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Musician Resource Reviews (by Kim Gentes)

Kim reviews musician training or resources. Musician resources may be DVD training, songbooks or even enhanced CDs with video or music resources.  Basically, the term is for anything that is not a regular listening CD, but has to do with helping musicians and/or congregations learn the music and play it for a local church worship service.

Entries in musicians (2)

Whiteboard Worship Training / Dan Wilt (2011)

Whiteboard Worship Training

Over the last 20 years, I have lead a lot of rehearsals and worked with a lot of bands. I wish I had watched this series of amazing teachings from Dan Wilt on some very practical guidelines to rehearsals. And that is just one topic covered by his new "Whiteboard Worship Training" sessions. WOW.


Dan Wilt's "Whiteboard Worship Training" sessions are just about perfect. They are clear, excellent content with perfect, punctual and enjoyable presentation. There is a reason Dan is the premier teacher in the body of Christ on all things worship- he is a brilliant thinker and great presenter. The videos are literally 3-5 minutes each, and jam packed with truly usable information.

All wrapped up in his practical style that shows Dan is "one of us", who isn't talking down to anyone, but is sharing from years of experience and the joy of a gifted leader. The first video "How To Lead A Great Worship Band Rehearsal" is FREE. Even if you aren't interested in taking his whole course, go check out this one free video. Really great stuff. Dan has hit the nail on the head with this -- it is how we will all be learning in the 21st Century. Perfect.


Format: Online
Producer/Instructor: Dan Wilt 

Check it out online at :


Learning with you,
Kim Gentes


Modern Worship: Music Styles - Paul Baloche (2003)

The era of the DVD has arrived. This has become more evident by the number of various products found in DVD format. And the area of worship music has actually been a recent strong adopter of the digital video format. From iWORSHIP brand products by Integrity, to great live worship videos from Hillsong Music to artist worship concerts with Michael W. Smith and Third Day, praise and worship has gone digital with the major releases. Now worship leader/songwriter Paul Baloche has blazed the trail by presenting the first edition in a series of instructional DVDs for worship leaders and worship teams. This first DVD is entitled "Worship Styles".

While the DVD is an independently produced effort by Paul Baloche, the videography on this DVD is top notch. A nicely set 6-camera presentation, with excellent audio, transitions, effects and edits, this DVD is far above normal indie video efforts. Introducing the main content is a brief talk with Paul, as he strolls down the street, coffee cup in hand. And this really sets the mood for the presentation of this DVD- you are invited into a relaxed, but intentional session with Paul and "the band" bringing you fruther along on your trek as worship team.

The main content of "Worship Styles" is a worship team teaching tool that walks through a single song in no less than 6 different stylings: traditional, celtic, reggae, rock, country and R&B. A jazz rendering is also added to the end of the DVD, but not discussed at length. The DVD works this way: first, the song is played through once in the style; then Paul Baloche discusses the main concepts of the style. Finally, each instrumentalist breaks down the individual parts of the song in that style, describing and playing the part for all to see and play along with. The instruments covered are bass guitar, drums, keyboards, electric guitar and acoustic guitar. Each instrumentalist is an extensively accomplished musician, who talks the language and plays the grooves with precision and meaning.

It would be unrealistic to try to match the level of musicians presented in this DVD with your local worship team, but fortunately, that is not the goal of this instruction. Instead, the musicians play precise stylings that most mid-level players can copy and practice to make their own. The beauty of this DVD is that Paul taps in on something all of us have known for a long time- don't tell us how to play something, show us. Nearly all of the garage band musicians out there learned (at least in part) by watching someone else play. The weakness of some traditional training is the "book and classroom" methods that don't incorporate extensive amounts of "show-and-tell". Paul brings us some digital music mentors in this video, letting us sit in on sessions on how to construct (one instrument at a time) a song into the style of your choice.

Let's be clear, you won't learn basic music theory or simple "how to play your instrument" lessons on this DVD. But you will take the essential rudiments that each instrument needs to compose a consistent, polished sound for a given style. For example, drummer Carl Albrecht gives precise example and instruction on how to lay down the two variations of country beats needed in two parts of a country style rendition of "All Hail The Power of Jesus Name". After that, bassist Don Harris explains and lays down the bass parts. And so on, with the keyboards, electric guitar and the rhythm acoustic guitar. Each style is walked through in this same fashion, giving the video consistency and content. Throughout the transition from style to style, Paul also talks candidly about his struggles as a worship leader in a local church to use various styles. The talk is light, but meaningful, and a refreshing bridge across the "meat" of the musical examples laid out in this presentation. Paul and his coffee penchant return as the DVD is concluded by a lengthy black and white interview with Southern California pastor Bob Branch. In that discussion, Paul and Bob settle the melee for worship leaders and pastors on how they can come together and work as a team for the good of their local churches.

If you are wanting to sample some of the DVD, we have created a short online preview for you of the Worship Styles DVD Preview [ Windows Media | Realplayer ] . Click on the format you prefer to see the preview.

I liked this DVD so much, I watched it over and over to see if I had missed any obvious flaws or gaps in the content or production- to make sure my lauds wouldn't be misplaced. I could find any flaws. What will be evident to anyone leading a contemporary worship team (drums, bass, piano, guitars) is the excellent encouragement this will bring to you and your band. Not only do you learn the proper rudiments for the style, but (as a leader) the language for communicating that to your musicians. Giving an Editor's Choice to "Worship Styles" DVD is a no-brainer, as this product blazes the trail to an era of digital training resources which many will, no doubt, follow. And as they do, they would do well to follow in Paul's example by using not only top quality people, but excellent production in the project. Congrats on a great resource, Paul!

Product Link:  Music Styles With Paul Baloche Modern Worship Series (DVD)

Review by Kim Gentes