75 Great Altar Call Songs

Someone sent me an e-mail recently asking me to give her some suggestions for Altar Call songs. Every music ministry needs altar call songs. Well, the Fan Page family loves making song lists, so I took it straight to them. And as usual, they delivered in a big way. There were over 80 comments in this thread at this writing. I chose 75 to allow for some possible duplication. The actual thread is below. Allow a couple of seconds for it to load if you don’t see it. It may not work in Chrome.

Just click the comment button below to be taken straight to the live post. If you haven’t already, please click the “Like” button in the top right corner and join the family!

150 Gospel Choir Songs With No Leader

Recently I asked my followers on the fan page to create a list of Gospel Choir songs with no leader. And boy did they step up to the plate! I put the number 150 on this list because it was somewhere around there the last time I was able to count! I’ve embedded the actual post below. It may take a couple of seconds to appear depending on our connection. All the buttons are live, including the like button (smile). Just click on the comments button to see the list.  This doesn’t seem to work for me on Google Chrome, so try I.E or Firefox. Be sure to click the “like” button in the upper right corner also, if you’re not connected with us already.
Need more leaders for your choir, or want to lead songs yourself? Here’s help.

5 ways learning to play piano will transform your singing ministry

octavesEvery singer longs to be the best they can at their craft. But of all the training, articles, You-Tube videos, books and manuals we consult for help though, the one most powerful thing a singer can do to improve virtually every aspect of his singing is often completely overlooked. That is learning to play an instrument. In particular, learning to play piano.

Today I’ll cover a list of powerful benefits a singer will get from learning to play piano.

1. Harmony becomes instinctive for you

Many singers struggle with learning and remembering their parts in situations where they have to sing harmony with others. Even those who pick it up easily can not often find that harmony themselves without someone teaching them their part. Learning to play gives you a completely new insight into harmony and how it works. You learn how to form chords, how notes harmonize with each other and how to build those harmonies from scratch. As a result singing harmony becomes second nature to you because you now understand how it’s constructed and how it works.
2. You become more creative vocally

Aside from the more common desires we have for more range, better breath control, vocal stamina, power and the like, many of us just feel kinda stuck, you know what I mean? We feel like we’re doing the same stuff all the time. The same vocal inflections, same runs and riffs. Learning to play piano opens your creative mind up in ways you’ve never thought of before. I’ve said before that your voice is a musical instrument and you should think of it that way. Learning to play bridges that mental divide between the physical instrument and the vocal instrument, your voice.

As you get better and better on the piano you’ll find that you get more and more creative with your style choices when you sing riffs, runs and even just normal melody choices within a song.

3. Everything about music comes easier and faster for singers who can also play piano

To learn piano you have to learn some musical theory. You have to learn how music works. Why music always goes in certain directions. Why certain notes work together. Why things repeat in certain places. How music moves in patterns and circles. The more you learn about this in your studies of the piano the more aware it makes you as a singer. Soon you’re learning vocal pieces in half the time. You know what your part is going to be before the director or musician gives it to you. You know what keys you sing all your songs in and how to tell the musician where you want him to go. It’s an entirely new awakening for a singer. You really do become a musician in every sense of the word.

4. You don’t need a musician anymore. You can accompany yourself!!

This is probably the coolest benefit of all. And if you’ve ever been asked to go sing at a church you’ve never been before only to find that the musician (a) doesn’t know the song you want to sing or (b) there IS no musician!) then you know what an incredible sense of freedom that would be. To be able to just sit down and play for yourself. Wow.

5. You’ll start writing your own material

When you learn to play an instrument something happens to your entire creative process as a singer. It makes you think differently. So it’s only a matter of time before you start hearing melodies and getting little phrases to go with them. Before you know it you’re getting ideas for songs. It’s an amazing gift.

