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Preview: Kim Gentes Musician Resource Reviews

Kim Gentes Musician Resource Reviews



Kim Gentes writes Reviews of Musician Resource for mostly local church musicians and leaders



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iWorship Service Starters - Integrity Music (2011)

Tue, 22 May 2012 18:03:48 +0000

If you are using media in your local church, you have no doubt seen the recently popular "countdown" mini-videos that are often played before services. Most often these are used as a simple clock reminder to the leaders and congregation of when the next segment of the service will begin.  As a tool they are fine, but are more or less inspirational depending on how they are applied. This last week, I looked into my review stack of things to consider for evaluation. The first thing that I was interested in looking at was the 2 volume set of DVD-ROM resources called "iWorship Service Starters"  from Integrity Music. To be honest, I had low expectations of a resource that I expected to be a countdown clock. Much of the other "countdown" videos I have seen elsewhere were mish-mashes of hyped graphics that looked like a blitzkrieg of images (in ESPN pre-roll fashion) such as you'd see on the Discovery channel's scenes of the universe. At other times calmer countdown videos from some other websites featured blasé wheat field scenes and such that make the ticking clock seem exciting! But as I looked into iWorship Service Starters resource, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw and heard. First, what I loved about it was a focus on actual videos that are intended to encourage and inspire people to begin focusing on worship. Each video is between 1:15 to 1:45 in length (one minute and 15-45 seconds). The content of each video is a combination of scripture verses, biblical truths and song segments (most often the chorus of the themed song).  The videos aren't aimless countdowns, but actually are scripted stories. And that is the point- people can be caught by the subtle but engaging video, and begin to follow the story being told by each video. Near the middle of the video the themed song for that video might kick in and welcome the listener to join right in. It wasn't a distracting presentation, but a focused story that leads a person to start refocusing themself toward the themes of worship, praise and adoration of God. Actually, I had both Volumes 1 and 2 of the series and went through and completely listened and watched each video on both volumes. They were good, solid invitations to worship, each one of the songs. I found myself, on several songs, thinking "ok, let's go, let's worship!" And I think that was the point of the videos- they are not intended to be just a short countdown, but something of a short story looping on your screen (with or without audio, according to your needs) encouraging people to prepare and focus for worship. Obviously no media tool like this replaces a community call to worship, but I like this concept much better than feeling like I am getting inundated by the church "commercials" or "hype machine" on the video screen as a way to fill up time on the media before the service starts. It feels intentional and it works. I was inspired and ready for someone to invite me to stand and begin worship. Here are some details. On the two volumes I reviewed (Vol 1 & 2) each volume contained 7 themed song videos (7 different songs). Each DVD-ROM contains both MPEG1 and Quicktime format video files (this means it is compatible for PCs or Macs, and will work on any presentation software you use). Each video itself is available in two formats as well - with or without the countdown clock. I like this a lot. Personally, I am not a fan of the countdown clocks, as I think they actually bring tension to an already driven world. That said, I like the idea of using the version without the clock and let it loop- or maybe preload a few of the videos that have connected themes/songs and let them be a storyline. One specific custom use I would recommend-- pick a video or two of songs you will be using that morning! What a great way to tie in and prepare people to be oriented to the theme you are feeling God is directing you on that morning. Of course, for those that like the countdown effect and how it helps you get the service started these videos will serve that purpose of both having the [...]



Whiteboard Worship Training / Dan Wilt (2011)

Thu, 28 Apr 2011 19:47:07 +0000

(image) 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.

REVIEW :

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 :

http://bit.ly/iye5ij

 

Learning with you,
Kim Gentes

 




Drum Grooves for Worship - Carl Albrecht (2009)

Fri, 08 May 2009 01:35:31 +0000

(image) Drum Grooves for Worship

The subtitle of this DVD is "Essential Patterns for the Top 100 CCLI Songs" and this is a descript summation of Carl's intention on this training resource DVD. Here is the premise- Carl reviewed the most popular 100 songs played in churches today (as ranked by CCLI) and listened to the recordings of those songs. In analyzing the songs, and the recordings of those songs, Carl found that all of them can be played in what amounts to 7 basic rhythm types. For those who don't know who he is, Carl Albrecht is to worship drumming what Tiger Woods is to golf- the perennial contributor that has more accolades and credits to his pedigree than I could put in a review of less than 3 pages. If you have heard any worship recordings in the last 20 years, there is a good chance Carl's name is listed on the drum credits for that CD.

