Category Archives: Worship Music

Metronomes

Ever been leading a band and you just can’t get the timing right? Or…more likely…you can’t get your drummer to stay on beat? If you are a worship leader…and you do not have a click track going or do not yet play with a metronome…make it happen.

This simple piece of equipment will make your life easier…your practices more effective…your band stronger…I guarantee it.

Some people have told me that their drummer is a human metronome. Yeah…I have heard some pretty great drummers, but none of them are metronomes…they are human. I even got a chance once to play with Paul Baloche’s drummer, and guess what…he always brings his own. Never let a drummer tell you that he does not need one…not true.

With so much to think about while you are standing on stage leading worship…the last thing you want to have to think about is the music. If the music can become less of a distraction then you are able to lead more effectively.

 Here are 3 metronomes that I have used and my opinions on them:

 IPHONE App: “Tempo” by Frozen Ape. Tempo

Simple, easy to use, digital. Plug your IPhone into the system and it is easy as that. It has tap tempo and the ability to create set lists. It is both visual and auditory. Good sounds to cut through the noise and only a few bucks. I use it when I am traveling to places and leading worship because I always have my phone on me. It is the best metronome app I have found.

 Yamaha Click StationYamaha

The only knock on this one is the sounds…I did not like the sounds that came out of this. They were more annoying than helpful. It does have a vibration pad for venues where you cannot hear it. You can save set lists and it has a midi in. It also has a trigger for start and stop…but you have to buy the Yamaha trigger and it only starts/stops. It’s discontinued in the US so…might be hard to find.

 Boss DB-90Boss

Best one I have found for permanent solutions. Great sounds. You can save set lists and the interface is easy to maneuver. I love this metronome. It’s a little pricey at over 100 bucks and you will lose your set list if it is unplugged. But, you can use Boss pedals with ¼ inch cables for start/stop and “next.” So…your drummer never has to put any hands to it. Put the pedals near the high hat and kick and you are set. Well worth the money.

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Touched

I am blessed. I am lucky and I am thankful. I am surrounded by many who encourage and spur me on to be the man God has called me to be. I am a rich man because of the people in my life who have touched my heart.

I was listening to the free Phil Wickham CD, Singalong…and I was moved by a song called Cannons. It is an amazing song with lyrics that express my feelings about God, my family…and my friends. There is one line specifically from the chorus that sums it all up:singalong

“I’m so unworthy, but still You love me. Forever my heart, will sing of how great You are.”

I know this song is a worship song about God and I can’t help but feel moved by this line. I truly believe that our life will not be measured by our accomplishments or awards…but we will be measured by the people whose lives we were allowed to be a part of.

I posted on Facebook the question of what to write on this blog entry and there were quite a few who responded. I was moved not by the responses or the ideas but by the sheer fact that people continue to take an interest in me…in my life…and in my journey.

As Joanna and I begin to figure out the future and begin to seriously explore the possibilities of change and movement…I feel blessed to know that people continue to support and encourage us. The next few months are sure to be filled with anxious moments, joyous embraces and hard decisions. But I take comfort in the reality that we are loved.

I am loved not only by a God who I am unworthy of…but of my friends and family who continue to amaze and encourage me. To you…I say:

“I’m so unworthy, but still You love me. Forever my heart, will sing of how great You are.”

Thank you for the love. Thank you for the heart. Thank you for the prayers and thank you for being a part of my life.

Peace. Jesse.

Topic: Choosing Music

angry_old_womanI wish I had a picture of it. I wish I could explain to you the priceless face that I saw one day in Turner Oregon. I was singing with a vocal group from college at the Oregon Christian Convention and we were going through our 1st prepared number when I saw her face. A cute, adorable 80 something year old woman sitting a few rows in front of us looked right into my eyes and she put on her mean face. It was so cute I almost had to laugh…but I think that would have made her more upset. She had angry eyes and furrowed brows that seemed to stretch out the side of her face. To top it all off…she angrily takes out her hearing aids and replaces them with her fingers while maintaining her most sour face as if to say to me…kid…you really piss me off.

It was too loud for her. It wasn’t the type of music she liked and she was going to let me know it.  As a worship leader…choosing music for a service…well…it can get very complicated. Searching through hymns, choruses, modern music and so much more to find what will inspire, reach out and grab a group of people and help lead them to the throne is not something you can lazily do. This gets even more complicated when you minister in a multi-generational context.

There are many different philosophies out there when it comes to choosing music for a service but I believe that each person attending the service you are leading genuinely wants to be engaged with something familiar and with something challenging. As a worship leader…it not always our job to do both.

Some leaders choose songs from a list of 100’s of songs that are categorized by sermon topics while others have no list and search CCLI each week to see what songs their keywords find. They try to find the perfect set where each song has something linked to the sermon. If the message for the day is one of Grace then each song in the set might even have the word “grace” in it. That’s one way to think about it…but I can’t get myself to use this method because honestly…I don’t believe it truly ministers to the congregation or group I am leading.top 20

Try listening to the radio for a few days straight and think about it. Why do they play the same songs over and over? It’s because when we turn on the radio…we want to hear good songs that we know and can play the air drums to, mess up the words and hum along to. We may only listen to 30 minutes of what is played throughout the whole day and they want to engage us with music they know will bring us back so that we might respond to their message…advertising.

According to Barna statistics…the average churchgoer attends 2 Sunday services a month. Which means…on any given Sunday…only 50% of the group is attending. With those numbers…we as worship leaders only have 45 minutes to 1 hour a month…a MONTH…to engage the congregation or group and lead them to the throne of God through music. ONE HOUR to have them hear the most important advertising there has ever been. Think about finding your top 20 and for the next 6 months stick to it and let me know what happens. Sure…throw 2-3 new ones in during that 6 month period but no more.  Stick it out…and after 6 months let me know.

Think it over. Jesse.