There is no other single thing that can benefit a singer more ways than learning to play piano. Contrary to what you might think though, it’s not something that’s out of your reach or too hard to do. Today there not only many home study options available, but several that specialize and focus specifically on learning to play Gospel. When I went looking for some training to improve my own playing some time ago, I came across a company called Hear And Play.

Hear And Play is a Gospel is a piano training company that specializes in learning to play all aspects of Gospel music. These guys have absolutely set the standard by which all other such companies are judged, in my opinion. I’ve learned so much since I started following them and purchasing their training products, and my own playing has improved tremendously. What I like about this company is that no matter what level you’re on; complete beginner who doesn’t know anything at all, or seasoned professional who wants to take his playing to still another level, Hear And Play has training methods and products available for you.

I have been so impressed with this group of young, saved, African-American musicians that I became an affiliate of the company so I can help promote this incredible resource. That simply means that if you end up buying something from them I’ll get a small commission. I don’t mind sharing that with you because I’d tell you about them either way. I highly recommend checking these guys out. Their 300 page course is one of the products I’ve purchased myself and again, I recommend highly.

Click the link below to go check it out.

Take care!


The Best Place To Find Your Next Church Musician

One of the biggest challenges churches and music ministries face is finding a gospel musician. Gifted church musicians who can handle all the different challenges, changes and musical styles of the average Gospel church service are in very high demand and many are already committed to a church that keeps them very busy. Some are dividing their time between more than one church.

When you’re trying to find a musician who can be there for all of your important services, rehearsals and engagements you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who has the time to commit. In short, you need someone who can come to your church, join as a member and be a dedicated musician to your church, your music department and all of the rehearsals and performances that come with it.

Yet even churches who are offering paid positions have a very difficult time finding a musician, despite resorting to even paid advertising to fill the position. But what if I told you that the absolute best place to find your next musician is probably the last, and yet the most obvious place to look? It’s true. Because the absolute hands-down best place to find your next musician is your own congregation. Yes, your own church. In fact every single member of the band at my church has been a member there since childhood. We are all musicians born and bred right there at the church we serve at.

Think about it. Who is going to be more dedicated, involved, faithful and available than someone who is already a member of your church? Someone who’s heart is already there? Consider all of the most talented church musicians at your average church. Aren’t they usually related to the pastor or someone else there? Aren’t they usually someone that has been there since they were a child and grew up there? Yup, many times they are. Ever try getting musicians like that to leave their church and play for someone else, even for good money? Exactly.

But you may be thinking “well that’s great Ron but we don’t have ANYBODY right now. We need someone that kinda knows how to play. Someone that can at least play songs for the praise team or the choir. We don’t have the luxury of waiting years for someone to learn.”

I get that. But remember we’re living in the age of information now. There is so much information and training out there now that someone who knows nothing about playing can  be playing for your church in a very, very short time. One such resource I use and recommend exclusively is The Gospel Music Training Center. (aff. link)

This is without a doubt the fastest way I know of to get a person up to speed as a Gospel musician, to the point where he can play for not only the choir and praise team, but the entire service. And this site has awesome training for all levels, not just beginners. Even intermediate to advanced players can take their craft to the next level here.

I’ve been a member myself and have seen some pretty dramatic improvements in my own playing. This is nothing short of having some of the best Gospel musicians in the world sit down and show you the chords to some of the hottest gospel songs out there, calling them out note by note. I love it because it really helps you understand the theory behind what makes music work while also giving you the tools you need to start playing songs NOW.

Make no mistake though, it will still take lots of practice and dedication. A brand new person can sit down with these videos and learn to play a song- especially praise and worship songs- by simply practicing it over and over until the muscle memory kicks in. But in the process that person will also be learning some very fundamental principals that will help them with other songs in the future. Because GMTC doesn’t just give the notes and chords. They’re also teaching you the number system, and how those chords can be used in several other songs. Then they shoot another video that includes a more advanced version, and in some cases even a third video that explains all the theory. Honestly I haven’t seen anything like it available for Gospel Musicians or people who would like to be.

