Five new backing tracks

We have five brand new tracks available now from Worship Backing Band including the much requested CityAlight’s Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me. If this sells well we will include more CityAlight songs in our catalogue.

These are in both MultiTrack and Split Track format
  • Faithful Now (Vertical Worship)
    Originally sung and performed by Vertical Worship who also recorded the popular Yes I Will – this powerful worship song affirms God’s faithfulness in all things.
  • Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me (CityAlight)
    We’ve received many requests for CityAlight music, so we’re excited to add “Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me” to the Worship Backing Band library.  This easy-to-sing melody is accompanied by four verses of inspirational lyrics.
  • Great Things (Phil Wickham)
    “Great Things” is another great Phil Wickham hit with easy to sing lyrics and melody combined with a positive and encouraging message.  This arrangement follows the original recording closely, but is transposed to a more congregationally friendly key.
  • The Goodness of God (Bethel)
    Famous for his work with Chris Tomlin, this Ed Cash (and others) original is a powerhouse worship ballad sure to encourage congregational worship and singing.
  • We Praise You (Bethel)
    “We Praise You” is an uptempo praise song written by well-known worship leaders Matt Redman, Brandon Lake, Brian Johnson, and Phil Wickham. With those writers, you can’t go wrong! Your church will enjoy this catchy and easy to sing selection.

Listen to 30 second samples of the new songs in the quick video below:

MultiTracks can be played using either our own easy-to-use Transition MultiTrack Player (Mac, PC and iPad) or any DAW such as Ableton, ProTools or GarageBand. Mix, mute or solo any instrument stem, repeat any song section with a single click. They are just like working with a live band and can also be used alongside your musicians to fill out the sound.

Split Tracks are great for smaller churches on a budget. The tracks have fully adjustable vocals and come with on-screen lyrics. Split Tracks are played using any standard MP4 player such as Windows Media Player or VLC.

This batch of tracks has again been expertly produced by our friend Shawn Thomas.

 

Free MultiTrack: Living for Your Glory by Tim Hughes

The free MultiTrack for February is Living for Your Glory by Tim Hughes. The song has a great theme and congregational lyrics.

The song is totally free to download during February. 

Unless you are confident with using a DAW such as Ableton or ProTools, you will need a copy of Worship Backing Band’s Mac/PC or iPad Transition MultiTrack Player to play the backing track. MultiTracks are the simplest and least expensive solution to get a full band sound from your worship team, even if you’ve only got a couple of musicians.

See our backing tracks in action [Video clip]

[Click on the video BELOW rather than the screen grab above to watch the video!]

People often ask us to show them how our MultiTracks are used in practice. Below is a really lovely example of how a worship team are using the tracks in real life. The team are playing some of the instruments themselves, muting those stems on the Player. The other MultiTrack stems are kept in to fill the overall sound.

This example, from Church of the Holy SpiritSong in Florida, is obviously from an online service, but you get the idea of how the backing tracks could work in a live service as well. Obviously the team here already has a good mix of instruments but the backing tracks add a little more depth. If you were missing core instruments such as drums or bass the backing track’s role becomes even more crucial.

The song Way Maker is from our most recent batch of MultiTracks.

Free MultiTrack: I Wanna Thank You Jesus

The free MultiTrack for January is a brand new track to us called I Wanna Thank You Jesus by Shawn Thomas. It comes with a free chord chart.

I Wanna Thank You Jesus is an up-tempo gospel style congregational song with simple lyrics and includes a call-and-response section in the bridge. This song is sure to have hands waving and lifting up praise.

Please remember to report when you use this song in church. It is CCLI Song # 7090056.

Shawn Thomas is a Christian singer/songwriter and worship leader based in South Florida. He began his production and recording training in 1990 under Jeff Peters of Chateau Productions (Dallas/LA), and later graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a BA in Music Industry and Recording Industry Management. He has been a voting member of the Grammy National Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences, and is a writer/publisher member of ASCAP and CCLI. Shawn is a Pride in the Arts Awards recipient for Producer of the Year.

Shawn is the producer behind our most recent batch of MultiTracks. It’s great to also be able to include one of his own songs in our repertoire.

The song comes with the original WAV files for use in a DAW such as Ableton, and Transition Tracks for Worship Backing Band’s Mac/PC or iPad Transition MultiTrack Player. MultiTracks are the simplest and least expensive solution to get a full band sound from your worship team, even if you’ve only got a couple of musicians.

10 huge new MultiTracks and Split Tracks

Brand new release of 10 huge new MultiTracks and Split Track backing tracks.

