There are many factors to consider when choosing the most appropriate key for a song. Vocalists especially know the importance of choosing the right key for their unique voice. But we also need to consider the “audience” and the explicit purpose of singing the song in the first place! Some, I am sure, will disagree with me on this issue. That’s okay. It’s not my intention to present a hard set of rules that must be applied in every situation. But in most situations, this flowchart will be a helpful tool as you make your key choice decisions.


  1. Thank you for this article and the time you spent creating this flow chart. We have to lower so much of what we bring to our congregation, and we’re glad to do so to make it more accessible to them. As a worship leader, why would I want to keep it from their reach? I have observed several congregations with zero participation simply because it was out of range of the average singer.

  2. I have come to really dislike the octave jumps. Smacks of a show-offy attitude. Wish more worship leaders would see that the congregation will quit singing when they come up.

    • Dear Heather!

      Hello and thanks for your post. Octave jumps… totally agree, they can be hard for the worship leader and congregation, sounds like there’s a great article needing to be written there, so thanks for the inspiration. I will also add that a bit like the guitar solo, some of these technique-y things can get lost in translation between the heart of the person doing it, and those of us and our congregations at the other end of things. Good food for thought…

      Thanks and God Bless ~ Doug & the [WM] Team:)

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