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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Song Series: Our God Reigns: Sing Strong

Our God Reigns: Sing Strong

Read: Revelation 19

Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. - Revelation 19:6

God is not against LOUD PRAISE! There is coming a day when the bride of Christ, the church, will sing before the Lamb of God. All of our miscues, misunderstandings, and misrepresentations, as well as, all our dysfunctions, disagreements, and denominations will come to an end and we will stand together clothed in white linen (representing purity) praising the One True God with a really LOUD voice. There is a time for quiet reflection, even silence, but I’m convinced that holding back when we should be hollering God’s greatness is absolutely and unequivocally wrong.

One of the best ways we worship leaders can guard against timidity in worship is to know the song we’re singing. Sure we should understand the melody and chord progressions, as well as, the rhythm and breaks; that’s just common practice. However, until a song has ministered to us and we’ve made it our own we may be able to sing it loud, but we will not - cannot sing with heart felt abandon.

Here’s a method for learning a new song that may work for you (I call it R.I.P.D. pronounced “ripped”)

1. Rhythm: Playing along with a recording is helpful, but make sure you can play it solo without losing your way. First, find the tempo and practice your part several times through with a metronome. Then, break down the sections that seem to be giving you trouble. Most musicians will have difficulty with anything syncopated or off the beat, so spend time locking in
2. Inference: What’s the scripture reference, study it, memorize it, and meditate on the message. Also ask yourself, “What’s the song saying to me, how can I express it emotionally, visually, and of course musically?”
3. Parts: this is straight forward if you’re a vocalist, but when you’re part of a band that has several instruments, determining your specific space becomes critical and a lot more difficult to discover. You may need to actually sit down with the other musicians for a special session or develop a predetermined approach for each new song
4. Dynamics: Here’s where things get a bit tricky in a live presentation. Our tendency is to rip the upbeat songs fast and furiously, depending on how much we’re “into it”. Many song writers spend hours crafting songs to emotionally enhance the message in the music through very specific levels of volume, swells (crescendos) and accents. That’s what dynamics are all about. So, respect the writer and learn it the way he wrote it before changing it to how you want it.

Here are some additional ideas from The Palms Community Worship Team:
Listen to the song several times without singing or playing it.
Learn to sing it first, even if you're an instrumentalist.
Learn to play the song by ear before looking at the chord chart.
Listen to the lead singer. (believe it or not, this suggestion came from our drummer!)
Loop the songs in your media player until you know it well enough to play without the CD. Learn the flow of the song but be ready to follow the worship leader if things begin to change.


Sing to the King of Glory.
Sing to the King of kings.
All creation declares Your greatness as Your people bring You praise.

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