Transitions between songs are one of the most important, and often the most overlooked, part of crafting a great worship service. Today, Brenton Collyer and I discuss why transitions matter, and give some very practical tips for making them as smooth and seamless as possible. Plus, a few cool ideas that you can try out in your next worship service! Enjoy the episode, and please feel free to leave a comment in the comments section.
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Transitions are one of the most under planned yet most vital parts of a worship service. -Tweet That!
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Bad transitions can rip people out of a time of worship. -Tweet That!
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Alex Enfiedjian 00:12 Hey, everybody, welcome back to another episode of the worship team podcast. This is Alex Enfiedjian. Your host, thank you for being a listener. Thank you for tuning in. I hope this podcast has been helpful in equipping you to be the best you can possibly be as a worship leader, or worship team member, I wanted to say thank you to those of you who have left a review and rating on iTunes. It really helps me get the word out to more people. It makes the podcast more visible when you search for it. So thank you, thank you to weather girl 66, who writes Seriously, this podcast is great, super insightful. I learned something new every time I listen. I’d recommend it to leaders or band members at any level. Thank you weather girl, 66, whoever you are, and thanks to the rest of you who have left reviews. And if you haven’t, would you please do that? If you have enjoyed this podcast, if it’s been helpful to your ministry? Could you just click the iTunes link in the show notes. Or if you’re using the podcast app on your iPhone, or iPad, you can just do it right from there. Just take 30 seconds and write something true and helpful. And I’ll continue to improve the podcast with each episode. Okay, so let’s get right into today’s episode, which is about transitions transitions between songs, transition between service elements and transitions between multiple worship leaders. Transitions are so important to a good flowing worship set. And if we don’t spend the time thinking about them and practicing them, they will go bad. So this is a really practical episode, you will probably be able to take something and implement it immediately after you listen. So I hope this episode helps you and your team lead your church better. Let’s get to the good stuff. Hey, everybody, I am here with Brenton Collier, hello, who has been on the podcast many times before and always has great things to say. And today we’re talking about transitions between songs and also between elements of your worship service. And we’re gonna be talking about why transitions matter. And transitioning between songs transitioning between worship leaders, like if there are several people leading songs throughout the set. And then also, we’ll be talking about transitioning between segments of the service, like between the offering and then the sermon or whatever. So, Brendan, first, I wanted to kind of ask you and get your opinion on why you think transitions matter?
Brenton Collyer 02:50 Yeah, that’s a great question. I mean, first of all, I’m so glad you’re doing this podcast because I think that planning and trying to think through transitions is something that is lost on a lot of worship leaders, you know, because it’s, it’s, it’s important to think through the songs themselves, and to play them and sing them well and to lead your team musically. But it’s, it’s an entirely different thing to take all those components and piece them together. And really, it’s a it’s a skill, it’s something you’ve got to work on, it’s something you’ve got to really hone in. So, you know, I just think that they’re important because you want to help people engage in what you’re doing. And, you know, you don’t want to leave people in the desk, especially, you know, new people or people that are checking out the church, you know, you don’t want them to feel lost or confused or uncomfortable. Just because you’re kind of trudging your way through this service that doesn’t have a real clear direction. I think that can be kind of a bummer. So
Alex Enfiedjian 03:53 avoid that avoid clunkiness clunkiness. Yeah, I would say that like bad transitions will rip someone out of a time of worship. So like, I mean, just imagine you finish playing a song. You know, trash can ending the band is crashing, and then it’s over. And it’s kind of like this dead silence while you take your cable off and try to clip it to the to the headstock of your guitar, and then you flip to the next chord chart. And then you’re checking your tuning real quick. And then you’re trying to tap in your tap tempo and then you turn around and you count to your band. And finally, the drummer clicks in and everybody is often the next song. Well, that’s like a really awkward long dead silence. Yeah, you know, and I’ve seen a lot of worship leaders do that. Yeah, might say they end a song and there’s like this really long, awkward pause before they can get everyone into the next song and right what you’ve done right there is you basically ripped people out of the the moment that you’ve ripped them out of that space that you just created during the last song right? And so in my opinion, the smoother your transitions can be, the more immersive your worship sets can be. Because you’re not starting and stopping, you’re keeping people in the flow. worship. Yeah. And I would agree. Yeah. And I would say that transitions are the most under planned, yet most important part of a worship service. You know, like, I don’t think like you said, I don’t think people think about transactions, I think they think about the songs, they think about the arrangements, but they don’t think about how do all of these pieces fit together to create like, a smooth,
