitment has to matter and cannot be a diluted love—whether on stage or in private.
Michael Gonzales, Ph.D. Professor, Biola University [email protected]
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
GuITAR GRAB BAG
By Doug Doppler
With so much gear on the market it can be a bit daunting to find the right rig for your Church. This time around I wanted run through the various rigs I’ve used over the years at Church, as well as the strategies behind them. My heart is that you will find something to get you closer to the sound that is in your head and heart in the process. the set list. The four basic sounds are clean with delay, dirty rhythm with delay option, melody/solo with boost and delay, and a feature tone for intros or delay heavy parts. If I’m using just four presets for an entire service I’ll put them in that order, but if I’m using preset banks I’ll order them in the sequence needed for the song which Although my playing as a worship musician seems to work better in the flow of the has developed pretty dramatically over the service. Quite often I use the single bank years, my approach and strategy for my approach at rehearsal and then create gear has remained pretty constant. Years of song specific presets before rehearsal for playing secular venues taught me that when the first service. playing music that is as dynamic as Praise More than just listing what rigs I used, and Worship, it’s important to build dynamic I also wanted to give you some insights range into your sounds that translate well into how I was using them, hopefully ‘front of house’, even if the soundman is not giving some insight into what I was trying focused on the guitar. It’s also important to to accomplish in the process. The first rig add that I always let the soundman hear the I used at Church was a Line 6 Flextone full dynamic range of what I’m doing so they head and a 4x12 cabinet. The rig was know what to expect as my volume levels placed on the side of the stage firing shift from section to section, and insure that directly at me, and had a wonderfully my loudest tones don’t peak the meters on long (CAT 5) cable for the pedalboard the board. In general I’m thinking that if I can connection that allowed me to keep the get the right dynamic shifts on my rig, the amp loud enough for me to monitor from, soundman can pretty much set it and forget but not offensive to anyone else. That it, and with a good sound check everything amp had a great direct out sound via the should sound great ‘front of house’. XLR jack on the back of the head, making Before we get to the effects, amps, presets, for a speedy setup. Tap tempo was and so on, it’s super important to mention controlled from the pedal board, and that I don’t just play my guitar at Church, holding down one of the footswitches it is a crucial part of how I craft and shape would launch pedal board mode so I my tones. Finding an instrument that delivers could turn individual effects on and off chimey, clean tones as well as meaty, dirty from inside a preset. That rig was as fun to use as it was to play through. tones can be a bit of a challenge but is perhaps more important than what you plug it into. Within the first months of my playing at Church, Ibanez sent me an S470 that is pretty much a frankenstrat. This instrument features DiMarzio pickups in a humbuckersingle-humbucker pickup configuration controlled by a 5-way switch. Most people think “shred” when they see this guitar, but it’s really a brilliant combination of the best of Les Pauls, Strats, and SGs, and has one of the best locking tremolos on the market. What’s interesting of late is that I’m using the bridge pickup for almost all my chimey rhythm tones. Having the wrong bridge pickup (or guitar) would have made that impossible, so make sure your guitar is really serving you as you serve the Lord. Perhaps driven by the fact that most integrated pedal boards feature four presets per bank, I either craft four sounds to use in a single bank, or fine tune them for specific songs saved in successive banks reflecting the sound spread was pretty wide, taking advantage of projecting sounds from a corner. Making a departure back to modeling gear, the next rig was a Boss GT-10 into a pair of Orange Tiny Terrors, one into a 2x12 open back cabinet, the other into a 4x10 closed back cabinet. The amps were set identically, but the blend of the speakers really created a three dimensional sound. I used my traditional four preset banking approach on the GT10, which ran out in stereo to the two heads. This was a GREAT sounding rig that combined the best of modeling and tubes, giving me great control, but tons of warmth and rich tone. We mic’d both cabinets for a stereo spread front of house that you could really feel from the worship platform.
