Equipping and Empowering Worship Leaders Worldwide

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Drums on a Budget

We all have our idea of the dream drum kit. The perfect snare, cymbals, hardware, the works! The reality however, is that a lot of us don’t have the means to have everything we want unless the church where we serve has a big budget or we go in the red financially to have it. […]

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Layering Vocals

Vocals are – in most respects – the most underestimated and undervalued instruments in your worship arsenal. The fact that many can regurgitate appropriate lyrics (mostly on pitch) with relative ease can lead most leaders and members to rubber-stamp any vocals offered as “good enough” for service.  Buckle up; because the truth is far from […]

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LEVEL UP! – Good Mentorship

There are instructors, coaches, and mentors.  Instructors teach the student about the tools needed to improve their skill. Coaches guide the skill toward a task or objective. Mentors reinforce the focus and heart behind developing the skill-set. While both instructors and coaches encourage the student to improve their skill, mentors aim higher – with a […]

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Planning Center Live

This tutorial is designed to give you an in-depth overview of the “Services LIVE” feature from Planning Center Online.  This tutorial assumes that you have a basic understanding of Planning Center Online (PCO), and does not cover typically-used functions of PCO, such as scheduling, adding people, creating services types and creating/editing templates. Planning Center Live […]

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It’s Not Your Ministry

Another weekend has passed and you are holding on to dear life after numerous challenges. You might be fried and frustrated with your team, pastor, church, or even all of them. You feel the burden of ministry and hear a nagging voice challenge even your place in life. Before you quit, just remember this profound […]

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In-Ear Safety

As our churches move towards personal monitoring and wireless monitoring solutions, we are getting more familiar with the concept of using in-ear monitors. In-ear monitors are either custom or universal fit “headphones” that are placed directly into the ear canal vs. sitting in the ear like an ear bud might or over the ear like […]

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Recruiting Musicians

“Hey! Can you play guitar?… Yes?… Well, join the worship team!”  If it were only that simple. Unlike recruiting and hiring musicians for most secular groups – where the allure may be a record deal, exposure to large audiences, or a good source of income, recruiting musicians for a Worship team involves many important – […]

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How To Speak: Drums

We all would agree that communication is a very important part of being a worship team. Not just socially communicating, but musically as well. When the MD (Music director) or worship leader says something in regards to drum playing and how it pertains to a song, there needs to be a common language of sorts […]

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Tuning a Drum Kit for Modern Worship

One of the things I am frequently asked about when I’m playing a show, doing a clinic, or just filling in at someone’s church is, “How should we tune our drums?” The more churches and drummers that I’m around, the more I realize that very few people feel confident in tuning drums. In most worship […]

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Lighting Your Subject

Lighting your subject or subjects on stage is of paramount importance.  If they weren’t lit, nobody would see them!  So we know we need a good wash to have good lighting, and we have learned some things about our wash so lets just do it! However, wash technique cannot be taught in one article, there […]

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Writing Music with Your Spouse

Hello there! My name is Rachel Parrish, and together with my husband Nate, we make up the husband-and-wife worship duo Parrish from Napa Valley in Northern California. We serve at Hillside Christian Church as worship leaders and college pastors. We have 5 years of marriage under out belt, and both come from musical backgrounds. Nate’s […]

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Four Tips for Drummers in Worship

Playing drums in a church setting requires a certain mentality. We must always be aware of what’s going on around us, and be in tune Spiritually with God so that we can be effectively led by Him. As a musician on the worship team, you are in fact, a worship leader. It’s not just about playing the drums, it […]

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Memorizing Your Music

The pressure is real. We are all in a time crunch. If you and your music team are striving to be memorized on Sunday, let’s cover some tips and tricks that will get you memorized most efficiently.  But before we jump into the specifics of memorization, let’s talk a little about how to set your team up for […]

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Microphone Techniques

The microphone – as the performance savvy come to realize – is not simply a device used to amplify the voice; it is, rather, an instrument used as an extension of their vocal skills. Understanding and respecting microphone positioning capabilities enhances the opportunity to maximize vocal potential. The microphone is an instrument used as an […]

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5 Ways to Champion Your Team

