Your brain is amazing. It can process information at lightning speed, take multi sensory input and continue making your body function without you having to think about it! God created something fascinating when He created our brain. As we get older we learn what to do with all the input, we figure out how things work and our brain stores that away for the next time we need that information. When it comes to music our brains are even more fascinating. The way the brain can hear all the instruments in a song individually and collectively is amazing. The way it can translate rhythms and sounds and hear them as a cohesive unit takes more computing power than I could ever imagine. Even people who have had no musical training can tell the difference between good and bad songs! So when we, as worship leaders, go to create song sets for our services we have to take more into consideration than just what songs we like to sing.
Since our brain loves logical transitions, one way to help keep the flow of a song set and not disturb the worshipful environment you are creating is to use songs that are in complementary keys. If you aren't sure what that means or how to do that there is a cool little chart called the Circle of fifths. This is a reference tool that helps you figure out what musical keys are complimentary or how to transition easily from one key to the next. When I first started playing guitar it seemed like every praise and worship song was in the key of G, so it made it easy to transition from song to song. But these days worship songs are written in keys like F# or Bb to fit the voice of the recording artist. So, when we are creating our song set for the service we have a couple of options. We can change the key of the song to better fit into our set (See my blog “Do Re Mi” for more on this topic!) or we can use a musical interlude transition that will take us from one key to the next. It can be as simple as playing one chord to take you from one key to the next or, using the Circle of 5th's, create that transition that sets up the new key with a beautiful instrumental piece.
Do not fret (pun intended), even if your whole set is in the key of G that is ok! Selecting a song set list that flows musically and makes sense even to non-musical brains will help create a wonderful environment. If you have any questions or need help with figuring out transitions, I am here to help! Just shoot me an email or message me on Facebook and we will work it out together! I have included a PDF of the Circle of fifths and a link to help explain how to us it just incase you want to see how it works!