My current rig is a Line 6 POD HD500, DT-50 head and matching 4x12 cabinet loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s and G12H90s. The Bogner designed DT50 features an EL34 driven power amp section that reconfigures to match the amp class of the model on the HD500. This makes for great interaction with the HD500 and is like having a small army of amps on deck. This rig excels in my ability to craft part-specific tones and preset control via Line 6’s HD500 edit software, which I can even use during sound check via a laptop. One of the most useful functions is being able to The next rig featured a Boss GT-8 recall saved song presets to build set lists. feeding a Roland SDE-3000 into a For the front of house sound we mic the Roland JC-120 for cleans and a Marshall two top speakers and split them left for JCM200 with a Yamaha D1500 delay consistently great results. in the loop for dirty tones as well as a As much as the gear has changed over really cool swampy clean tone with a sea the years, it’s easy for me to see how of reverb. I used the GT-8 primarily for my approach has remained consistent. I the compressor and the Tube screamer hope that some of these tidbits will assist models before running into a Radial A/B you as you craft your tones and set up. box to toggle between amps. Various Thanks for reading and God Bless:) foot switches controlled the rack delays and channel switching on the Marshall. This rig was the most complicated to set up and required a minimum of two mics to run. There was a lot of overall stage Doug Doppler is signed to volume with that team which meant that the way we made the rig work was to Steve Vai’s Favored Nations have the level set just loud enough that the label and is currently in sound man had some control, leaving the production on the Get Killer P.A. was primarily dedicated to vocals Tone DVD series. He and his wife Melissa live to serve the Kingdom and and keys. The rig sat in a corner just to are members of Cornerstone Fellowship in the right of the stage, facing me and the the San Francisco Bay Area. congregation, but far enough back that
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By Tom Lane lights, smoke, gear, staging, green room, etc. But tools are not what enable us to reach heaven. God can hear and see it all with no problem already. All the best stuff can actually steer us right off the track if we’re not driven by the right agenda. us go on in sin unnoticed without effect. God desires our best and is acquainted with our struggles. He’s passionate about our wholeness and sanctification. Lean hard on His mercy yet also understand, it’s not unmerciful of Him that He let’s us It’s a normal cycle, we do the same fall hard sometimes in order to expose the things over and over until we have worn things that offend Him. That’s His holiness grooves in the road and become stuck and providence at work, and how he in a rut. What I’ve found to be good is protects us. to have periodic reality checks. Try losing 4. Indignant Worship the big band and multi-media one week We are part of a Priesthood, and so and dial it back to simple! Stripping it down and shuffling the deck naturally should take leading worship serious. creates an interruption in the predictable On the other hand, there is no room for service. It also forces us to not rely on the pride and arrogance, or believing we ‘stuff’, and depend more on reaching have it all together. It caused Lucifer’s fall and God hates it, plain and simple. It God’s heart by focusing our own first. cripples the biggest and best of leaders Part of worship leading is also teaching and ministries, so it’s something worth and modeling. Often we’re just doing guarding against. what’s expected of us, or conveyed to When we experience something great us, and I get that. But people need to know from the top down what’s ultimately our human response is usually to tell important to us. The more willing we are someone we love about it. We want them to simplify and break from the program to get it the way got it, and share the of worship to demonstrate the heart of same excitement. We tend to re-create worship, the more they get it and follow. what we had over and over, even in worship. In our zeal we can truly believe 3. Pure Worship that we do know more than others and It took me years to begin walking have it figured out. Ultimately it separates with a better understanding of grace. and hurts. Likewise, it’s taken years for me to walk The Apostle Paul, though he had a lot with a better understanding of purity. of reasons to boast, chose only to boast Though God does work through impure in the Lord and to preach Christ and Him and fallen people, I’ve learned He’s also crucified. He didn’t spend much time serious about purity and holiness. elevating his own ministry or amplifying Some of the messiest people I’ve known his supreme abilities. are involved with worship leading and Worship is not something to own, or ministry . . .Me included. There have brand. We can’t control it or use it for been seasons when I tolerated certain our own ambitions without confronting sins in my own life and heart while still on the jealousy and discipline of God. Most various platforms in ministry. That doesn’t spiritually abusive leadership comes from mean God didn’t use me, but He let me having a healthy dose of pride. Let’s not bear the consequences of my sins and become so defensive of a particular style actions. He also sidelined me and dealt that we hold others in contempt when with me as a good Father! they don’t share our enthusiasm or belief. It’s not that we aren’t, or can’t be messy; The Church must embrace the reality that we are, we can, and we will be! But we we are part of The Body need to take serious the things we do Of Christ, and not one part is complete willfully, over and over again, knowing apart from the others. it’s sin, yet carrying on as if it won’t matter. It does matter and it will catch up to us. In fact it can alter the course of Relevant worship is relative to the life we God’s best plans for us, as He will let us live everyday; if we are transformed by choose to walk a way other than His, and communing with Jesus then we can be that’s the truth! Remember the Word says, used to bring transformation to others. Galatians 6:7 ”Do not be deceived, God Let’s keep it real! is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”
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.
