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-   -   Is anyone else tired of worship music? (http://www.christianguitar.org/forums/t208177/)

metropolis4 11-27-2013 02:17 AM

Is anyone else tired of worship music?
 
I'm getting so bored musically with all the modern worship music we play. It seems like every single song is exactly the same: mid-tempo, add a simple guitar lick drenched in reverb/delay, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, build into big epic ending that repeats forever. The only variety we have is the choice to do the song U2 style or Coldplay style. Every song is starting to sound the same, just with different lyrics.

Maybe I just need to look in different places than I have been? Is there worship music out there that is outside the CCM box we seem to be stuck in? worship music that is more musically interesting? I'd even settle for a couple non-diatonic chords. Something to build some interest into the arrangement. I've seriously been thinking about finding a church that does gospel music just for a change... there's some seriously awesome music going on in some of those churches :)

Giga Hertz 11-27-2013 02:26 AM

Ever looked into some Robin Mark? I always find him a good change of pace to Hillsong/Jesus Culture.

dogfood 11-27-2013 04:21 AM

Try writing your own stuff dude.

bobthecockroach 11-27-2013 06:40 AM

Hymns?

metropolis4 11-27-2013 09:00 AM

I actually love hymns for this very reason (and I love the poetry and imagery), but they don't exactly fit with the culture of the church I'm doing music for. We throw them in, but we're probably about 10% hymns max.

I enjoy writing my own arrangements, the problem is I can really only use them when I'm leading by myself. I love my band, but they're weekend warriors, and it's really asking too much of them to try to learn some of the chord progressions I like to use.

I guess part of the limitation is working within my situation; finding what works best for the congregation and my band, and not just what works best for me. Still, it seems like we need some sort of middle ground. You know, when I listen back to some of the music we were doing in the 90's, there's some really cheesy stuff, but at least it had variety! It just seems like everything these days is so cookie cutter and contrived. It all sounds exactly the same. To be honest, I don't think it's reflecting our congregations musical interests either; I think we're just using it because we don't know what else to do

thesteve 11-27-2013 10:19 AM

When you say it doesn't reflect your congregation's musical interests, what do you see as being their musical interests?

We did Jeremy Riddle's "Furious" this past week. I actually struggled with it a bit because it was outside of the box enough, at least from a bass perspective, that I couldn't just revert to any of my default "this is what I play on a Tomlin/Hillsong tune" patterns.

Almost Enough 11-27-2013 01:45 PM

I don't listen to worship music at all, outside of playing it at church and learning a new song for church. It is not musically stimulating, nor is it lyrically stimulating. There is the occasional exception, but I don't think that merits listening to it on a regular basis.

That said, I've always enjoyed Tommy Walker. He's quite a bit different from your run-of-the-mill, arena-rock worship artist.

bread man 11-27-2013 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by metropolis4 (Post 3819701)
I'm getting so bored musically with all the modern worship music we play. It seems like every single song is exactly the same: mid-tempo, add a simple guitar lick drenched in reverb/delay, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, build into big epic ending that repeats forever. The only variety we have is the choice to do the song U2 style or Coldplay style. Every song is starting to sound the same, just with different lyrics.

Maybe I just need to look in different places than I have been? Is there worship music out there that is outside the CCM box we seem to be stuck in? worship music that is more musically interesting? I'd even settle for a couple non-diatonic chords. Something to build some interest into the arrangement. I've seriously been thinking about finding a church that does gospel music just for a change... there's some seriously awesome music going on in some of those churches :)

Yep. I only play at my church once a month at the moment and singing it in the congregation is even more boring than playing it.

If you find something, I'd love to know about it. :)

Dr. Thrunk 11-27-2013 02:35 PM

This is why I haven't paid attention to worship music in the last 7 or so years.

Kenny C. 11-27-2013 06:36 PM

In all honesty, John Mark McMillan is probably one of my favorite artists out there - worship or non. Probably has a lot to do with James Duke's guitar work, but I really feel like Economy and The Medicine have a certain mojo that no other "worship" artists out there have. Maybe I'm just fanboying over Duke's guitar work, but JMM and also All Sons & Daughters have restored a bit of my faith in modern worship music.

