I’m an awkward Worship Leader.
Thankfully I was shown this years ago and have since then put “checks and balances” in place to keep my awkwardness to a bare minimum. Surprisingly…it has worked out pretty nicely over the years. Despite how much I prepare for worship, my strange quirks and awkward mannerisms can show their ugly face if worship has this one thing in it: DEAD SPACE.
Dead space is the worst if it’s not an intentional moment of silence. It can quickly cause your upbeat worship set to lose its energy or have a reverent spirit become blazingly uncomfortable. My disdain for dead space is why I’m so meticulous about how I plan worship. Whether it’s having my keys transition us on pads immediately or having a video played when the song ends, I avoid dead space at all costs necessary.
Recently I had to do something that I hadn’t done in forever. I had to lead worship with just me and Jenny (my guitar) to a full congregation. I had no percussion, no bass, no keys….NOTHING. Though my early days as a worship leader consisted of just me and my guitar…it was always in a small house setting. It’s easy to avoid dead space when you’re with 30 close friends. It’s a challenge when you’re all alone on a lit stage with a large congregation watching your every move.
The Saturday before my lone ranger worship set I just so happened to come across an iPhone app called AutoPad – Ambient Pad Loops. Being just a couple bucks I figured I’d buy it to see if it was something I could incorporate. After using it for about a minute I quickly realized that this may be a game changer.
What does a couple dollars get you?
It gives you the ability to play a never-ending loop of any key. See the screenshot below:
So how does this work in real-world Worship? One word: Amazingly.
For that Sunday I used the Dark Uno sound as it had a nice subtle low end with a slightly spacey feel. Though I had my Acoustic cranked to “insane percussive level”, the pads added a fullness that can’t be achieved with an acoustic alone. As I let my acoustic ring out on the last note of a song, I would nonchalantly tap the next key on the app. It helped me transition perfectly to different keys. This gave me the opportunity to change my capo, take a sip of water, or take a brief moment to speak to my church without having to play my acoustic to help avoid the dreaded dead space.
But this app isn’t meant for just a one-man show…it can work amazingly for a full band too. Imagine putting this in the hands of your drummer or even your keyboard player. This will give them the ability to help your worship never have dead space again. You could even be creative with it and have a Bluetooth receiver hooked up to a DI Box and play the sounds wirelessly from the iOS device (which I may do next time).
Sure you can make your own ambient pad loops in different keys on Logic for free and load them on your smart device….but it won’t transition as smoothly and you’ll have to select them from a playlist. Some may say this app is too simple…but that’s the point. It’s not meant to drive your worship, but rather be a subtle background which keeps things seamless.
The Verdict: BUY IT NOW
Prepare For Worship. A resource provided to you by WorshipTrac.