Just wondering if any of you can recommend which worship songs flow well together? Are there some songs which you nearly always do back to back due to the lyrics, key, tempo or something else?
Any tips for praise and worship songs which flow / blend / merge would be most welcome!
Around Christmas time, I do "Before The Throne Of God Above" with "Silent Night." It goes:
Verses 1 & 2
Before The Throne
So far I've gotten pretty good feedback on it. If anyone's interested, I have a chord chart and recording of it.
This is a great thread!
However, could I just mention one possible pitfall I think it's worth trying to avoid? I'm sure many here do already avoid it, but this may help some:
When songs are done back to back, I've noticed that sometimes worship leaders chose keys for the songs to make them fit together in easily, often in the same key, e.g. 3 or 4 songs in the key of A. The problem is, sometimes this leads to singing songs in keys which are much too low or high for the congregation. It can be great to join songs together like this, but it's no good if half the congregation can't sing the song properly because it's too low or high. It distracts people.
The music team is there to help the congregation to worship. So the question to ask when planning these kind of links is, what keys work well for congregational singing? If that works out so that songs can go in the same key, no problem, but if not, I suggest that it's much better to change key, even if it involves some of the 'creative transitioning' that Matthew mentioned (or just switching straight to the new key, or the piano starts playing the song in the new key while the old chord is fading away, or whatever). The songs can still be back to back.
My personal thought is that sometimes several songs in the same key is great, but if this is done too much it can get boring and feel a bit stuck, so sometimes it's nice to change key anyway. If done well, changing key into a new song can even enhance the impact of the song.
Thanks Julian. Good advise! Makes sense...
Very good point. We had this a few weeks ago. Two songs fit really nicely together in theme and flow. But the first one worked best in C and the second worked best in D for overall congregational worship. The fix in the case that worked well for us was we added a key change from C to D for the final chorus of the first song so we were in D when we hit the second song. We also were moving from a time of reflection to a more upbeat closing song. So the key change in the first song helped us build energy going into the second song so there was less of an abrupt transition.
What a great illustration of what I was trying to say! Thanks, Pete.
The church I attended in Lansing MI back in the 70s and 80s had a Music Minister that wrote small instrumental bridges from key to key in almost every combination imaginable. We never knew what song we were going to do until he or another leader started it. We also never knew what key it was in but he would say to pull out the change from A major to Eb minor (for example) and the orchestra would play that and then start the new song.
I have never been that ambitious.
We did a nice transition out of a time of reflection into a closing song.
Made To Worship in the key of A into Forever in the key of A.
Ended Made To Worship with a slow and mostly just vocal and all in the same tempo and feel.
"When you and I choose to believe, Then you and I will see, that forever God is faithful, forever God is strong, forever God is with us, forever ..."
tempo, lights, instruments, etc pick up a bit as we go into verse 1. "Give thanks to the Lord our God and King..." and on into the first verse building to a strong first chorus.
Here are some songs- You alone can Rescue and Great I Am by Desperation band, Filled with glory by Michael Grungor (all in the key of A)... You are God alone by Philips, Dean and Craig and How great is our God in the key of G... One thing, I adore by Hillsong in the Key of E.. :)
One of my favorites is Strength of my Life into Jesus, Draw me Close, and then end acapella with Spirit of the Living God.
All are in the key of F and are quite powerful to lead the congregation into his presence.
After doing this these 3 one Sunday at a Calvary Chapel, I had a teen ager approach me after the service to say how much they loved the worship especially that last song and said that they had never heard it before and wanted to know if I wrote it. They were shocked when I told them that Spirit of the Living God was written in 1836! Worshiping God is timeless!
This is my kind of thread! When I have time, I'm going to have to make notes of the ones I think would be good ones to use in worship for us.
There are lots of songs I do as transitions due to themes (like cross songs or grace songs, etc.), but some of my favorites are the ones that flow musically really well. Like...
"Lord Have Mercy" in Em to "Breathe" in G. This works particularly well if you end "Lord Have Mercy" with the coda "Lord have mercy Lord have mercy on us." You play G, D/F#, Em, C, and then you sing "And I....I'm desperate" with what is essentially the same chord progression.
"How Great Thou Art" in A to "Made Me Glad". I actually accidentally found this one. I programmed them because they fit the theme and were both in A, but I found that if you end "How Great Thou Art" on a D chord (instead of the usual A resolution), you go right into the intro of "Made Me Glad." It's particularly effective if you sing the chorus of "How Great Thou Art" a cappella, then on that last word "art", you play a D chord which serves as the last chord of "How Great Thou Art" and the first chord of "Made Me Glad".
Another one I do is more of a medley, but I start "Indescribable" in Em/G, then after the second chorus, we sing "And You are the Lord, the Famous One," and we're in "Famous One" in G. Then after the final chorus of "Famous One" we hit a dead stop and sing the chorus to "Indescribable".
I could probably think of more of these, but these were the ones that first came to mind.
I call it the "Freedom Medley."
Say So by Israel Houghton
Freedom by Eddie James
I am Free by Newsboys
All in the key of "E"