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The Music Schop is a resource for worship musicians and pastors. Song analysis of popular worship songs, theory lessons, reviews of worship resources, and tips and tricks for drummers, keyboard players, guitar players, bass players – the entire band. Written by Chris Schopmeyer.

Song Analysis – "Chosen Generation" from the Passion Albumn Awakening

OVERVIEW

  • Take note of the form; it has a few unexpected twists:
    • opening chorus
    • drums only PC following C2
    • instrumental following the bridge
  • Pre Chorus chord deserves attention (not a minor ii)
  • The chord progression change at the bridge can be easily missed
  • The band plays eight bars of the IV chord in turning back to V2
Transient

Details

This is a popular song at our church. We've done it many times, and I'm always surprised at the silly ways we mess it up.

Let's start by looking at the album form: 

Intro | Chorus    
Verse 1 | Pre Chorus | Chorus 1 | ~ |  V2 | PC | C2 | PC2 | C3 | Bridge | Inst. | C4 ...

You always need to be cautious when playing songs that start with a chorus. Why? Because songs that start with a chorus can play tricks on your brain! Especially when going to verse 2. This song is no exception.

Secondly, be aware of the relatively early and unconventional drums-only moment coming out of C2. The song goes back to the pre chorus, vamping twice before another chorus. 

Last, the instrumental comes after the bridge. Not a big deal, but worth noting.

The Turn Back To V2

Not only might you be prone to miss this because of the form, but the chords also mess with your head. Although the guitar solo/turn is only four bars, you will play eight bars of the IV chord. How can this be? The last two bars of the chorus and the first two bars of the verse are also the IV chord. All instruments need to offset this by strong style distinctions between sections and other tricks like utilizing octave leaps in the bass. Notice how the drummer sets up the turn and then V2.

Chord Progression Notes

Couple of quick things:

  • The pre chorus goes to a major II chord. In the key of B this is a C# (major), not C#m (minor). Interestingly, one guitar is also playing a IIsus chord, or C#sus in B. How this works is for another post. Just don't play a ii minor chord. It is a bummer. 
  • The bridge and instrumental changes are very similar to the chorus. The chorus walks up to I/iii and then goes to IV; the bridge/instrumental goes directly to the IV chord and then walks down to I/iii. Check this out and don't let it trip you up. 

Song Analysis – "Where the Spirit of the Lord Is" by Chris Tomlin, from the Passion Recording Awakening

Song Structure Analysis 

They may know where the Spirit is, but they don't know how to find the 1 chord. This song never plays a 1 chord. Check it out.

The song is really simple. You need to memorize two sets of chords – the chorus and verse. 

  • VERSE: 
    • | 6 / / / | / / / / | 2 / / / |  / / / / |
    • That's it! 
    • The groovy bass riff really makes the verse. 
  • CHORUS: 
    • | 4 / / / | / / / / | 6 / / / | 5 / / / | 
    • That's it!

As for the intro and the pre chorus, they are the same changes as the chorus. 

If so much of this song is the same, what sets apart the different sections? 

Drums:

  • In the verse, the drummer plays a two-bar pattern. The first bar is the driving groove from the chorus. The second bar emphasizes the upbeats of 2 and 3. 
    • Once he hits the pre chorus and the chorus, he sticks with with the driving groove – 1& / 3&.  

Electric Guitar

  •  is really important for the EGs to get the grooves on these sections correct. 
  • Verse: Muted riff that somewhat matches the groove of bass. 
  • PC: Really opens up hitting the big diamond (whole note) in the first bar, lead line in second bar. 
  • Chorus: Quarter note drive feel. Note he doesn't play every up stroke. Really emphasizes beats 1 and 2.  . 
 
  • You can check out an EG instructional video here

Bass: 

  • The verses have a nice bass riff – a riff with a striking resemblance to Billie Jean. Check it out. The bass really helps the groove here. 

Notes for Keys: 

  • Find a fat pad for the opening chorus. 
    • Fat chords using octave bass notes in the left hand
    • Keep simple shape in right hand
      • For example, in the key of F, an F5 shape in RH (F, C, F) works over all three chords
        • (Bb 2 (it contains the 5th and 2nd of chord), Dm7 (it contains the 3rd an 7th of chord), and Csus (contains the 4th and root of chord)). 
  • I suggest one or two note chords in the verse, if anything at all. I.e. right hand only. 
  • Pre chorus thicker chords. Try to add piano lead that you hear on the recording
  • Chorus has three note pattern in the piano. You can play this or just play a pad.  
  • You can check out a piano instructional video here.

Other interesting notes: 

Final prechorus has chord substitutions. It is:

  • | 2 / / / | / / / / | 1/3 / / / | / / / / |
    • (An aside:The 2 chord is often a nice substitution for the 4 chord. 1/3 is a nice sub for the 6 chord, especially in this scenario where you are walking the chords up the scale.)
  • The second half is the same as the original pre chorus (or chorus for that matter...) 
  • | 4 / / / | / / / / | 6 / / / | 5 / / / | 
  • For example, the final pre chorus chords in the key of F: 
  • | Gm7 / / / | / / / / | F2/A / / / | / / / / | Bb / / / | / / / / | Dm / / / | Csus / / / |