Hey everyone!

I'm struggling to figure out what to do instead of printing out the same chord charts over and over, week by week. All I can think of is individual team member binders and/or a filing cabinet that we put our music into.  Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions?  I'm feeling extremely wasteful and there's no uniformity to the looks of the chord charts or "better" keys to play certain songs congregation-ally...

Thanks!
-Todd

Views: 373

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I'm playing at a gathering of churches within our church group this Sunday, and the worship leader included this message with the list of songs (all attached to the email in pdf format):

Also, please note that I won't be printing several copies of the music (I don't have a working printer!) . So, if you can't add music electronically to tablets it might be worth bringing your own copies. (We can also photocopy at OCC if necessary.)

Of course this won't work for those who don't have a tablet and also require everything to be provided for them, but hopefully people can be encouraged to sort stuff for themselves. Personally I tend to print new songs out in advance, although I'll also often bring spares.

In our last church where I started a worship team I actually handed out folders for people to file their printed copies. When I introduced new songs to the team they would be printed and come in clear sleeves to get filed in the folders. More work for me at the time, but it worked really well, right up until someone kept forgetting to bring their folder. :p

At my previous church we had a collection of songbooks (several copies of each) but mainly relied on small A5 folders. Again there were several copies of these and there was an ongoing admin job to keep these up to date.

In my present church, we've relied on a collection of books up until recently (behind on projecting lyrics) but are beginning to move to greater freedom of choice and, thus, exactly the problem you describe. No system yet but I think we'll probably end up with a curated set of folders to be kept at the church supplemented by a private online store so that people can browse and practise material at home without borrowing folders.

Wulf

Many years ago I began an alphabetical book, a 3-ring binder (1 1/2").  For flexibility of use, there's nothing to beat them (unless you want to propel yourself, fueled by tons of money, into the iBook world's programs which download editable scores, complete with page-turning facility).  But the binder gives you the opportunity to keep sheets in (using post-it tabs for the current service, labeled 1,2,3, off, 4, 5, altar 1, altar 2, etc.), or if you prefer, remove them (you see the risk here!) and spread them across your wide Manhasset music stand with Fold-Outs to permit today's huge lead sheets with all the 3-and-4-page songs with codas and whatnot. 

Everybody has their own book.  If you don't want to make a giant project of it, just start with next week's service and just keep the songs instead of throwing them away.

I also have made use of Encore and Finale, my music-writing programs, to create one-page or two-page versions of songs.  Many, many songs are really quite short, except for small variations.  A five-pager can often be compressed to two, if you make good use of bold fonts and Sharpie markers to show where all the repeats and choruses and dal-segnos fit in.  Got a special riff for guitar on the first page?  Just draw five lines and scratch a few notes, to aid the memory.

The book doesn't get too fat if you print them back-to-back, but that puts usage on your copier - and problems when you start to get lots of songs that need to be interleaved (you've got "I Will Praise Him" and "I Stand in Awe" back-to-back and then you get "I Thank Jesus", and bummer, where do you fit it? 

Ten 1 1/2" binders, enough for praise team and band, will fit in 15" of horizontal space, 12" vertically and 10" deep.

Oh - you will want to tighten up your music stands, because these things, in a few years, will get heavy!

By the way, nobody is looking at your books.  The only uniformity you need to consider is having the MUSIC all with the same musical things happening at the same time.  Never use two sources for your sheets!  When in doubt, Xerox.

More paranoid than you - I usually draw a fat marker line around my master.  Now we have it easy - all of our players are about 50 years old, so they actually bring their music to practices -- and even church!

Greg Newhouse said:

"curated set of folders"
We do this, but the current master copy has a red dot on the upper left. When copied it becomes a grey dot. We collect the copies after use and restock them in the folder file, shredding and re-copying when worn.

The idea of having everything on a tablet (not an iDevice) has some appeal, but my eyes aren't so good now, and I can't read chords that small fast enough to be useful, even with a 10" screen - probably not even on a 15" in landscape. Paper is good.

If you've ever done a music-writin program like Finale, you'll know that while some things magnify, others are left (like the icons you have to continually select) for twentysomethings that have eagles' eyes.

After years of resisting the idea, we've finally gone with 3-ring binders, one per person and a couple spares in case somebody borrowed their book (strongly discouraged) and left it at home.  I make a point of keeping our "active repertoire" to about 25 songs, and typically a song will stay active for a few months, and then go away - I pull everybody's copy, staple them together and put them... well, where I will be able to find them.  I take the binders home with me after Sunday service, and once I pick the next Sunday's setlist, I go through and put everybody's book in order for next Sunday, and put the songs we won't be doing that week all in alpha order behind the current set.  In general, I only re-print charts if we've changed the key or made several fixes to the song.  And it's kind of a sticky point with me that we do not end up with binders that have all the songs the band has ever done in them...

