So exactly what have we done with the arrangements on our new backing tracks?
A look “Under the hood” at Worship Backing Band
We thought we’d share the thinking behind the arrangements of some of our recent MultiTracks. You’ll see a consistent pattern regarding how the original recording are so often too high for congregational worship. Would love to hear your thoughts. Even if you are not a user of Worship Backing Band this makes for an interesting debate about some of the biggest current worship songs.
I Lift My Hands
In this tracks we take most of Chris Tomlin’s arrangement but bring the key down to a much more congregation friendly key of A and slow build the dynamic of the song to a huge crescendo.
Before the Throne of God Above
We love this new hymn but there are so many different versions of it we took great pains to build what we consider the definitive arrangement, incorporating lots of the best bits and a few new twists. So we’ve keep the original chords, alongside some verses pedalling the tonic to add tension and release and added a brand new guitar motif plus the new chorus section from the Shane and Shane version too.
Here For You
Matt Redman has produced a terrific arrangement so we didn’t change the structure, but it’s generally considered a bit too high for most congregations so we’ve taken it down to B which is as low as the guitars could go and still preserve the feeling of dropping down low when the song goes to chord 4, which is very much part of the feel of the song.
Christ is Risen
Matt Maher’s modern hymn is a congregational keeper but in the original the majority of the melody is soooo high that most congregations will really struggle. So we’ve taken it quite a way down to D which should be much more singable but allows room to breathe and space for the ending when the melody really starts to push people’s vocal range. One of the biggest challenges was to radically change the guitar driven chord shapes but still keep the same feel. We’ve think we’ve cracked it and hope it works for you too!
In this fabulous Tim Hughes song we’ve adjusted the arrangement slightly to make it more congregationally friendly by taking out a few of the intro and instrumental sections and taken the key down a bit to B to make it more singable as well.
I Will Follow
Again here we’ve stuck with Chris Tomlin’s arrangement but taken the key down a whole 2 tones to G to make it much more singable. One of the hallmarks of Chris’s sound is his heavily layered production. This sounds huge on radio but is often very difficult to pick out individual parts for the band. We’ve gone to great lengths to to keep the original vibe but give you nice clear, easy to understand instrument parts too.
This very hymn like Hillsong track works well across multiple age groups in church but again the key can be a bit high, so we’ve brought it down to Bb and made the arrangement and instrument parts very easy to follow.
Sing Sing Sing
Another Chris Tomlin classic that’s often way too high for most churches so we’ve recorded a whole 2 tones lower in C but still tried hard to keep the big, strong ‘up’ dynamic alongside some clear, easy to replicate instrument parts. Remember that by using the MultiTrack Player you can solo any instrument to help you pick out the part.
Sing To The King
A more old school style worship song by Billy Foote and made known through the Passion movement. This one was of the easiest to reproduce as the best known original version was live and so suited a real congregation. We’ve kept it in the original key of E but added some additional instrument parts to help fatten the sound.
One Thing Remains
This great track is typical of Jesus Culture in that has very simple lyrics and chords and slowly builds the dynamic through the whole song into a huge ending. Here we’ve recorded it in Bb to keep the range singable but trimmed the structure of the intro, instrumentals and band only sections to keep it focussed on parts that the congregation can sing. If you want to do the anthemic 20 minute version just use the Pro Wav Player to keep looping the sections!
Click through to the links below to listen to samples and also to buy: