Why we don’t follow the original song keys and arrangements in our MultiTrack recordings

Worship MultiTrack Stems

The fact is that original song recordings are made with two priorities in mind:

  • The key that best suits the singer’s voice
  • An arrangement that works best for radio play

That combination is rarely the ideal for like-for-like use in church. In church at least half the congregation (and often the worship leader too) are female. That normally means that the original key is way too high. And in church, lengthy introductions, outros, ad libs, impossible octave jumps, bass solos and whatever else that suit a record well are far from ideal in a church setting where the priority should be to serve the congregation with something that is accessible for them and helps them worship.

So our MultiTracks, for the contemporary songs we’ve tried to keep the feel of the most well know definitive version of the song but slightly tweaked the key, the arrangement and the parts to make them playable for worship teams and most importantly, congregationally singable.

All in all we think our versions are actually much more usable for small to medium sized churches than the original versions!

Here is the thinking behind some of our most recent recordings:

Even So Come

  • Key original G
  • Suggested key E

The best known original live version is fantastic for very large gatherings but at nearly minutes long there are a few too many refrains for the average size congregation. So to keep it interactive we’ve kept all the sections but cut out the instrumentals and a few of the repeated chorus sections. We’ve also brought the key down from G to E to make it more congregationally singable for both men and women. Of course if you want the extended version you can always loop and jump around those parts within the MultiTrack player.

O Come To The Altar

  • Original key B
  • New key A

We’ve tweaked this great Elevation track to make it more suitable for ‘normal’ sized congregations. So we’ve taken the key down from B to A, shortened some links, taken out an unneeded instrumental section and neatened up intros and outros to make them more suitable for a band to follow in MultiTrack format.

Jesus We Love You

  • Original key B
  • New key Ab

As with many Bethel based tracks the best known versions are too long and often in too high a key to be suitable for ‘normal’ sized congregations. So again we’ve shortened some repeated sections, neatened up intros and outros and taken the key down from B to Ab to make it more singable for both men and women.

Fierce

  • Original key D
  • New key G with no octave jumps

With this track we’ve tried to combine the best bits of both the original studio recording and the acoustic version so by muting or soloing different instrument combinations you can have either version! Again in the interests of congregationalability (!) we’ve shortened the intro, trimmed some of the links and placed a repeat chorus where the instrumental section was to encourage max participation. Plus the original key was D with vocal octave jumps, which works for some men with high tenor voices but is unsuitable or female vocal ranges, so we’ve taken out the octave jumps and put it in the key of G which makes it much more participatory for everyone!

My Lighthouse

  • Original key C
  • New key Bb

This track didn’t need much arrangement work to make it suitable as a MultiTrack, just some very minor tempo tweaking and adding an intro so a band could easily find the first beat 1. Plus, the original key of C puts it uncomfortably outside most female vocal ranges so we’ve taken it down to Bb as a much better congregational compromise.

 

We’d love to know what you think about our recordings. People often “think” they want the original but we are convinced that our tweaks actually make our recordings a lot more accessible.

12 new MultiTracks including Even So Come, My Lighthouse and King of My Heart

Worship Backing Band MultiTracks

Hello everyone, time for another set of Worship Backing Band tracks that we’ve just finished recording.  This month we’ve got 12 great songs; 6 recent worship songs that we think will become long term keepers and 6 hymns and modern worship classics that will be around forever. There are EveryKey Chord Charts available for each song too.

For the new songs we have:

And for the hymns and classics:

As with all our tracks, for the contemporary songs we’ve tried to keep the feel of the most well know definitive version of the song but slightly tweaked the key, the arrangement and the parts to make them playable for worship teams and most importantly, congregationally singable. We’ve written about the thinking behind these congregational arrangements here.

All in all we think our versions are actually much more usable for small to medium sized churches than the original versions!

With the hymns and classics; the more modern songs ‘Shine Jesus Shine’ and the kids songs ‘Great Big God’ just needed a solid, familiar, band style arrangement but with the hymns we’ve tried to give them a contemporary full band feel so they fit right in with all the other Worship Backing Band tracks, again with usable parts and arrangements that a worship team can learn and play along with.

So –  do check out the 30 second sample for each track as it’ll give you a good flavour of the arrangement, and if you’ve got any questions do get in touch!

 

 

Free MultiTrack: Oh Praise Him by David Crowder

Oh Praise Him (All This For a King) from David Crowder’s fantastic Illuminate album is such a treat.

We’ve recorded it in the more congregational key of Bbut there is also an EveryKey chord chart if you want to play it in the original key (of course you can use our MultiTrack Player to change the key for the backing track).

The MultiTrack is available free-of-charge for the month of July. Thanks to Capitol CMG for granting the rights to the free use.

Remember that you will need the Worship Backing Band MultiTrack Player to play the track.

Free MultiTrack and Chord Chart: Nothing But Glory

free-multitracks

Nothing But Glory is a great new worship song by Michael Farren, Tony Wood, Johan Asgarde, Oliver Lundstrum.

The theme explores being captivated by God’s presence and works really well for services focusing on intimacy with God. The production is a treat too, going all the way from pop based electronic sounds to acapela moments and because we have it as our free track of the month in MultiTrack format, it’s perfect for integrating with your worship bands and teams.