I've been looking for an excuse to scan in one of our current chord charts and point out some of the things we do, so I hope Joe Aiken won't mind if I used one of his songs.  I create our own chart for each song we do - CCLI is kinda murky about what the rules are on that, so I've taken the attitude that unless there is a commercially available chord chart with the lyrics in 18-point type, the chords in our key, and the song arrangement laid out the way WE do the song (in other words, all the time), I create our own chart... here's an example...

The title and key are in big type at the top, and if the song is in 3/4, that's in big type, too.  The CCLI number is our church's license number.

As I said, lyrics and chords are in 18-point type, chords in bold.  If there is a "second verse," I don't put chords on it unless they're different than the first verse.  Singers get these same charts as the instrumentalists do.

The introduction we play for the song is in orange highlighter (it's not always the first two lines of the song), and the intent is that if we get to the end of the intro and we're not together yet, we play through it again - sometimes the intro is just two chords.

On this particular chord chart, a few of the lyrics are in italics, those are words that (with Joe's permission) we changed.

Along the left edge of the page, we have the author, copyright, and CCLI info, plus the ID of a youtube version of the original song if there is one.  Also, there is the name of the person whose chart this is so that if we file them away and then bring the song back, each person gets their own marked-up copy back.  (Joe, if you have a CCLI code for this song, let me know, you didn't have one when we first started doing it).

There's also a column to the left of the lyrics that lays out the arrangement - it doesn't say much here, but, for instance, if we ended the song by singing the verse one more time, there would be a "v" at the bottom of that column (along with a "(verse)" in the lyrics area).  We've got a couple other conventions for this 'n' that, and then people in the band have their own ways of marking up their charts... we have a rotation of four or five songs we do regularly during communion and those are printed on green paper, and the "outro" song at the end of the service (which we do all the time for two or three months) is on yellow.  I punched holes on both sides of the paper so that there is the option of putting the songs so they're visible on the left side of the binder rather than the right.

On this copy, there are numbers over the notes, those are something I wrote in on my copy while we were learning the song.  They help me, but I'm the only one who does that, other people just learn how the song goes.  For a while, I would highlight in green any parts of the song where I could sing harmonies, but I usually end up just singing melody anyway.

Anyway, to try to respond best to the original question: each person has a binder of our "current" repertoire, which is about 20-25 songs, and after a while, songs get pulled from the book to make room for new songs.  Each week, when I pick the setlist, I take the time to put the books in order for rehearsal / Sunday.  Everybody's copy has their name on it so that if we file it away and pull it back out, they get their own copy back.

Here in the US, we're only required to report to CCLI for six months out of every two years, so during our last reporting period, I developed this format and made a point of reprinting ALL the songs we had done for the previous couple of years.  I reported them as "arrangements" and then, since I don't reprint them each week, I don't have to report them again.

Thanks for letting me write so much, but, as I said, I've been looking for an excuse to do this and, in our case, the format of the individual charts is part of the whole process I use for our books.

Lots of great tips here! Thanks for taking time to share!

I agree with this idea. Just re-file weekly.



Greg Newhouse said:



Greg Newhouse said:
"curated set of folders"
We do this, but the current master copy has a red dot on the upper left. When copied it becomes a grey dot. We collect the copies after use and restock them in the folder file, shredding and re-copying when worn.
Also, the CCLI account number is on the master, therefore is on all copies.

Good stuff - you've got the holes punched on both sides so you don't have to mash a 2-pager into position.  I've recently gone to a way to make 3 and even 4 pages work with a binder (provided you widen the stand with a piece of Masonite or invest in stand foldouts).  TAPE page 3 to page two - either cutting off its margin and folding it under, or punching it so you can keep it in the binder, freeing the edge only when you use it.  That way it stays in the binder, the pages don't get lost or mixed up, AND you don't have to turn any pages while playing.

I've sometimes felt like asking CCLI, would you guys be nice and try to fit the songs on two pages - it would be a great service to mankind, or at least bandkind.

Charles Wolff said:

After years of resisting the idea, we've finally gone with 3-ring binders, one per person and a couple spares in case somebody borrowed their book (strongly discouraged) and left it at home.  I make a point of keeping our "active repertoire" to about 25 songs, and typically a song will stay active for a few months, and then go away - I pull everybody's copy, staple them together and put them... well, where I will be able to find them.  I take the binders home with me after Sunday service, and once I pick the next Sunday's setlist, I go through and put everybody's book in order for next Sunday, and put the songs we won't be doing that week all in alpha order behind the current set.  In general, I only re-print charts if we've changed the key or made several fixes to the song.  And it's kind of a sticky point with me that we do not end up with binders that have all the songs the band has ever done in them...