Reuben 11-27-2013 07:32 PM

You might look into:

Ascend the Hill
Sovereign Grace Music
Enfield
Sojourn Music
Page CXVI - some very nicely done hymn reworkings
Come and Live - the label that Ascend the Hill is on. Lots of free music available here including a lot of worship bands.

lifesglorydead 11-27-2013 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reuben (Post 3819789)
You might look into:

Ascend the Hill
Sovereign Grace Music
Enfield
Sojourn Music
Page CXVI - some very nicely done hymn reworkings
Come and Live - the label that Ascend the Hill is on. Lots of free music available here including a lot of worship bands.

quoted for truth- all of these are 100% solid lyrically and musically. Very rootsy and honest stuff compared to the Coldplay/U2 standard we're all used to.

Kenny C. 11-27-2013 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reuben (Post 3819789)
You might look into:

Ascend the Hill
Sovereign Grace Music
Enfield
Sojourn Music
Page CXVI - some very nicely done hymn reworkings
Come and Live - the label that Ascend the Hill is on. Lots of free music available here including a lot of worship bands.

Good call. Forgot about the Come and Live bands.

Maestro_dmc 11-28-2013 10:03 AM

Gungor

metropolis4 12-04-2013 12:34 AM

Love love love Gungor. His "acoustic" set opening for David Crowder's last tour was the coolest thing I've ever seen live. period.

Reuben, thanks, I'll start digging into that list!

I think it's interesting that so many of us seem to be playing music we don't really like to people who aren't entirely crazy about it either... is it just apathy on our part as musicians, or what? It seems like, in the world of church musicians, we have a lot of weekend warriors, but not a lot of people who are really committed to creating art that reflects the church. I wonder if there's any way to start to change that...

SomeCallMeTim? 12-04-2013 01:00 AM

One more if you want to check them out... Shane & Shane are really great.

Tony 12-04-2013 08:41 AM

Quote:

I think it's interesting that so many of us seem to be playing music we don't really like to people who aren't entirely crazy about it either...
This is the money quote. IMO. The praise team approach (band, projected lyrics, catalog of mostly newer songs) has been going strong for about 25 years now. Has it run its course?

jeepnstein 12-04-2013 08:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tony (Post 3820240)
This is the money quote. IMO. The praise team approach (band, projected lyrics, catalog of mostly newer songs) has been going strong for about 25 years now. Has it run its course?

In a lot of ways it has run it's course with me. I think that's mostly because of a scarcity of musicians who are willing to work at it. So we have to dumb it down to the lowest common denominator, no practice required. Playing in Church has ceased to be anything but an exercise in sight reading and damage control for me.

gtrdave 12-04-2013 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tony (Post 3820240)
This is the money quote. IMO. The praise team approach (band, projected lyrics, catalog of mostly newer songs) has been going strong for about 25 years now. Has it run its course?

Hardly, but it can't be sustained if it's always the same people, same songs, same styles, same schtick Sunday after Sunday.
My pastor and I have butted heads over this issue in the past; he thinks consistency and redundancy is good and it's my thinking that a small level of those elements are good to hold to, but allow for variety within a loose consistency range.
I think people will get bored with the same thing, week after week. History has proven this as we watch older churches w/ older traditional-style services dwindle and die off. Sad to say that about a true worship service, but it is what it is, so better to recognize it and adapt now rather than become another casualty and see a community go downhill in the future as a result.

And we need to make changes for the right reasons, not just to keep up with the church-going Joneses.
Misplacing Charisma: Where Contemporary Worship Lost Its Way | Seedbed

bobthecockroach 12-04-2013 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeepnstein (Post 3820241)
In a lot of ways it has run it's course with me. I think that's mostly because of a scarcity of musicians who are willing to work at it. So we have to dumb it down to the lowest common denominator, no practice required. Playing in Church has ceased to be anything but an exercise in sight reading and damage control for me.

Except the previous standard was a church pianist and/or organist who didn't "rehearse" at all. Sight reading was standard. And I might add, trivial for even a modestly-skilled pianist, made even easier by normally being the only accompaniment.

Asking for rehearsal is asking more of our church musicians than we used to. Previously, the only requirement might have been to show up 10 minutes early or rehearse special music with the choir.

Also we used to have printed music for exactly what we wanted played (the hymnal). I could take two years of piano lessons and be able to play anything from the hymnal on sight. Sight-reading simple music is a pretty normal thing to learn for an intermediate pianist.

