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I am just starting to lead worship at a small church here in Kosova. I have been playing guitar since highschool but never one to practice so this will be a challenge. Also added that I will be singing in 2 languages during each song. It occurs to me that I don't know what the easiest key is to sing in for a congregation. If I am comfortable in a key (mostly comfortable higher) then I know it doesn't mean everyone else is. Also as a woman leader I am not sure what key is comfortable for the guys. I have never really appreciated the worship divas out there who are so all over the place that NO one can follow them. Don't want to be that. Any comments?

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I've have found that there is no set key that is the best, but i always try and keep the notes we sing no higher or lower than C, this is relevent to all keys..... if you go up to a D or down to B it doesn't really matter. With these notes both guys and girls will be able to sing in their own octaves! Most worship songs, I have found, are writtin with this in mind! but if you were to pick a key, I find A, G and D the best, E is good but can push things on the high notes. I hope this helps.
Thanks this is helpful!
There is a range that is Ok for a mainly male congregation and a different range for a mainly female congregation. So you choose keys that fit into that range. For the ladies we are talking about a low G to high C (with warm-up) and for guys it's a low A to high D (with warm-up).

And remember that people will sing out more when they are in a large group, so they overall can hit the higher notes in a congregational setting.

COncrete example: If I was leading worship with the song Open the Eyes of My Heart, I'll do it in E major for congregational level and D major for a small group of mainly ladies. Try out the difference and see. :)
We tend to do most of our songs in the key of D. We've got a fairly equal amount of men & women at our church. What WILL happen, though, is from time to time - if the song is really resonating with the congregation (and if it's possible) - we'll take it up a key after singing the chorus a few times. We also sing in 2 languages (English & Spanish). =) Hope this helps some! Also, I agree that when people are in a larger group setting, they may sing out more.
Generally, I'd say the key that everyone can comfortably sing in. When I am singing along with the radio, that helps me decide if the song would be to high of a key to put with a worship band. In that instance, I would lower the key a few steps. Most keys like C, G, and Eb are popular.
This is a good question. There are two things you need to consider.
1.) What key to sing in.
2.) What sounds good and easy to play on the guitar. You can always play with a capo if you dont have a band to back you up.

1.I belive that most of the music that is written is written in Eb, E, F, G or some variation there of.
The Majority in F.

2. The easiest is to play in the key of E but you will have issues with guys singing in E. It can be a bit high. You need to feel it out.
I play all over the place I just try to keep a set of music in the same key or group songs by key in a set. This way you are not bouncing back and forth between songs which can be distracting.
Hope that helps.
You raise an interesting question...does changing keys during worship affect things?

Say, you start in D, then do a song in E, would it "slow things down" to follow that with a song in C??

Just a thought.
Yup, it does. So I would avoid that. :)

I love to keep building up the momentum by raising the key in every song. There was once I started in A, went to C, then D, E and G as we sang another 4 songs, then back to the chorus of the first song in A. That was one of the most intense worship sessions I ever did. Too bad I can't remember what were the songs! :(
I wonder if the better question to ask would be "what notes are the most commonly accessible to your average congregation"?

Back before I started leading worship in my first church, a good friend gave me a range of notes. I think the low end was somewhere a little bit below middle C (I think A3) and the high end was somewhere around A4 http://tinyurl.com/ydhtoa2" target="_blank">This link will give you an idea about where those....

But I just don't know for sure. I think that some people who aren't in the "popular range" will be able to identify the notes in their octave, but I don't know that I would say most are capable of doing this.
Most of the songs that you hear on the radio are in too high a key for any congregation. I would pick a key that is comfortable with your voice and then find other songs to follow that are in the same key. By doing this you have a flow from one song to the next without stopping.
I find that flow is very important. I love medleys and finding innovative ways to make the set musical. So yeah I usually like to find songs in the same key. I cringe when there are awkward silences in between songs when you stop and start each song. I like to rehearse those transitions from one song to the next. I remember when the Lord directed me to pull the chorus' out of songs and string them together, it was an awesome service!!


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