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Unread 11-27-2013, 02:17 AM   #1
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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

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Unread 11-27-2013, 02:26 AM   #2
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Ever looked into some Robin Mark? I always find him a good change of pace to Hillsong/Jesus Culture.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 04:21 AM   #3
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Try writing your own stuff dude.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 06:40 AM   #4
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Hymns?
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Unread 11-27-2013, 09:00 AM   #5
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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
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Unread 11-27-2013, 10:19 AM   #6
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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.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 01:45 PM   #7
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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.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 02:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metropolis4 View Post
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.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 02:35 PM   #9
and you were wondering??
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This is why I haven't paid attention to worship music in the last 7 or so years.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 06:36 PM   #10
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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.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 07:32 PM   #11
on rye
 
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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.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 08:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reuben View Post
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.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 09:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reuben View Post
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.
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Unread 11-28-2013, 10:03 AM   #14
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Gungor
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Unread 12-04-2013, 12:34 AM   #15
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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...
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