Playing a Modernized Version of Better Is One Day by Matt Redman

Rediscovering a classic song is a huge win for both the worship team and the congregation.

The issue we run into when creating album specific tutorials for older songs is that the tones and even the actual parts often feel dated and don’t carry over into a modern context. Never fear, we’ve taken Matt Redman’s classic Better Is One Day and updated the tones while staying true to the original. 

The nice thing about updating a song is that only a few players usually have to do it. Drum and bass tones, while varying slightly over time don’t change nearly as much as keyboard and electric guitar tones do. Our drum instructor pointed out the drum groove on this version is basically the same as a lot of Phil Wickham songs!

For keys we chose a simple, good sounding piano tone with a a light pad underneath. To create dynamics, we stuck with basic block chords and light and tasteful fills between chord changes. As the song builds it goes from blocks to pulsing changes in the second chorus and stayed true to the counter melody in the bridge. In the final chorus it goes full rhythm to take it the rest of the way. 

On acoustic, we used the same open E chords on the recording but stayed more focus on the lower strings in the verses. This helps keep those higher toned strings in check and allows the chorus to sound bigger than the verses.

Lead guitar is where we really took some liberties. Really, it became Better Is One Day by way of Phil Wickham. Rather than going full strum on the rhythm like the original, the rhythm strums are lighter and the tones get a littler more verb and less overdrive. On the chorus, we added the octave pedal and created a hook that follows the chords and glues it all together.

If you haven’t played this song in awhile or are just looking to breathe some new life into it, Worship Artistry’s arrangement finds the perfect balance of new and classic that will have it fitting into this Sunday’s gathering.

Be sure to listen through this updated version!

Kristina Kislyanka is the Marketing Manager, podcast co-host and sometimes vocalist at Worship Artistry. She is the Worship Pastor at her church in Washington state. She’s passionate about songwriting, producing music, and growing community within the Church. 

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