Since the start of the COVID-19 virus lockdown a little over a month ago, our local church has been recording video sermons and posting them online Sunday morning, along with some announcements and an occasional testimony or scripture reading. That has all been just fine, but for worship music a YouTube playlist has been provided. The list of 3-4 songs is picked by our usual worship team leaders so they are ones everyone knows. Unfortunately, they’ve been nigh impossible to sing along with.
These are usually the official recordings or live performances of contemporary groups like Hillsong or Bethel or Chris Tomlin. They sound great. They look cool. And they are nearly impossible to sing along with, let alone “worship” along with, whatever that means. They are highly produced and usually include no lyrics. When they do include lyrics, it’s usually accompanied by busy moving sappy stock nature video, making it hard to read and visually distracting. This stuff is just fine for what it is, but it’s not for congregational singing. It’s been driving me nuts so after the first week we didn’t even try to use the provided playlist but rather sang the same songs or similar in the house with our own piano, guitar, or whatever else was around.
This week was my turn to pick songs for the Sunday worship playlist so I decided that instead of complaining, I’d try to remedy the situation by recording some really vanilla straight-ahead versions of tunes and then putting really simple slides over them. The idea was to make them easy to sing along with in your living room. I think they turned out alright.
I sang and played guitar, my wife sang and played piano, and my oldest daughter played violin and whistle. They were recorded in one take, on one track, with a stereo mic. Assuming they are well received, we’ll hopefully do some more next time!