An effective leader will fight for their team.  A team who serves with a sense of being inspired, protected and valued will be successful and committed.   Here are 5 ways to champion your team as a leader. SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS FROM THE BEGINNING This may not sound like a way to be your team’s champion, but if you’ve cast […]

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Personal Mixing 101 // Part Four: Reverb

Reverb is the sound that reaches our ears after it has bounced off some other surface first. The characteristics of the reverb will vary based on the frequency range of the source, the position of the source, and the position of the listener. Reverb amount and “quality” varies based on the frequencies in the source […]

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Effective Backing Vocals

  I don’t know how many of us have witnessed multiple lead vocalists attempting to share the same vocal stage – during the same song. While there may be some true “harmony” present, there can be a perceived “limelight-hog” air about the event that can leave the participants feeling like they’ve gotten a pedicure from a cheese grater […]

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For Your Vocal Health

As singers, we have the benefit of carrying our instrument with us everywhere we go. The down-side is… We take our instrument EVERYWHERE we go; we don’t have the luxury of throwing it into a case for a week while we get over the flu. Like athletes, our voices are best utilized and conditioned for […]

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Operating In Harmony

Have you ever arrived at practice with singers that are very capable at improvisational harmonies, but end up criss-crossing, doubling, leaving open 5ths, or inadvertently dropping into melody? There is a tendency to assume that just because you “can” harmonize on-the-fly, that there need be no preparation for the vocalists before practice. However, preparing multiple […]

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Lighting 101 // Types of Fixtures

Today we will review the three most common types of lights that are used in church lighting systems, which are conventional, LED, and Moving-Head fixtures.  While this initial post will give you a brief overview of each type, each of the subsequent posts will individually examine these types of fixtures in greater detail. Because each type of […]

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Songwriting For Your Audience

A good friend of mine was struggling. She was an incredible and talented songwriter with deep faith in Jesus, but she was writing pop songs and feeling like it wasn’t right. She switched to writing worship music to “keep following God.” After trying very hard for a few agonizing months she realized that her audience […]

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Six String Theory // The Capo

Editor’s Note:  This tutorial assumes that the reader has at least a general understanding of a guitar and basic fretboard theory, including key signatures, note names and guitar-centered terminology.  If you are unfamiliar with these concepts, please refer to this post for a great introductory lesson about basic fretboard theory. A capo (short for the […]

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ProPresenter Tips & Tricks

I have been using ProPresenter for several years now, and I am still learning shortcuts, tips and tricks all the time (and if I’m hones,t most of them come from my High School techs…). Whether you’ve never heard of ProPresenter, are a novice user or a multi-year veteran, here are some helpful tips and tricks […]

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Click Track Basics

So your team is playing to a click track and everything is going great until you get to a slow song. Suddenly the band and the metronome are in two different places. How do we avoid this? Here are 4 tips for keeping your team locked in to that click. Volume The most important thing is to […]

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Worship Guitar Gear // Electric Guitar Rig // Dalton Huxley

If you’d like to be featured, head on over to this form and tell us about yourself! Dalton Huxley Anthem Church Amp: Vox AC15 Custom Electric Guitar: Fender American Vintage ’72 Thinline Telecaster Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster Pedalboard (guitar to amp): Boss TU-3 Boss Orange Squash Compressor Exotic Effects EP Booster Walrus Audio Voyager Drive […]

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How to speak Keyboard

The learning curve for new a keys player in a worship team is often steep. Additionally worship team leaders can become frustrated that they are not able to communicate what they want or help their keys players when they run into a roadblock. Hopefully this post will clear up some of the confusion by defining […]

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10 Tips on Buying Gear

Proverbs 21:5  The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. (Disclaimer:  I have broken all of these rules at one time or another.) 1.  Decide if you really need the piece of gear.  Will you be using it consistently?  Will it enhance what you bring […]

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Types of Modern Keyboards

Keyboard technology has been rapidly changing over the past few decades to keep up with the diverse demands of musicians. In the 90’s it seemed every church acquired a digital piano or workstation to accompany the newly formed worship teams. Many of these instruments however now lay dormant due to either their complexity or lack […]

