Your worship band needs a click track. There are numerous benefits to implementing this tool in your ministry. In this article, you’ll learn all about these benefits as well as my #1 recommended software to start using a click or metronome with your worship band this weekend.
The question of the day: Do you use a click track with your worship band? Let me know in the comments. I love hearing from you guys.
For a long time as a worship leader, I stayed away from using a click or metronome in worship. I was concerned it would be too restrictive and too difficult to implement. But three years ago, I was leading worship full-time at an older church with an older worship team, and I felt like we had hit a ceiling regarding the band’s level of musicianship and excellence. That is when I finally researched what it would take to implement a click and eventually tracks into my worship ministry.
My only regret is I didn't do it sooner. Here are five reasons why I love using a click for my worship band and why I recommend every worship leader implement using one as soon as possible.
1. Cohesive sound
Playing with a click will make sure your band members play together more cohesively. The primary purpose of the click track is to keep everyone at the same time and tempo. One of the biggest challenges worship bands face is making sure everyone plays in sync with one another. Sure a solid drummer will eliminate a lot of timing issues for a band, but many modern worship songs have sections in the music that do not call for a strong drum beat, leaving the rest of the band to guess what the tempo should be. Using a click or metronome eliminates this issue and helps your band sound tight all of the time.
2. Consistent song tempos
Without a click or metronome, it is easy for a band to rush or drag a song. It most commonly happens during dynamic transitions of songs like build ups or breakdowns. Without a click track, musicians get too excited and rush during a build, or they get lazy and slow down during a breakdown. A click will ensure your band always plays any given worship song at the proper tempo.
3. Improved musicianship
There’s a myth that playing with a click or metronome makes you a lesser musician or band. If this is true, why do the majority of professional touring worship bands use a click track? Are they not as talented as your average worship band at a small church? Of course not. They use a click because that’s how professionals achieve a professional sound. Implementing a click track will improve your team’s musicianship because it will help them internalize the proper tempo and play more cohesively. Using a click in your ministry is a huge step forward, not backward.
4. Backing tracks
Backing tracks are becoming increasingly popular for worship bands. You cannot implement them in your ministry without first using a click track. As I already explained, a click track makes sure your band plays the right tempo of a song. Backing tracks come in whatever tempo the song was produced. Playing along with backing tracks would be impossible without also having the click to keep to keep your worship band in time.
5. Production automation
Maybe you dream of someday being able to automate lyrics, video, and lighting in worship. Imagine never having late lyric slides or missed lighting cues. For you to cue up the appropriate cues at the right time, your band must play at the right tempo. By now you know the only way to do that is to use a click track.
Those are my five reasons for why every worship band should use a click track. Now I want to share with you my favorite software for using a click track in worship, Ableton Live.
Ableton Live can run a click track, backing tracks, and even automate lyrics and lighting in worship.
Download my Lead Worship with Ableton Toolkit. In it, I include all of the gear and software you need to use Ableton Live for worship.
I also made a video on how to start using Ableton Live to run a click track and ambient pads in worship. If you are new to using a click and Ableton Live, this is the quickest way to get started with the software in only a few minutes. Ableton Live does cost $99 for the intro version, but you can try it out for free with a 30-day trial which you can download at ableton.com.
If you are going to implement a click in worship, I highly recommend learning Ableton Live because it will set you up for more advanced features like running tracks and production automation. Download my Lead Worship with Ableton Toolkit to get started.
Let me know in the comments if you use a click track for your worship band. Also, include your reasons for using one or not using one.