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  • Posted By Word Worship Team | August 10, 2012 | Posted in The Classic City Collective

    My dad gave me a piece of advice when I began playing music that has guided me ever since.  When I began writing and performing, my dad told me that when competition enters into music, music no longer is art, but a sport.  I grew up playing basketball, so I competed daily.  Being an achiever is at the top of my gifts list.  I started playing music as stress relief during my sophomore year in college, when it became clear that becoming a pro basketball player probably wasn’t going to happen.  I did have the highest vertical leap on my college team though, and this will be the only time I ever blog brag.

    When an artist finds joy in another artists’ downfall for them to rise above them, they are no longer artists; they are competing like athletes.  And in doing so, they are stifling their art. 

    Art comes from within. 

    You can not create your best work when you are operating with a competitive spirit.  Many over-achievers will argue with me here and say that you have to push one another.  Of course.  But if you are thinking about another person and how you desire to be better than them while at the same time trying to look within and pull the best out, you are distracted.  You can’t quite get all the goodness out from inside of you when you’re mind is divided.

    And if you are trying to write music to honor the man who said the first shall be last, the only thing you need to be thinking about is what that man is saying to you. 

    If competing in art isn’t silly enough, how much more silly is it for a worship musician to compete with another worship musician?  Would God find any pleasure over one church succeeding while another one fails?  Would he be proud that the one church dominated the other church?

    We’re not here to compete with anyone.  We hope as we tell more of our story, you are inspired to create your best work yet!  And we will continue to be inspired by those who have embarked on the same adventure.

  • Posted By Word Worship Team | June 29, 2012 | Posted in Brett Rutledge

    I was out on the road this last weekend leading for a Youth camp and I tried something new that I turned out great. I really love using older songs like “Hungry” or a hymn like “I Surrender All,” and then mashing them with new song like “Always” and “Forever Reign.”

    So this past week as I was leading “I Surrender All” after the message but at the end of the last chorus we went straight to vamping the 1 and 4 right into the chorus of “Always” (Oh my God, He will not delay). Not gonna lie, it was pretty epic. There was something about putting those songs together that allowed us to go to a place I hadn’t in worship yet. Saying I surrender all and then hitting the chorus saying we will not fear, and that God’s promises are true, our God will come through always. . . was freeing and sang very well together

    I’ve always hated stopping and changing capos to lead a song and it seems to break up worship a little. But these mash ups and even putting things in the same key to keep the flow going allows people to really stay in that moment with them and God. Such a blessing to see and be a part of.

    Are there any mashups that you use frequently that work well in your worship settings?