This article is dedicated to all of the worship leaders out there! Raise your hands!
If you have been leading worship for more than a few months, you know that it sometimes has the tendency to get stale and routine, with the same people playing the same songs, with the same instruments. Worship isn’t supposed to be stale! It’s supposed to be vibrant, and engaging, and always trying to worship our Creator in the way we best know how.
He has given us these gifts for a reason, and it’s not to just go through the motions of worshipping Him. It’s to be loud, and new, and always be continuing our growth journey with Him!
But what is a practical way to do this as a worship leader? Well with any stagnation situation, it’s always good to be able to change something up, such as the environment, or situation, or something like that. For worship, this can mean the music, the musicians up there, how and where you are playing from, and the instruments that you use to play.
Some weeks, the full band with drums, bass, keys, guitar and backup singers are great, but other times it’s great to just strip it down to a very low-key, acoustic worship. Here are a couple of unique musical instruments that can help add some variety to your worship set. The only issue now is finding someone in your congregation that can play them!
The first new instrument on our list can be fairly old-school to some people, but after hearing a few worship sets with one in them, it’s amazing what kind of presence it can create. An accordion can be the perfect instrument to add a very big ‘wall’ of sound to any worship. It’s long and droning background chords, and ability to play complex melodies make it a very versatile instrument. It can either blend in well with the backing instruments, or come to the front and play much more of a lead melody role.
Once you know how to use it well, it can become as useful as a guitar!
The next instrument on our list is the classic violin. In years past, this was much more common throughout worship sets, but not as much in the last few years. It’s about time we bring back that nostalgic sound of the violin. It is important however that the violinist knows how to blend into the rest of the band. They grew up playing melodies and the leads through songs, so making sure they don’t ‘take over’ the music is important.
The third instrument on our list is the tenor saxophone. This beautiful, and rich sounding instrument can really add a large depth to your music. It’s very soothing and warm, yet can really stand out with its raspy sounds. It’s not just for sensual jazz any more!
Last but not least, the lap slide guitar is one instrument that is rarely seen in worship music today. When you say slide guitar, most people start thinking of twangy country music, or old people sounds. But with modern slide guitars, especially played with modern stylings, their sound can be very smooth and versatile. A good acoustic slide player can add a whole another dimension to music that most people haven’t really heard too much of before.