Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What You Can Do: Breaking the Creative Box

Being a student of vocal jazz, I was exposed to one of the more creative sides of the genre.  I can't put a label on exactly what drew me to vocal improv (or "scat").  I fell in love with jazz at an early age and have been border line obsessed with it since then.  As I began developing my abilities as a vocalist I started listening to artists like Kurt Elling and Mark Murphy, who are known for their incredible scat skills.

One of the reasons I love vocal improvisation is the fact that it is insanely creative.  What would happen if we included aspects like this in to worship music!?  Awesome is what would happen.  If anything it would be a venture outside the normal box that so much of worship music is stuck in right now.  I'm not dissing on what the current popular sound is, I'm just saying that we weren't created to be creatively limited.  So how can we bust out off the box?

Here is a cover I did of an oldy that I'm sure you'll recognize.  I put my own spin on it.

But Seriously, what are your thoughts on creative worship music?  What aspects and cross genre sounds could you incorporate to usher in a new sound?

The bible tells us that we are created in His image.  This means that God, being the ultimate creative being, made us with the ability to be hugely creative.  But how do we get those creative juices flowing?   How do we take old songs and make them feel new?  Here are a few thoughts I have on this subject:

1. Listen like crazy.  Not just to the stuff you usually stick to.  Venture away from your DC Talk CD's and branch out.  Charge your creative batteries by listening to other creative people.  David Crowder is a great example of a massively creative writer.

2. Play with what you're playing.  Try taking the worship tunes you're used to playing one way and take them in a different direction with a different feel.  Who knows, maybe Mighty To Save would sound awesome as a Ska song. 

3. If you're a songwriter, get together with other songwriters and bounce ideas off each other.  Let creativity inspire creativity!

4. Make time for yourself to sit down and create.  Even if nothing of real substance comes out of the time spent, you're still working those muscles.  Creativity takes practice!