At this writing they’re offering a $1 trial for the first month. Plus they even have several free examples on the page to view. Check it out and let me know what you think! 
Gospel Music Training Center .


3 Ways To Use Social Media To Manage And Grow Your Music Ministry

I’m very excited today to introduce my first guest blogger to the family! When a relatively new blog starts to attract people who want to write articles for your site it’s a pretty good sign that your reach is growing.

Today’s post was written by ‘Clare Evans, a copywriter and avid music fan who works for Djembe Drum Shop. They sell a range of traditional African instruments that can help add a unique touch to your music ministry. To find out more and see what products they have available, click the link at the bottom of today’s blog post to visit their website.’
Take it away Claire!

Boosting engagement and encouraging involvement in your music ministry is hard enough in this economic climate. Throw in the challenge of attracting a younger audience that would rather be surfing the net, and you might think traditional music groups are a thing of the past.

In reality though, this younger audience have one of the most powerful promotional tools at their finger tips. A tool, that you should be using to encourage involvement and make your music group as thriving and lively as it once was.

Social media isn’t just about connecting with friends to plan your next day out. On the contrary, a promotional campaign run via social media can help you attract some new faces to your group – as well as encourage increased involvement from your current members.

Here, we’re going to share with you some top tips for using social media to bring your music ministry to life:

1. Attract new members

If you’re looking to introduce some new musicians, singers, and instruments into your music group, social media is a great way to spread the word. Whether you have a Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace account, you can tap into your follower base and ask them to introduce new members.

Your follower base will consist of existing members, their friends, and people interesting in music. By making the right noise, in the right places, you will be able to attract the right kind of people to join your ministry.

You could also use specialist forums on relevant websites to advertise for new musicians. As long as they have a thread for your area and type of music, you will be able to reach out to a whole new audience; an audience that might be able to bring an exciting new sound and flavour to your group.

2. Promote rehearsals and performances

Encouraging involvement in your music ministry starts with making sure enough people attend your group rehearsals. After all, you can have recruited the best batch of musicians, but if they never practice playing together you’ll never create the kind of music you should be.

Using Twitter for example, you can ask your followers to ReTweet (share on their own Twitter profiles) your notices about the class, rehearsals, and any changes to the class timetables. Likewise you could post notices on Facebook.

If everyone is struggling to make rehearsals, you could get together remotely and via a Google+ Hangout. This is a real-time video connection where a whole host of people in a Google+ circle (group) chat face-to-face via the Internet.

3. Share your music with the wider community

You can also use social media to encourage engagement from the wider community, too. Sites like MySpace, Sound Cloud, AAMP, and YouTube are all great places to get your music out there. Whether you think you fit into the mainstream or not, you can use these sites to bring your music to the masses.

Simply sign up for an account, upload a track, and away you go!

Some sites such as YouTube will allow other users to comment and leave feedback, helping you see just how well your music is being received. The benefit of this increased exposure is that it will boost your profile, encouraging existing members to work harder, and attracting new ones.

So there you have it, three simple ways to use social media to encourage involvement in your music ministry. Try them out, and let us know how you get on!

Djembe Drum Shop sells a range of traditional African instruments that can help add a unique touch to your music ministry. To find out more and see what products they have available, visit their website.

How doing regular cardio makes you a better singer

A Brand New DayIf you’ve been a regular reader of this blog for any length of time you’ve no doubt seen me harping many times on the importance of improving your breathing technique for better singing. In fact Shena did a 3 part blog series dedicated to The fine art of proper breathing, which ended with a blog including 4 powerful exercises for great breath control. There’s no question then, that breathing exercises are an important tool for singers to add to your daily vocal workouts.