Brenton Collyer 05:33 yeah, journey. And if they do, you know, they may be thinking about bringing one song into the next. But I’m really glad you’re going to talk about not just song to song, but also, you know, worship time into teaching time or something like that, you know, those are transitions that can also really be jarring. So
Alex Enfiedjian 05:51 yeah, awkward. Yeah. And can take people out of the moment. Right. And I think one of us said it in a previous episode, that our job as worship leaders is to point people to God, and remove as many distractions as possible, you know, and bad transitions are like just a huge distraction, you know, and I think it was my associate Pastor Jerry, who said that services are won and lost in transitions, like, in other words, like, Oh, well, planned transitions can make a good service into a great service. Yeah. Or what would be a great service into a bad service or, or mediocre service, if the transitions haven’t been thought through? And, you know, flow smoothly, yeah, from one to the next. And
Brenton Collyer 06:36 I think it’s important to say, Good transitions aren’t, you know, the purpose of them isn’t just to avoid the bad. You know, good transitions are also meant to enhance the good things about your service, like you were saying. So, you know, having the goal of I just don’t want this to be uncomfortable and awkward is a good place to start. But, to me, that’s not the end game goal, just to not have it go bad. You know, the end game goal is to say, no, this whole time is a time that honors God, that points people to Jesus that draws people in. And these transitions are meant to enhance that, you know, what I mean, to see that kind of the difference? So it kind of it kind of the purpose of it spans that entire spectrum.
Alex Enfiedjian 07:21 Yeah. And it’s, it’s, again, going back to the whole musical excellence thing. It’s about putting attention to detail on the entirety of the service and not leaving things to chance. Yeah, not that the Spirit can’t move and change things. But you don’t want to just like, well, we’ll see how it goes when we get there. Right? That’s not a very odd, like honoring way to plan your service, like, well, we’ll just fly by the seat of our pants and hope that it goes okay. Now God deserves us to think through even the transitions. Yeah, totally. So okay, let’s talk about some practical things that we’ve found helpful in transitioning between songs. So I have several things here on my list. The first one here is relative keys. And what I mean by that is that songs in a certain key have work well, with songs from the next key, like if a song is in G, you could a relative key for the next song would be C or D. Yeah. Which is the four chord or the five chord. Yep. Right. And each key has its own set of relative keys. So yeah, I know some people, some churches don’t pay any attention to this. The relative key thing do you guys Yeah, we do. Okay, so here’s, here’s how this would work. When I’m planning my set, I usually will do like two songs in the same key because that’s just like, really easy. Or I’ll go, you know, two songs in the same key. And then the third one will be a relative key. So if I’m in G, the next song would be D. Yeah. Or, or like I said, C. So what you can do is basically, you end your song on the four chord or the five chord, and that ending will be the root chord of your next song. Yeah. So like, let me just kind of play this out all the way. So if you’re in the key of A playing everlasting God, you could you could end and land instead of landing on a the one chord, you could land on the four chord, which would be the D, and you kind of wring that out. And then right there, you’re set up to go into the next song, which is in the key of D, which is Christ alone. you land on D and you start the next song on D Yeah, or like, if you’re playing we
Brenton Collyer 09:48 actually did that on Sunday. that exact thing went from Yeah, except we went from a song let’s see strong God in the key of G okay. landed on The the five chord, okay, and then went into in Christ alone and D and C, it was awesome. See
Alex Enfiedjian 10:05 people, you should just copy Brent and he knows what he’s doing. Okay, that was like really geeky and technical, and maybe some of you out there listening and you’re like, what the heck is he talking about? He’s totally lost me This podcast is a waste of time here just for you, I will put a cheat sheet in the show notes. And it’ll just be called a relative keys chart. So that you can look at that and say, Okay, if I’m playing a song in the key of a relative key would be D or E. So I’ll put that in the show notes so that it’s not I know, trying to describe it is really complicated. But the gist of it is, if you land on a four chord or a five chord, you can go into the next song, with that chord being your root note. Okay. Wow, I think I just lost everybody,
Brenton Collyer 10:54 by the way. And if you if you do get lost, and you’re thinking, music theory, what is that? I don’t need that your worship team member or worship leader. Don’t think that it’s good. It’s your friend, maybe this can encourage you to spend some time and study this stuff a little bit. It’s, it’s kind of help.
