Some hymns have such a wide-ranged melody – too high or too low for an average worship leader to sing the entire thing by him or herself. Here’s an idea of how to trim tunes that are giving you a problem.
One of my core tenants of HymnCharts is don’t change the melody! So many arrangers desperately try to jazz up old hymns by adding crazy syncopation to the melody (I just add crazy syncopation to the accompaniment 🙂 ) This defeats the whole purpose of the arrangement: to give congregations a fresh new way to sing their favorite hymns they know and love.
However, once in awhile I’ll tweak melodies a bit to make them easier, depending on the situation. For instance, I just recorded Graydon Tomlinson, a talented worship leader at Newspring Church, singing my new arrangement of the Palm Sunday hymn All Glory, Laud and Honor. Graydon is your typical male tenor worship leader – and the wide-ranged melody of All Glory ends too low. If you raise the key, then the song will go too high for congregations – it works best in A, Bb and even B (but I think Bb is the best.) Graydon could hit the final low Bb, but the arrangement is upbeat and we felt that ending note of each verse needed some power.
So we compromised – he jumped up an octave at the end. Most churches will have a praise team or choir singing with the male tenor worship leader, and the congregation will be able to follow them as they sing the original melody. The male worship leader will sound like he’s simply improvising.
Graydon sang the smaller notes.
Chord charts, sheet music, tracks, loops and orchestration are available for All Glory Laud and Honor with a HymnCharts subscription.