Using Loops in Worship – Part 1: Do You Need Loops?
So you’ve heard the buzz: all the COOL worship leaders are using ‘loops’ during their worship sets. Maybe you’ve played around a bit with Propellerhead’s Reason software, or made some cool tracks in GarageBand, but you’d like to learn more about these ‘loops’ and if they’re for you, your congregation, and music team. Before you jump headfirst into the world of looping and backing tracks, let’s figure out if you really need them. Loops can be a great way to keep a band tight and together, and they can actually free up creative juices and help wake up a well-versed congregation. However, loops can (and usually do) bring with them a number of headaches. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help determine if you should or shouldn’t introduce loops into your music team’s repertoire:
- Does my team (and do I?) have the patience to get every piece of the puzzle in place and working? How well does your team react to changes–new instrumentalists/vocalists, or how quickly can you expect a new piece to be learned and prepared?
- Do we have the budget? More often than not, churches need to invest a little bit of money to get the equipment needed to start using loops in worship. Can you set aside between $200-500 for some purchases to be made if needed?
- Does the congregation want/need to worship with loops? We can argue both ways with this–loops should be considered no more than an additional instrument in the band, or that loops can change the direction of the musical aspect of worship to a much more contemporary feel than is needed.
Finally, you’ll need to take a hard look at your mission field–who is attending your services, and what kind of music do they listen to? It’s important to focus your efforts on what will help the most people in your mission field be able to worship and engage with what you’re doing on the platform.
If you are able to correctly assess the situation at your church–and have all the decision-makers on board with you–you may decide to go ahead with loops. Obviously, you’ll want to start small, with one loop per set, and gradually make the changes as you see fit. LoopingWorship.com hopes to help with that; to create a community of believers that can come together to promote the ideas and practices of using loops for modern worship. If you like what you see so far, you should subscribe to our RSS feed for updates and loop additions!