That said, Carl approached this DVD with a laser focus to teach you something that you can actually use. He walks methodically through the seven basic grooves found in the top songs of the church. He instructs you, groove by groove, in not only the fundamentals and techniques, but the terminology and the application into which those grooves will fit in songs that are meant for worship. There are a number of worship resources sprouting up from skilled players, but none from as seasoned of a professional instructor as Carl. This DVD doesn't attempt to add superfluous fluff, but focuses keenly on absolutely making you successful at locking in to these 7 essential grooves. The chapter list includes these main items:

  • chapter 3 - 8th Note Feel
  • chapter 4 - Alternative Rock (8th with 16th note fillers) - ghost notes
  • chapter 5 - 16 note (train groove)
  • chapter 6 - 8th & 16th Note (ballads)
  • chapter 7 - 6/8 time, felt in 2 (majestic)
  • chapter 8 - shuffle/swing feel (triplets minus the middle) - and hip hop!
  • chapter 9 - odd time signatures (3/4, 5/4 etc) - hymns
  • chapter 10 - prayer... "prayer for the saints" on drums (a solo)

As a worship leader, and a former drumming instructor myself, I can't say enough about the importance of the points that Carl makes. Every worship leader who wonders why their drummer seems to drift off beat, speed up going into the chorus, or lose time during instrumental parts should be thanking God for Carl Albrecht. Because, while it is painful to have those situations occurring in your local church band, at least now you have a remedy that can actually help your drummer be the timekeeper you need him/her to be.

Drummers and worship leaders, I can't urge you enough to consider getting this core drumming learning tool. Check it out online at :

http://carlalbrecht.com/store/drum-grooves-for-worship/

In the rhythm,
Kim Gentes

 




iWORSHIP FLEXX - Multipart MPEG Lyric Presentation Videos (2008)

Fri, 19 Dec 2008 22:56:00 +0000

(image) iWORSHIP FLEXX is marketed as "videos that follow your lead". An apt description, iWORSHIP FLEXX are professional videos related to specific worship songs. Each FLEXX product contains several songs (normally 7 different songs on each edition). Each song comes with several MPEG & Quicktime files - each file represents a song segment. Used with software like MediaShout, you navigate through verses, choruses and other song sections by clicking on these custom designed videos. iWORSHIP FLEXX is easy to use and contains exceptionally well produced content.

iWORSHIP FLEXX highlights very progressive video styling and graphics which may be a notch or two above what you are currently using in your services with adding static lyrics on some stock motion backgrounds.  The folks producing iWORSHIP FLEXX have done a spectacular job at making the videos very crisp for their purpose- upbeat songs pop, while balads pull back and let the image breathe without disturbing the visuals too much.  One thing I liked about the offering is that it provides intro segments, which let you cue up the song musically before the lyrics start hitting the screen.  There is also a great extended video segment, letting you run consistently on the screen, even if your band is playing an instrumental section.

Technically speaking, you will want to make sure you are using a relatively new machine with FLEXX video demands.  This model of doing VJ or worship lyric presentation removes the lyrics COMPLETELY from the process-- they are all embedded in the FLEXX video segments.  And that is the point- what you are doing here is simply running a single video for each section of the song.  The concept is brilliant, but does mean you can't have the old PC that ran powerpoint try to chug along on these meaty MPEG or Quicktime videos as you swap through song segments.

Churches that want a more progressive, higher level video experience will love FLEXX.  I would say that some churches may find FLEXX a little too progressive, depending on their song selection.  Over the years I have heard churches get more and more articulate about too much happening on the video screen during worship.  I think FLEXX could be used well, but I am guessing some churches will want to be sure to watch a demo before purchasing for their more conservative environments.

