How to Start With WordPress

I use WordPress for this blog that I write. I love it! I am also a tinkerer, and I like to see how these kinds of things work. So I started coding some themes and plugins for fun, to see what I could do.

What I didn’t expect, was to like it as much as I did. I love music and playing it and writing it. That is probably my first love. But after that, now I enjoy writing code. It must be a balance thing, one art and one technical (or are they both art?).

In any case, WordPress has a learning curve just like everything else, and I’ve hit the point where I don’t want to tinker, I want to build. So I asked a question on Twitter:

Got some answers too:

They did write a blog post about it, and it is great! Thanks again WPDaily!

The guys at WPDaily were awesome, and the post about getting started with WordPress coding should become a great springboard for coders, like myself.

Ask, and you will receive.

Blog to Follow: My Song In The Night

If you’re in worship music at all – writer, musician, leader – you need to check out My Song In The Night. Written by Bobby and Kristen Gilles, the site talks about worship in many ways and is a wonderful place to dig through theology in worship. This is one of the best resources I’ve found for worship songs, writing tips, practical stuff, the works.

A few examples:

  1. Free Printable Glossary Of Hymn Meter & Form Terms
  2. The Songwriter’s Glossary Of Poetic & Rhetorical Devices
  3. Have You Turned Your Worship Team Into A Cheesy Talent Competition?

There’s much more where that came from. Do check it out.

Faith Requires Fear

So, I have a confession to make: I have fear.

You see, I moved to a new city a few weeks ago. I didn’t have a job to go to, I didn’t move for family, I just moved because God said so.

No other explanation. God wanted me to go, and I couldn’t say no to that. But that comes with a new set of issues. Like, what in the world am I going to do for employment, where should we live, stuff like that. So, you could say I’m a bit scared of what is to come.

But I have faith.

If God is truly God, and He wants me in a place, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that He would give me the resources to stay and prosper? On paper, that sounds like a perfect. logical argument. Unfortunately, in real life, my faith and my fear fight all the time. If my human eyes can’t see it, then it must not be true. But my faith tells me that God will come through, He has to because it’s His nature.

Bottom line: faith will cause fear in you. Your human mind and heart can’t understand your spiritual faith. Part of being faithful is facing that fear. Having faith is not the removal of fear. It is choosing not to believe that fear.

Whatever God is telling you to do, go and do it. If it is from Him, He will be at your side. If He is for you, nothing can destroy you.

Keyboards in Worship: Out of Your Element

Recently, I played at my church in a different service than I usually do.  They have a different style than the one I am used to fitting into.  And to top it off, they were playing a difficult song with an orchestra – something I’ve not done before as a keys player.

Yikes!

For me, I don’t read piano music too well.  I had the bad habit when I was taking lessons to stare at my fingers and loose my place in the music.  So, I was not looking forward to this piece because I felt out of my element.  I still had to play my part and help the sound of the band.  Here’s what I did:

Practice

First (as always), I needed to practice.  I had to brush off my reading skills and hit the woodshed on my part.  There was an especially important lead in that I had to nail, so I practiced that many times.  I ended up attending extra practices with the orchestra and choir so I could hear the song better.  Do the work if you want the results!

Simplify

Don’t try to be Mr. Virtuoso if you don’t have the chops.  I certainly did not have the chops then to pull off the song as written.  I usually play more of a free style and only have chords in front of me.  This chart was all orchestrated, so I came to a compromise.  I’d play the chords (which were written on the chart).  But not everything on the page.  The band leader was ok with this, so I just tried to make it as simple as possible.

When you don’t know what’s going on, keep it simple.  You can add once you feel comfortable.  But don’t try to add way too much and get lost when a mistake happens.  It sounded good, and I didn’t detract from the sound.

Watch/Listen

The last thing I needed to do was to watch the conductor and listen to the band.  I couldn’t rely on a click track for this, because the piece had many tempo shifts.  So, I had to watch the conductor for the tempo and cues.

There was also a soloist, so the whole band had to listen to her as we were following her lead.  If she jumped ahead, then we had to follow, or if she held out a note extra long, we needed to be prepared.  Paying attention to your band is one of the most important things to do when playing.  Listen to them, watch the leader, and you’ll not be lost.

Has anyone else been thrown a curve and have a good story to share?