Listen to audio samples from each song in the video below.

As always we’ve tried to ensure the songs are suitable for congregations to sing whilst retaining all the essential elements of the original or popular arrangements. Here’s the info about our approach to each song:

  • The Same Jesus – Matt Redman
    A fun up-tempo praise song from well-known worship leader and songwriter, Matt Redman. This contemporary style song arrangement is a step lower than the original key for easy congregational singing.
  • Graves Into Gardens – Elevation
    Originally written and recorded by worship leader, Brandon Lake, this powerful worship anthem will bring your congregation to their feet and singing at the top of their lungs in praise. This arrangement has been transposed down from the original Elevation Worship Live version to better fit congregational voices.
  • The Blessing – Elevation
    A congregationally friendly arrangement and key of the popular worship song from Elevation Worship, Kari Jobe, and Cody Carnes. Features a simplified melody demo and a shortened song length from the original.
  • Your Name is Power – Rend Collective
    This is a key-friendly arrangement both for instruments and congregational singing, while still following the driving up-tempo feel of the original version.
  • Another in the Fire – Hillsong
    This arrangement is based on the “Studio” version from Hillsong UNITED featuring TAYA. The musical arrangement follows the original closely, but includes a simplified melody demo making it easier for a congregation to follow.
  • The Way (New Horizon) – Pat Barrett
    This arrangement of Pat Barrett’s “The Way” is closely based on the original, even keeping the same congregationally friendly key.
  • The Father’s House – Cory Asbury
    From the same songwriter who wrote and recorded “Reckless Love,” this new Bethel Music Collective song has been a hit on Christian radio, and will be a great addition for your worship team or as special music.
  • Battle Belongs – Bethel
    This song is another huge hit by Christian singer songwriter, Phil Wickman and is sure to be a staple praise song along side his well-known song, “This is Amazing Grace.” The arrangement has been transposed to fit most voices, but stays true to the original recording.
  • Raise a Hallelujah – Bethel
    This popular praise song works great as a “call and response” song between male and female vocals. The arrangement follows the original closely, but is in a more congregationally friendly key.
  • Way Maker – Leeland
    Way Maker has been recorded and arranged by a multitude of artists including Michael W. Smith and Mandisa. This arrangement is based on the Leeland version, but has been shortened slightly and transposed for better congregational singing.

About the musicians behind these tracks

For this batch of backing tracks we’ve been working with a US-based producer, Shawn Thomas. They’ve got a more American feel to the sound and we are delighted with how they have come out. Read more about the musicians below.

Shawn Thomas Studios – (vocals, instruments, production)

Shawn Thomas is a Christian singer/songwriter and worship leader based in South Florida. He began his production and recording training in 1990 under Jeff Peters of Chateau Productions (Dallas/LA), and later graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a BA in Music Industry and Recording Industry Management. He has been a voting member of the Grammy National Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences, and is a writer/publisher member of ASCAP and CCLI. Shawn is a Pride in the Arts Awards recipient for Producer of the Year.
www.ShawnThomasStudios.com

Shanti Lashae – (vocals)

Shanti is a Christian/inspirational singer/songwriter whose talents also include playing drums and guitar.
www.shantilashae.com

Brian Ladd – (vocals)

Brian is a powerful vocalist with decades of service as a worship leader and pastor in various South Florida congregations.

Free MultiTrack: Emmanuel Advent Hymn

The free MultiTrack for December is Emmanuel.

This is a terrific new Advent hymn with great melody, lyrics and very congregational. Perfect for your Christmas services.

It even comes with the chord charts and score all free of charge! The harmony parts are even included in the chord chart pack.

Emmanuel is written by Matt Weeks who as well as being a producer, song writer and bass player for many of the best known worship leaders around the world, teaches all Musicademy’s bass lessons and is the bass player on many of our backing tracks.

Unless you are confident with using a DAW such as Ableton, you will need a copy of Worship Backing Band’s Mac/PC or iPad Transition MultiTrack Player to play the backing track. MultiTracks are the simplest and least expensive solution to get a full band sound from your worship team, even if you’ve only got a couple of musicians.

Free (New) MultiTrack: Praise Him Hallelujah

This month we have a brand new MultiTrack for you that’s not previously been in our song library. It also comes with a free simple chord chart.

The song is Praise Him Hallelujah by singer songwriter Adriane Blanco.