Overall, its a great product, beautifully and artfully rendered, with a perfect mix of technical chops to make it "plug and play" with MediaShout or other higher end presentation software. 

iWorship FLEXX has several titles out including:

 

 

 

Review by Kim Gentes




Intermediate Acoustic Worship Guitar Course (2008)

Thu, 18 Dec 2008 20:36:16 +0000

Worship leaders and acoustic guitar players need to be wary of a major illness that can infect their playing. This malady is called complacency. It comes to rest all too often on rhythm acoustic guitar players, especially worship leaders. But fortunately there is a cure. And it comes in a nice, low calorie package. It is "Intermediate Acoustic Worship Guitar". When I began watching this DVD set to help understand what it was, I quickly realized this was more than a 1 hour DVD with a few "tricks and tips". Instead, "Intermediate Acoustic Worship Guitar" is a complete, and fully featured 7 hour course that will revamp and energize your acoustic guitar skills. This is a resource that is meant for rhythm players, and especially worship leaders. In fact, much of the items covered in the course, targets common applications for worship leaders such as fresh strumming patterns for common worship song rhythms. But the DVD's do not get you bogged down into bastions of skill sets for long periods of time. Instead, like other Musicademy products, this course flows from point to point and interjects interviews, quick tips and concepts that apply to the lessons being learned. This is a true course, not just a terse summary of best ideas from a guitar guru. But because it is broken into several lessons, this DVD could be used as a weekly teacher. Plug it in for 30 -40 minutes, work through a few lessons. Then work on that for a week. Come back in a week and roll through a couple more lessons. This DVD set works well as a self-paced course that will propel a rhythm acoustic guitar player. The amount of content in the DVD set is so voluminous, you may not believe it- it is over 7 hours (yes, I said seven) of digital video content, across 3 DVDs. The content starts head-on with strumming and moves through that extensively. All the while, the instruction compliments both single instrument and band contexts. In fact, worship leaders will especially appreciate the regular tips explaining how to apply concepts and skills in the worship team/band settings. Most of the strumming patterns actually accompany a drum click pattern that helps the player understand the rhythm context for their strumming patterns being learned. Topics move on to chord voicings, complex chords, barre chords and picking techniques. Even included are specific flourishes/licks that an acoustic guitarist can learn and put in their toolkit for appropriate settings/use. At first, the DVDs don't tackle classical music terms and foundations (other than timing), but as you work through the course, you learn keys, notes and timing, even Nashville Number system information. All of this would be far too much information, if the course was not well segmented, nicely paced and easy to watch and take at your pace. While this course is definitely not for the beginning guitar player, it is going to be very effective for those who play well enough to lead worship in a local church context. It will help take those people into an entire new strata of expression on their guitars, by providing very methodical, though engaging, lessons to invigorate their playing. The details about this course are much rather seen than read, so I highly encourage you to view the important detailed info that is linked to from this page. (go here) The bottom line- if you are a worship leader, or know a worship leader, this course is a beautiful tool that will help you and work for you in your local church bad context. If you are an acoustic player looking for a sure-fire resource to move you along to the next level- this is it! I highly encourage you to consider the Musicademy: Intermediate Acoustic Worship Guitar resource. Product link: Intermediate Acoustic Worship Guitar Course   Review by Kim Anthony Gentes[...]



Musicademy Worship Drums Course (2008)

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 07:34:06 +0000

For the last 20 years of musical involvement I personally had been engaged training, teaching, and developing materials for guitar players, worship leaders, and drummers.  But my musical journey began actually with playing drums in junior and senior high school bands. Later, in college, I participating in local churches as a drummer, and eventually helped develop drummers by writing some essentials curriculum for drums.  Back in the early days of the modern praise and worship sound being used in local churches, there was very little in the way of resources for musical training. In the last 5-10 years, these resources have begun to spring up from notable musicians and clinicians around the worship community.Most of the contributions in the musical training within the worship community have been more of “clinic session” style resources.  Those clinic style DVDs deal topically or stylistically with learning how to play an instrument in the worship setting.  However, what has been missing from the resourcing cache of the modern church are extensive and comprehensive full length courses on given instruments.  To that end, Musicademy brings us “Worship Drums Course: Beginners“ and “Worship Drums Course: Intermediate“, the first fully enclosed lesson series that takes you from a novice to “ready-to-play” participant in your local church worship band.Having spent years as a drummer and many additional years as a worship leader, I feel that one of the critical components of modern church music is a competent drummer.   The Musicademy “Worship Drums Course” contents are basically the equivalent of having dozens of lessons compiled onto DVD, organized into step-by-step chapters and ready for you to start learning!Right from the start, Colin Brookes, the primary instructor on the DVDs, explains each concept verbally with clarity and a warm approachable manner. As you roll through the lessons, on-screen subtitles punctuate the points. The typical lesson consists of: a brief verbal introduction a drum notation script across the bottom of the screen Colin playing the rudiment or lesson point an example of that skill being implemented in a full rhythm (with some lead in measures). Most lessons included at least 2 or 3 complete reps where the student can actually follow along and work out the rhythm. This is a quality approach to teaching. There is important information being conveyed, but also plenty of clear examples and lots of repetition to give the student time to lock in to the concept by actually playing.  Many times in the lessons, Colin shows both a regular speed example of the beat and a slowed down version.  This is crucial to building a proper foundation in drumming technique. While it is important to practice in music—it is essential to practice right!  To make sure this happens Colin slows down the tempo and students are forced to learn the beat the right way.  The result is that you spend hours of on DVD time (and hours more of off-DVD time) practicing the skills the right way. As the skill improves, then speed can be increased.In addition to the professional approach being taken on the lessons in both Beginner and Intermediate drum courses, both DVD sets include two other important add-on content sections: Quick Tips and Interviews.  The Quick Tips are a collection of simple practical notes about the instrument and your role with it- things like: drum kit positioning, eye contact with the worship leader, fast /slow click speeds, dynamics, music styles, syncing with the bass, and more.  The Interviews are a collection of personal stories, tips and insights from worship leaders, drummers and other musicians, each of which explain some topic from their perspective and experience.Musicademy has done a very good job at not only collecting a complete set of less[...]



