New Arrangement: Come Ye Sinners

Come Ye Sinners
LISTEN: Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy
Do you have a Good Friday service? Come Ye Sinners would make a great opening song.

I’m really excited about this arrangement! I love to turn a really old, dirge-like melody into something contemporary.

With my more complex chord structure and the pentatonic melody, I’ve created just a 2 part vocal version for this arrangement. A thicker vocal treatment of 3 parts or SATB just didn’t seem to work. The 2 parts will work for a male worship leader with female background vocalist, a praise team or choir.

The melody is extremely wide. If F minor is a little too high for you I’d suggest dropping it only a half step to E minor, otherwise it will go too low.

Come Ye Sinners is the first recording I’ve done in quite a while that doesn’t have any synth sounds or programmed loops. I’m starting to feel a trend in contemporary church music towards less synth and more acoustic and simplicity. Maybe there’s a backlash against Hillsong United’s latest, very-synthy and programmed material (which I don’t think an average church can pull off.) I also know of a huge megachurch that has completely stopped using all multitracks/stems/computer effects and will only play live. What do you think? I’m still a synth fanatic so I don’t think I’ll go cold turkey 🙂 Leave your comments below!

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5 Comments. Leave new

  • I prefer to do things live – and not use all the other little things. We have various available instruments from brass, to woodwinds, strings – and I use keys and piano sometimes – but more and more I use 3 guitars and a bass and drums… and the keys are just filler. LESS is better – IMHO

  • The synth sounds and programmed loops are fun for certain contexts, but as an overall approach they can take away from the worship as much as they add, at least when done in excess. I have also found that they can add a certain fakeness to the whole experience if you aren’t careful. From what I have seen loops and synths tend to get overused once a team or leader figures out how to use them. In our context, we do a guitar driven Sunday, an Acoustic Sunday, a mixed instrument Sunday and a Sunday focused on synth sounds. That gives a lot of variety and then we aren’t constantly having to program something every week and we can work around our volunteers who have time to invest once or twice a month. Also, we tend to use modern sounds (synths, ring mods, envelopes, etc.) with our oldest songs; the juxtaposition can work really well.

    • So true – I know of one worship leader who went berserk over tracks. Every song had a track and a heavy, loud drum loop. It got so out of control the pastor put a stop to it and banned all tracks. Tracks and loops should be a spice tastefully added to the main meal of your music. However, I don’t mind if a small church uses tracks when they’re short on musicians. Tracks really helped me beef up my sound when I was at a small church – often it would be just me on the keyboard with some tracks to fill out the sound until more musicians started attending.

      • This might open up a whole can of worms, but I was really displeased when I went to Life Church in Oklahoma City about 5 years ago and saw how they performed their worship set. They did 4 songs for the entire service and it was all done to a click track that was fed in to their in-ear monitors from Ableton Live on a laptop. They “played” the entire set which included strings parts, drum parts, background vocals, and lead guitar parts with the occasional synth part through seamlessly to its conclusion, which was the site Pastor’s prayer. When it was all said and done I would say that the 6 musicians played about 35% of the music that I heard. As a guitarist I felt cheated and simultaneous laughter when I saw the “lead guitarist” air guitar a solo that had clearly been recorded previously and was being piped into the mains. In a world seeking authenticity from the church, that experience left me feeling confused and somewhat angry that people will settle for church in a box. But, maybe their philosophy of ministry is just different than mine, but I couldn’t help thinking that there was a lack of integrity in that presentation…almost as if I was lied to.

        • Yep. Sadly, Lifechurch feels it must have their praise sets timed to the exact second since all the campuses have the live video preaching piped in. You can’t have room for an extra chorus if the Spirit moves because the sermon starts at an exact time – and in these types of churches, the sermon is the be all and end all – the music is just a warm up. One famous megachurch music director complained to me that for awhile the praise team was only leading one song a week – the famous pastor’s bloated sermons over the past month were eating into the worship music time.


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