THINGS ON LIVE RECORDS THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN YOU LEAD THEM

YOU WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH GUITARS

That final chorus-into-bridge is a real goosebump factory, ain't it? But it absolutely will not sound that big with your one electric guitar player. Guitar overdubs are awesome, but they are not your friend when you're doing these songs live. And throwing more players up there isn't always the answer, either, unless you got a sound engineer who understands EQ and panning. If not, you just added two more layers of overdrive and that's about it. Always remember that amplified sound and monitored sound are two different things. It may feel weak on the platform, but that doesn't mean it's not strong in the mains. Trust the PA.

THEY WILL NOT APPLAUD LONG ENOUGH FOR YOU TO START THE NEXT SONG

"Man, they transitioned right into the next song and it's not even in a relative key! How'd they do that?" With applause. (Maybe even fake applause, at that...) You have to worry about transitions. It's a part of your job. Because your congregation may not commit to a 15-second applause break after song 3. They might just stare at you. Don't get be discouraged by it - just plan for it.

FOUR CHORUSES TO END MIGHT BE TOO MANY

When you're in the room leading these songs, you have to pay attention. And just because your favorite worship artist vamped on the last line for 14 measures, doesn't mean you have to do that. If you're listening and looking, you'll know if your people are tracking with you. If not, cut it short. Worship leaders are rarely successful at pummeling their people into liking a song.

DONT' BE WEIRD

My old-man-grouchiness is showing, but I don't understand why worship leaders on live albums sound so weird. Are they trying to sound like Bono? It may be cool that the one girl on the record laughed or say "ya ya" or that guy moaned "thank you, Jeeeeeeesuuuuuuus" but that doesn't mean you need to imitate it. Just be the guy or gal who leads your church. Let's face it - if we were good enough to be rock stars, we already would be.

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I love worship albums and think they should be fantastic. They should be memorable and huge and produced within an inch of their lives. I just want us to remember that there's a big difference between the Record and the Room. Your job is to take the Record and make it work for the Room. The Room is where you're planted - love and lead the people in that Room.