Being relevant is certainly critical to impacting our world with the Gospel, and to be relevant we must be in the world . . .living loud enough for others see our light. Heaven meets earth in the person of Jesus and it is His truth that is saving and His presence that transforms lives. However much we change style and method, He remains relevant across space, time, and history. The Church is state of the art and modern. We know how to worship and have loads of resources available to help us improve skill. In most ways we are more relevant than ever before in history. There are four areas I want to mention that may help us not only maintain relevance but stay grounded as we move forward into the future God has planned for us. 1. Indigenous Worship (Indigenous: originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.) God, in His infinite wisdom, chose to not make all people the same. Creation is vastly different everywhere you go, in every imaginable way, and it pleases Him. Most people groups incorporate dance and music when displaying their culture, uniqueness, and worship. It is part of our humanness to express and create because it’s part of who God the Creator is. Many of the songs that become standards in the Church come from movements. Growing naturally from the raw and organic work of God, reflecting through real and ordinary people. They are innate responses of passion and devotion to the Worthy One, often giving voice to those who can’t find, or don’t have their own words. In truth, we should each be able to find some words of our own to say, “Thank You Lord, for who You are and all You’ve done!” Honesty is more important than eloquence. It’s key that we learn to be real with God and let our worship take on its own DNA more than another’s. Every congregation has a DNA; each body it’s own issues and needs, strengths and weaknesses.
Those serving God’s people are charged first with honoring Him, from the relationship right down to the music. We should strive to attain to unity and humility, and somewhere Whether we’re cheating, lying, stealing, therein find the voice of our own particular or overeating . . .doesn’t matter which congregation. What we don’t want to one, let’s be honest about it and confess become is noise to God. it. Part of turning away from sin is being sorry for it first, not simply overlooking 2. Simple Worship and ignoring it. Yes, thankfully we come Technology has given us great tools to use to God the way we are and receive in worship. There’s nothing like good sound, grace, but He’s merciful enough not to let
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
By Greg Sisley
Lighting for the stages of churches and concert venues has never been so affordable, nor offered so much capability and variety. Lighting effects that were once the sole domain of high-end concert-lighting shows can be recreated every week in our churches. Countless manufacturers produce both LED and incandescent washes, focusable spots, colored pars, and inexpensive, high-capability controllers. But they are not all the same. There’s an old saying in racing…”how fast do you want to go?” It is usually followed by “how much money have you got?” AV systems and equipment tend to follow that adage as well. How good do you want your room to sound? How much are you willing to spend? While I have never heard someone say, “I am going to buy the cheapest sound system I can find”, I have seen a trend toward buying lighting gear based on price as the sole motivator. I would like to give you some practical advice for choosing equipment for your space, so that your decisions will turn out well. Do you really want to find the cheapest lights, or the least expensive lights that serve you well? For the purposes of this article, I will restrict most of my comments to LED stage lighting, but the same process and questions should facilitate every part of a lighting system’s decisions. Have you ever heard someone described as “penny-wise, but poundfoolish”? Apply this to the well-intentioned person that goes shopping online for LED lights to give the stage some color for an upcoming production. The common notion is that not only will these ‘magic’ lights make the kids singing “Silent Night” look angelic, but also the worship band will look great every week from then on. This plan is often bound for failure and frustration if the primary motivator is cost. LED lighting fixtures from different manufactures and at various price-points are radically different in performance and longevity, and if you shop for cheap, you will get exactly that: cheap, inferior fixtures that disappoint. the right gear for your application, at the least expensive price. LED light quality/color rendering If RGB LEDs can create over sixteen million colors, why do they sometimes turn clothing, objects, and skin tones into unnatural colors, and why do they often look so bad on camera? Without boring you technically, LEDs have some natural drawbacks in their capability to produce reflected light to our eyes and cameras. The sun/daylight produces the full-spectrum (all frequencies) of light, of which our eyes can perceive a portion. Common tungsten lights do a great job of recreating the majority of the light spectrum, rendering and reflecting very natural colors. RGB LEDs, however, produce three very narrow frequencies of light: red green, and blue (colors which also vary by manufacturer). Better quality fixtures have as many as seven colors of LED in them, producing more even and natural color rendering. Find fixtures that produce the quality of light you need. Throw / Brightness While the output-to-power-consumed ratio in an LED is great, the light tends to drop off in intensity over distance faster than from a conventional light. This is because most cheap LED fixtures have neither a lens nor a reflector to focus the light. It simply scatters. “Barn doors” will help keep the light from going where you don’t want it, but you are wasting the light’s output. Better LED fixtures allow focusing and lensing. Find a light that projects and focuses the light.
