Podcast Episode #164: Simple Christmas Carols Volume II Listening Party

After working on Simple Christmas Carols Volume I, we couldn't stop so we created Simple Christmas Carols Volume II!

In this podcast episode Jason talks with Sidney and Ryan about recording long distance, finding the parts that fit, and playing as a band.

On the drum approach

The first thing was to get the dynamic arc of the songs. The guide track was good but the way the acoustic played was the biggest cue. The guitar would rise and fall in natural places, and between that and singing through the songs in my head, I was able to know where accents needed to happen. 

On the keys approach

For keyboard, there was already acoustic, lead guitar, and drums on it. Wanting to keep it simple I was able to focus on pianos and pads, and then I thought about bringing in some Christmas sounds like bells and glockenspiels to spice up the turnarounds. The lead guitar being there also helped me form ideas that would harmonize and work with what was already there.

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

The guitars started a riff that keys doubled with the bells but then it backed off so keys could fill in the rest of the line. Anytime you can double a part it really pushes it to the front and gives it power. The drums were able to start songs in different ways. They didn’t follow the typical worship pattern of waiting to come in but the songs still change in each section. 

Joyful Joyful

On the drums it was a favorite to record. Even initially I felt actual joy playing it. The intention was there and I felt it on the guitars. It’s another one that the keyboard and lead guitar play together really well. The lead guitar on it’s own could be a rhythm lead line but the piano is able to really put the hook over the top.

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Guitar actually had to go back and re record some parts because they really didn’t fit the melody the way they needed to. When you play live you can get away with parts that don’t match perfectly but when you’re recording each part matters so much. The keyboard bell melody really add that little sense of festivity.

Go Tell It On The Mountain

This one is a ton of fun. It’s got a nice swing to it and both Chris and Joy really put some special sauce on the vocals.

Angels From The Realms of Glory

This one is such an uptempo song that the instruments used hits and subtle guitar picking to create some dynamic.  Each chorus lifts and the bass goes from single notes to driving and that gives it a sense of scope.

These songs are really a great exercise in learning to listen to one another and how each part fits together. When you don’t pack the tracks you really need everything to work together as a whole and these Simple Christmas Carols are a great example of that.

If you're a Worship Artistry member, these are already available for you. If not, you can get them free and get even more ideas on how to make this Christmas special. Consider it our Christmas gift to you. 

Kristina Kislyanka leads worship and student ministry at her church in Washington state. She’s passionate about songwriting, producing music, and growing community within the Church. Kristina is a member of the Maverick City Music Choir. 

Podcast Episode #164: Simple Christmas Carols Volume II Listening Party

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