Alex Enfiedjian 11:12 Yeah. And I, I actually am not trained in music theory. But I over the years, I’ve learned enough to know these things. Yeah. So at the very least, learn what the one chord is, what the four what the five what the six is, basically you’ll use those four chords and like every single worship song. Yeah. So okay. Hmm. That was complicated. Here’s a way easier one. The same key? Yeah. Okay. Have you ever played? I don’t know if you’ve done this. I have. Have you ever played a whole service in the same key?
Brenton Collyer 11:42 I know. I’ve played a like little like three song, like devotion for like a devotion time or something. I’ll do that all the time.
Alex Enfiedjian 11:53 Right. Same key, same key that makes transitions super easy. Yeah. Because you can really just flow together everyone is like, kind of with you there. There’s no like change in atmosphere. They kind of just feel like, okay, he ended the song. And he’s starting the next song. And it just kind of flow it just automatically an easy transition. Yeah, in fact, I, uh, two weeks ago, I think played a four song set. And I just, it was me and the acoustic guitar only. And I just played all of them in F sharp, I don’t know why F sharp is good. For my voice, but F sharp. Yeah. And I just flowed from one to the next. And the congregation really got into it. Because you can, you can just kind of leave some space there and then go straight into the next song. There’s no like, awkward change. The only thing I would caution about this is that if if the set is too long, like you said three songs or four, maybe that’s enough. Yeah, if it’s too long, it’ll feel like the set has no movement. It’s not going anywhere. It’ll Yeah, and if the songs are arranged, to similarly, the it’ll feel like one long song because it’s all the same. Like it’s like the piano and the guitar and the kick drum are always doing the same thing for each song. It’ll feel like one long song. So I would say that if you’re doing all your songs in the same key, be careful of your arrangements to make sure that they are, you know, different enough to mix it up. Yeah. To where it doesn’t feel monotonous.
Brenton Collyer 13:30 Yeah. So can I interject a couple thoughts on that you can. So I think that this idea comes back to the relative keys. I’m not going to get into all the theory of it again. But I remember having a worship leader asked me years ago, he said, Man, I feel like every song, I land it resolved to the one chord so if you’re playing in the key of G landed on the G chord dananananana nice and big. And he’s like every single song i’d land that way and it always kind of has this finality to it and how do I mix that up and I think this relative key I’m glad you put that in there. That’s one of the best ways to mix that up because I love even on a big upbeat song, you know landing on the four chord you know it the songs over but it kind of it’s hanging there at suspended it kind of gives us impression like, okay, we’re going somewhere from here, we’re doing something from here. And so coming into another song, you know, that begins on that court is a great way to keep the ball rolling. While at the same time. You know, kind of finishing one song go to the next slide is love that I would really encourage people to try that. And I want to ask you a question. Have you kind of on the other side of this coin? Have you ever intentionally done a song and gone from one song into a song with a totally different key on purpose for any reason?
Alex Enfiedjian 14:51 I maybe have done it once. I tend to avoid it. I’m yeah, I know some people who like have no problem. problem, you know, going from like, an F to a G or Yeah, you know, F to an A and just like whatever. Like they don’t even think about Yeah, what key one song is to the next song. But I, I tend to like the floatiness. So okay, well get get to the heart of your question.