Adriane fuses the sounds of Rock, Americana, and the British Invasion as the musical foundation for his lyrics and melodies. Adriane grew up in Arizona, in a mixed family of Mexican and American heritage, listening to the folk music of both cultures and the music of his father’s favorite band, the Beatles. He was trained as a singer in the Phoenix Boys Choir and in college, he learned to play piano and guitar, and studied worship and songwriting. He is a worship pastor and producer, and is involved in production efforts for several independent artists, focusing on encouraging younger artists and budding songwriters.

The song is totally free to download during November. This MultiTrack is only formatted for our Transition Player rather than other DAWs (which will work with all our paid-for tracks).

You will need a copy of Worship Backing Band’s Mac/PC or iPad Transition MultiTrack Player to play the backing track. MultiTracks are the simplest and least expensive solution to get a full band sound from your worship team, even if you’ve only got a couple of musicians.

Free MultiTrack: God of Justice (We Must Go)

The free MultiTrack for October is God of Justice (We Must Go) by Tim Hughes from the album Holding Nothing Back. It’s a beautiful song to sing especially in these troubling times prompting us to think beyond our own situations. It is also pertinent in this season (in the West at least) of Harvest.

The song is totally free to download during October. There is also an EveryKey Chart available for purchase with this song that fully matches the Worship Backing Band song structure with all the correct chords used int he recording.

Unless you are confident with using a DAW such as Ableton, you will need a copy of Worship Backing Band’s Mac/PC or iPad Transition MultiTrack Player to play the backing track. MultiTracks are the simplest and least expensive solution to get a full band sound from your worship team, even if you’ve only got a couple of musicians.

The pros and cons of using backing tracks in worship

Technology in worship is here whether you like it or not and if embraced it can serve as the paint brush to create new sounds.

In the last century technology has driven and redefined the music we make. From electric guitars and keyboards to recorded elements from synths, decks and loops all integrated into live music.

When it comes to live worship music, the introduction of the drummer’s click track transformed the sound of worship songs. And the wheel has turned again with backing and multi tracks used alongside, or instead of, live worship bands.

Even churches with lots of musicians use backing tracks.

And even big secular bands use tracks during live performance. That doesn’t mean that they are miming. It is simply because they cannot achieve the full sound they want with a limited number of musicians. An album track may have multiple guitar and keyboard parts on it – far more than a single guitarist or keyboard player can manage in a live setting.

In a church context it is not just smaller churches with missing musicians that use tracks to fill out the sound, there are plenty of churches with full compliments of musicians using tracks to produce more of an ‘original album’ sound that simply can’t be recreated with a 5 or 6 piece band.

I talked to worship leaders about their experiences of working with backing tracks (you can see the original conversation thread on the Musicademy Facebook Group). Here is what I found.

Mark Snyder, a song writer and the software developer behind Worship Backing Band’s Transition MultiTrack Player, says that worship tracks can help your team get better “it is like how a strong choir member can help the weaker ones sing better”.

Kent Wade has been the Pastor of Worship at The Chapel EFC in St Joseph MI for 18 years. He says that the experience of playing to a click has been a game changer, especially for less experienced musicians. “When you add a track to the live band, not only does everyone play ‘in the pocket’ better, but the supplemental parts help the band sound more full as well.”

Kent says that the only problem is when the worship leader misses an entrance or does something different to the track such as cutting an instrumental bridge in half. He says that “It’s then that we have to kill the track, listen extra hard to stay together, and follow the chart to the end.”

But Jonny McGeown, a worship leader from Belfast, Ireland has found that with tracks mistakes are minimised and the congregation less distracted from worshipping and tracks have helped improve musicianship. He implemented a move to in-ears and the use of tracks and said that “Understandably, my fellow volunteer musicians took some time assimilating click as they played for worship – but each of them has become more aware of ensemble and has improved both their technique and musicianship”.

Don Dickson, a worship leader in Chesham, UK says they primarily use backing tracks as practice tools to hone playing skills and also learning a new song finding that the jump to a segment feature is much better than searching a recording. For live performance he says that “If only a small number of musicians is available then just adding a core instrument such as bass or drums can be just what is needed”.

Dwane Woodard from Alabama feels that churches should be wary of relying on technology. “There is a difference between having an acoustic guitarist on stage and having the support of an entire invisible band, vs having a full band on stage and supplementing keys and percussion.”

I spoke to Richard Fletcher who admitted to being something of a sceptic on the use of tracks. He was concerned that tracks would mean in-ears were required – which had resource implications. He was also worried about the level of technical knowhow required to run the software as well as fearing a loss of flexibility when being “beholden to playing it as on the backing track”.

Changing perceptions about MultiTracks

Richard’s comments are interesting as they reveal a lot about people’s perception of backing tracks. Perceptions I’d gently want to challenge.

