This week, we’re talking about song arrangement and I share three things you can apply immediately to your playing in your worship team, that will help you play and lead worship with more confidence and get a bigger sound. This is my process when arranging songs with a small team (actually, with any size worship team).

Here’s the scenario

You download one of the latest top worship songs and you want to do it on Sunday but at your disposal you have an acoustic guitar, a keyboard and a flute, with two singers. Not quite what you can hear on that live recording you’ve just downloaded. Even if you have a bigger team, you’re hearing this track and you can hear at least two guitars, big drum sound, amazing harmonies and you’re wondering how you’re going to replicate this with your team. Does this sound familiar?

Check out this week’s episodes for ways to improve your sound as a team through focused song arrangement.

Episode Resource

These videos are great examples of what I talk about. I’ve included the album version and an acoustic version performed by a much smaller team of two or three people.

Example 1: Alive – Hillsong Young & Free

This is a big song with prominent music parts and some unique sounds. Give the album version a listen below and then take a listen to the acoustic version below.

Album version

Acoustic version

Why this works

The song keeps its energy and life by focusing on the rhythm and using the instruments and vocals they have to add dynamics.

Example 2: No Longer Slaves – Jonathan David & Melissa Helser

This is an anthem of a song. The album version doesn’t have lots going on musically but there’s some nice strings parts and big drum and vocal builds. The great thing about these anthem-style songs is that people sing them at the top of their lungs. You don’t need a lot going on in the music. Give the congregation a strong base to sing on.

Album version


Acoustic version

Why this works

Simple chords, focusing on the rhythm and strong vocals and vocal parts to create the dynamics.

Summary

Don’t let the size of your team stop you from leading well. Use what you have to serve your church in worship by focusing on the right things. Music does play a part in helping us lead well but it’s important not to get overwhelmed by the song arrangement. Keep it simple and play to the strengths of your team.

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