Try freshening up the recorded versions of popular praise songs with these tips from worship leader Rob Rash:
Leading worship is a great and wonderful responsibility. We have to maintain creativity with song and structural integrity. So how do you balance creativity over being a worship cover band?
It’s a fine line and there are many factors to consider. You have to rely on your band. You have to spend valuable time working the song. You have to break free from ‘the way we have always done it.’ And it has to work!
Otherwise, you’ll just be another worship cover band.
So how do break free from the worship machine mediocrity? Here are 6 suggestions to get you started…
• Acoustic or Piano Run-through – Work through the song with only an acoustic guitar or piano. There is nothing more humbling or eye opening than being this vulnerable. It may help you re-invent some classics.
• Change the Arrangement – Break free from the ‘usual’ way you do the song. Start with the chorus rather than the verse. Drop that extra pre chorus. Just try another arrangement.
• Ask Other Worship Pastors/Musicians – This may or may not seem obvious… but ask other worship pastors or musicians how they do the song. Use Twitter, Facebook, and local Network’s to find some creative versions of your worship tunes.
• Play an Acoustic Set – Sometimes simplicity is a beautiful thing. Try planning and playing an acoustic set for worship but use your whole band, don’t just use an acoustic guitar. Using drums, keyboard, bass, electric, and acoustic will force you to be creative.
• Add Other Instruments – By adding another instrument, say a banjo or accordion, you can really change the sound and textures of the song. This requires more versatility in your band, but certainly will help you be creative.
• Rely on Your Band – Too many times we neglect the valuable opinions and musical pedigree of our teams. They have a lot to offer, however, if they are never given the opportunity you’ll miss a great resource!
Leading worship means we rely on the creativity and divine inspiration of others for worship songs. But it doesn’t require us to be poor and uninspired cover bands. Creativity abounds and you will only be as creative as you want to be. Don’t settle… pursue creative ways to worship.
What do find is the hardest part in being creative in worship?
What are some other ways we can be creative in our worship bands?