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Video “Friendliness” Almost every event ends up either photographed or captured on video of some sort. By nature LED lights tend to be antagonistic to quality video or photography, not only because of the afore-mentioned inferior color rendering, but also because of limited dimming and color-mixing capability. Because LED lights dim and mix colors by ‘firing‘ the various color diodes less frequently, in poor quality fixtures the on-off cycling is apparent - even to the naked eye. Cheap lights will have cheap power supplies While LED lights have amazing and circuitry. Find lights that are better advantages, like low power-consumption, than your best camera. low-heat output, light weight, portability, “Cheap” lighting equipment has other color flexibility, and accessible cost, drawbacks as well, that are potentially there are many other characteristics to be much more serious. A large percentage is aware of. While I will only address three not UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or ETL here, a quality lighting advisor can easily (Intertek Testing Services) listed, meaning it answer your questions and help you find
Continued on page 48 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM NOV/DEC 2011
I rely on zebras. Usually for interviews I set it to 70 IRE and close the iris until I have the zebra pattern active only on the face’s highlight (about 5% - 10% of the face surface area - usually on the cheek or forehead on the key light side. Ultimately the exposure would probably end up being the same as David and Mark’s method. Sometimes I take the zebras even lower, especially if the image will be post-graded or depending on the gamma settings. I’ve found zebras very useful when lighting chroma key screens too! Alexander Aurichio • I don’t like them or use them either. I find them to be a distraction. Jeremy Rothman • I think there is a benefit to using them as a reference, if you’re not familiar with the camera’s setup that you’re shooting with. On my own cameras, I don’t use them since I’m accustomed to the viewfinder, but on rental cameras I’ll check them initially, but usually turn them off. Tim Rebbechi • If I’m inside and I’ve set my key light or I’m shooting b-roll with one of my cameras, I’ll turn them off too. But even with my own gear, for an exterior interview with the sun coming in and out of cloud and the ambient light level constantly changing, I’ll keep zebras on and adjust the iris as needed. So, where do you stand? My advice has always been to use them as a tool for faces and for green screen interviews and I tend to under expose a bit for some of the new digital cameras. For faces – I tend to look for the hottest part of the face to be 70% but that’s not a rule. As my video mentor, Phil Mudgett taught me; We’re making pictures here – not scope readings. I usually do not use the 1000% level indicator anymore though because it’s usually easy to see if you are over exposed and clipping or folding over your whites. Here’s that article from November 2010 on the Camera Coach web site; No, not those striped horses with the funny ears. I’m talking about a viewfinder setting to use as a tool to help you with a good exposure for your shots. Even little home video camcorders will often have these indicators and they are a great tool. Some cameramen hate them because they know how to just look at the viewfinder to see if a shot has a good exposure or not. While it’s true that everyone actually learns that ability - especially if it’s their own camera that they are used to, some operators are using different cameras every time they shoot. This is my first venture into the world of single-camera shooting tips, so I will start with a good way to set your exposure for a good result - sometimes. As a shooter, you always have to remember that different cameras have a certain “sweet spot” in exposure and light level that it looks the best in. That sweet spot is probably more an indicator of how it was set up and adjusted than the brand, but in all reality - different camera makes and models have different characteristics. If you learn your camera, you will learn what it likes in terms of light and exposure and you will start working towards its strengths. So, how do you know if a camera shot is exposed correctly? Exposure changes with every scene you shoot, with every shot you take and with every scenario imaginable. One way to help is to set