Brenton Collyer 15:19 Okay, well, I was really just curious, I kind of liked to do that, you know, hopefully it doesn’t throw you off. But it’s, it’s pretty brutal. If you’re going into a song that’s only like at, like, I don’t know, if it’s like a half step above or below the key or even a whole step. But if it’s like from the key of G to be, sometimes I’ll do that on purpose. And where I’ll do that usually is when I’m going from like upbeat praise songs. And I, and I want, I’m still want to flow. But I want to intentionally shift gears, and I want to kind of communicate, okay, we’re going, it’s a new play. Yeah, we’re kind of going, we’re bringing this into more of a worship full time. And some are found, and you still have to really work on that transition, because it can just be awful. But I found that sometimes it’s nice landing a song just letting it fade, and then having maybe the keys or something, begin the next song in kind of a totally different key. It can be still be smooth, but it’s just it’s not jarring. But it’s almost like jarring in a good way. It’s
Alex Enfiedjian 16:18 a smooth, like rake from where we were into a new season. Yeah. Singing, right. Yeah, no, I totally agree. And I now that I’m thinking about it, I think that if done well, that’s the key, everybody if it’s done well, and well planned, it can it can actually help accomplish the purpose that you want it to accomplish. And that’s that’s the key. you’re wanting it to kind of feel like, we’re done with that. And we’re moving somewhere new. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a really good point. So thank you for the CounterPoint. Alright, well, just a thought. Hopefully. That’s a good that’s not too many ideas. Okay, so transitioning between songs, relative keys, same key, sometimes way off key. If that’s what you’re wanting, you can delete that later, then I like it. I like it. And then the the other transitional point, I think that is good to think about is thematic links between songs. So if you go, you know, crown Him Lord of all, and then that’s an old hymn and then right when you end that, you go Lord of all the earth way, shout your name, shout in name, you know, that’s a thematic link, we crown Him Lord of all, and then you tag it into or you go straight into Lord of all the earth. That’s a smooth transition. And it’s not musically tied, although it can be. But it’s thematically tied. Yeah. And sometimes you don’t even have to do the whole song. Like when I was doing that set in the key of F sharp I actually did that I did crown and Lord of all, and then Lord of all the show you name and we just do that chorus twice. It was just a tag. Yeah. But it was thematically tied. And it kind of makes the whole worship set feel more extended than it actually is. It’s like sneaking in a whole extra song. And extra thought without having to play the entire song. Yeah. So that’s a good transition, I think to like it. Okay. Do you have any thoughts on that? Other than that you like it?
Brenton Collyer 18:17 Yeah, well, I love that like mini song thing. If you guys are like me, you probably get a little bit of a formula and your setlist planning and, and, and hopefully you don’t get stuck in a rut. But, you know, say you do four songs every week. It’s four songs, and you don’t have time to do five, but you want to do something a little different. interjecting kind of doubt, just like a chorus of a song can really helped your set, like you said, expand it. And for me, that really helps this set feel like it’s not just like going from song to song to song thrown in those little choruses or tags, especially if you can time and thematically help it feel like this is just a time of worship. We’re spending time singing to the Lord. A little bit more fluid. So totally. I’m into that.
Alex Enfiedjian 19:03 Yeah. And like think about like How great Thou art How great they are. And then how great is our God, like just tag that at the end? Yeah. And I like to tag the old with the new okay, because it it can bring in like brings in both generations of people. Yeah, that’s a great, not that you have to but yeah, thematically linking your songs is another way to transition between songs. Okay, so the next one, this is kind of just a practical musical tip for transitioning between songs. Remember, we want to avoid the whole like got to take my cable off and tap my delay pedal to the right tempo. And so one thing that I found helpful is instead of me with a worship leader, starting every single song is having another instrument starting another side. to you that doesn’t seem revolutionary, you know, because you guys do that all the time. But that was a big break for me where I was like, wait, I don’t have to start this song like The piano can start the song or, or the kick drum and the bass playing eighth notes or quarter notes. Like for me, I can start the song I can get my, you know that that kills the silence the awkward dead space, I can get my cable set, and, you know, tap in my delay or whatever I need to do flip my chord chart or whatever. You can do all those things while someone else starts the song. Yeah, they’re the intros rolling. That’s great. So that is kind of has been a big, revolutionary thing for me. Because I don’t have to make everything happen on my own. I’ve got a whole team. So utilize your team and have other instruments start your song.
Brenton Collyer 20:43 Yeah. A little quick tip on that. If you are going from a song that’s in one key to a song that’s in a totally different key, having the drum start without any music is great.