The Beginning Drummer DVD - Carl Albrecht (2006)

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 16:32:05 +0000

(image) When I began playing music, back in the mid-80's, my first instrument was drums. For ten years I had the opportunity to play (and eventually instruct) drums in context of local churches. Towards the end of that time, I worked with beginning drummers trying to help them learn the essentials of the instrument. Also, it was important to me to take the skills of a drummer and help them make a significant contribution to their local church worship.

It is from that perspective that I begin watching and reviewing the DVD from drummer/clinician Carl Albrecht, entitled "The Beginning Drummer". First off, let me give you an overview of the DVD content. Carl covers the following in this DVD:

  • The Set-Up (drum kit positioning/fit)
  • Tuning (kick, snare and toms)
  • Rudiments & Basic Technique
  • Rudiments on the Kit
  • Basic Grooves (8th note groove, 16th note groove, triplet groove, the shuffle)
  • Closing comments


While "The Beginning Drummer" DVD is focused on developing the framework of how to play the drums, it is much more than just a great tool for just novice drummers. I would recommend this DVD to any drummer, whether a beginner or an advanced player. Any drummer will benefit from this excellent tool. All the segments taught on the DVD are explained in crisp, succinct language and then demonstrated with nicely paced lesson that can be used as a guide to your own practice time. The DVD also has a couple of good bonus features- an eclectic three and a half minute solo and a very important reminder to drummers of the essential nature of timing and practicing with a metronome.

"The Beginning Drummer" DVD is all of what you would need for a thorough introduction to drumming. What really impressed me was Carl's excellent ability to both teach and execute each lesson topic. He is obviously a gifted communicator, as well as musician. Carl's personal style helps combine the technical details and terminology in what feels like a private lesson. Throughout the DVD he gives you all the proper musical foundations for playing drums, while also focusing that knowledge on his goal of serving God and others in music. Carl is a servant and he approaches this teaching DVD from that perspective. He interweaves this concept across the lessons, even including a brief prayer to begin the training.

No detail or topic is left out on this exhaustive DVD that completely covers the topic of "The Beginning Drummer". I was very impressed with the content, communication, and the videography for this training tool. Whether you are a veteran drummer who wants to get a complete treatment of all the foundations of drummer to brush up on technique, or a new drummer looking for "the" video guide to take you through a step-by-step introduction on playing the drums- this DVD will serve you well.

This DVD is an impressive and essential part of any modern church's music library. I highly recommend it and am happy to grant it an Editor's Choice Award. Great work Carl!

Product Link http://carlalbrecht.com/store/the-beginning-drummer-dvd/


Review by Kim Gentes




What Is Worship? - Dan Wilt (2006)