the zebra indicator to on (somewhere on the camera is a switch or menu option for zebras or level indicators) on some cameras there are even two separate zebra or level indicator channels (zebra is easier to say, right?) Anyway, when you switch the indicator on you will see a diagonal striping throughout the picture in various spots. Those stripes tell you the exposure level for that particular area of the picture. Why does that matter? Let me try to explain in lame-man’s terms (but you should really try to learn this tech stuff on your own or from someone who knows this stuff well) Here we go; a video picture is various light levels that are turned into electronic signals, right? If you think of those levels as starting at 0% at the darkest parts of the shot all the way up to the brightest parts of the shot - or 100%, then you have the whole range of the picture in terms of exposure. In actuality, some cameras are set to go past 100% - let’s say 5% or so before they start clipping or folding over - meaning the details in those areas are not visible. I believe most TV broadcast TV stations are set to not pass any signal past 100%. Think of some clouds in a shot – they might be so blown out that there is no detail in them – that’s clipping. OK, back to those zebras - If you were to look at a waveform monitor, or scope, (a device to electronically monitor the technical signal of video) of a person on camera, often they look the best when the brightest part of their face is set for about 70% as compared to zero percent. Again, this is not a rule but a guideline. Obviously, if you are trying for certain “look” then this theory might not work for you. If that’s the case then, why not set the zebra indicator to show you 70% so you have a good idea if a face is exposed correctly? At the very least, it is set in area that you know you can use as a reference point. Also, there are situations where lighter or darker skin tones will not fit into this 70% zone theory. But again, these zebras are indicators, not
By Craig Kelly
You may remember my November, 2010 article on using zebra indicators for exposure settings on your camera. Most, if not all, professional video cameras these days have indicator settings as tools to help you set your best exposure but not every pro shooter uses them the same way, or even uses them at all. I posed the question of Do you or how do you use zebra settings? to hundreds of camera operators around the world and here is a few of their replies; David Duncan • I’ve used zebras bars for a long time, it helps me confirm my iris setting is correct, especially when filming interviews I set the zebra stripes to 80ire. Then when on a person’s face I open the iris up until I see the zebra stripe pattern appear on JUST the highlights on the person face, not the entire face. I have used this for years. On some cameras I have had they have two sets of zebra stripes; I set one for 80ire and the other for 100ire. This way I can tell what is blown out or over the legal limit. Mark Weiss • Zebra at 80IRE here also. Zebra is included in your camera as a tool for measuring you video level. To high shots are washed out. To low video is muddy. Used to be if your signal was outside the engineer guideline a station simply would not air it. (Illegal video they called it) That was back when people followed rules, lol. With the advent of color monitors on board cameras many of today’s newer guys do not use them rather relying on the assumption they can set camera by eye. I believe the workflow should be to use your measuring tools first then use inboard or external monitor to verify what you already know. The setting I use when gunning a Cinealta is 80 IRE I then bring zebra on subjects face in lit interview down to JUST gone. This keeps subject who is usually the brightest thing in shot below clipping level. If there are accent lights peppered (no pun intended) in the back ground these are ignored as far a zebra go. Ok that will be $45.00. Lol Mark Weiss • David’s method is also great and would probably be mo betta as we say in Oklahoma for a camera with factory setup. I used the method he describes for a couple of decades. Each camera has subtle peccadilloes that warrant slight modification. Tim Rebbechi • When I started out as a news cameraman years ago, I just switched my camera to colour bars and ‘tweeked’ my viewfinder’s brightness and contrast; using the same gear everyday my exposures were generally spot-on. But these days I use so many different cameras and gamma settings,