There’s also a free simple chord chart to go with the song.

Remember that you will need the Worship Backing Band MultiTrack Player to play the track.

6 new MultiTracks

Worship Backing Band MultiTracks

We’ve added another 6 MultiTracks to our ever growing library. These are:

There are EveryKey Chord Charts available for each song and Split Tracks are coming soon.

FREE Tim Hughes MultiTrack: We Must Go (God of Justice)

free-multitracksThe free MultiTrack for April is the Tim Hughes classic We Must Go (God of Justice).

Written back in 2005 after a Tear Fund trip to Tanzania where Tim and his wife met Joyce, a woman who walked all night, every night, to fetch water for her family, this beautiful song is a stirring reminder that God is not interested in our worship if we fail to first serve the poor.

Remember that you will need the Worship Backing Band MultiTrack Player to play the track.

There is also an EveryKey Chord Chart available which follows our arrangement of the song note-for-note.

Worship Backing Band DVD Volume 7 available now

Today we launch our 7th Worship Backing Band DVD for churches that want to sing contemporary style worship but lack musicians.

The DVD features backing tracks with on-screen lyrics to 35 of the best known worship songs including 10 contemporary band style hymns and carols..

All are recorded in congregational (singable) keys and sung with meaning and emotion by some of the best session musicians involved in today’s modern worship.

The songs on Volume 7 include:

Continue reading “Worship Backing Band DVD Volume 7 available now”

Free MultiTrack and chord chart: Heaven’s Declaration

free-multitracksThis month’s free MultiTrack is Heavens Declaration, a wonderful pop based worship song with some unusual and refreshing chord changes that works great in MultiTrack format alongside a live band. It’s written by Mark Alan Schoolmeesters , Johan Åsgärde, Oliver Lundström and Chase Wagner (who also wrote last months free track). This is the second offering from Common Exchange, which is an online platform for songs from a growing movement that emphasizes the priesthood of all believers; that the church is a community in which everyone has a part to play, a story to tell and an idea to share. This movement is beginning to yield a growing community of worship leaders, songwriters and producers that have a desire to create worship songs that work well in smaller communities, meaning that production serves the song and not the other way around.

Familiar names on the site are United Pursuit, Aaron Keyes, Micah Massey and Stuart Townend but there are plenty of other contributors worth watching out for too including a few Brits like Matthew Macauley and even Musicademy regular, Matt Weeks.

Check out Common Exchange for the story of the song, as well as lyrics and a free downloadable chord chart.

New MultiTrack, Split Track and chord chart bundle packs: great savings for the top selling songs

When you first start using MultiTracks building your library of songs can be a bit daunting.

What are the top songs churches are singing today? What is going to go down well with my congregation? What new songs are there that are being used at the conferences and my team will enjoy playing? How do I find the budget to pay for all these tracks?

Whilst the average church only uses about 70 songs a year, taking a look through the entire Worship Backing Band back catalogue can end up with you feeling like a kid in a sweetshop that only has a few coins in his pocket!

And whilst Worship Backing Band MultiTracks are still the cheapest on the market (compared to providers such as MultiTracks.com and Loop Community), the nature of MultiTracks, and the licenses we pay to sell them to you, mean that they are priced higher than a song you’d buy from iTunes to listen to on your phone.

But don’t worry – help is at hand to select not only our top selling MultiTracks, but also to save you even more money.

Our bundle packs are heavily discounted from our usual prices and include our very best selling tracks – old favourites, contemporary takes on old hymns and of course lots of the newest big songs.

And if you prefer to select your own songs, then do look at our bulk buys. With these you save increasing amounts when you buy 10, 25 or 50+ songs at a time.

Choose from the following bundle packs (click to see the songs featured):

As well as the MultiTrack bundles you will find bundles of Split Tracks and chord charts, again at discounted prices.

 

 

Free MultiTrack: Desert Rain from Common Exchange

free-multitracks

This month’s free MultiTrack is Desert Rain by Chase Wagner and Ben Hardesty from Common Exchange, an online platform for a growing movement that emphasizes the priesthood of all believers, that the church is a community in which everyone has a part to play, a story to tell and an idea to share.

This movement is beginning to yield a growing community of worship leaders, songwriters and producers that have a desire to create worship songs that work well in smaller communities, meaning that production serves the song and not the other way around.

Familiar names on the site are United Pursuit, Aaron Keyes, Micah Massey and Stuart Townend but there are plenty of other contributors worth watching out for too including a few Brits like Matthew Macauley and even Musicademy regular, Matt Weeks.

Most Common Exchange recordings are stripped down acoustic versions designed to be accessible for smaller congregations, so by nature aren’t suitable for a MultiTrack format, but here Chase has given us access to his fabulous pop based, MultiTrack version full of great sounds and perfect for use alongside your worship bands.

Check out this link for a more acoustic version of the song, as well as lyrics and a free downloadable chord chart.

Get the free MultiTrack here. Remember you’ll need a copy of the MultiTrack Player for PC or Mac to play it on.

 

We hope to be featuring more songs from Common Exchange in the coming months so do have a look around the site and see if there are any songs you like that we can feature!