After leading worship behind the keys for years, I'm wondering if there is anyone out there who still leads from keys. Our culture has completely shifted to guitar led worship over the past 5 years.

Do you lead worship behind the keys?
What keyboard worship leader do you like to follow?

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First of all, I am sorry for the pain you are suffering, and the doubts that you feel.
You need to understand though, that as your pastor, this man is your leader. No matter how mis-guided or short-sighted he may be, God placed him in authority over you, and it is your place to submit. Sorry, but that is the truth, scripturally, at least.

Remember, as you go through this new season, the most important lesson God has ever tried to teach us: Obediance begets Significance. Only after you are obediant, can you achieve real and lasting significance.

My prayers are with you

David, thank you so much for the encouraging has been easier and I know that I must be obediant....I can only do my best!
Hey John as I dont know about that I can't say he he
Keys can most certainly lead. I'm telling you this as a guitarist, who currently plays with a keyboard playing worship leader. Leading from the keyboard can present several challenges if you are playing with a full band, most of them relating to the amount of notes you actually play. For example, if you have a bass player, you need to have a much lighter left hand than you would if you were playing solo - in order to let the bass player cover the low end. You also need to be aware of WHERE you are playing...which register. Keyboard and guitar often play in the same octave range, which should be avoided. if your guitarist plays low, move up an octave;if he goes high, then you go low. You do this to create "space" in each song.

It can be done. You just need to do it thoughtfully.

Totally agree. The problem with many pianists is that they try to do too much in a band setting. This creates an effect like a wall in the chest of the congregation, their singing is choked up but they can't tell why. Just that there's something wrong. So they start wondering if the worship leader is harboring some sin in his or her life... :)
Smitty - Wow. This just hit me square between the eyes. This is one of the dynamics of our worship team that is not being discerned - that is, the piano is playing the full run of the keys, while the flute, guitar and bass are awkwardly throwing sounds out there in the mix - but we're all playing off the same sheet music.

When we play I hear a lot of dissonance, but it is not being addressed. I don't know enough about music to speak to this type of issue. Very, very interesting issue for sure. I'd love to pick your brain about how you've seen this handled.

Our team is lead by a singer who is knows some music theory, but is admittedly not a musician. Our pace/tempo/cues are all taken from the singer - which I find very hard to follow as a guitarist - it's much more natural to follow the drums/bass, and we sometimes get the caterpillar effect of tempo. I am not a professional musician, and have a lot to learn, but "something" has felt very wrong, and I've not been able to put my finger on it.
Seems to me that it's important that one instrument leads on a song. It could be guitar, it could be keys. I've heard songs led by drums as well. But the band needs to know who they are mixing with.

As for tempo, I always tell my drummers that they need to be the rock for the band. When the drummer starts trying to follow the beat that other people are setting, you're in for some rough waters. If he is too fast or slow, I'll stop the song and adjust the tempo. But once he's on the right bpm, then I follow him.
feel free to email me at I would be happy to help in any way you might think I can.


Wow, this surprises me, as most worship I am involved in is lead from keys. I lead from guitar, but if given the choice I would hand it over to the keys as I find them much more versatile than guitar, especially when it comes to quiet ministry when the keys player can keep the flow going by just tootling away with one hand - mind you, it may depend on the instrumentalists, as I am blessed that the ones I play with are much more experienced and apt on their instruments than I am. One good point about keys leading is that they can turn the pages over to the next song whilst still playing with one hand, so as to keep the flow of the music going - something which cannot be done on a guitar - of course if there are other instruments, they can keep it going for you, but if you are on your own......any suggestions, nothing too technical mind, 'cos that's way out of my league!
Absolutely-- if God calls you. Our worship leader leads on drums! Yes, it can be done. Piano is never out of style-- stay true to your call--Jesus was a trend setter-- not followers. Be blessed and stay in His Grip!
i've been leading from the keyboard for 20 years now. tried to learn guitar, but my lazy left hand/fingers just won't cooperate! i actually wish i could use guitar sometimes. a song like "i am free" just doesn't work as a keyboard-led song. on the other hand, the guitarists i've worked with over the years, always tended to fall back on me for transitions between songs and free worship times. i love leading from a keyboard. disadvantage is also transportation (recalling a far side cartoon with some cowboys sitting around a campfire, and one of them says, "hank, pull that thing out and play us a tune, will ya?" - hank has a grand piano sticking out of his back pocket.) just not as easy to cart around for impromptu worship moments as a guitar is ("wait, just let me bring my keyboard in from the car, and, oh yeah, can you help me bring in and set up the sound system too so that we can all hear the keyboard?"). plus, when a guitar band is playing/leading, there is nothing like a great acoustic piano sound filling empty spaces with nice fill-in, spontaneous notes! (not more chords! guitars cover that one pretty well.). so, all in all, i love playing keyboard for leading worship. i do not carry the melody on the keys, i play rhythm keyboard - much easier for leading! you have a whole congregation singing the melody, let's have some variety here, let a vocalist lead the melody. so... don't know f anything i just said is insightful or not, but there it is.

(need new worship music ideas? -


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