There are hundreds of thousands of churches in the world (which is awesome) and even more musicians (which is also cool), but somehow, there are still hundreds if not thousands of churches that don’t have any musicians or band members to play instruments for their worship services.
If you happen to attend one of those churches, you probably know what it’s like to worship a cappella. Don’t get me wrong, some of the greatest worship I’ve been a part of has been done a cappella, but I have also experienced some really terrible a cappella worship. And I say it was terrible simply because the leader could not sing and kept changing keys in the middle of the song and it was very distracting and difficult to worship with. If you have the right leader that can sing and can lead everyone without being distracting, a cappella worship can be wonderful. But, I think that is even more rare. Even though I lead worship, I wouldn’t trust myself to lead a full worship service a cappella.
So, for those of you who are leading worship and for whatever reason don’t have a band or any type of instruments, there are alternatives to having a full band that will make your job easier and will help you lead your congregation into distraction free worship. There are more alternatives than what I will discuss here, but I just want to go over a couple of the easiest.
Worship tracks are music videos with lyrics that can be used in place of a worship band. Most worship tracks come in different formats.
Stereo track – This is a full stereo arrangement of the song with lead and background vocals.
Click track – This is a track where the accompaniment will be sent to one channel (usually the left) and the click (tempo) will be sent to the other channel (usually the right). This will allow someone using in-ear monitors to hear the click while the congregation only hears the accompaniment. There won’t be any lead vocals on either track.
Split track – This track is just like the stereo track except that it’s split. The accompaniment will be on one channel (usually the left), and the vocals with very low accompaniment will be on the other channel (usually the right). This way, the vocals can be sent to monitors or in-ear monitors for the singers on stage to be able to follow along easily while the congregation will only hear the accompaniment.
Worship tracks can be purchased on the EasyWorship Media Store. This is one of the easiest ways to present worship songs to your congregation when you don’t have a band or even if you have a partial band or just a guitar player.
Audio tracks are another easy way to present songs to a congregation when you don’t have a band. There are also a few different ways you can play the audio track. You can use a CD to play the audio, but then you will either need to burn a new CD with the tracks you want every week or you will need to swap out CDs in the player for each song you sing. So it is an option, but not one that is on the top of my list. If you have audio tracks you would like to use in a digital format like mp3, wma or wav, you can add those files to EasyWorship and either play them on their own or attach them to the song lyrics that coincide with that audio file.
There are instructions on the EasyWorship website that will walk you through attaching these audio tracks to your song lyrics and a training video that will also do the same.
This gives you more versatility than the worship tracks because you can pick and choose your own background image or video for the song lyrics.
There are a lot of different styles of music, so one church might sing “Amazing Grace” in a country style, where another church might sing it in a pop or jazz style. This is where you will have to find a source for audio tracks either online or have a band record something for you. I will add a couple of links below to sites that sell audio tracks, but with a little searching, you may be able to find others if these are not your style.
As with most technology, there are more advanced ways to add a ‘virtual band’ to your services, but these options will help you get started with just a couple of simple solutions to help you and your media team be able to present worship songs to your congregation in a professional and easy way.