How to create smooth transitions in worship

How to create smooth transitions in worship


In this video, I’m going to show you 5 ways
to create smooth transitions in worship. My name is Jake from Churchfront.com; this
is the channel that helps church leaders grow themselves and grow their church. Never miss out on our latest content by hitting
the “subscribe” button and if you find resource helpful for your ministry, hit that
“like” button as well. Achieving a smooth and non-distracting flow
of worship can be tough, especially when it comes to transitions in between songs. As a worship leader, I know how awkward it
feels when there is dead silence or a sloppy intro to a song. Whether we like it or not, our culture expects
experiences like worship gatherings to have a smooth flow to them, and it can be distracting
for people when the emotional atmosphere of worship is disrupted, or the band makes a
rough transition into a song. Here are five techniques I regularly implement
to ensure smooth transitions in worship. The first way to create a smooth transition
is by using a click and backing tracks in worship. It is my absolute favorite way to execute
a smooth transition in worship. There are a couple of reasons why this works
so well. First, there is no need for your drummer to
give an audible count-off to start the song because everyone can hear the click and cues
count-off in their in-ear monitors. Second, using software like Ableton Live gives
you the ability to crossfade songs. Let me show you how I set this up in Ableton
Live. In this worship set, we played the songs Lion
and the Lamb and Christ is Enough back-to-back. We happened to play these songs in the same
key, which made the transition incredibly seamless and easy to crossfade. When we hit the final downbeat of Lion and
the Lamb, the click and cues immediately counted off Christ is Enough and the lead guitarist
knew exactly where his lead line came in for the introduction. This demonstration is one example of the many
ways I use Ableton Live to create a perfect transition between worship songs. The next way to create a smooth transition
between songs is to utilize a filler instrument like a pad, piano, or guitar swells in between
songs. Ask whoever is playing one of these instruments
to play softly. It’s easiest to do this on a pad. Rather than leaving silent space in between
songs, the pad player can be the last one to fade out from a song and then slowly fade
in the key of the next song. If the songs are in the same key or related
keys, this instrumentalist can keep playing and transition to the root chord of the next
song. From there the drummer or click track and
count the band off. If you do not have a keyboardist to play these
ambient pad sounds, I would recommend trying out pre-recorded pads like the ones you can
find at worshiptutorials.com. They can show you everything you need to know
about using their pads and how to play them from any device including your smart phone. Another consideration for creating smooth
transitions is song key selection. If two songs are in the same key and you place
them back-to-back, that will automatically lend itself to a smooth transition. Songs in related keys also transition well. Keys are related when they share common tones
and chords. Sometimes a song can be a relative minor of
another song, which means they have the same key signature. For example, although the song Oceans is in
B minor, it’s relative major key is D. It would flow well into a song like “What a
Beautiful Name.” That is because B minor and D have the same
key signature. Keys can be related even with different key
signatures, so long as those differences are less than one sharp or flat. For example, the key of C is related to the
key of G and F because they differ by only one sharp or flat. Another example is the Key of G, which is
related to the keys of C and D. Here’s an example of this in action. Let’s pretend I’m finishing up the song,
Bless the Lord in the Key of G. I’m going to transition it to What a Beautiful Name
in the Key of D. To do this, I will end Bless the Lord on a G chord, give it some space,
and then transition to D. You’ll notice it does not sound jarring, since the D chord
was a regular in the key of G. Sometimes you can help your vocalists transition keys by
playing the one chord to the four chord a couple times. The fourth way to create a smooth transition
is by preparing something to say, read, or pray during this time. I have another article and video on how to
prepare for the speaking linked below. There is still intentional musical preparation
that needs to happen here. I prefer having the keyboardist play softly
underneath me when I speak during a transition. It helps keep everything in the right mood
as complete silence can be jarring to the atmosphere of worship. Imagine a meaningful part of a movie without
the subtle background music. You do not notice it, but if the music were
not there, it would be awkward. The same applies to the worship experience. Silence may be appropriate sometimes, but
playing soft background music is the best way to maintain the emotional atmosphere in
worship. Finally, the most important step to creating
smooth transitions is by practicing them! Transitions are critical for maintaining the
momentum of the worship experience, and it only takes a minute or two to rehearse them
with your band. I like to practice transitions, especially
tricky ones, three to five times. I want my musicians to be 110% confident they
can nail it. I also practice any speaking, praying, or
readings during rehearsal. Transitions have the most potential for mess
ups so invest the rehearsal time to get them right. What is causing rough transitions in your
worship context and what action steps will you take to address it? Do you have any other “tricks of the trade”
the Churchfront Community can benefit from? Let us know in the comments! I hope you found this video helpful for your
ministry and it gives you a few actionable tips for creating smooth transitions in worship. Share your love and opinions in the comments
below and share this with other worship leaders if you think it can help their ministry as
well. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Churchfront
channel to continue to receive content that will help you grow yourself and grow your
church.

2 thoughts on “How to create smooth transitions in worship

  1. Great video!

    Another transition trick we use in '' Llegar Alto '' Buenos Aires, Argentina, the church where I minister, is finishing a worship song and doing a fade out with PAD. There will be a small silence and the drum will enter by playing a four-bar intro, then the rest of the band will be added. There are songs like "Our Father" from Bethel Music, which show us these types of arrangements.

    Congratulations again, go ahead with the channel!

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