Now if we shoot for a "just like the recording" style, we have at best a hodge podge of tabs. No precise music for sure. And, sight-reading tabs is not a normal skill taught to guitarists and bassists and keyboardists and drummers. Playing things by ear also isn't a commonly taught skill. Really, most church musicians probably have no formal instruction at all, which is another major break from the previously-popular style of church music.

So if you add it all up, we used to have formally-trained musicians playing solo, doing something which required no rehearsal because it was part of their basic training. Now we have untrained musicians playing with others and doing something which requires rehearsal and isn't usually taught even to musicians who do have formal instruction.

Not trying to make any points, just observations.

Joe F 12-04-2013 12:45 PM

I think that the repetitive musical simplicity has evolved somewhat as a neccesary evil. In my current team, the bass player has been playing for all of 5 months, and the keyboardist has been converted from two staff notation to chord charts about the same amount of time. The congregation gets to sing any given song once every few weeks and is expected to remember how it goes just from lyrics on a screen while the band of weekend warriors may typically have an hour of group rehearsal and little to no personal practice time invested for any given Sunday.

So...G>Em>C>D with the capo somewhere on the neck, rinse and repeat it is... I do find myself suffering through some of it. Oh joy...here we go again, Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Loud Bridge-Chorus-Gentle Tag...Next! How....mundane and predictable it can become. Whenever I have tried to take a team of volunteer weekend warriors to more complex levels however, they have stumbled and it has often been a train wreck for the team and the congregation also.

On the other hand I have found some great workable stuff among the collections from groups like Indelible Grace and Sovereign Grace that is a departure from the usual Tomlin/Redman formula.

I also sneak in the occassional traditional hymn and southern gospel tune here and there, not to mention the occassional metrical psalm done completely acapella.

When it comes to the stuff permeating Top 40 Christian Radio these days however, I just can't endure most of it. Painful. It seems even Tomlin is trying to do Mumford and Sons now (Lay Me Down)..

Confession: I am an Irrelevant Worship Pastor | Worship Leader Magazine

Iron Broadsword 12-06-2013 12:59 PM

Honestly I'm not trying to be a super Christian or anything but I really don't find it boring at all. For close to 20 years I've played complicated secular metal and rock, (Christian metal/rock now), and although I don't do power metal in church, I am still playing complicated stuff that is very fun. But I don't really think about that I just worship.

Does everybody here do the capo thing? I hate using them, as they do make playing dull and limit your abilities..

thesteve 12-06-2013 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Iron Broadsword (Post 3820508)
Honestly I'm not trying to be a super Christian or anything but I really don't find it boring at all. For close to 20 years I've played complicated secular metal and rock, (Christian metal/rock now), and although I don't do power metal in church, I am still playing complicated stuff that is very fun. But I don't really think about that I just worship.

Does everybody here do the capo thing? I hate using them, as they do make playing dull and limit your abilities..

I think playing it can be a lot more interesting than listening to it, depending on the team you're working with.

Iron Broadsword 12-06-2013 02:20 PM

I think that's fair. I don't know if I've ever found it boring though from the pew, unless I was wishing I was elsewhere.. and lol I went to a church for a while that had terrible musicians. Just... bad.

to_be_released 12-06-2013 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Iron Broadsword (Post 3820508)

Does everybody here do the capo thing? I hate using them, as they do make playing dull and limit your abilities..

I don't use capos to limit the number of chords I need to learn, but I do sometimes use them for the change in timbre they produce. Sometimes that change is enough to make a song more interesting anyway.

If there are two or more guitarists, it's really nice to have them using different capo positions, providing different voicings for each chord. This sounds particularly nice with 12 strings. I guess that's one of the ways I help keep church music interesting for myself. :p

Sean 12-07-2013 12:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by metropolis4 (Post 3819701)
I'm getting so bored musically with all the modern worship music we play. It seems like every single song is exactly the same: mid-tempo, add a simple guitar lick drenched in reverb/delay, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, build into big epic ending that repeats forever. The only variety we have is the choice to do the song U2 style or Coldplay style. Every song is starting to sound the same, just with different lyrics.

Obviously there is an enormous number of songs/bands which fit that description. But I don't think you have to look particularly far at all to find music which doesn't really fit that description. You don't have to go any further than looking at all the different projects which HILLSONG have released this year to realize they've moved past just mimicking U2.