Alex Enfiedjian 20:56 That is a great to ever do that. No, because I never go from one key to that, oh, yeah,
Brenton Collyer 21:01 you’re you’re you’ve got locked it. So you know, this has happened some times where I’ve got, you know, these two songs that work in these, you know, they’re in the best key for the vocalist. They don’t really transition well musically, but I don’t want to move them. I’ll just say, hey, we’ll learn this song. And as we go into it, instead of the whole band beginning, just have the drums do two bars of the intro groove. And, and at that point, the music’s out, everyone’s kind of gotten it out of their head, like kind of the tonal center of where they were. And then you can begin that song and it doesn’t feel out of place. So that’s a, that’s a maybe a little tip.
Alex Enfiedjian 21:37 This is why I like having Brenton on the class. That’s genius. Okay, a couple other helpful tips for transitioning between your songs. I don’t know, you know, a lot of churches have any ear monitors, a lot of churches don’t. But if you do have any ear monitors, one thing that I’ve started using for my band is their like vocal cue. MIDI, like, basically, it’s like 1234, like a robot guy that counts the band in in your ears. And you can actually get this pack of vocal cues for free from I want to say it’s the loop community. So loop, just Google loop community, and you can find their vocal cue pack for free. And so we insert these into Ableton Live. And so I just at the beginning of each song, the guy counts as in. I don’t always use it. But if there’s a song that has like a specific piano riff that we all want to come in at the same time. Yeah, the guy counting in your ear is like such a great way to get everybody in. I don’t have to turn around and look at the band or Okay, ready guys want. It’s just the vocal, you know, we have obviously, we’re on a click track, but then the vocal cue, he counts in so that we all start playing the riff together. Yeah, that’s really cool. I know you. You just do after click, you save for four clicks, and then we’re all in. Yeah, but what happens if one of the guys doesn’t hear the first clean? That’s a rescue run? It has happened before. Yeah, so the vocal cue pack, I’ll try to link that in the show notes as well. Live community comm check it out and get that it’s free. So that’s really helpful, especially going from one song to the next because you just land on the one chord or the four chord of your song and you, you know, start the next song and he counts you in and everybody starts together. It’s like, completely seamless to the congregation’s perspective. Yeah, but in your ears, you’re like, all together on the same page. Yeah, that’s great. But if you don’t have any ears, which I know a lot of churches don’t have any ears. One way that I found to very quickly find the proper tempo for a song, because the last thing you want to do is to end a song to turn around and count the band in and realize you’ve counted them in way too fast, right? And you’re like, oh, there’s no stopping this train now. Yeah, you know, I’ve done that. Okay, now that I’m used to using a click track, like, I’ve, when I don’t use one, I’ve started songs too slow or too fast. And once you’re going, you’re kind of going yeah, and it just doesn’t feel good for the whole thing. And you’re like, this sucks. Yes. Um, but one thing that I found is when I end a song, and I want to start a new song, and I don’t have a click track, or any errors or anything, I turn around off the mic and I sing a phrase of the song that I’m super familiar with. And right away, I’ll know if I’m start singing it too fast or too slow.
Brenton Collyer 24:37 Does that make sense? So you’ll sing the song you’re about to go into?
Alex Enfiedjian 24:40 Yeah, like I’ll sing a phrase from the song I’m about to go into. And I will know because I’m really familiar with that phrase and how it’s supposed to feel yes sound. I’ll know immediately. Okay, I’m a little too fast or I’m a little too slow. Yeah, so if you’ve entered a song and you want to start a new song, the fastest way to find the tempo is to Off the mic, turn around and sing like just a real short phrase that you know how it feels, then you’ll know you’re in the right tempo range, and then you count the band band and stuff. Like, that’s a little trick if you don’t have any ears, or Ableton Live, so yeah. Okay. Um, the last tip on transitioning between songs is you don’t have to always go directly from one song to the next. In other words, use other elements like worship is more than music. So yeah, things like scripture reading, like put that in between the song, you end a song and have someone literally just open the Bible and read the Word of God or put the scripture on the screen and do a corporate reading. Yeah, or have like the recitation of a creed, or the Lord’s Prayer, or just a time of prayer, or even a video. So you, when you end a song, you don’t have to go into another song right away, you can put something in between those things. Do any thoughts on on that?
