Monday, January 25, 2010


I was nervous about Sunday's set. I didn't have any fears about technique or delivery, but I was worried that the songs wouldn't work well together. (I think most worship leaders have sets like this - where he or she worries it's not gonna fit together. However, I think most worship leaders don't admit they have those fears.) This was one Sunday that ended up working. Thank you, Lord!

Been a month or so since we did this one. It came off okay. First song at Bethel is always a tricky thing because so many folks are still wandering in (or trying to find a parking place!) This one went good for a first song. I'm really impressed at how confident Ray W. is getting on delay. He's really starting to own that effect and figuring out where to place it.

This song went SO great! We had Tim do an extended synth intro that was a great lead-in. This one rocked pretty close to the CD version. We made a couple of adjustments - the 2nd intro pass was full, rather than half. Then we built some extra choruses after the bridge. As we came out of bridge, we ran 2 choruses with drums and percussion. First one was drums and perc only and second one added bass and synth. By the third chorus, we were JAMMING!

Didn't have much in the way of announcements, so we welcomed folks and then let them greet one another.

One of the strongest parts of this tune is the extended keys/guitar instrumental 3/4 of the way through. However, it's a long instrumental break and is really best suited to a crowd that's more comfortable with a spontaneous worship time. We've never done the break for that very reason, but this week we changed the game. We actually had Tim and Smitty do the extended instrumental to start the song. It was very cool. Really changed the song from that country-pop style to something nice and jazzy. As we were leading, I just had this impression that the phrase, "Thank You, Lord" really was perfect for us. Understanding that our crowd is a mix of folks in all different walks of life, I encouraged them to express their gratitude even if they weren't feeling it.

This is a Tommy Walker tune from his last project. I've wanted to do it for awhile, but just haven't put in the set. This one took a little tweaking on Thursday night at rehearsal. I ended up making a few small changes. First off, I taught the congregation the chorus with just my guitar. I think we did three runs of chorus before the band came in. We also killed the second verse for this particular Sunday. The melody of the verses is a little tricky so I decided to verse one both times - that way folks aren't worried about phrasing a new set of lyrics to the melody. By doing verse one both times, you built comfort into the process of learning a new song. We made sure to double up first chorus as adds some length to the tune. I changed up the melody on the bridge a's cool, but I'm still not sure what to do with it.

I'm familiar with Jeff Johnson's "Glorious Day." I knew Bethel had sung it before I got here, but I kept forgetting to put it in the set. Mark Kuykendall, our youth pastor, had asked me to include it as a tie-in with his sermon. Originally, he had asked for a modified, shorter version of the tune, but I ended up doing the whole thing.
We did bump it from D down to C and we cut the double chorus ending, but other than that we were pretty close to Johnson's version. Worship on this one was passionate and loud. I really don't believe in "magic songs," but I do see that this song is a clearly written, fun-to-sing, dynamically diverse piece of music and folks will always respond to that. From a songwriting perspective, I think the pre-chorus makes this song. On paper, "Glorious Day" shouldn't work. The verses are the same two chords over and over and very wordy. The chorus is one line repeated over and over. Most songwriters would tell you - that don't work. But the pre-chorus of this tune changes everything. It's perfect. Placed just right in the flow of the song and built as a perfect transition between song sections.
The set ended up working well. "Glorious Day" did seem to fit right where Mark was, so that was a great call on his part. It was a great day...grateful for the chance to be there!


Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Glorious Day... that makes me smile. Wish I had been there! We are SO missing your leading us in worship, each Sunday. Chris and I have found a small church with teaching we like. We have felt led to go back to this church and really appreciate the preacher. Only problem....very weak music. You spoiled us....
We know this is where we are to be, for this moment. God led us here, for a reason. So, I will just listen to your CD and sing along, very loudly, whenever I can!