Quote:

Maybe I just need to look in different places than I have been? Is there worship music out there that is outside the CCM box we seem to be stuck in? worship music that is more musically interesting? I'd even settle for a couple non-diatonic chords. Something to build some interest into the arrangement. I've seriously been thinking about finding a church that does gospel music just for a change... there's some seriously awesome music going on in some of those churches :)
Don't know where you're currently looking or what you're looking for. But I can say if you're only listening to Christian radio, you are listened to some of the most formulaic music there is.

Kenny C. 12-07-2013 12:25 PM

Quote:

Does everybody here do the capo thing? I hate using them, as they do make playing dull and limit your abilities..
If the song is in, say, Bb I'd rather capo 1 and play in A or capo 3 and play in G to get some nice open strings ringing out. It sounds better to my ears than playing everything as barre chords. Heck, slapping the capo on the 8th fret and playing in E could make some cool sounds. If anything, I think using a capo helps me get more sounds than it does limit me.

Sean 12-07-2013 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kenny C. (Post 3820586)
If the song is in, say, Bb I'd rather capo 1 and play in A or capo 3 and play in G to get some nice open strings ringing out. It sounds better to my ears than playing everything as barre chords. Heck, slapping the capo on the 8th fret and playing in E could make some cool sounds. If anything, I think using a capo helps me get more sounds than it does limit me.

Exactly.

I'm sure there are some worldly class guitarists who can play full sounding chords in weird keys while transitioning between chords with hammer ons, slides and licks. I'm not one of them. I've got a whole bag of tricks for the keys of E, G, A, C, and D. I use some interesting voicings in all of those keys and I can do some other interesting things. In those keys I can normally find ways to play lead lines by switching voicings while strumming.

I can play other keys without a capo using bar chords. It just won't sound particularly full at times or smooth or have any frills.

athanatos 12-07-2013 01:35 PM

AMen, amen, amen!

I am not even an active musician and I must say I agree with all of your sentiments. It is frustrating to the core, because... to whom are we singing? Why are we singing? What should we sing?

To all that, I ask ...have you heard Indelible Grace?
Indelible Grace Music: Joy Beyond The Sorrow Available Now!

Quote:

Our hope is to be a voice calling our generation back to something rich and solid and beyond the fluff and the trendy. We want to remind God's people that thinking and worship are not mutually exclusive, and we want to invite the Church to appreciate her heritage without idolizing it. We want to open up a world of passion and truth and make it more that just an archaic curiosity for the religiously sentimental. We believe worship is formative, and that it does matter what we sing. Ultimately, we want to nurture a movement and hope this site will provide resources for this.
They basically take hymns and other theologically rich songs, and revamp the music style... and the style is diverse! They post all the sheets, lyrics, samples, etc. that they can so you can prepare easily.

lifesglorydead 12-07-2013 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by athanatos (Post 3820593)
AMen, amen, amen!

I am not even an active musician and I must say I agree with all of your sentiments. It is frustrating to the core, because... to whom are we singing? Why are we singing? What should we sing?

To all that, I ask ...have you heard Indelible Grace?
Indelible Grace Music: Joy Beyond The Sorrow Available Now!


They basically take hymns and other theologically rich songs, and revamp the music style... and the style is diverse! They post all the sheets, lyrics, samples, etc. that they can so you can prepare easily.

My church does a lot of Indelible Grace tunes, they're very good! I love that they're very easy to adapt and mess with/add dynamics to and whatnot. Lyrics are awesome, but sometimes I feel like it's almost too rich...like, some of those songs I wouldn't do unless we could spent 20 minutes afterward talking about the lyrics in depth. Haha.

bobthecockroach 12-07-2013 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lifesglorydead (Post 3820595)
My church does a lot of Indelible Grace tunes, they're very good! I love that they're very easy to adapt and mess with/add dynamics to and whatnot. Lyrics are awesome, but sometimes I feel like it's almost too rich...like, some of those songs I wouldn't do unless we could spent 20 minutes afterward talking about the lyrics in depth. Haha.

Isn't that the whole point of putting theology in music? You remember songs better than just about anything, thus you get plenty of time to think about it.

I don't understand the aversion to depth that most modern music seems to have.

