I’m a huge fan of using click tracks in worship. But I’m also a huge fan of keeping things simple, with no messing around between songs, etc.
It can be a daunting thing to think about using clicks, metronomes, loops, etc – What software to use, do we need to use a laptop? What is Ableton live anyway? What happens when Jimmy goes on holiday and takes his Macbook with him? Do we have to buy a church Macbook? Was Steve Jobs even religious?
So, let’s simplify things a little!
Our Worship Click Tracks are literally MP3s which you can run through in ears either for the worship leader, drummer (or preferably for the entire band, including vocalists). Simply plug your phone in, press play, and away you go. Obviously click tracks can be used for other songs which share the same tempo (worship leaders seem to be loving 72bpm at the minute it seems!)
Using a click in worship can be an amazing way to bring the band together, and increase the standard of your bands playing enormously. When you get used to it, it makes it much easier to arrange songs, and stick to arrangements, and takes so much pressure of starting the song at the right tempo, etc (I’m very bad at starting songs too slow!)
If you’re new to using clicks, see below the download section for a few bits of advice to using them in a worship setting.
New to Clicks?
Ok, so here’s a few (hopefully) helpful pointers.
- Using a click is tough. There’s no shame in admitting it, when you first try to play or sing to a metronome, it’s hard. Bear in mind that many people in your band will have never tried it before, let alone mastered it. The first few times it feels restrictive, intrusive, and robotic. But stick with it.
- Practice with it. Before using on a Sunday, practice at least a few times with it. If some band members haven’t got it, be patient. Make sure to encourage them to practice with a click when they get home. (If we’re being honest, the likelihood is your musicians won’t like not being able to do it, which gives a good incentive to practice at home!)
- Try and make it that everyone has the click in their ears. It makes it much easier. You will have backing vocalists or bass players that will tell you confidently that they don’t need it because they can hear everyone else. What they don’t realise is how obvious it is to everyone else that they don’t have the click and they’re lagging behind every beat! Make sure everyone can hear it! Obviously this kind of set up needs a bit of extra thought, hence why I include the word ‘try’.
- Have it loud! To start with you might have it slightly uncomfortably loud in your ears. But when that chorus hits, you need to be able to hear it still. Obviously don’t hurt your hears, but louder is better than quieter.
- Link it to a volume pedal that the worship leader can control to turn off instantly. If you lose the beat, no worries, hit the volume pedal and carry on. The congregation won’t have a clue.