I’m guessing that most worship teams work out the song arrangements of the worship set before Sunday morning.
During rehearsal they mapped out how each song will flow and determine how many times to repeat the chorus of a specific song or which song will start with chorus instead of the verse. After all, that is what rehearsals are for; nailing down the flow and specifics of the songs and the set.
However, the reality of Sunday morning (or whatever event you are leading) is that there are times when the flow of a specific song needs to change in order to better facilitate the moment. When this happens the band must rely on prearranged cues to provide direction on where to go in the song.
The basic cues would include: repeat the current section; go to the chorus; go to the verse; end the song; bring down the dynamics; bring up the dynamics.
There a many more cues that you could include but the cues above would cover most of the situations a worship team may find itself in. One key to remember in creating the cues for the band is to keep it simple. You don’t want some elaborate cuing system that resembles a third base coach in baseball. The cues should be short, clear and simple. Such as a quick verbal cue, “Lets sing that again!” or flashing a quick hand signal. Some worship leaders have used one finger to indicate verse, two fingers for 2nd verse and a closed fist for the chorus. Honestly, the cues can be whatever you and your band work out.
There are two final thoughts about using cues. First, it is important that the band be able to see the leader during worship. This way they are able to easily see and identify the cue. Second, I have found it best to test out the cues in rehearsal to make sure that everyone becomes comfortable making a change with a cue and are also clear on what each cue is indicating.
(c) 2013, Brent Helming. All Rights Reserved.