Worship Musician August 2019 - Page 145

ARRANGING DRUMS & BASS ARRANGED TO ENHANCE CONGREGATIONAL SINGING “GREAT ARE YOU LORD” | Grant Norsworthy Sure, the most important ingredients in a musical interludes without ever hearing the In this next video I chat with drummer great song are the melody and the lyrics. As tonic as a chord. This brings about a wonderful Jonathan Truman and bassist Jesse Phillips we endeavor to lead people to worship God sense of expectancy and tension. But what about the rationale used and choices made to through songs, it’s the lyrics and the melody a feeling of release when the 1 chord - the decide on their parts. The major components that we are asking our congregation to engage chord that matches the key of the song - finally are demonstrated. with - to sing along to. lands! We must make sure we land there well. But the song needs a foundation. The melody 3) ARE WE COUNTING 6 OR 4 BEATS PER BAR? and lyrics can only soar if they are well “Great Are You Lord” is clearly in the 6/8 time supported. To me, the bass and the drums are signature, but with a feeling of the dotted absolutely the most important accompanying rhythm - 4 beats per bar - superimposed over elements that allow the melody and lyrics to the top. This layering of time signatures adds engage as they should. Without the foundation to the wonderful musical atmosphere the song of good, solid groove - principally supplied by creates. 4 beats over 6 beats is perhaps tricky drums and bass guitar - the congregation will for the musically uneducated but - here’s the struggle to connect. kicker - we’re going to ask our congregation (of largely musically uneducated people) to “Great Are You Lord” is deceptive in its sing in 4/4 over 6/8 in the bridge. Because I simplicity. The same three chords are repeated want my congregation to feel that this musical over and over again, in the same order and math mash is completely natural, I will use with the same timing for every section of the the instrumentation throughout the song - song except the bridge. While there’s plenty especially through drums and bass - to teach of poetic and musical charm in the lyrics and them how 4 over 6 feels, making it seem melody, there are some hidden gems in the normal and easy when I ask them to sing it in accompaniment too. To more warmly draw my the bridge. This will help a lot, because I want congregation into the worship of God through the congregation to sing the bridge with more “Great Are You Lord”, I want to make the most passion and volume than even the choruses. For a closer analysis of the parts employed in our congregation-friendly version of “Great Are You Lord”, watch and play along with these static camera videos for each of drums and bass. Jonathan Truman on drums of three musical elements, especially through intentional choices made with drums and bass. To catch what I mean more clearly, watch my Nashville band’s version of “Great Are You 1) DYNAMICS! Exercising restraint Lord”. But as you do, please remember that subtle- we are NOT trying to present yet another cover yet-meaningful changes to their parts, the and making version of the song. Instead, we have made drummer and bassist can accentuate the musical choices with the expressed intention of “breathing” rise and fall of the song in a way inviting a regular Sunday Church congregation that can effectively stir the vocal fervor of the to sing. congregation. Be intentional. Know how to Jesse Phillips on bass Stay tuned for more instalments in this series in future issues. Next month, we’ll be working build it up and how to bring it down. Save with the electric guitar! our biggest moment for the end of the bridge. “Great Are You Lord” Words & Music by David Leonard, Jason Ingram, Leslie Jordan (© 2012 Integrity's Alleluia! Music) 2) WHERE’S THE 1 CHORD? I love how “Great Are You Lord” never actually uses the chord that matches the key of the Grant Norsworthy founder of MoreThanMusicMentor.com providing online and onsite training for the heart and the art of worshipping musicians. MoreThanMusicMentor.com song until the start of the bridge. It has us moving through intro, verses, choruses and August 2019 Subscribe for Free... 145