I've been looking for an excuse to scan in one of our current chord charts and point out some of the things we do, so I hope Joe Aiken won't mind if I used one of his songs.  I create our own chart for each song we do - CCLI is kinda murky about what the rules are on that, so I've taken the attitude that unless there is a commercially available chord chart with the lyrics in 18-point type, the chords in our key, and the song arrangement laid out the way WE do the song (in other words, all the time), I create our own chart... here's an example...

The title and key are in big type at the top, and if the song is in 3/4, that's in big type, too.  The CCLI number is our church's license number.

As I said, lyrics and chords are in 18-point type, chords in bold.  If there is a "second verse," I don't put chords on it unless they're different than the first verse.  Singers get these same charts as the instrumentalists do.

The introduction we play for the song is in orange highlighter (it's not always the first two lines of the song), and the intent is that if we get to the end of the intro and we're not together yet, we play through it again - sometimes the intro is just two chords.

On this particular chord chart, a few of the lyrics are in italics, those are words that (with Joe's permission) we changed.

Along the left edge of the page, we have the author, copyright, and CCLI info, plus the ID of a youtube version of the original song if there is one.  Also, there is the name of the person whose chart this is so that if we file them away and then bring the song back, each person gets their own marked-up copy back.  (Joe, if you have a CCLI code for this song, let me know, you didn't have one when we first started doing it).

There's also a column to the left of the lyrics that lays out the arrangement - it doesn't say much here, but, for instance, if we ended the song by singing the verse one more time, there would be a "v" at the bottom of that column (along with a "(verse)" in the lyrics area).  We've got a couple other conventions for this 'n' that, and then people in the band have their own ways of marking up their charts... we have a rotation of four or five songs we do regularly during communion and those are printed on green paper, and the "outro" song at the end of the service (which we do all the time for two or three months) is on yellow.  I punched holes on both sides of the paper so that there is the option of putting the songs so they're visible on the left side of the binder rather than the right.

On this copy, there are numbers over the notes, those are something I wrote in on my copy while we were learning the song.  They help me, but I'm the only one who does that, other people just learn how the song goes.  For a while, I would highlight in green any parts of the song where I could sing harmonies, but I usually end up just singing melody anyway.

Anyway, to try to respond best to the original question: each person has a binder of our "current" repertoire, which is about 20-25 songs, and after a while, songs get pulled from the book to make room for new songs.  Each week, when I pick the setlist, I take the time to put the books in order for rehearsal / Sunday.  Everybody's copy has their name on it so that if we file it away and pull it back out, they get their own copy back.

Here in the US, we're only required to report to CCLI for six months out of every two years, so during our last reporting period, I developed this format and made a point of reprinting ALL the songs we had done for the previous couple of years.  I reported them as "arrangements" and then, since I don't reprint them each week, I don't have to report them again.

Thanks for letting me write so much, but, as I said, I've been looking for an excuse to do this and, in our case, the format of the individual charts is part of the whole process I use for our books.

I didn't say, but none of our songs go onto two pages.  If a song won't fit on a single page, I might print some part of it a bit smaller, I might leave out a bridge or a verse that doesn't seem like it contributes anything, or I just choose a different song.  We did have one two-page thing, but that was the four Christmas carol medley we sang as the exit song as the congregation was processing out of the building on Christmas eve, and, yes, I did put that in the book so there was no page turning involved.  We could use a two-page chart, but thus far I haven't found any songs that are good enough to make me do that.

And I don't understand when a chart runs to two or three pages, yet the lyrics are only in 12-point type, choruses are typed out in full every time they occur, and individual lyrics are printed with five or six words per line so that the right half of every page is blank space.  To me, part of my job as band leader is to figure out how to print the songs so that nobody has to turn pages in the middle of a song. 

There are some great ideas coming up here. I've got a meeting with the other worship leaders from my church tonight so might well be picking a few of them up into use fairly soon.

I've noticed that on the local scene (Oxford, UK) a lot of people are standardising on iRealPro. I'd been using an alternative but switched to this for a gig last month as it was worth the c. £10 cost to be able to easily exchange customised charts with the other players. This only deals with chord charts but does allow transposition (and also provides automatic accompaniment in multiple styles for practise). I don't think it would fly in quite the same way for a church band - in that context, the most essential thing for me is to have the lyrics but, drawing from a smaller pool, I think you'd end up excluding too many people who'd want one or more of lyrics, chords, melody and piano arrangement.

One question: is anyone to provide multiple formats in their collections? In the previous church I mentioned, we had a collection of A5 folders which mainly standardised on chords and lyrics but then kept a special double folder where, if possible, we'd have a copy of a piano part.

Wulf

RSS

© 2017       Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service