Pick a key….any key…

Read a great post on the Musicademy website today…which reminded me of this great song…

We have this problem at EBC often these days…the current crop of worship songs have a real trend for octave leaps, low verses/high choruses, and generally congregationally difficult keys.

Whereas before it was simple enough to take a Chris Tomlin or Matt Redman song and just transpose it down a bit, where there is a huge range between the verse and the chorus, we’re either growling like we have terminal laryngitis or breaking all of the glasses at church while we do cod BeeGee’s falsetto and try to hit top G’s…as the YouTube link attests to!

Something we have tried to do with songs like Here For You and Cornerstone is to aim for the middle ground…¬†Cornerstone was in C which meant hovering around a high F in the chorus (and the odd top G!)…we’ve moved it to E which admittedly loses the impact from the octave leaps, but does keep it singable!

Is there an answer to this? Well I see it three main ways:

  1. We continue to use songs that use a sensible range (as the Musicademy article alluded to, there is a reason that 10,000 Reasons won two Grammy’s.
  2. We resist the urge to use songs that are “trendy” in worship circles if there is no way they will work in our churches (there is a lot of good worship out there, but a lot of it won’t translate to our congregations or bands).
  3. We focus on our church, the place and the people that we know best.

How do your approach song choice in your church?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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