Hi everyone, this is my first time posting here, loving this site especially the forums learning from worship leaders and teams from around the world. I write worship and praise songs and would like to get feedback on a song I'm working on called "KING OF GLORY"
The instruments are all done on a yamaha keyboard and the vocals were recorded in my room. Don't have expensive gear so please excuse the amateur recording/mixing etc.
The song I intend to use for Youth gatherings/services/conferences etc
Ok, so depending on your kids, what I'm about to say may or may not matter. Praise and worship isn't for US, it's for the Lord, however... sometimes personal distractions, thoughts, wandering eyes, etc... we do our best to present things that are current and relevant even for adults, with youth, it tends to be even easier to "lose" them and their attention if the music isn't what they're expecting. In other words, all too often, even with praise and worship, kids need to like it to get into it. What kids like changes every five minutes and it's maddening.
Lyrically, musically, nothing wrong with it at all. The only thing I'd say, (don't take it as a bad thing), it sounds kinda retro. Like, an 80's power band number almost? Now, I know some youth that would be ok with that, but I know that it wouldn't fly at my church. Most Youth are pretty up on what's current and NOW; So, you might want to think about changing presentation a little bit if you don't have a group that's a bit more yesterday. Melody and tempo can be the same, obviously the words, but the instrumentation and effects can be adjusted or rearranged. Personally, I don't mind 80's stuff, that's my childhood music, but, I'm not a youth lol. Listen to some pop music from now and you'll hear a lot more electronic/ambient/techno type instrumentation. Might try to aim that way if you choose to keep working with it. The keyboard arpeggios and the power chord guitar is what stood out to me the most as "retro."
Hope that makes sense and that you don't take it wrong, it's really a nice song! Most of the churches I'm thinking of, the Adults would probably really dig it, more so than the youth. When you're thinking about what songs to play for what age group, remember that our "old" people today, had the Woodstock album on vinyl. :D
thanks for the response. I value your input and considered all the points you mentioned. Yes staying in tune with what music todays youth can relate to is very important. I grew up in the 80s and 90s, so I know I am sort of out of touch with modern music styles (i majored music studies in classical and did some bebop jazz as well). Do you have any examples of songs/bands i can listen to that has the style that could be used on this song. Like I said Im still working the song and looking for all the advice I can get
Hillsong United, Young and Free are very popular right now. Crowder, (David Crowder), John Mark McMillan, Jesus Culture, Soulfire Revolution, (listen to "Revival Fire") Kim Walker / Jesus Culture, All Sons and Daughters, Worth Dying For. Give some of those bands a listen, it's a good start. I don't want to say, "don't be yourself as a songwriter." I hope that's not what you take from it. But those bands are quite good and very passionate about their worship. I've met John Mark McMillan personally, great guy, he wrote "How He Loves Us" and it's been recorded by Crowder and Kim Walker as well. All Sons and Daughters is a more laid back duo, rhodes and acoustic sound, Soulfire Revolution, Young and Free, those are almost techno or euro-rock from time to time. United, Crowder, Jesus Culture, I'd classify as more of a modern worship format. Worth Dying For is a bit "heavy rock" from time to time, but no where near metal, and still within the parameters of upbeat praise and worship.
I'm hardly an authority on the subject, and I'm sure that there's some people with different tastes and opinions, but I love all those bands, could happily listen to them mixed right in with my "Eagles" and Johnny Cash vinyls; they're great artists, passionate worshipers, and for the most part their lyrics are anything but lazy. From intricate melodies to challenging words. By no means an all inclusive list, but it'll give you some stuff to listen to for a few days lol.
I am not a professional in the music world, just a fellow song-writer, so take this however you wish.
The musical style of the song does not appeal to me because it does have, as Nathan mentioned, a retro 80's sort of sound that doesn't connect with me. However, it may appeal to someone.
If I were going to try to modernize the song, I would play it with one or two instruments as an acoustic version. I would then revise a couple of chords (and I would have to do this by ear because I am unable to suggest the proper musical term of diminishing or suspending or simply taking the minor version of the major chord - sorry that's how we non-professional playing by ear types roll). It would be worth a try experimenting with the chords.
Lyrically, I would not change anything. However, I would have considered a different approach in the lyrics - some kind of theme that connects the angst of the broken hearted to the magnificence of the King of Glory through Christ's ability to understand the human condition completely and God's ability to love us through it all. That makes a different song altogether. But all I mean to do here is throw some different ways of developing a song along the same general theme - something that may connect with the listener and pull him or her in from their life circumstances into an attitude of worship.
Anyway, Lester, I hope you find these thoughts helpful.
You just found your audience :D
Tune-wise, it's catchy. I like how you have that retro sound thing going on. Lyrics-wise, it's suitable as a praise-type song, perhaps as the lead-in for your P&W session.
I like the energy and I like the retro sound. Give it to a couple of your more reliable youths and ask their opinions. I'd be interested in what they say.