Segues: Song to Song/Same Key
If you're diving into this without reading the introduction first, either 1) you just stumbled upon this, or 2) you are a "type A" reader who always skips intros, thinks forwards are useless, and is only acquainted with the kind of appendix that you had removed in 8th grade. I can respect that. But if you change your mind...
In this first section, we"ll look at segues that move us from one song to another within the same key. The first two musical segues simply use the ending of one song to begin the intro of the other.
Segue #1- Song to Song, Same Key & Tempo
If the tempos are the same, use the ending downbeat of the first song to become the downbeat of the intro for the next song. An example of this is moving from Lincoln Brewster"s "Everlasting God" in the key of B (written by Brenton Brown) to Matt Redman's "Blessed Be Your Name" in the same key. The final chorus of Everlasting God ends on a B. Simply use that downbeat of the final B chord in "Everlasting God" to begin the U2-esque progression (B > F# > G#m > E) of the "Blessed Be Your Name" intro. By the way, using a single instrument, like the bass or acoustic guitar, to start that intro can create a nice contrast after a big song like Everlasting God. But I disgress--on to the next segue.
Segue #2-Song to Song, Same Key; Different Tempo
If the key is the same but the tempo of the second song is slower, try this: simply ritard the last line or tag of the first song to match the tempo of the 2nd song. Another way to transition from a faster song to slower song is to reprise a section of the first song at the same tempo as the second song. It's a bit more complicated, but it can move people nicely to a slower song.
An example of this could be moving from "Beautiful One" (by Tim Hughes) to David Crowder"s version of "All Creatures of Our God and King." After ending the song, reprise the chorus one time with lighter instrumentation (and lighter voices, too), and at a tempo to match "All Creatures...". It'll flow like this, "beautiful One, my soul must sing...all creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing..."
Segue #3-Song to Song, Same Key; Non-Sequential Start
Non-sequential start?! OK, it's a fancy, made-up, way to say: "Go from the ending of one song to an internal section (like a chorus or bridge) of another song. For example, let's say you're moving from "My Jesus I Love Thee" in E to "Here I Am to Worship" in E. The whole song of "My Jesus I Love Thee" lines up thematically with "Here I Am...", but there's something special about the 2nd verse. Think about moving from the lines: I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow; If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now..." into a quiet, maybe even rubato rendering of the bridge of "Here I Am to Worship." "I'll never know how much it costs to see my sin upon that cross..." Not only does this segue from one song to another, but it allows people to experience the lyrics of each song in a new way as they are brought together.
Moving from the end of one song to an internal section of a song works best when you can match thoughts or concepts from song to song like we just saw. Here are a few other examples of matching the end of one song with an internal section of another:
- "Be Thou My Vision" (traditional hymn) to "You Are My King" (Billy Foote). The final verse of "Be Thou..." is speaking to the "High King". Move right from there to the bridge of "You Are My King" (the "you are my King" section). Both can be done in E. By the way, I like doing "Be Thou..." in Eb for the first 3 verses and going to E for the last. I won't even charge you for that tidbit of information...).
- " Holy, Holy, Holy" (in E, or start in D and play the last verse in E) to the chorus of Chris Tomlin's "We Fall Down." "God, in three persons, blessed Trinity...and we cry holy, holy, holy..."
From that new starting point, just determine the best arrangement of the second song. You can also use this segue with songs of different keys, but you'll want to make sure you have a smooth modulation to the key of the new song. And that's where we'll pick up in the next part of 28 Ways to Make Great Segues.
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September 25, 2009