Do We Have To Play Songs in their Original Keys?

Rise to the challenge or rein it in?  Consider the key signature when preparing your worship set.  Ryan reminds us about important factors to prioritize when debating whether to change the key of a song. 

If you're encouraging your congregation to corporately worship through singing, change songs to keys that are comfortable for them to sing.

If you think it's a good idea to change a song to a more comfortable key, here are some helpful lessons on transposing: 

Ryan is currently the Worship Director at The Church at Wills Creek in North Alabama. He has been the keyboardist for many Christian artists and has served with several churches including Christ Fellowship and Church of the Highlands. Ryan is the keyboard instructor for and also works as a producer, music educator, and studio musician. Ryan has two children, Josiah and Vivy, and they love spending time on their 100 acre farm.

Do We Have To Play Songs in their Original Keys?

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Choosing song keys

Thanks for posting your thoughts, Ryan.
I have always been wary of choosing a song key that goes down from the previous song.... it's interesting to hear your take on that also - I think you were saying that a semi tone sounded worse than a tone though, and I wasn't sure why? Also interested in the 'circle of fifths' that you mentioned... it's not a term I'm familiar with.
Definitely keen to make songs singable for the congregation, and then for the worship leader - we do that too. I hadn't considered that some keys sound more 'bright' than others (aside from the obvious minors).
Love the food for thought and the advice you give. Cheers!!

Key a song is performed in.

I am just beginning to play keyboards at our small church with only a guitarist and myself. I sing by myself and play. I could not more wholeheartedly agree that playing in a key that the congregation can comfortably sing is one of the most important things that can be done. Also, we had to search for a church that did not "blow us out of the doors" with excessive volume. There are millions of Christians whose hearing is being damaged by dangerously loud worship music and they probably don't even know it.