Internet Based Music Resources

The internet is saturated with resources. How do you know where to look for music when there is an overwhelming abundance of material out there? 

You can type “any song name + chord chart” into google and get mixed results, but there are two resource sites that stand out among the rest – CCLI Song Select and Praisecharts.com. These are the go-to sites when worship leaders are looking for music. In this article, we will take a look at the pros and cons for each site to help you in figuring out which one will work best for your needs.

First and foremost, both of these resources are useful and I use both sites frequently. Both sites are easy to navigate and use, and contain an excellent searchable database. You can subscribe to newsletters from both sites which includes information about collections or song suggestions for upcoming seasons in the church calendar. 

 

As well, both sites contain a topical search section which allows you to search by themes. This can be useful when you have a theme or topic to work within and need song suggestions. It mostly comes down to personal preference when considering the formatting of the lead sheets and chord charts, as well as practical matters such as affordability. I would recommend either site as a quality resource. 

SongSelect is a product of CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing International). Although you may think that because you have a CCLI license at your corps or church you automatically have access to SongSelect, this is in fact NOT true. SongSelect is a different product that is separate to the license your corps or church has with CCLI.

SongSelect is a subscription based product that allows you to download music in PDF format. It is renewed annually. SongSelect works well with programs such as Easy Worship (for lyrics display) as well as On Song (for musicians to access on their digital device).

SongSelect doesn’t provide piano scores which can be a challenge for some musicians who aren’t comfortable reading a lead sheet. Sometimes, it is possible to use the vocal score and play it like four part harmony that would be similar to the tune book.

Pros

Cons

  • Unlimited downloads

  • Change music to any key

  • Music playback online

  • Lyrics sheet available

  • Choir parts

  • No piano score

  • Possible inaccuracy of chords

Praisecharts.com is an independent website that has developed relationships with large Christian music publishers such as Hillsong, Integrity Music to produce arrangements of worship songs. With this in mind, you will see the same song as recorded by different artists with various options of arrangements. Lead lines and key elements of these arrangements are notated on the lead sheet.


Praisecharts.com is also a subscription service, but instead of paying annually, you purchase credits that you can use to purchase music. The amount of credits depends on the type of music and arrangement. 

At SAWM, we like the way that Praisecharts.com arranges for choirs and orchestras. The choral parts can be used by a choir or songster group. Appropriate parts can be taken from the orchestra parts and used for additional instruments you may have, brass or otherwise. The availability of these alternative parts allows more instruments to be involved and encourages music sections to work together.

Pros

Cons

  • Credit based purchasing rather than annual fee

  • Chord charts can be in any key you want

  • Full orchestrations (such as piano score)

  • Choir parts

  • Orchestrations for many (not all) songs in the database

  • One page chord chart format

  • Capo chord options

  • Limited key choices for lead sheet, piano and orchestrations

  • Cannot preview music (large watermark over most of chart until you download it)

  • Only 5 downloads per purchase

As you can see, there are pros and cons to each site so it becomes personal preference to figure out what fits your situation best. As Christian musicians, we should all be conscious of ensuring that we use and view music correctly and within the legal limits of your particular area. These sites help us to honour the great work that composers and arrangers have done.

SA Worship magazine is a cooperative project that has contributors from around The Salvation Army World. If you would like more information on how you can contribute, Please write to your local Territorial Worship Representative.

Editor: Simon Gough - Canada And Bermuda Territory 

Music Type Setting: Nik King - United Kingdom and  Republic of Ireland Territory

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For more information please Contact Simon_Gough@can.salvationarmy.org