DaGeek 12-07-2013 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobthecockroach (Post 3820602)
I don't understand the aversion to depth that most modern music seems to have.

Out of curiosity, how far back are you lumping "modern"? Because I recall some Vineyard songs from the '70s and '80s that weren't terribly deep either (e.g., "River of Life" and other such hits). They were awesome, but they were about the same level as current music.

lifesglorydead 12-07-2013 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobthecockroach (Post 3820602)
Isn't that the whole point of putting theology in music? You remember songs better than just about anything, thus you get plenty of time to think about it.

I don't understand the aversion to depth that most modern music seems to have.

I wasn't saying, by any means, that depth is bad. The songs I was referring to are songs that I'd have no problem listening to on my own, but when you're playing to a diverse group of people (including people who may or may not have never been a church before that moment), then perhaps references to esoteric Old Testament Jewish practices, outdated language, etc. aren't always appropriate. They can be beautiful, deep, and point toward God, but perhaps not always appropriate. That's all I'm saying.

Tony 12-07-2013 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lifesglorydead (Post 3820617)
I wasn't saying, by any means, that depth is bad. The songs I was referring to are songs that I'd have no problem listening to on my own, but when you're playing to a diverse group of people (including people who may or may not have never been a church before that moment), then perhaps references to esoteric Old Testament Jewish practices, outdated language, etc. aren't always appropriate. They can be beautiful, deep, and point toward God, but perhaps not always appropriate. That's all I'm saying.

I do not agree with you. Simple as that. People have no problem ordering off the Starbucks menu. They shouldn't be offended by the occasional "religious" word. The corporate worship event is still primarily that: the body of Christ gathered together for worship. If a seeker doesn't always "get it" right away, that's okay. There are other songs they will understand completely. I see nothing inappropriate about that.

to_be_released 12-08-2013 03:14 PM

With regard to theological content of songs, I prefer sung worship to consist of songs that are theologically rich. There are other worship leaders in my church that prefer simpler, more "personal" lyrics. Finding the right balance (if indeed there should even be a balance :p ) is something that warrants discussion, and this could perhaps be split to another thread.

However, I personally find that the lyrical content is not the main cause for boredom or tiredness of worship music. It's the stereotypical instrumentation that is probably the biggest culprit here.

I don't tend to listen to modern worship music, as the instrumentation does bore me somewhat. If our church's policy was that we had to make our songs sound as close to the recordings as possible, I think I would be in a position where I was getting tired of leading worship. However, my team has the ability and flexibility to do songs in differing styles, so we do. It helps keep us as musicians interested and engaged, but more than that, the congregation responds positively too. If the musicians are genuinely interested in passionate about the music they are playing, it does impact how the congregation responds. Likewise if the musicians are bored and disinterested.

Regarding "uninteresting," repetitive chord progressions, these don't have to be a big contributor to boredom with the music. Lately I've been listening to a reasonable amount of funk and soul, and the chord progressions are often a lot simpler in that context (if they even progress at all). However, if you get the right groove and instrumentation going, it's still enjoyable, interesting music. Over the last year, I've been trying to incorporate some of these musical ideas into my playing at church, spending a bit more time playing clean triads with syncopated rhythms, and this has been very helpful for keeping the music fresh and interesting.

So in short, I don't listen to worship music for musical inspiration. I keep the styles I listen to broad, and incorporate those influences into what I play to help prevent getting tired of worship music.

kc5uzd 01-01-2014 10:11 PM

Jevver listen to Lincoln Brewster, especially his older stuff? Man! What a guitarist. Look this up on YouTube: Lincoln Brewster jam CMS@Overlake 2007
It's real good :-)

Sent from my iPhone using CGR Forum

niangelo 04-28-2014 02:38 PM

I've too been frustrated by a lack of solid worship content in the past, but lately there's been some great stuff appearing. A selection:



The Sing Team (From Mars Hill) - Motown influenced worship with horns and everything. Spectacular. Standout track: "Oh! Great is Our God!"

Elevation Worship - Another take on the arena rock thing, but particularly high quality. Excellent songwriting, generally strong theology, and very strong muscianship. Standout tracks: "Unchanging God", "Exalted One".

Dustin Kensrue (Mars Hill Again) - Who doesn't want a worship album from the former lead singer of Thrice? Standout tracks: Too many to list, but I love "God is Good".

