Music In The Background During Worship


Music along with speaking is powerful!

There is something that changes in the intensity of the words spoken when the music begins.

Maybe for many people, it signals the end of the message and that might be why they begin to listen more closely. For many of us, the attached music begins to stir in us an emotion to go along with the response in our hearts from the sharing of the word.

To clarify what I mean, I’m talking about the music that happens in the background as a pastor is praying, or as people are coming up to pray or during an important part of the message, etc.

I don’t want this post to take away from the impact or make this seem like it’s a formula, but there are some important aspects to adding music as the message closes or during prayer times. Here are a few of my thoughts relating to great ways to help provide meaningful music in the back ground:

The whole band doesn’t have to go up

A very common line for pastors is, “as the band makes their way back up…” But the whole band doesn’t have to do background music. You have options – you can have the pad sound come in only, you could just send up the keyboard player or the acoustic guitar player and everyone can come up a few moments later. In fact, at times, it’s easier for one person to walk up as the message is coming to a close, as oppose to the whole team coming up. This all depends on your set up, location of where the worship team members sit, etc.

Have a copy of the message or outline

If the worship leader can have a copy of the message, it’s much easier to know when to start making your way into your spaces for leading and providing background music as you intro into the song.

Use pad sounds from the sound board

A keyboard pad sound can really work well as background music. You can use the board or you can use pad sounds from the sound board. This pad sound can be downloaded, or you can have it rolling on you stage laptop and just push up the volume at the end. This is one way for background music can be effective without the movement.

Don’t play intentional melody lines from familiar songs

When you’re providing music behind a prayer or message closing, play something that doesn’t have a ton of movement and isn’t a familiar melody. Unless you’re doing a particular song intro, you usually want to help add emotion, but not get people thinking about the lyrics as a person is speaking.

Use the key you’re going into for the next song

If you are adding in some background music during the prayer before the closing song, this may seem obvious, but you want to make sure you’re in a key for the closing song, so you don’t need to re-adjust before the song starts.

Rehearse those times

It’s good to rehearse or at the very least talk through the plan for the noodling, background music times. You want to make sure that you have what you want, and not the whole band trying to tie into the background music.

Learn some new picking patterns and/or new chords

There’s a fine line between a groove and a rut. In background music, you could wind up playing the exact same thing every week. You want to learn a new structure, change keys, add a capo to your guitar, learn some new stuff.

Stay ambient – don’t get rhythmic

Background music, most often, isn’t rhythmic, it’s more ambient. At times, if the prayer or message is really beginning to build, you can get a little more full with more movement. One way to stay ambient is to let it ring / sustain for quite a while before you change a chord.

Hope this helps in your worship ministry leadership. Some of these moments make an incredible impact in the hearts of the listener.

Take a listen to the podcast episode #104