Guest Post by Elinor Olivier.
Hi, my name is Elinor Olivier and I’ve been serving in our Worship team for about 6 or 7 years now. I’d like to share some of what I have on my heart for you. Trusting that it will encourage you and add, even if it’s in a small way, to what you may already experience and live out.
Happy to say that we have everyone (keys, drums, bass, vocals) on IEM’s, except for the worship leaders of course.
Going to be difficult to get that one right!
If you’ve been involved with worship for any amount of time, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Bob Kauflin. If not, where have you been!? Here’s a little info about him taken from his blog:
“I currently have the privilege of serving as the Director of Worship Development for Sovereign Grace Ministries. My main tasks include equipping pastors and musicians in the theology and practice of congregational worship, overseeing Sovereign Grace Music, and being one of the worship leaders at my church, led by Josh Harris.”
Bob has put together some really helpful teaching videos about using piano in contemporary worship. Most of what we’re listening to today is not very piano driven, in fact, the piano if any has been pushed way back into the mix and has been replaced by electric guitars and pads, synths or loops. Partly because Hillsong and Jesus Culture do that, and we’re expected to follow. And, who carries a piano around nowadays anyway?
But let me ask this: what If you and I have a classically trained pianist in our Church? Or what if God decides to send one your way? What are we going to do with this person? I’m scared Lord, help me…
Most of us have not been classically trained and so we’re left feeling threatened by their gift, and afraid that they may even be ‘better’ than you and I.
How do we respond? Do we feel threatened, or do we see it as an opportunity and a blessing that God has sent. How do we and can we work to involve them in the ministries we lead? Bob hopes to cover some of these questions is his videos.
Check them out:
A few days ago I came across Karl Verkade‘s blog. He’s a guitarist/worship leader in Southern California. He’s got some really helpful stuff on his site.
One thing that caught my attention was his use of ambient electric guitar pads in worship. He recorded electric guitar swells in 12 different keys, each track being 7min long, and has made them available for download. Check out the video below.
The idea behind this is to use them in worship as sort of a foundation/platform for the band to play on. Like what you would do if you had a synth player.
So this Sunday at band practise, we’re gonna try some of them out and see how they work.
This is a guest post by Elinor Olivier my sister, who currently serves as a Keyboardist at our Church.
The question, “What have I learned over the years of being a keyboardist”, makes me think about my entire life. Being a keyboardist, or any other musician for that matter, has got everything to do with what’s happening in my life everyday. I have still so so much to learn about my instrument, but yet, my heart longs more and yearns more to learn much about my Saviour behind my keyboard.
Some heart issues…I’ve learnt that when i’m going through a tough time spiritually or emotionally, I battle to focus whilst i’m playing. I battle to let go of that baggage and just play in freedom. You want to worship freely. You also are leading other people in worship and they sometimes will pick up when you’re carrying a heavy load. A key for me in those times – Be accountable to some-one you can trust, some-one who will speak wisdom in your life, some-one you know well.
The Bible says we need to carry one anothers’ burdens. Spend time seeking God. I’ve learnt that you go through dips with your instrument. Your heart grows cold and you have not much motivation to play or practise…it becomes a drag. A key for me – Pray. Ask God to give you a love and desire for your instrument again. I know it sounds simple, but God hears and He is faithful! He did after-all give you this gift.
Also, listen to worship more often when you’re at home. Pop in a worship CD whilst driving. Surround yourself with worship music. This ignites something in your heart to want to play. I’ve learnt that the more time I spend behind my keys, the more I want to 🙂
It’s contagious and this is also a wonderful opportunity for you to grow in learning your songs, new techniques (that kind of for me just happened whilst spending time behind my keys) and your love for worship. For me, stepping out of a time spent playing, whether it’s been 15 minutes or 50 minutes…I feel full, alive, humbled and thirsty!
Practical points that i’ve learnt…here we go:
One of the ideas I have for the year is to use something like Ableton Live in worship. A lot of guys are using software like this (think Reason) linked to a midi-controller or keyboard to generate cool loops, pads and fills.
The plan is to get (a) the software and (b) a midi-sequencer/controller.
Are you using anything at the moment?