Brenton Collyer 26:06 Yeah, you know that, that just takes a little extra thought, a little bit of extra planning. But that’s more often than not going to be something that’s really going to enhance your worship time. And I love that it’s important for people even just to know and understand this time of worship, it’s more than this handful of songs, it’s a time to encounter God, hear from him, be led by His Spirit. So praying together, I love to read a specific passage of scripture that helps kind of set up the next song, we’re about to sing and give a little bit more depth to it, perhaps a little bit more meaning to it, that’s a great way to help a song, kind of give it some life and some some new energy, you know, so don’t be afraid to try different things. And, and, and at the same time, don’t don’t get stuck in your habits. But stretch yourself, think about, you know, what can I do during this time? That’s really going to be special?
Alex Enfiedjian 27:02 Yeah, I do the kind of the opposite of you where you read a scripture that leads into the next song, I’ll usually come out of a song and read a scripture that reflects back on that song that we just saying, yeah. And what you can do there is you can even finish the song, read the Scripture, let them reflect on it for a second and then even go back to that chorus one more time. Yeah. And if you’re doing it really well, and your songs are thematically tied together, then if you put a scripture between those two songs that is talking about the blood of Jesus, hopefully the song before it was about the blood of Jesus and the song after it’s about the blood of Jesus. And you’re really I mean, that’s a really good transition. Yeah, you know, so that’s like, that’s an A plus A solution right there. So. And for us, I don’t always plan my transitions before the Thursday, like, I try to plan on my transitions before my Thursday rehearsal. But sometimes, I get to rehearsal and we go through rehearsal, and I find a spot in the set that just feels clunky. Yeah. And I’m like, okay, in my head, it felt right. But now that we’ve done it, like it needs something in between there. Yeah. So after Thursday rehearsal, I’ll go home, and I’ll find a scripture. And I’ll send it to our media people and say, Can you put this into the, onto the slides between these two songs, or I’ll be like, man, we ended this song, and it feels like we really need a time of rest and prayer and reflection. Yeah. And you know, one of the things that can be a transition that kind of seems counterintuitive is actually telling the church after you end a song. Let’s just take a time to reflect. Yeah. Even though we said avoid awkward silences. That wasn’t an awkward silence, because it was intentional. Right? And you lead them, right. And if you have like a pad sound going, it’s not technically silent. Yeah. So by the way, pads are like gold for transitions. Yeah. Like, if you have a piano, electric piano that has a pad sound, it’s going to make all your transition smoother, right. And what we use is in Ableton Live, we trigger in the root key of the song, we have these things called worship pad loops. I think we’ve talked about these before, I think so. But worship pad loops are something you can buy if you just Google that you’ll find it I think shaylen Palmer, sorry, if I got your name wrong. He makes them so put those in the background. And that’ll like help the to get rid of any awkward silence because it’s just this kind of nice ethereal pad. Yeah. But yeah, don’t be afraid to put other elements into your service between your songs. That is the last practical tip and I think More than anything else, what we’re saying is be intentional with your transitions. Don’t leave them to chance and practice your transitions. Yeah, practice, practice, practice your transitions, you practice everything else, you should practice your transitions to.
Brenton Collyer 30:15 Yeah, totally. couple couple of ways you can do that perhaps are some of the kind of gotten in the practice of doing is earlier in the week after I’ve chosen my setlist. I’ve got a couple guys here at the church who are worship leaders. And so we’ll get together and I’ll say, hey, here are the songs I’m thinking about singing. And we’ll just get a guitar, go down to the keyboard, and get a get a metronome of some kind, and just kind of play through the transitions together. And I try to really encourage honest feedback and say, how does this feel, and there have been a number of times where we’ll, we’ll kind of play through it and realize, you know, actually, now that I’m playing this, I feel like it’s gonna end up feeling weird going from this song, or that song or this key to that key or this tempo to that tempo. So catching some of those things early, can really, you know, save you some time and effort down the road. And then, one of the easiest ways to do this during a rehearsal, is, you work on your first song, you’re done, okay, great. You get started to work on your second song, instead of just starting it from the beginning, start from the last chorus or the outro of your first song, play through that transition into your second song and do that each time song into song, instead of practicing his songs is isolated things. Practice the outro into your next song. And that’s going to get you pretty far right off the bat.