Citizens (Mars Hill) - Their full-length album is probably the best worship album of the last decade, in my opinion. Tremendous lyrics, wholly original production and sound, this album stands on it's own as a rock album. Really really stellar stuff. Standout tracks: "Made Alive", "I am Living in a Land of Dead"

All Sons and Daughters - Haven't heard too much from them, but some impressive indie roots sounding stuff.

Phil Wickham - In the U2 mold, but his last album "The Ascension" does it very well. Also doesn't hurt that he's a vocalist second to none. Standout tracks: "This is Amazing Grace", "Glory".

Rend Collective - woodsy, rootsy, singalong worship.

The Royal Royal - WOW. That's what I'm talking about. Sometime ghost collaborator with Hillsong, The Royal Royal is just what worship music has needed. A total kick in the pants, probably like not much you've heard before. Dancy, electro acoustic worship that really breaks the mold. Standout tracks: "Praise Him", "Heartbeats".

Rock Johnson 10-08-2015 03:19 PM

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!

I was starting to think something was wrong with me. I've been leading worship for several years, and have been playing in church bands since I was a teenager in the 80s.

I'll admit it. I hate Christian radio.

At risk of sounding like an old guy yelling at clouds, Christian music has gone downhill ever since "Christian music" became "worship music." Go back and listen to Steve Taylor, old Petra, Rez, heck, even Michael W. Smith. They were writing great music with no intention of it ever being played in church. Now, it seems like everything on Christian radio is written in hopes of becoming the next big worship anthem. The result, as many have said on here, is boring, formulaic "music."

I will definitely check out the stuff listed above. I feel like I'm suffocating!

Giuseppe 10-08-2015 03:20 PM

FYI, this thread is over a year old :p

Rock Johnson 10-08-2015 03:37 PM

That's the great thing about being a noob on this forum. They're ALL new threads to me!

bobthecockroach 10-08-2015 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaGeek (Post 3820605)
Out of curiosity, how far back are you lumping "modern"?

It has more to do with the age of materials churches are drawing from than the actual date something was written I guess.

I'm sure there hasn't been a massive dumbing down of worship music in the last 20 years, but in the last 20 years, the average age of a song sung in church has gone from maybe a couple hundred years to a couple months.

I can't think of a single song we still sing in my church that we sung when I got there less than a decade ago. I can't think of a single song that we sung at the first church I can remember attending that was written while anyone in the church was alive. That's an exaggeration of course, but...

When you have to completely change your songs every year, it completely changes the dynamic of the music.

to_be_released 10-08-2015 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobthecockroach (Post 3898654)
It has more to do with the age of materials churches are drawing from than the actual date something was written I guess.

I'm sure there hasn't been a massive dumbing down of worship music in the last 20 years, but in the last 20 years, the average age of a song sung in church has gone from maybe a couple hundred years to a couple months.

I can't think of a single song we still sing in my church that we sung when I got there less than a decade ago. I can't think of a single song that we sung at the first church I can remember attending that was written while anyone in the church was alive. That's an exaggeration of course, but...

When you have to completely change your songs every year, it completely changes the dynamic of the music.

This brings up an interesting point - our metric for "good" church music has been shifting to how "current" the music is, rather than how good it actually is.

The benefit of drawing upon centuries of hymns is that even if you just stick to the good ones, there's a large range to choose from, as it's generally the good ones that have endured. If you restrict yourself to music from within the last five years, the good songs haven't had the benefit of time to separate them out from the bad.

Rock Johnson 10-08-2015 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by to_be_released (Post 3898676)
The benefit of drawing upon centuries of hymns is that even if you just stick to the good ones, there's a large range to choose from, as it's generally the good ones that have endured. If you restrict yourself to music from within the last five years, the good songs haven't had the benefit of time to separate them out from the bad.

There's a lot of truth there.

Sean 10-08-2015 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rock Johnson (Post 3898649)
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!

I was starting to think something was wrong with me. I've been leading worship for several years, and have been playing in church bands since I was a teenager in the 80s.

I'll admit it. I hate Christian radio.

At risk of sounding like an old guy yelling at clouds, Christian music has gone downhill ever since "Christian music" became "worship music." Go back and listen to Steve Taylor, old Petra, Rez, heck, even Michael W. Smith. They were writing great music with no intention of it ever being played in church. Now, it seems like everything on Christian radio is written in hopes of becoming the next big worship anthem. The result, as many have said on here, is boring, formulaic "music."

