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#ThursdayWorshipThoughts 06.28.18

Worship Music Pie


I love pie! I don’t know about you, but I find pie to be super scrumptious. I am personally partial to blackberry pie, but I have a lot of favorites when it comes to pie.

When I think about music, I think about pie-not just because I love both pie and music, but because thinking of a pie helps me to remember a very important musical principle.

There are many ways to slice up a pie, but each “slice” is just as good (and important) as the rest.

If I had a pie, and I wanted to share it with you, I would have to slice it into at least 2 pieces. The nice thing to do would be to slice it into 2 identically sized pieces, but if it is a blackberry pie, my slice may end up being bigger than yours (hehe, hehe). If I had a pie, and I wanted to keep the whole thing for myself, then you wouldn’t get any.

If I had a pie, and I wanted to share it with 7 other people, I would have to slice it into 8 pieces. Again, it would be ideal for the 8 pieces to be identically sized, but that doesn’t always happen. Either way, there is only 1 pie, and the amount of slices depends on how many people will get a piece of the pie.

This is how we should think about music, as well! A good song is like a good pie. Each slice represents a different piece of the song’s instrumentation.

If the instrumentation consists of just me playing the guitar and singing along, then I get the whole pie! I can strum however I want. I can sing my heart out. I get the whole pie!

If, however, we add another person (let’s say a keyboard player), then it changes the way I need to slice up the pie! I can no longer play as if I get the whole thing. I need to play less on the guitar to make room for the keyboard, who is also leaving room for me. There is only one pie, and we need to slice it up so that everyone gets a piece. My piece may be a bit bigger than the keyboard player’s piece, but that just means I can play a little more while they play a little less.

A common mistake that I see so many Worship Teams making is that the musicians and singers are all performing as if they get the whole pie! It doesn’t work that way! That is not music… that is noise.

If you have a 4-piece band, let’s say acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drums, and electric guitar, then each musician should play as if they represent one-fourth of the song. When you add the lead vocals and a background vocalist, each musician’s slice gets a little smaller, still. As you continue to add musicians and vocalists, the slices need to keep getting smaller and smaller. There is only 1 pie!

Admittedly, the lead vocalist and lead instrument may get a little bigger slice than the others, but each part is just as good (and important) as the rest.

Worship Leader, musician, singer, think about your typical Sunday morning scenario… how many people are a part of the instrumentation? How many slices need to be carved out of the Musical Pie? How big should your slice be? Are you trying to do too much, taking for yourself a bigger slice than you ought? Are you doing too little and just taking a tiny slice when you really should be doing more?

If you can think about music as being like a pie and figure out how to divvy out the right sized slices for you and your fellow Worship Team Members, you will be well on your way to making good music! So go ahead and reward yourself-with a nice, succulent slice of blackberry pie! 

For a printable version of this article, click here.

Artwork provided by my good friend, Brooke Gehman, an authentic and wonderful man of God, devoted follower of Christ, and an amazing husband and father. Brooke is a gifted Worship Leader, an incredible artist, and a Potter by trade (check out his website).

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