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!

 

 

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.

Five huge new MultiTracks

We’ve just launched another batch of five new MultiTracks. As ever these are big, well known songs with familiar arrangements but in the usual Worship Backing Band style we’ve slightly (or sometimes hugely) modified each song to make it as congregationally singable and playable as we can. So here’s a brief rundown of how we’ve approached each song.

The links will take you to where you can buy the MultiTrack, Split Track, Chord Chart and also listen to the 30 second audio preview.

Because He Lives, Amen – Bb

Because this song has got quite a defined, succinct arrangement already we didn’t need to alter any of the sections. However as with lots of original Matt Maher recordings we brought down to Bb as it’s a much better compromise for both male and female vocal ranges in church.

Jesus Loves Me – Bb

This was pretty identical in approach to Because He Lives, Amen.  Chris Tomlin tends to write complete arrangements focused on maximum congregational singing that don’t need many, if any, changes. But again, because of Chris’s own vocal range the original recording is generally too high to this track has come down to Bb as well.

Ever Be – D

Bethel based songs are often the opposite of Chris Tomlin songs in that the original key can be much more congregational, but the arrangements or repeated sections can be too lengthy. So here we’ve retained all the main sections but we’ve trimmed down the intro, made the outro slightly easier for a worship team to follow and slightly cut down the bridge repeats to make everything more succinct for an average sized church to use.  Of course if you want to do a more lengthy (or even shorter) version you can still loop or cut out any of those sections in our MultiTrack Player.

It Is Well (Through It All) – G

This was the trickiest song in this batch to make congregational. There are a couple of well known, but very long, live versions of this song along with a much shorter ‘radio mix’ with very different instrumentation that lots of people like. So in this case we tried to put together a version that incorporates the necessary and best bits of all but kept to around 5 minutes in length with succinct intros and outros. Another tricky element to get around is the timing. The Intros links and verses are written in 7/4 time and the chorus and bridges are in 4/4. So for the tricky 7/4 parts we’ve included a count in our spoken word vocal cue so you know exactly when to come in and out.

Unstoppable God – B

This was the trickiest song in terms of pitching the key. The original is in B, which is almost totally unsingable for women and even men who can’t sign high! So to give a good compromise both male and female vocals we had to go either much higher or much lower. In this case we felt the best compromise was to bring it down to G and used the instrumentation to keep the intensity up.

5 new MultiTracks

New Worship MultiTracks

We released five new MultiTrack backing tracks today for use either in the Worship Backing Band MultiTrack Player or any DAW. We even include an Ableton session file for Ableton users.

The links below will take you to where you can buy the MultiTrack, Split Track, Chord Chart and also listen to the 30 second audio preview.

Don’t forget the EveryKey Chord Charts

With all new releases we now create a complementary EveryKey Chord Chart (and have these for much of the back catalogue too). These are available for a small fee (we have to charge due to publisher’s licensing restrictions). EveryKey chord charts give you the song in 12 keys plus a Nashville chart. On a single page the charts follow the backing track structure over easy-to-read four bar sections so you can follow along even if you don’t know the song. As well as lyrics, there is also a capo guide, strumming pattern, clearly labelled song sections and even a song arrangement structure.

Hymns! Hymns! Hymns! 10 new MultiTracks and Super Chord Charts

Hymn MultiTracks

You asked for them. We delivered.

10 hymn MultiTracks in a contemporary band style. No hymn rewrites. No hymns with added choruses or bridges. No hymns with new tunes. Simply well known hymns with a modern backing band that you can play and sing along to in church.

But these things aren’t always as straightforward as they seem.

Firstly we needed a range of hymns that are known and popular across both sides of the pond.

Secondly, even with hymns that are well known, their most popular melodies, lyrics and verse structures can differ from country to country. So it’s quite difficult to please all the people all the time!

That said, we’ve worked hard to marry up the most popular tunes and lyrics with contemporary arrangements that we hope you’ll really enjoy!

Click through to listen.

All The Hail The Power of Jesus Name
Amazing Grace
Come Thou Fount
Crown Him With Many Crowns
Fairest Lord Jesus
Holy Holy Holy
How Firm A Foundation
It Is Well With My Soul
My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less (On Christ the Solid Rock)
Praise To The Lord The Almighty

Every Key Chord Charts

Don’t forget; if you need chord charts we’ve produced Every Key Chord Charts for each of these hymns (available by clicking on the song links above). These match the arrangements and chords used in our recordings exactly.
Every Key Chord Charts are much more than a regular chord chart.

All chords are neatly laid out over 4 bar sections so you can see exactly over which beats all the changes happen, verses are clearly demarcated for easy reading at a glance, there’s a song structure roadmap and even a strumming pattern for guitarists. And don’t forget you get a chart in all 12 keys so if you want to change the key you can still play along!

All in all Every Key Chord Charts are more of a cross over between chord chart and lead sheet, and all for non music readers!

New MultiTracks and EveryKey Chord Charts

New Worship MultiTracks

We’ve just launched 6 fantastic new MultiTracks. EveryKey Chord Charts are available with each track and can be found by clicking on the song links below.

The first we wanted to do was Wake by Hillsong Young and Free. it’s one of those songs that has a great vibe but is really difficult to do without running tracks in the background. So we’ve given you all the instrument sections of the original album version that you can mute, solo, mix or jump around to in the player and make as long or short a version as you like. There’s some great guitar parts to copy live as well as all the synth sections. This is well worth running if you’d like to use this song live in your worship services.