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Guitar Theory 101 // Lesson 5 // Chord Construction: Major and Minor Triads

Be sure to check out the rest of the guitar theory series here. An understanding of chord construction is important since it allows you to create musically correct chords in “non-standard” ways, expanding your tonal possibilities. Plus, this knowledge lets you create chords on the spot: you may have never memorized the fingering for an […]

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Worship Guitar Gear // Guitar Effects in a Worship Set Part 2

In our last discussion, we talked about how important guitar effects are becoming in our worship sets. Even more so, the proper use of them could make or break the set. We expressed the importance of the clean tone as it is the foundation of everything to come after it. This principal still holds true when dealing with the wet effects. Delays and Reverbs.

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Basics of Back Up Vocals

There’s a major problem facing the church, one of such severe magnitude that we all must take action now! Back-up vocalists are singing too much. Ok, so maybe the issue isn’t as big as I said, but still, can we discuss? When serving as a vocalist on a worship team we are either vocally leading […]

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F.O.H. 101 // Equalization

In its most simple terms, equalization (or EQ, for short) refers to the boosting of desired frequencies and cutting of undesirable frequencies on a given audio signal.  In broader usage,  it can be used to correct specific problems on that signal, to overcome deficiencies in the frequency response of a microphone (or the timbre of […]

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Vocal Warm-Ups

  Our vocalists have an interesting struggle, in that their instrument is their voice and their voice (or vocal chords) is a muscle. To achieve a greater sound from any instrument it needs to be taken care of.  Just as a guitarist will show up on a Sunday morning, plug-in, and check the tuning on […]

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Hillsong United // Oceans – Acoustic

Acoustic Guitar tutorial for Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) acoustic version off of Hillsong United’s Zion Acoustic Sessions. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to hear when new tutorials come out!  We’d love to get you plugged in to the collective! Tab for this lesson here: Oceans-Acoustic Nashville chart for the whole song here: Oceans […]

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F.O.H. 101 // Gain Staging

The most important thing that we as audio engineers do is get signal from instrument to speakers.  But to do that, the signal (at its most basic level) must first pass from the instrument into a microphone or DI box, down a line, through a snake, into a console, into a preamp, through an equalizer, […]

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F.O.H. 101 // Noise Gates

Be sure to check out the previous posts in FOH 101: Microphone Selection, Microphone Placement, and Compressors and Limiters. NOISE GATES Noise gates are a Front-of-House engineer’s best friend.  Their ability to clean up an audio signal, reduce noise, and make the mix sound crisp and clear is unrivaled.  Adding a gate to an audio […]

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F.O.H. 101 // Compressors & Limiters

COMPRESSORS AND LIMITERS Military communications during the Second World War were, at best, strained.  Equipment of the time could not properly transmit the quieter sounds of the human voice over the sounds of battle because they were drowned out by the louder gunfire noises and explosions.  New technology had to be developed so that radio […]

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F.O.H. 101 // Microphone Placement

BASIC MICROPHONE PLACEMENT Now that we’re able to make informed decisions in regards to selecting the best microphone for the job, we’re ready to place them on the instrument to get the best possible sound.  As with microphone selection, placement of the microphone largely comes down to personal preference and how they sound in your […]

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F.O.H. 101 // Microphone Selection

HOW MICROPHONES WORK A microphone is a form of transducer, or a device that changes one form of energy into another corresponding form of energy.  The same way that the magnets in guitar pickups turn the vibration of the strings into electrical energy, the microphone turns changes in air pressure into an electrical signal.  That […]

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The Anatomy Of A Worship Keyboardist’s Rig

Throughout college, I had the privilege to play at many different venues, churches; as well as helping others constructing their keyboard rigs so that they were usable and reliable.  Personally, I’ve had my fair share of controllers, keyboards, stage pianos, vintage boards, and effects.  I have come to be content with what is involved in […]

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Tips For The Worship Keyboardist

Assessment is the Key to the Keys One situation will never be the same in the context of a musical worship band.  Look at your instrumentation as well as the resources you have available.  Not everyone has an electric guitarist with tons of delay pedals, also, not everyone has a Nord Stage 2 and a […]