However there are a few other exercises that are equally as important and very effective for improving the singer’s over-all lung capacity and breathing. Adding them to your routine will not only make you a more powerful singer but a healthier person. I’m speaking about cardio exercises. Cardio exercises are not vocal exercises but physical exercise like the kind you get from walking, jogging or running, aerobic exercise, skating, cycling, skiing, dancing, swimming, rowing, tennis, basketball; you get the idea.

Cardio is short for Cardiovascular. These are exercises that raise the heart rate and keep it elevated for an extended period of time. Doing cardio regularly improves your breathing because it increases your lung capacity. Now, in my own research I saw a lot of people mentioning “lung capacity  as the main benefit of doing cardio for singers, but hardly anyone went on to explain what that is, exactly.

At first mention you might think that means that you’ll somehow increase the size of your lungs. That’s not really true. As far as I know there are no exercises you can do to actually increase how big your lungs are. So when we talk about lung capacity we’re talking about how much air you actually take into your lungs. Many of us don’t take in nearly as much air as we could or even should, simply because of shallow breathing. And honesly a lot of that comes from simply being out of shape. Regular cardio workouts dramatically improve your breathing by improving your lung capacity. Meaning you actually breathe deeper and fill your lungs with more air naturally.

We already know the endless list of benefits to your heart and overall stamina and energy that cardio workouts cause. But think about the effect having a surplus of energy and stamina can have on your singing. Remember singing is very much a physical thing that can be compared to any athletic event. So a stronger, healthier cardiovascular system has some very powerful benefits for the singer in regards to both performance and breathing.

However it’s important to also point out that for the purpose of improving your breathing for singing, cardio must be added and used along with breathing exercises. And all of it must be used in conjunction with actually practicing singing with better breath control; actual singing, not just holding notes longer, or singing scales. You may, for example, get to a point where you can hold one note for a very long time. But singing an actual phrase has many different vowels as well as fluctuations in pitch and volume. All of these have a very different effect on how much air you need to say, finish a long phrase vs. just holding one note. Even holding one note gets more difficult the higher the note is, because it requires a different amount of support. So in addition to cardio and a regimin of regular breathing exercise, you need to actually practice singing longer phrases. Not taking breaths as often. Things like that.

So don’t misunderstand me here. You should definitely start doing some cardio at least 3 times a week, and it will definitely yield some very noticeable benefits to your breathing. It will give you more stamina and make you a more powerful singer. But the maximum benefits come only if combined with regular singing-specific breathing exercises and actual practice singing longer notes and phrases.

Now go for a walk!

Need help with with your breathing? Running out of air? Screaming for high notes? Most breathing issues are the result of bad technique. Taking vocal lessons dramatically improves your vocal technique, so your breathing improves also!  If you’ve looked before and found lesson to be too expensive for you, take a look at my new home study vocal training course. Vocal Ministry Breakthrough.  .

How to sing loud without yelling

The ultimate calling card of the Gospel music genre is powerful singing, isn’t it? That’s not only what most singers want, but it’s become what most listeners expect from Gospel singers. But there is a fine line between singing with a nice, full, powerful voice and just out and out screaming on pitch. Now, if you happen to be one of those singers with a big, powerful, loud singing voice you might not see anything wrong with that. After all, it’s Gospel singing! It’s you that they depend on the carry that section in the choir stand when the numbers are thin, right? And even when they aren’t thin, it’s your loud, powerful voice that really makes the section nice and strong…right? Well, yes and no.

You see, having a powerful, loud voice can be more of a curse than a blessing if you have no control over it. If you find that the only way you can achieve any note above your most comfortable one is to simply get louder and louder until you’re doing something a  lot closer to yelling than singing, then that’s not a good thing. Singers who have really big, loud voices often become more of a problem than an asset in group situations. That’s because in groups, choirs and praise teams it’s very important that the voices blend well vocally.  You want a nice, full, warm sound where nobody’s voice is standing out or overbearing. So if you’re consistently much louder than everyone else in your section, you’re standing out like a sore thumb.