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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CAMERA - continued
rules. If you are shooting a scene with people in it, the priority in the scene is the face, right? You can turn the indicator off if you want, but a lot of shooters leave it on for constant monitoring. Now, remember though that this doesn’t mean that other items in the shot won’t have those stripes in them too, but at least you know the critical portion is set as well as you can. Now, let’s figure out why there might be two sets of indicators - or zebras. As I mentioned above, the bright parts of the picture will start washing out, or blooming or folding over - whatever the term, it still means the same, after a certain percentage. The reason? The TV camera signal can only pass so much information and it has to start clipping it when it gets too high. A lot of shooters would rather see an indicator that tells them what items in the shot are exposed for 100%. To me, that’s great too for some shots - shots that do not have a people in it. I’d rather know what the sweet spot is and just look at the scene in the viewfinder to tell whether or not I have lost detail in the whites - if I have to make a choice. If I have the luxury of two sets of zebras I would set them at 70 and 100%. I should note here too that the two separate indicators have stripes that look different from each other. Also of note is the fact that either of the zebra settings can be set to whatever level you want. How do you know what level the zebras are set to? Look at colors bars and notice which bar has the stripes on them. If you don’t know which bar is what level - look it up. You need to know anyway. While you’re at it, learn what the real color names are and in what order they run. You knew those bars had a reason to them, right? Practice. Record stuff and play it back. Make notes. Try stuff. It’s the only way you’re going to find out how to do it. Finally, remember that you are not making scope readings or zebra comparisons. These are just tools to use while you make pictures. Questions? Comments? Let me know by sending a message to [email protected]
Also, if you are interested in discussions from camera operators from around the world, feel free to join the TV Camera Operators group on LinkedIN or read my web site for new operators at www.craigjkelly.com
Television director Craig Kelly’s career has included over 3,500 live shows, events and concerts in broadcasting, corporate television, events and sports production since 1977. He is also involved in ministry based events and concerts, and has produced or directed internationally distributed DVDs. With a background as an international free-lance cameraman, he has shot national and local level sports and corporate video for over twenty years. These days he is often involved in speaking, workshops, writing and talking about Television camera operators and directing. He recently launched the blog ZoomIT. cam at craigjkelly.wordpress.com for new camera operators and has a training DVD in the works. You can reach Craig at [email protected]
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More and more worship leaders are discovering the convenience and power of using tablet computers like the iPad for reading and storing sheet music, chord charts, and sermons. But if you use both hands to play your instrument or communicate more e ectively, then having to swipe or tap the screen to turn pages or advance playlists can really disrupt a performance or presentation. What if there were an easy way to control your iPad hands free without the need to touch the screen? Now there is, thanks to a Colorado-based company called AirTurn. The AirTurn BT-105 is a digital page turner for your iPad. The AirTurn BT-105 uses two silent foot pedals to turn pages forwards and backwards, and connects wirelessly and easily to your iPad with Bluetooth technology. The AirTurn BT-105 is compatible with a growing number of apps for reading sheet music, lyric sheets, text, and even teleprompter scripts. You can even control playback of audio tracks hands free with certain apps. No more clumsy pokes or awkward screen swipes. With the AirTurn BT-105, pages turn by themselves like magic, and you’re free to keep your hands to yourself! Visit www.AirTurn.com for our full line of digital page turning systems and iPad stand solutions.