Alex Enfiedjian 31:40 Yeah, that’s really good. Talking about practicing with the band and your transitions like we what we’ve done is we practice each song isolated. And then we play through the entire set as if it was the service with no breaks, like we’re doing this where we record it. And so but you’re saying before that actually work on the transitional point. In the in the rehearsal,
Brenton Collyer 32:04 yeah. And I love that you run the whole set set, that’s something that we do too, and free for all of you listening, if that’s not something that you do, if you if you have time for it, do it. Because that’s really going to give everyone a sense of how the whole set feels. But yeah, doing that. It’s just kind of one extra step if you if you have time, might be helpful.
Alex Enfiedjian 32:24 Yeah. And then the other thing you said, which is like actually play through your songs, because sometimes people just get on Planning Center or whatever software they use to plan their sets. And they just pick songs and put them in and send them to the team. Yeah, now, like, we should play through them with our guitars, and this kind of needs a breath, like, I need a breath after this song or the rest or, or this song, you know, like, if you play through it, you will hear where it is clunky. Yeah, you know, if you don’t play through it, you won’t know
Brenton Collyer 32:51 Yeah, I kind of caught out with something I forget the songs a few weeks ago, but I was there were these two songs that I thought would have a good thematic tie in. And, but what I am in the practice of doing is I’ll actually pull up the charts and like, look at the song side by side and read through the lyrics. Even if I have a memorize, I’ll still read through. And I realized they’re pretty much like the exact same words, it’s it’s too much of a tie in, you know, it’s basically the same song over again. And if I hadn’t really spent that time thinking about it, I would have done it. And then we would have gotten around to Sunday, or at least to Thursday night at rehearsal, I would realize, oh, man, this isn’t, this is kind of redundant. This doesn’t feel good. So
Alex Enfiedjian 33:33 that’s really good. So practice your transitions. Everybody, don’t leave them to chance. Okay, so that’s the transitioning between songs part, again, some ideas, relative keys, same key thematic links, other instruments start the song in your accountants, and other elements. Okay, so that’s the transitioning between songs. Now, let’s talk about transitioning between worship leaders, because I know you have several people on your stage, who will lead during a given set, it’s not just you leading the whole set, right? You have Yoli, then like Riley will lead and then someone else will lead a song, and there’s multiple leaders. So what are some ways that we can transition between worship leaders? I have a few thoughts. Okay, I’ll do this one. So here’s what I do when I have, like, I’ll typically lead several songs in a row. And then what I do when someone else is going to lead, I will physically step back from my microphone, and I will turn to that person. And I’ll even give them sort of like a head nod. So that not so that the person knows that they’re leading so that the congregation knows Yeah, they’re leading. Yeah. And something I actually did last week was I was playing with someone, and I said, I we finished a song. And I said, Let’s proclaim these truths. With Tanya as she leads this song, like I actually verbally said like Tonya is leading this song. Yes. Sing it with her. Yeah. You basically you just don’t want to lose the congregation in a transition of power, right? Like, I’m in charge I’m singing. But now someone else’s singing you don’t want that voice to all of a sudden come out of the PA Yeah. And like they’re looking at you. And they’re like, well, it’s not Alex. Yeah. Why does he sound like a girl who’s singing? Especially if you have a lot of people on stage like, yeah, who’s up there? Who’s singing? Who am I supposed to be watching? Who’s leading? Yeah, you don’t want to lose the congregation. So physically stepping back from the mic, and like giving the platform to the person who’s Lena, that’s great is a good way. But you just want to keep the congregation with you through the transitions. Yeah. So the last thing we’ll talk about then is transitioning between segments of a service. So I’ve been part of a lot of services where like, the transition between the pastor and the worship leader has not been planned out well, right. Or if it’s a guest speaker or something, and like, you’ll finish a song, and you’re like, done, and they’re supposed to be coming up on stage, but they have no idea. They’re just sitting down in the Pew with their eyes closed, and they’re like worshiping or whatever they’re thinking. And you’re like, dude, you need to get up here. Like, yeah, there’s like, an everyone on stage is like waiting for what’s next. Yeah. Okay, so that’s not you don’t want that to happen. Right? Yeah. So the only thing that I would say about this is when you’re transitioning between the worship service and the preaching, or the worship service and the communion, or the worship service, and whatever it’s called, BAFTA offering, right. Make sure that you talk about the transitions with everybody involved in the service. Yeah. So that they know, okay, this is the song that I come up after. They’re gonna sing the chorus twice, probably. I mean, there’s always room for the Holy Spirit to let us sing it again. But like, we’re gonna plan on doing it twice. I’ll give you the head nod, like, so. Keep your eyes on me. Yeah, it’s basically as simple as talking about it. Yeah. Not leaving it to chance. Yeah. Don’t leave it up to chance. Yeah. My executive Pastor Jerry says is there’s nothing worse than a leaderless platform. And that’s, that’s what happens in those moments where it’s like, you’re finishing a song, your pastor supposed to come up, but he’s, like, lost in worship, or he’s greeting someone. You know what I mean? You don’t want to leaderless platform, because then the whole congregation is just like, what are we supposed to do? Right? Yeah. Should I be standing? Should I be sitting? Should I be waiting? Yeah. So avoid that awkward, awkward moment of the congregation wondering, like, what comes next? Yeah, that’s great. All right. That’s all I got. Nice. Do you got anything? Lead us lead us?
