Can you train people to really listen to music? I don’t know. But one thing I realize is that a lot of people just hear music but don’t really listen to it, so they have no idea that certain things happen. There have been times in the past when I suggest something to worship team and they all think it’s cool. But I’m not doing anything special. I’m just a good listener.
Here are two praise songs that people mess up all the time. And, they’re both wrong for similar reasons. The first is on Lord of Everyman, the Vineyard song. You know, there’s this intro, da-da-da-da-da on the piano, and like a bass response. Anyway, the first time you play it, the chords are roughly A-E-A-E-A-E-f#m-E. Then you hold that last E for roughly two measures before you start singing.
So here’s the thing I think few people realize. On the recording, the second time around, they play that riff and response one additional time. Also, more crucially, they start singing the second time on the f#m so that the E chord is played on “rise” in “arise”. I don’t know, it doesn’t seem critical, but it is. Just, the long pause on the E the first time is OK with the intro to the song, but a little awkward in the middle.
Another thing that drives me crazy, and only me I guess, is Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble. So you know, after the first verse, having sung “Jesus Christ the risen one”, the drums, electric, and bass come in with a strong chord, everyone cheers, etc. Uh, I think you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, that’s supposed to be strong. That’s good.
The thing is after this, when you finish the verses (Christ the saving one, and wash away our brokenness), you shouldn’t have this strong chord anymore. It should be subtler, much softer, not the huge drum smash and electric as with the first time. I feel pretty strongly about this. Anyway, listen to the Delirious version. After the first verse, they rightly have the drum and electric smash. It’s like an introduction.
But after every verse following, the drums and electric are way more subtle, if they play at all. Listen to it. But like every worship team has their drummer do the same smash after every verse. Boring. That detracts from the effectiveness of the first time and doesn’t make the song flow as well. There should just be one smash, which serves as like an intro. It’s the song saying, “I’m here, and I’m energetic!” But you don’t need to do multiple introductions. Like I said, it makes it too repetitive.
Anyway, yeah, the Delirious version is the perfect version. I’ve analyzed it endlessly, and they just have an incredible grasp on musical nuance and energy, so that’s to be modeled after. Like, Passion’s version is just lifeless. They’re problem isn’t that they do that smash everytime, but that’s it’s always in the in-between dynamic wise between all-out and subtle, so it’s just awkward and wrong. Also, they sing it in C. Another wrong thing.
That’s another thing I’ve analyzed forever. The song must be sung in D. I’m absolutely a hard-liner on this. Listen to the Delirious recording and then listen the Passion recording and notice how much more sterile the Passion version sounds. It must be in D. When I read like, “we’re gonna do ‘Did You Feel’ in C, with energy!” I don’t know, I just think that’s impossible; you’re cutting off a big source of the energy.
I think people lower it because it’s too high to sing. But, guys can sing it if they yell loud enough. And if they don’t reach it, that’s OK. And, girls aren’t supposed to be singing that high anyway – every girl should be singing an octave lower. I’ve written about this before, so I won’t get into it. But yeah, it works is what I’m saying. In D.
Anyway, everything is all about little touches that don’t seem like a big deal, but they add up in a way I can’t really explain.
Dude, what the heck is my problem? I’m such a praise Nazi. Seriously, you should call me Adolf Underwood or something. Geez.