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continued Continued from page 43
all those around you (and yourself) to build each other up and to take your giftings and apply discipline, training, and prayer behind your efforts to improve as an artist and as a musician. There you have it! That is why you hear us say our motto a lot… “Improving Skill and Inspiring Talent”. That is the better approach for you and your worship team and your tech teams and even your pastoral staff that is over the worship teams… we need to remember that when it all boils down, whether you are on a television sound stage or your congregations ministry platform… this is not a competition! It is a celebration of the One who generously has gifted us. What are you going to do with it now that you have it? That, my friends, is a really good question for all of us to ask ourselves. It is not a competition… it really is all for an audience of One. Lord Bless Ya! Bruce & Judy
may never have been submitted to these agencies rigorous testing for safety. Most property and casualty insurance policies specifically exclude losses involving nonrated equipment, and a thorough fire inspector will “red-tag” such gear. Imagine trying to explain why you chose to save a few dollars to buy a cheap light, and exposed your church to liability. Here’s the bottom line. Shopping for lighting equipment (incandescent fixtures, LEDs, controllers, etc.), based on the lowest cost as the primary motivator will often result in a frustrating, inferior, incompatible, non-scalable lighting system. Nor do you want to waste money on inappropriate equipment. Get a good picture of what you want to accomplish, determine the specifications for the equipment to achieve your goal, and then find the best prices on the gear. I would be happy to help. Just email me. [email protected]
Greg Sisley is on the pastoral staff at Faith in Kent, WA, where he serves as executive pastor and production lead. He serves as a consultant to churches in the area of lighting design and production with Focus AVL. [email protected]
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By Martin Stillion
Playing the Mandolin
Christmas is right around the corner again. Here’s a medley/mash-up of two minor-key carols. You probably know “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” but “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” might not be as familiar. We start with one tune, switch to the next, and end with them overlapping each other. Techniques include simple cross-picking, tremolo, and double stops. If I had room I’d throw in more variations, but the page is quite full as it is. During the cross-picking, try to “pop” the upper melody notes and deemphasize the lower ones. You’ll see several instances of a melody note tied to a second note with an X head. You want to sustain this note, but you also want to keep the back-and-forth motion going in your pick hand. It’s OK to touch the string with your pick when you get to the X note, but try to not rearticulate it.
M u l t i instrumentalist Martin Stillion, a 19-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.
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
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SOUND DESIGN & CRAFTMANSHIP DELIVER A GRAND PERFORMANCE
By Doug Doppler
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Delay Worth Praising
key functionality is controllable with your hands and feet and requires no menu diving. Bypassing the tap tempo on channel two allows you to keep a chorus delay on call, regardless of what you’re doing on channel one. With both channels synched to the master tap tempo, the tone controls allow you to craft markedly distinct delay tones, virtually eliminating most people’s need for more than one delay on their pedal board. Shorter, country-fied delays were snappy and had plenty of spank without being harsh on the top end. Longer, modulated delays were warm and lush without getting muddy. But what we loved the most was running channel one set to quarter notes and channel two set to dotted eighths with the modulation engaged. The pedal delivered the perfect balance of attack, ambiance, and musicality that is going to make it a real winner with the praise and worship set and beyond. While we’ve always been super impressed with Visual Sound, the Dual Tap Delay is, hands raised, one of the finest pedals we’ve come across. If you or that special loved one is in the market for something really special in the delay department, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the price tag, and duly impressed that a portion of the proceeds will go to combating AIDS in Africa and other worthwhile causes. VisualSound.net
The Visual Sound Dual Tap Delay blends refreshingly user-friendly functionality with the kind of warmth that every delay pedal should have. The two fully independent, yet blendable channels feature identical circuitry and controls with the exception of an added modulation knob on the second channel. The four-position time controls allow you to set the two delays to any combination of quarter notes, eighth notes, dotted eighth notes, and eighth note triplets, and the rotary knobs giving you a tactile click so you know when you’ve switched subdivisions. Slider controls give you the option of linking each channel to the master tap
tempo switch, which is a huge plus for worship guitarists in particular. The footprint of the Dual Tap Delay is bit wider than a DD-20 and less deep than a DL-4, and features three of Visual Sound’s cushy noiseless foot switches for the two channels and master tap. The buttons are placed far enough apart to prevent accidents, but close enough together that you can trigger both delay channels with a single stomp if so inclined. The back of the unit features the input, secondary tap jack for those with massive pedal boards, and dual outs which can be set to wet/ wet or wet/dry via an internal switch. A second internal switch enables tails to trail after you switch either or both of the delay channels off. The small tone knobs are neatly tucked out of the way and do a superb job of shaping the tone and feel of the delays. As much as we loved the feature set, the real magic of this pedal is in what happens when you plug in and start playing – you just don’t want to stop. In contrast to the huge range of features, it’s quite refreshing to find that virtually all
Doug Doppler is signed to Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label and is currently in production on the Get Killer Tone DVD series. He and his wife Melissa live to serve the Kingdom and are members of Cornerstone Fellowship in the San Francisco Bay Area.
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
A FEW MOMENTS WITh…
By Brian Doerksen
The Jesus Way
But if God is primarily a judge who needs people to ‘obey the law or else’, then it makes perfect sense that some people feel called to be his ‘enforcers’. People who commit acts of terror – do so believing deeply that they are serving God. They do so to intimidate others into submitting to their view of God and their way of life. Some will quickly point out that terrorists serve a different God than the one Jesus revealed. (I won’t enter the fray right now but I agree with Dr. Miroslav Volf that it’s a dialogue worth having.) Many Western Christians are pointing their long finger at Islam, as people on its radical fringes commit violence in the name of God – but as the saying goes, there are more fingers pointing back at us. The body count of people violently killed in the name of Christ over the past 20 centuries is actually greater. (That was hard for me to take in when I first learned that!)
19 He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.
In his name the nations will put their hope.”
And in the corners of our modern world where people can’t get away with murder or physical violence in God’s name, they What a beautiful description of the core I’ve been thinking lately that our view of find ways to commit violence with their of Jesus life and ministry. who God is and what He’s like defines words – believing that they are serving Music is one the most delightful of the core of our lives, which results in God by being His moral police. disciplines and art forms that can being either a person of grace; willing The hope of the nations that Isaiah embody this ‘Jesus way’ of grace and to serve and suffer – or one who tries to prophesied and Jesus came to bring truth (again in that order!) Our songs advance themselves and their views of is not an unleashing of morality... but can focus on the healing power of grace God through aggression. of compassion, healing, and the most and forgiveness... and help create a pathway into people’s hearts. In these Here’s one of the pictures that seems to powerful gift of all: forgiveness. be getting plenty of screen time: God is a judge whose primary role is to lay down the law. Let’s get real - is more violence going to solve the problems of the nations? Will continuing the ‘us versus them’ divide If that is our view, then any moral failure accomplish peace? Will shaming people or sin is the breaking of that law and must for their moral failure bring about lasting be punished. But what if God is actually change? like Jesus? (Could it be true? Jesus himself Sadly, we humans have become brilliant claimed not only to be like God, but that at elevating stars and shaming sinners He was God!) What if He actually treats (and we love shaming sinning stars most us not as lawbreakers, buts as orphans of all!) I think it’s time for a fresh return to who need a father & mother? Of course, the Jesus way. all of us have broken God’s perfect Listen to that way described. law... but Jesus came full of grace and truth... and in that order! The pathway Matthew 12:17-21 NIV for us humans hearing the truth is always 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken grace... grace comes first in His dealing through the prophet Isaiah: with us and remains the most important 18 “Here is my servant whom I have thing for us to remember as we interact chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; with anyone who crosses our path, because they need a savior just as much I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. as we do. days of antagonistic dialogue about so many things, I hope and pray that all of us musicians, songwriters, worship leaders, and recording artists can leave the violent ways of aggression behind, and embody the Jesus way of grace... off and on the stage. Brian Doerksen
Isaiah’s prophetic description of Jesus that Matthew quotes is telling. Instead of being described as a ruler, he is described as a servant who is willing to suffer. He is filled with the Spirit to proclaim justice – but not justice accomplished through violence! He doesn’t quarrel. He doesn’t try to forcibly convince everyone that He is right. (I understand the desire to prove you are right... I just know that proving we are right will not accomplish the work of God’s kingdom.) He doesn’t cry out to demand his own way. He is the incarnation of God’s grace - He doesn’t crush or overpower fragile people... and those with a faint hope he doesn’t condemn for being weak.
Brian Doerksen is a songwriter, recording artist, author, conference speaker and pastor. Brian was born and raised on the west coast of Canada in Abbotsford B.C. and now raises his family of 6 children in the home that he was raised in. His songs are known around the world in churches of all kinds and include Come, Now Is The Time To Worship, Hope Of The Nations, Faithful One, Refiner’s Fire, Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing), Holy God & The River.
NOV/DEC 2011 WORSHIPMUSICIANMAGAZINE.COM
BREAK THE SILENCE
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