I will definitely check out the stuff listed above. I feel like I'm suffocating!

Back in the 90's I really liked Steve Taylor and Petra, but I don't know that they're really great examples of Christian artists transcending the music of their time. They sounded like the music of their time. Petra's sound changed every 5 years to match the times.

Current Christian music is doing the same thing. I don't listen to Christian radio myself. So I can't really comment on what it's like, but there's plenty of Christian music outside of Christian radio. By the very nature of radio, it's going to appeal to a broad audience. It's the vanilla of Christian music.

I won't defend Christian radio, but I don't think the problem is a lack of quality music by Christians. The bigger problem is that too many people just listen to K-Love.

David Hardesty 12-14-2015 12:34 PM

Christian pop and worship music tends to lag 5-25 years behind what's popular in the rest of society. In our church we play more hymns than the norm (for theology/poetry) and often rework the tunes. We also constantly mess with rhythm; why can't a boring Hillsong tune with some interesting lyrics get reworked as ska? Or Johnny Cash? And why not put some drums and a cooler guitar riff into a Tomlin tune? We customize guitars, why not songs?

thesteve 12-14-2015 01:03 PM

Absolutely. I feel like the original recordings are templates. Use them as a guide, not as a set rule. Adapt them to maximize functionality for your team and congregation.

jwbrownlula 12-14-2015 02:55 PM

If the worship is authentic, and the musicians don't get in the way by being over the top, or sound horrible, I don't think you can go wrong with it in a church. I may not listen to it in my car, but I love worshipping with the church. We shouldn't look for a worship set by any set of rules, other than seeking God. I listen to pretty much nothing but Christian music, and it does get old from time to time. Not because the material isn't out there, but that I'm lazy about searching for new music. I've never understood why we seek to bend worship into something that suits us. Agreed, it needs to be congregational, but I don't think that rules out hymns, but at the same time, if the people don't understand, how can they worship?

aljb17 12-14-2015 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Hardesty (Post 3905443)
Christian pop and worship music tends to lag 5-25 years behind what's popular in the rest of society. In our church we play more hymns than the norm (for theology/poetry) and often rework the tunes. We also constantly mess with rhythm; why can't a boring Hillsong tune with some interesting lyrics get reworked as ska? Or Johnny Cash? And why not put some drums and a cooler guitar riff into a Tomlin tune? We customize guitars, why not songs?


Our worship team is constantly adding parts, reworking arrangments, making songs "ours"

Leboman 12-30-2015 11:12 AM

The biggest problem (if you want to call it that) I have with modern church music is the disturbing trend to discard songs after a few years. I can remember fighting to get new songs into the service twenty years ago and hardly any (if any) are still around. Even the best of modern writers crank them out so fast that the shelf life for good songs is brief.

When was the last time a modern praise band did Shout To The Lord or Here I Am To Worship?

I prefer a noticeable blend of songs from different eras. Do hymns, do some of the Jesus Music choruses from the Sixties and Seventies, do Tomlin and Redman, do Rend Collective...do it ALL.

If the songs are good enough to do in worship services now...they'll still be good enough in 20, 50, or 100 years.

jeffnles1 12-30-2015 03:28 PM

At the risk of being the "new guy" here, I'm going to offer something to consider.

If you're not getting joy and stimulation playing worship music for your congregation, I would suggest it is more of a heart problem than a musical problem. We play worship music for the Lord and to lead others in worshiping Him. The incredible honor that God, the one who created the universe, you, me, and the very music we play will allow a simple and sinful man such as I to play music to worship Him gives me chills every time I think about it. I've been playing in church praise bands for about 15 years now, have witnessed and lived through the music wars, the "7X24" insults and those days when the congregation seems more interested in Facebook than worshiping.

Through it all, Jesus remains constant and I realized a long time ago it's not about me, what challenges me, what I like. It is about worshiping Him.

To keep my music fresh and exciting, I took up banjo a few months back. I've even played it in a couple Rend Collective songs at church.

If you are truly feeling unchallenged and lacking excitement, perhaps it is best if you stepped away from the praise band for a while and examine the heart issues.

Will pray for you.

Jeff


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