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 16:25:02 +0000

There are as many definitions of "worship" in the church as there are teachers, which results in a myriad of reflection, study and teachings on the topic.  Captivating this topic in a helpful video symposium, Vineyard Worship resources and host Dan Wilt have gathered some of the most insightful and influential voices in the global church.  The new DVD entitled "What is Worship ?" serves as a panorama of expression from scholars like Peter Fitch, N.T. Wright, Peter Davids and Don Williams.  Adding pastors and writers such as John Wimber, Derek Morphew, and John Eldredge, along with worship leaders Matt Redman, Brian Doerksen, David Ruis, Tim Hughes, Kathryn Scott and Nigel Briggs this DVD teaching tool is an hour and ten minutes of coordinated walk through many topics centered around a culturally-current definition of worship."What is Worship?" walks through topics such as "Who we worship", "Why we worship" and "how we worship" as it prepares the viewer by laying the groundwork for its thesis. In the 5th chapter of the DVD (about 12minutes into it) Dan Wilt frames a definition of worship that is expanded up in the remaining 11 chapters of the DVD.   In listening and watching a DVD like this, I started off thinking, " I already know what worship is.  I am not going to learn much here."  I was wrong.  I found myself learning a lot, and then re-watching the DVD two more times to soak in.What I enjoyed most about the DVD was the teaching from N.T. Wright, who's scriptural understanding of the throne room scene in Revelation 4 and 5 is particularly insightful.  Discussion with scholar Peter Fitch and Don Williams were also excellent, as was a genuinely personal interview with Matt Redman.  I found the pastoral contributions of John Wimber and David Ruis to be both well thought and challenging.  Noted author John Eldredge (whose books include "Wild at Heart", "Sacred Romance", and others) contributes a short, but very welcomed warning for our church culture to remain clear on the balance of major and minor messages in the Christian life.The DVD has the nuance of a 60-minutes style interview/monologue interlaced with a teaching style outline framing the chapters and their transitions by Dan Wilt.  It is a viewing experience that is very easy to enjoy and learn.  The videography is well done, save a couple of clips of archive footage that were integrated into the DVD.  The DVD has options for Spanish and Dutch subtitles, as well.This DVD could easily be the basis for a 3 or 4 week small group, and it is nicely segmented for stop and start viewing, if needed.  In fact, one thing you should be aware of is that its likely you can't digest the material in the hour and ten minutes in which it is presented.  This is simply because the points are rendered quickly and the presentation moves on.  If you aren't watching it carefully, you will miss points made along the way, which is a great argument for watching it multiple times. Alternatively, viewing this DVD in segments (4 chapters at a time) would be a great way to walk through it in a group.  A good application of this would be for a worship leader to present 15 minutes of this DVD to their worship/praise team as a teaching tool during a rehearsal or team meeting.  Not only would it fuel discussion, but would expose the team to some excellent teaching.This DVD is a very well-thought, well-presented tool, that is useful in any church. I highly recommend it.  You can view online details (chapter titles) and an extended online video of the DVD by clicking on/viewing the clip above. Product Link: What Is Worship? (DVD) Review by Kim Gentes[...]



Acoustic Guitar - Paul Baloche (2005)

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 05:19:10 +0000

Musicians have always understood something about learning and playing music. Moving from the use of basic constructs and components, like notes, rhythms, chords and strums, the way on to proficiency is two-fold: modeling and intrinsics. Ask any quality musician and they will tell you that understanding the instruction and mechanics of playing an instrument are just the building blocks of music. How you take those skills and apply them will develop into your style. Modeling is simply learning by example. When speaking of intrinsics in music, we are talking about the nuances that are part of the instrument and its operation, but need a veteran to really bring them out. "Acoustic Guitar", the latest instructional DVD from Paul Baloche's Modern Worship Series, is a complete volume built on these ideas- modeling the intrinsics of playing an acoustic guitar to the average rhythm guitar player. Paul serves as your own acoustic guitar version of Yoda, taking you through all the secrets of the instrument. But unlike his Jedi Master counterpart in the movies, Paul's digital video version of your trials won't leave you frustrated or turning to the dark side. The techniques learned in this DVD are the summation of every good nuance, tip and hint that a rhythm guitar player or worship leader/guitarist will need to know and (for some of us) may have searched for years to find. Paul starts off with simply tuning the guitar, which is the slowest part of the DVD. But don't let derail you. The first major concept Paul introduces is what he calls the "open chord" concept, something familiar to most acoustic guitarists leading contemporary worship. Paul makes clear how you can play dozens of songs in the key of E by using open faced A2-form chords across the fret board. If that sounds complicated, don't worry about it, Paul will have you in the "know" in just a few minutes with his great, personal style and patience in explaining each detail he is demonstrating. He spends a lot of time explaining, showing, exampling this method, and this is good because this one technique is enough for weeks worth of revising and enhancing your current repertoire into an uncluttered modern acoustic sound. From there it's an X-wing fighter, rocket ship ride through 24 "chapters" in which Paul covers a blizzard of techniques. But no techniques are tossed out without an example. He painstakingly shows you exactly what to do, and always gives a song sample in which it can be used. In fact, every single technique on this DVD is accessible to the average Joe (or Luke) acoustic guitar player, save perhaps the very last topic, when our guitar teaching Yoda makes us face those dreaded barre chords. But that time you have gone through everything from finger picking, using a capo, strumming patterns, to right/left hand dampening, walkdowns, and triads. There is far too much content on this DVD to review in detail, which is due in large part to Paul's personal approach and taking time on each topic to show and explain everything. But even with the 2 hours and 30min of digital footage on this DVD, you will have material enough for many weeks of practicing and incorporating the excellent instruction communicated here. Feel free to take breaks, come back after a couple days practicing one especially pertinent concept, and just jump back in. This is exactly what instructional DVDs are supposed to be! One thing to keep in mind is that this is not really a lesson plan or a progressively built method of learning guitar. The person most suited for this DVD is the average acoustic guitar player or worship leader. You will need understanding of what the basic open faced chords are, and how to play regular strumming patterns with them. It helps if you are familiar with how a chord is constructed, but that is not absolutely necessary. I would guess that 95% of the a[...]



