9 Tips To Teach Your Team A New Song
Introducing a new song is always a bit of challenge. Which song should I choose? Can our team pull this off? Will our congregation engage with it? Each of these questions is worth a blog post of it’s own but once you’ve narrowed it down the next questions is “How can I help my team learn this song?”
There are lot of different approaches you can take but the important thing is that you put your team the best possible position to lead song well and grow in their skill.
Share the Recording
I love to start here. You don’t have to do the song exactly as you hear it. In fact sometimes that’s impossible. The important elements are the groove, tempo, feel, melody, chord changes, and lead lines. All this can be gathered by listening to the recording. I post these MP3’s to Planning Center.
Transpose The MP3
If you want your players an singers to practice along with the track but you’re doing it a full step lower than the recording it’s easy to transpose. Planning Center’s free transposr.com is my go to application. Warning, anything beyond 3 half steps up or down starts sounding pretty funky.
Start With A Great Chart
Don’t just copy and paste a chart you found on ultimate-guitar.com or a similar site. These are spotty at best. Try these routes instead. I’ve used them all.
- Find the official chart from the artist’s website
- Create your own custom chord chart in microsoft word
- Create your own custom lead sheet in Finale
- Use recordings, instructional videos or live vides to make sure the chords and lyrics are completely accurate.
Show A Live Video From The Artist
Many worship bands have live videos of their songs. This can sometimes be helpful in seeing just how they’re playing different parts.
Show A Live Stream From A Church
If you regularly catch up on archived services from churches you admire you’ll come across someone leading a song you’re thinking about introducing. This is really helpful in seeing and hearing how a local church volunteer team presents this song live.
Use A Training Resource
There are several great training websites that teach parts to most of today’s popular worship songs. Consider purchasing a team subscription and sharing it with key volunteers. Two worth checking out are Worship Artistry and Worship Initiative.
Purchase The MultiTracks
Several sites like multitracks.com offer the original artist recordings of popular worship songs. Purchasing these tracks are a great way to compliment your live band but as a worship leader I’ll often solo a guitar, keys or drum part to hear the exact notes played and tones used so I can instruct my team.
Find / Write / Record The Vocal Parts
Vocal parts are the most obvious thing missing from all chord charts. Many modern songs have very few parts but others have beautiful and important harmonies. You can find these parts through things like song select’s vocal sheet resource. You can Write you own parts with the help of skilled arranger. You can even do a simple recording of the melody with the alto line, tenor line, etc., and share them with your team.
Modify The Map
Are you leading a song but excluding the 2 minute instrumental vamp in the middle? Import the MP3 into your favorite audio editing software and edit it. Being able to listen to the flow of a song in the way you will lead it is very helpful. I prefer Logic Pro X.
For me, sharing the recording and starting with a great chart are crucial. Beyond that pick and choose which tips work for you.
Finally, be sure you have the appropriate licenses to share music and charts with your team.
What about You? How do you introduce new songs to your Worship Team?