  • Firstly you don’t need in-ears to use tracks well. The band just need to be able to hear the click and vocals in their foldback monitors so that they can follow.
  • You don’t need to master complex DAWs such as Ableton. The proprietary software solutions including our own Worship Backing Band MultiTrack player are super easy to use.
  • And finally flexibility is not lost as you can loop and repeat song sections, transition from song to song, fade, change key and tempo. For sure it’s not the same as a fully live band but it is far from the karaoke-style bouncing ball that many people think.

The pros of working with MultiTracks

So to summarise some of the pros of working with backing tracks:

  • A full sound regardless of how many musicians you have or conversely a stripped back sound for an acoustic feel
  • An improvement in the professionalism of the music you make – fewer mistakes, consistent timing, a tighter sound and a more confident team
  • MultiTracks are great practice tools as you can solo your own instrument part and learn how a pro would play it also great for playing along with new songs
  • Access to the full range of worship songs including those too tricky for your musicians (or Doris on the organ) to play
  • Backing tracks for when your musicians are away or when you simply want to give them a day off to enjoy worship from the other side of the congregation
  • You get a “nearly live” feel and if you have musicians playing alongside them most congregational members will simply not be aware that a track is also playing
  • Some congregation members may not like the idea of musical accompaniment without being able to see the musicians
  • The play list (which you plan in advance) automatically cues up the next song which is ready to play with a single click

The cons of working with MultiTracks

On the downside:

  • There is often resistance to the concept of using tracks. People can feel that a motley crew of not-very-able musicians is preferable to pre-recorded music
  • There is a financial outlay for the tracks. Depending on your source of tracks you are paying from $17 a track for Worship Backing Band (reduced to $10 when you buy in bulk) to a monthly subscription of up to $100 a month with other providers (where you don’t get to keep the songs)
  • You’ll need a mac, PC or other mobile device loaded with the software and songs plus someone to operate the software
  • Your musicians will need to get used to working with a track – this can be quite a challenge for those whose timing is less than perfect but they will certainly learn to listen better and often find that their own musicianship improves
  • Song key changes beyond a tone or two can sound unnatural
  • Computers can crash and you lose your track mid service

Things to consider

And some caveats:

  • Prep is essential to get the instrument mix right for your setting
  • The worship leader in particular needs to know the song, syncing with the track and know the junction points if s/he is going to use the looping function
  • Congregational perceptions can change. When I first mooted backing tracks at my small local church people were horrified. Within a couple of songs they were converted.

What alternatives are there to MultiTracks

MultiTracks are not for every church. And for those without any musicians (and very limited budgets), Split Tracks may be a better alternative.

Split Tracks feature fully adjustable vocals and on-screen lyrics that change in time with the music. They are the simplest to use and lowest cost alternative to MultiTracks.

Split Tracks are available from Worship Backing Band on compilation DVDs and also as individual downloads.

12 new kids worship songs available as MultiTracks and Video Split Tracks

We’ve partnered up with kids worship duo Awesome Cutlery to bring you 12 new kids backing tracks in our MultiTrack and video Split Track format.

Rather than the usual plain black backgrounds with our Split Tracks, the Awesome Cutlery ones are kids-friendly with lots of fun graphics.  When you go to the tracks on the Worship Backing Band webstore you can also listen to a 30 second audio sample of the track before you buy. Watch the compilation video below:

Check out the video below for an example of one of the songs. When you purchase the Split Track you will also get the lyric video bundled with the split track audio. Each track has a downloadable lyric sheet included.

Awesome Cutlery is named after Captain Awesomeness and Cutlery Boy, two wannabe superheroes who appear in sketches on the Awesome Cutlery albums, as well as in their live shows.

kids-worship-backing-tracks-awesome-cutlery

In real life, Awesome Cutlery is Gareth Loh and Dan Adams. They are both dads, church pastors and dubiously-skilled superheroes. The Awesome Cutlery songs began life as songs they wrote to sing with their children and in kids’ ministry. Since then they have released two albums and seen their songs used all over the world.

kids-worship-multitracks-awesome-cutlery

Awesome Cutlery exists to help families worship Jesus together. Their songs are designed to be sung by all ages, and this specially-selected catalogue from their two albums has been put together for use in churches. The songs cover a host of topics, including the church, prayer, God’s word, the great commission, God’s eternality, and Jesus’ return, all in a way that that everyone can sing and enjoy.

The song list (click for links to buy) is:

Find out more about Awesome Cutlery on their website.