Hear Harmony Series / Rachelle Randeen (2004)

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 05:01:00 +0000

Hear Harmony I, II, and Warm Up Hear Harmony was the winner of the 2004 Resource of the Year from WorshipMusic.com. Hear Harmony are Vocal Training CDs focusing on harmony through independent singing in rounds, parallel 3rds, finding a starting pitch and harmonizing above or below the harmony. There are 3 CDs available in the series and each focuses on training through actual particpatory exercises. Demonstration followed by an opportunity to sing along. REVIEW : Hear Harmony is a wonderful 2 CD set that introduces the concept of learning to sing harmony. The Lessons begin with the very basics of teaching the listener come concepts for ear-training. In order to sing harmony one must start with ear training. Hear Harmony does a wonderful job of teaching the listener to pick out the differences between melody and harmony lines in a song using 2 familiar songs most of us learned as children. Succeeding the first five sessions, the lessons break in to the real strength of the Hear Harmony method: the exercises. The exercises start at a very basic level and as they progress the build on each previous exercise. The exercises begin by singing numbers in the steps of the major scale and learning to sing in parallel thirds, which is the most common that we hear on a daily basis. The lessons then segue into singing notes using solfeg (i.e. doe, ray, me) and the first CD finishes with the building upon previous lessons and singing over different chord progressions and harmonizing to melodies that have skips in the intervals of the notes. When you break in to the second CD, the fun really begins. You are shown what it sounds like to sing in and out of tune on a harmony line and how to train your ear to hear the difference. The harmony exercises become more complex with continuing to learn to sing harmony at a third and forth interval above the melody line and when each is appropriate. The reward start to come in the second half of the CD as you move from exercises to working out harmony parts on familiar songs such as Are You Sleeping, Jesus Loves Me, Amazing Grace and others. This is where the exercises really begin to make sense as they are applied in these songs. As you continue to practice the exercises and sing along with the songs, you will grow stronger in learning to sing harmony. The only difficulty that I noticed in working through the lessons is that it can get tedious and at times, monotonous. But if you think back to learning to play an instrument in school the practice although time consuming and sometimes difficult to follow through on, did pay dividends if you stuck with it. The same is true of these lessons. If you have never been able to sing harmony in the past, this double CD set will help you, but it is not going to come overnight. If you are able to sing harmony to some degree, this CD will help you understand some of the wherefores behind singing harmony and you will improve. Even if you have been singing harmony for years, you will be able to glean something from the Hear Harmony CD, even if it is just using the scales as warm-up exercises. All in all I think that the Hear Harmony CD set would be a great tool in any worship leaders library. Review by Brian Bloom Editor's Note: Not only as an editor, but as a worship leader, I must completely agree with Brian's review of the Hear Harmony Vocal Training CDs (see the review below). We need more solid resources like this in the church. So many vocal resources strive to fix & perfect technique but don't actually teach people (from scratch) the simple how-to's of attaining proper pitch (whether in a harmony or melody context). I was so happy to see this being done, and done with excellence, we decided to select Hear Harmony Vocal T[...]