The key to getting a nice full, powerful sound without screaming-even in the upper notes of your range- is breath control. What causes us to yell notes is the tendency we have to push with everything we have in order to reach them. When a singer does this, he is basically using all of the air he has at once. This causes notes to be harsh and “loud”. But not loud in a good way.

Taking a sudden gasp of air and then pushing it out as fast as possible is what we do when we scream. It’s what I did the other day when I was in someone’s back yard and two large dogs bolted out of a doggie door straight for me, lol! I wasn’t singing at the time, but the experience isn’t much different than the way most of us approach singing. The way to gain control of this “loudness” without losing your vocal power, is to learn how to control your breathing.

Not only is it important to learn how to release air in a more controlled way, it’s also very important to learn to control the position of your mouth. What happens when we scream? We make our mouths as wide as possible to accommodate all of the extra air velocity we’re pushing. But when you learn to use less air and sing with a more narrow position, the result is more volume with much less effort. But the sound you’ll produce when you sing this way is much warmer, even and controlled. This is the kind of volume that is strong and full, yet it’s not overbearing or unable to blend with other voices in the group.

It’s an overwhelming concept on paper, but it’s actually not hard to understand at all when you see it demonstrated. I teach that and many much more in my home study course Vocal Ministry Breakthrough. Read more about the course and see clips here.


Write For The Music Ministry Coach.com!

Write For The Music Ministry Coach.com!

One of my goals from day one was to make this website the top destination and absolute authority on the internet for all things pertaining to music ministry coaching and training. But I’ll never be able to do it alone! So I’ve decided to open the doors and invite guest bloggers from all over the world to submit your articles for inclusion on The Music Ministry Coach.com!

What We’re Looking For

The Music Ministry Coach.com is all about helping Christian/Gospel artists, groups, choirs, praise teams and musicians take their music ministry to the next level. We’re looking for experienced musicians, directors, Ministers Of Music, Praise/Worship Leaders who have wisdom, knowledge and a passion for music ministry to submit content for inclusion on the our website.  We only post content that offers some kind of coaching, training or advice that helps people improve their ministry. We’re looking for content on every facet of music ministry, from musical instrument instruction to advice on how to minister effectively and everything in between

Our readers love specific how-to style content that shows or tells them specifically how to improve a certain facet of their ministry. All of our contents falls under one of 3 categories;

General Music Ministry-Related

There are many, many sub-categories under those categories, and all are welcome topics for your article.

Guidelines For Submission

  • Written Posts must be written in English
  • Must be 500 words or more.
  • Must be grammatically correct and spell-checked
  • Must offer coaching, training or advice on some specific aspect of music ministry
  • Absolutely MUST be original (we’ll be checking and will report plagiarism)

Video Tutorials are also highly encouraged. Your video must be hosted on YouTube.  Submit the link to the video and include at least a paragraph explaining what’s covered in the video.

What’s In It For You

If your submission is chosen for inclusion on The Music Ministry Coach.com you will receive full credit for your work with a bio at the bottom of the post. In your bio you can include some information about yourself, your company website and links to your social media pages.

Submit Your Article!

Using the form below, submit your article to us for inclusion on the website. We read every piece of content submitted to insure only the best quality content is submitted for our readers, so it could take a few days depending on the volume of submissions. We’re looking for quality content that offers tips or suggestions about any aspect of music ministry. Please do not submit articles that are primarily one long sales pitch. You can include links to any product you have for sale in your bio. Products related to music ministry are strongly desired and encouraged.

We reserve the right to refuse any article we feel doesn’t meet the above standards or fit the overall theme of our website without notice to you.  We also reserve the right to make any formatting edits required to make the article fit well with our site and theme. These will usually be no more than maybe a picture, title edit or text edits for grammar/punctuation, etc.

Don’t forget to include a short bio with links to your website and/or social media sites, or even .

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