15 Questions (and maybe some answers), Part 9 of 15

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If you missed parts 1-8, you can find them here: http://bravester.com/author/worship_fermata/

Question #9
Are we missing connections with teens because the dumb-down versions we play of the songs in their iPods sound nothing like the originals?

This is an interesting question for me. I’ve been to worship services where the band played note-for-note versions of the latest, greatest worship songs and I’ve been to others where I could barely recognize the song that was being played. I’m not a huge fan of either of these approaches (I prefer somewhere in the middle) but what I’m talking about with this question is something a little different. I’m talking about how we sometimes simplify the “music” to the point that it’s not really even the same song. We’re singing the melody but that’s where the similarity to the original song ends.

I’m thinking of songs like Bethel Music’s You Make Me Brave or David Crowder’s Oh Praise Him. These big arrangement, large band songs are really difficult to sing/play in churches simply because of the number of instruments, the mix and to a degree, the quality of the musicians in the original recordings. But we sing them anyway. In the end the songs barely resemble the originals, the versions teens (and others) hear when they plug into their iPods, phones or YouTube.

Truth be told, I have no issue with this and I sing/play songs like this all the time in worship sets. But I do wonder how teens connect with this. Do they think of this as lame versions of the songs they love? Or do they just dive into worship regardless of how the song is played and sung? I don’t know the answer.

What do you think?


John Amodea has more than 35 years of experience in the music industry. His more recent music experience…

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