Using Tracks in Worship – Part 1

jonmanna Beat, Technology 11 Comments

This is a guest post from Steven Morris. He is a twenty year old student at the University of Nebraska (Kearney) who is passionate about worship.   He works part time at a local photography studio called Chetsy Photography, and volunteers weekly at Kearney eFree Church where he coordinates middle and high school youth groups and events, run tech including sound, light, video, and of course drum! Twitter |  Facebook. Learn how you can contribute here.

Worship is a major factor for many people in their relationships with Christ.   For me, I am very passionate about worship and have seen its production from all sides, including being a drummer, running sound, and even coordinating the songs along with the pastor’s message for that day.

In our college, and also contemporary Sunday morning services, we have used tracks for songs from artists like David Crowder*Band, Hillsong United, etc.   Some of these we produced, but most we retrieve from community sites like Bwack’s Forum. Most tracks we use are sounds that usually can’t be reproduced easily live.   These tracks include a click for the drummer and other musicians to follow. For an example of a track, here is DC*B’s Everything Glorious that we use often: [audio: Everything Glorious_Click in C.mp3|titles=Everything Glorious – Click in C|] [download the track here]

What I have seen over time are three things that tracks allow us to do:

The band knows what will happen next

If you have ever been involved in leading worship, (aside from the worship leader), we know that worship leaders can sometimes go off on their own and take a song in their own direction, adding another chorus, two extra runs of the bridge, or even write a third verse on the spot. (Okay, maybe that last one is just me). By adding tracks, this allows the band to know the exact order of a song and that way those crazy worship leaders won’t be going off on a tangent.

Solid Foundation

As Jon discussed, and was completely right in his post, “You’ll Suck as a Drummer Unless You Start Using A Metronome!”, metronomes and consistent tempo are KEY to a solid foundation in worship.   In music, we see our foundation come from drums and bass, but your drummer isn’t worth anything if he/she cannot follow a consistent tempo.   These tracks add a requirement that your drummer must be able to lead your worship team in a tempo, because if he/she gets off the tempo, the track will be off, and different parts will not be in sync with the band.

Reproduction of Recording

By reproducing a similar sound to a song that people will recognize from the radio or from their favorite albums, we can further reduce distractions from major differences that people may not like or be comfortable with.

So there is a flyover of what tracks can do for a worship set. In my next post, I will talk about how I run the tracks for a worship set, and some cheap and easy ways for you to get started!