We’ve got a great version of Good Good Father, as recorded by Housefires, Chris Tomlin etc. We’ve put our version in G to make it easily singable with plenty of big and small dynamic versions of each section so the song will follow your leading.

We’ve put Elevation Church’s Only King Forever into the key of A and slightly edited the bridge and repeat sections to make them more congregationally usable.

Kari Jobe’s Only Your Love is similar too. Most of the sections work well, but we’ve added a couple of guitar parts which add to the 80’s feel of the track.

My Heart Is Yours has been taken down a tone as quite a few of the songs that come from the Passion camp are a bit high for most normal congregations.

And finally with No Longer Slaves as per lots of the Bethel songs, we’ve put it in the more usable key of Bb and shortened the arrangement to around 5 minutes. You still get all the sections with big and little dynamics but at a usable length for most normal sized congregations. Of course if you want the full 9 minute Bethel version you can loop or jump back to any of the sections within the Worship Backing Band Player

Click the links below to listen to the audio sample and to download

Good Good Father – Pat Barrett, Anthony Brown

My Heart Is Yours – Kristian Stanfill, Daniel Carson, Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram

No Longer Slaves (Bethel) – Jonathan David Helser, Brian Johnson, Joel Case

Only King Forever (Elevation) – Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Steven Furtick, Wady Joye

Only Your Love – Amy Davis, Ben Davis, Kari Jobe, Jason Ingram

Wake (Hillsong) – Joel Davies, Alexander Pappas, Hannah Hobbs

 

New MultiTracks and EveryKey Chord Charts released

New Worship MultiTracks

We are delighted to release another set of MultiTracks along with EveryKey Chord Charts. Click the links to download.

All the Poor and Powerless – David Leonard, Leslie Jordan

Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) – Joel Houston, Jonas Myrin (Hillsong)

Come As You Are – David Crowder, Matt Maher, Ben Glover

He is Faithful – Bryan and Katie Torwalt (Bethel)

I Am – David Crowder, Ed Cash

Sinking Deep – Joel Davies, Aodhan King (Hillsong)

We Believe – Travis Ryan, Matthew Hooper, Richie Fike (Newsboys)

Love Ran Red (At the Cross) – Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jonas Myrin, Matt Armstrong, Matt Redman

Let Him Reign – Shell Perris & Zarc Porter

I Am Not Alone – Mia Fieldes, Ben Davis, Dustin Sauder, Austin Davis, Grant Pittman, Kari Jobe, Marty Sampson (Hillsong)

With all these songs we’ve recorded them in singable keys and the arrangements are designed to be congregationally friendly so no 32 bar intros, vocal ad libs or lengthy chorus repeats. If of course you prefer to have a 12 minute song with multiple chorus repeats you can easily do that live using the MultiTrack Player.

One nice addition too, With “All The Poor And Powerless” we know that some folks find the pauses between the phrases in the verses a bit of a challenge, so we’ve included a helpful count in the vocal cue to keep everyone on track.

Even more new MultiTracks including two old classics

Another fresh batch of Worship Backing Band MultiTracks is upon us. This time a couple of classics that are still incredibly popular, alongside three more recent songs.

Click below for links to the tracks:

Lord I Lift Your Name On High has been around since well before the reformation and dates way back to the ancient year 11BT (Before Tomlin) but is still firmly in the CCLI Top 50. The reason why it’s so popular is because because it’s still a great song, and much more congregationally singable than many newer tracks. If you’ve not used it for a while give it a try again, you may well find people really connect with it again in a fresh way.

God I Look To You is a really useable Bethel song and again its one we’ve tweaked and shortened the arrangement to make it more accessible for more churches who don’t want super long song versions. All the song elements are there within a succinct and accessible 4 minute arrangement, but if you do feel led to go for the full 10 minute version you can loop or jump to any song section within the Worship Backing Pro Wav MultiTrack player.

O The Blood by Kari Jobe and Gateway isn’t ‘rangey’ as a song so is really really singable by men and women in its original key of G, so we’ve left that as is but slightly tweaked the arrangement to make it as congregationally accessible.

Your Presence Is Heaven by Darlene Zschech and Israel Houghton again can be a very long song in most well known versions so needed tweaks to both the key, which is now Bb and length. Our version gets all the sections and dynamic changes but in a much more usable four minute length.

Awesome God again is another classic worship song that many, many churches still use. For our version we just do the chorus’s and not the verses which makes it more congregational and less performance orientated. There’s also lots of dynamic change in different segments to help people engage and don’t forget you can use the Worship Backing Band MultiTrack player to jump around those sections if you want to create your own version.

Don’t forget the EveryKey Chord Charts

All our chord charts use exactly the right chords for our arrangement and follow the song structure. We provide them as a zip file containing a chart for each key plus a Nashville option too. They are available by clicking on the song links above.

12 more MultiTrack Christmas carols released

Christmas carol MultiTracks

We have released 12 more Christmas carols as MultiTrack Pro Wav backing tracks. In total this takes our Carols library to 22.

The new carols are:

  1. Good Christian Men Rejoice
  2. In the Bleak Mid Winter
  3. Little Drummer Boy
  4. Mary Did You Know
  5. Away in a Manger
  6. Go Tell It On The Mountain
  7. It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
  8. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  9. See Amid the Winter’s Snow
  10. What Child is This?
  11. Peace Has Come (Hillsong)
  12. My Grown Up Christmas List – great if you want a “performance” song

You get a 20% discount when you buy 10 or more carols at the same time.

Existing Carols

Carols Chord Charts

We have chord charts for most of the carols. The chord chart for each song is available by clicking on the song links above.  Buy 10 or more chord charts at the same time and save 20%.