SongSelect charts have their uses… but they are far from perfect. The charts for hymns are particularly abominable, often with three or four chords crammed into the same measure. As I mentioned in a previous entry, one of my degrees is in Music Theory. Chances are that any of those chords are either “neighbor” or “passing” chords. When you’ve done music long enough, you’ll be able to tell the difference. You should be able to tell which chords are the most important and which chords you can easily drop.

I’d also say that if you are doing some of the more contemporary gospel with all these hits and chord runs and alterations on the professional recording… Look. Big Name Artist who is touring/recording with this huge entourage has probably had that huge band practice that song 5000 times. You have – what – an hour or less to pull it together? Simplify. Save yourself the trouble. And for heaven’s sake, don’t try to recreate every chord alteration on a 17 minute recording.

The Spirit in the song is what you are after, not a slavishly-reproduced tribute. Simplify it enough to get everyone through it. Once you are comfortable with it, you can always add stuff later.

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