Brenton Collyer 37:37 Yeah, I mean, I just, I just think for, for all those listening, that may think, Wow, that’s a lot to think about. That’s, uh, that’s, you know, that’s more than I’ve really considered, don’t be overwhelmed. Just maybe take one of these tips, something that stood out to you and try to incorporate it this week, you know, and just start there, you can make a list of all of these different ideas and kind of keep them in your back pocket. And, but the more you can incorporate these kinds of things, the better. And, you know, I’m glad we are having this discussion, Alex and I just loved hearing how you guys do things at Cypress. Just because I really had it on my heart a couple of months ago, I’ve always considered these different things as that lead, but I thought, you know, I really want to give even more attention to our transitions during a worship service. I just felt like that was his time to do that. And one of the things I was nervous about was, man is this going to get so you know, planned out and so scripted and so rehearsed, that it’s just gonna feel real, mechanical, and stiff. And, you know, I know a lot of people like to try to avoid having a real produced and polished kind of service, you know, that can feel inauthentic sometimes. And so I was kind of aware of that. And maybe as you’re listening, you’re thinking the same thing. And I just want to say, you know, as it were, as we’ve been spending more time this on this, it’s been incredible. I feel like the more we really our team really practices, these transitions and get super comfortable with them and really strong in them. I feel like our worship services have just gotten better and better. They’ve been more dynamic and engaging, and the team feels more comfortable and confident so they’re able to lead better. There have been plenty of times where we’ve gone off script and done something a little different, but it’s no big deal. Everyone feels really comfortable with it, because they know what’s coming next. They’re confident with what’s coming next. So just don’t be afraid that you’re going to you know, script the Holy Spirit right out of your worship service. That’s not the point at all. What you’re doing is you’re being diligent with your task. And if anything you’re just getting so comfortable with with what you’re doing that you have more attentiveness and awareness of how the Lord might lead you into something. So just be encouraged by that and really go for it.
Alex Enfiedjian 39:52 Go for it. All right. That’s it. Take care transition seriously, they matter. All right. Well that’s it for this episode. I hope it was very helpful and very practical and that you can start using these tips right away. If you think this episode might be helpful to someone else, please send it on. And as usual, have an awesome Sunday. God bless you and may He anoint you and use you and work through you in spite of you. God bless
If I am playing a song in the key of G and my next song is in D,how do I end the first song on D when it seems like I should resolve on G?
I heard Brenton talk about it in terms of suspending the song, but unsure if it will sound right.
Hi Deb! Great question! In this case, the D would be the 5 chord. Typically songs don’t resolve well on the 5 chord, usually the 4 (suspended) sounds better, which would be the C. In some cases, like “Your Love Never Fails”, I end it on the 5 chord, by singing “Your love never (C)Fails, (Em) ////| (D) (Ring out the D). That gets me to the 5 chord, and it doesn’t sound weird. Another option is to resolve to the G, and then kinda let the G sound linger, and slowly walk up to the C, and then slide up to the D. Does that make sense? Sometimes I’ll end a song on the 4 chord (the C), and then lightly finger pick, alternating between the C and the D (4 and 5 chords) before finally settling on the D, and going into the next song. Please let me know if that helps, or if you have any questions about it! -alex