Dear all,

Some practical tips needed.  We are looking to do some things to bring the church slightly more up-to-date.

Firstly, the computer that runs our projector is on it's way out and we will probably replace it soon, and funds have been agreed for this by the church.  What are your experiences with different packages for presenting lyrics onto screen for the worship?

Secondly, keeping up to date with new songs coming out here, there and everywhere seems to get more and more difficult just by buying books.  We want some way of being able to legally download and print music for songs when we need, for distribution round the musicians and use in church.  I have seen about SongSelect, but this only gives a melody line and chords, which is not necessarily ideal for keyboard players, or to provide suggestions for those trying to put in alto or other harmony lines.  Any other possibilitiies?  What are your experiences?

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HI Ian,

I wrote a book previously and wish I hand't. This is a shorter version.

A lot of folks out there use display packages, but we've never been able to prove them in at my church. They never ended up providing an improvement in workflow and their quirky interfaces were difficult to train into people. The end result is that we would spend more money and have less functionality. And even with them in place, we still had to get original lyrics from somewhere and paste them in, (not as simple as one would hope) and then create the sequences. And to get all of the wonderful functionality from them, it's necessary to train people. We have a hard enough time teaching them Powerpoint or Keynote.

The display workflow we ended up with is: 1) Copy/paste the lyrics from stored chord sheets (minus chords) 2) paste the lyrics and sermon notes into Keynote in the proper sequence 3) Format to fit screen.

Use of Keynote for us is as simple is pulling up the program on the Mac and cycling through the pages as required.

For chord sheets, I use Songsheet Generator which is free as is Open Song. Both are flexible, free and provide on-the-fly transposition. All of the others that I tried were difficult to use and format and just didn't provide the ease of use these two do. These two also have some rudimentary display features if that's all you need.

The chord sheet workflow we ended up with is: 

Only once 1) Copy/paste the lyrics from SongSelect 2) Customize lyrics to suit  3) paste the lyrics and chords into Songsheet Generator (per each key required as in concert pitch vs. capoed) 4) Format for print. 

This is done only once per song. Songsheet Generator allows us to print a set for each musician each week.

Also - Song Select doesn't solve your legal issues, only a license with CCLI and copy reporting does. Song Select does provide chord sheets, full piano score, lead sheets and lyrics for most songs. But there is no ability to customize them to suit your needs other than transposition. So if you never do a song exactly as recorded, you're still stuck with copying and pasting the lyrics and creating chord sheets.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

S

We use Songpro to display words, mostly because that was what was already here: we've paid the fee, it kind of works. I couldn't especially recommend it as it's cantankerous, clunky, deeply unintuitive and sometimes obstructive. One can learn to work around it, but that's the user helping the software out and not t'other way round. It's far from professional or helpful, even though it seems to be potentially very powerful.

Some preachers will add slides to the power point facility within songpro. I prefer to just connect my Macbook directly and use powerpoint for mac because it works and I can drive it when I preach.

As for new songs, TBH I've given up trying to purchase music scores. Can of worms time. Generally I'll get lyrics either from the WWW or write them out listening to the CD and then add my preferred versions of chords to them. I'll sometimes download whole songs from sites like Matt Redman's (music can be DL'd FOC) but if I can't easily get hold of the song or it's a lot of hassle to chord it then unless there's something utterly compelling about it I'll just let it go - there is so much music out there. I'd encourage keyboard players to invent their own parts if I had any. Conversely, the only issue really is finding good 'new' stuff in all the performance stuff that one could actually bring to a church to want to sing in worship.

It's hard to suggest anything useful really. We have a CCLI license, but it's increasingly *feeling* like there's a worship music industry trying to sell stuff than a worship music ministry trying to help us worship God - Matt Redman is one of the exceptions, and for this reason I'll pick his stuff over other well known artists. I'm a natural freetard and anarchist who hates having people sell me stuff.

Agree about  the worship music industry trying to sell stuff. It's tiresome. But to be fair, it's hard to survive big or small in that "business". Proof that we don't need to be "professional" worship leaders, or just bad breaks?

Paul Baloche's stuff is also out there for free as well. At least most of it.

Stevo, my friend, how did I know you'd reply.

;-)

I hunted a while back for Paul Baloche lyrics for a couple of songs from Glorious, but could only find 'internet' versions. Maybe I didn't try hard enough.

Ha! Toni - one of our favorite rants.

He may not have everything of his out there. On his own website, he has chords, lead sheets etc.

http://www.leadworship.com/song-charts/

It's strange that he doesn't also include lyrics alone. They can be copy/pasted from the Chord sheet with a little work. But it you're looking for only lyrics, I found them on CCLI Song Select.

Thanks Stevo. I should have looked harder.

As an update, there is one out there called "Proclaim" that I tested last night which is new to me. It's by the people who own Logos software and I was pleasantly surprised. Within a very short time, I was able to use it for display and the look of the output was very nice. It also pulls in lyrics directly from a couple of song services, CCLI being one of them. You can then manipulate and store them for later use.

I didn't spend a lot of time with it but the high points are: it's cloud based, can be annual or monthly subscription and seems easy enough to use. It doesn't seem to provide chord sheet/transpose capability, but seems perfect for lyrics, announcements, verses and sermon notes.

I just have one BIG problem with ANY cloud based solution - it WILL fail you at some point. Can you afford that? (There may be some stored option with this program...)

For projection of lyrics, we've just been using powerpoint for many years.  I have a folder full of song lyrics - one powerpoint file per song, and I simply copy and paste the slides to make up a set of songs.  Bible readings can be copied and pasted from Biblegateway.  All of this works just fine if, like us, you tend to plan a set of songs in advance and stick to them.  If you think you might want to pick songs more freely from a list, it is fairly quick to set up a "switchboard" at on the first page, with hyperlinks to each song.


For the sheet music, we have a large number of photocopied sheets stored in folders.  I used to buy books, but lately I've been dowloading from a number of sources, such as just getting the songs I want off the Kingsway site, or free resources such as Matt Redman's site, or the Resound worship site.  I wouldn't claim this is an ideal solution, but it sort-of works.

Hi Ian.

We have been running ProPresenter for a couple of years which interfaces very nice with camera input and lyrics so you can read the lyrics but still see the worship team as well as you can add scriptures video's and images in.

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