A Simple White Girl’s Guide to Vocal Training Approaches

A Simple White Girl’s Guide to Vocal Training Approaches

What’s the difference between vocal training methods and where did they all come from?

Here’s an entertaining, fast-paced flyover of the Holy Grail of vocal instruction and the history of how different methods have tried to recover it.

Plus hear the story of how a personal tragedy created The Voice Club’s  ‘Sing Better….Faster” method that now uncovers the vocal potential of the singers we train.

Enjoy the video and give me your opinion below!

Are bad singers better worshippers?

Are bad singers better worshippers?

worshipersI’m going to share a secret with you: I’m uncomfortable singing in the church.

Don’t get me wrong; I love singing in the church. 

But between my inbred-midwestern-Nazarene-born fear of the fine line between ‘swaying for God’ and ‘ungodly swaying‘ and that time when my well meaning brand new husband told me I sing so loud in the congregation that it makes other people uncomfortable, I have to admit I have a really hard time just freely worshipping when I’m elbow to elbow in the seats.

God knows I have an issue.

So I imagine He must have chuckled to Himself that Sunday as I was ‘self monitoring’ my volume and trying not to move enough to inadvertently touch the stranger next to me.

 

THIS is worship

We had moved and were settling in to a new church.  Some of the songs or arrangements were new to me, and Lord knows the only thing worse than being heard when you sing something right is singing something wrong, so I was….well, ok.  I’m just going to come out with it: I was lip syncing.

It was nice.  It was peaceful.  Then band transitioned into a hymn. 

Without warning a booming, shrill, angry sounding male voice blew past the back of my head. 

My husband reacted before he caught himself.  I hoped the man hadn’t seen our surprise.

The voice knew every word.  Not many notes, but every word.  And he sang them each with the gusto of an Irish drinking song at final call.

 

The problem with worship singers (like me)

Between my work in Christian radio, as a worship leader, guest vocalist and workshop speaker I’ve had the opportunity to worship in a good number of churches and talk candidly with a whole bunch of singers who serve in worship.

We all take very seriously our job to remove distractions so other people can worship in song.  That’s why we learn the words, memorize the notes, try to stay awake through rehearsals at hours no self respecting singer should even be awake yet and train to increase our vocal skill.

But many of us are distracted too: distracted by not sounding ‘good enough’, not being loud enough or being too loud, and not sounding as good as the singer next to us.

Put us in a room of other singers who know (or think) we can sing (can you say ‘worship conference’?) and we are even more tempted by the distraction of our perceived imperfections and what the singers next to us think.

 

What we’re afraid to tell worship leading singers

‘It’s ok if you can’t hold a tune in a bucket’

‘God does say to make a joyful noise

‘It doesn’t matter what you have as long as you give it to God’

These are the things we tell non-singers in the church all the time.  But what would happen if we said them as often to our worship teams, leaders and choirs?  Would everything might really become noise.

 

Is singing worship really so different than cover songs?

There are the 3 steps I teach every professional/gigging singers I work with:

1) You build your skills (ongoing personal training)

2) Then you fit those skills to a specific purpose (rehearsals for a show)

3) Finally, when you hit the stage you stop thinking about you (show time)

Why the last one?

The goal of a great singer/performer is to grow a fan base to start or build a career.  Thinking about good you are (or aren’t) might get you through a gig but thinking about your audience turns attenders into fans.

But if our brain is forced to choose between thinking of ourselves and thinking about our audience, it will inevitably choose ‘me’.

When a singer has taken the personal prep and group rehearsal steps seriously, the quality of what they studied and what learned will kick in (aka, they’ll become good), leaving the brain free to focus on the audience instead.  

 

By verse two of that hymn God was reminding me that the same is true for worship.  But many of us (guilty) forget step 3.  (By the way, how do you get a  ‘joyful NOISE’?  Forget steps 1 & 2)

To refuse to be distracted by anything is to have the ability to give our full attention to our audience of One.

 

This IS worship

When the hymn finished we were directed to “shake a hand next to ya”.

Thinking about how wonderfully un-distracted this man’s worship had been I turned around to put a face to the voice behind me.

“I really enjoyed your fervent worship”, I said.

 

It must have emboldened him.  At the closing hymn, he sang twice as loud.  And twice as badly.

 

I smiled.

And joined in.
 

 

How Your Voice Works

How Your Voice Works

Even if you’re not interested in ‘what’s behind the curtain’ aka the anatomy of the voice, it’s important to have a good basic understanding of how sound is made and what can get in the way.

This module from our “Sing Like a Natural” Series explains how your voice works and why it works the way it does.

Signs of Trouble with Your Voice

Signs of Trouble with Your Voice

voice painIs there something wrong with my voice?

The Voice Club’s speech therapist Chelsea Roberts has a great list of symptoms that your voice could be in trouble.

____________________________________________________________________________

As a speech therapist, there are several things I listen for when evaluating a new patient. Most of the warning signs I listen for are also signs you would recognize as well! It does not always take an expert to identify a concerning sound but does usually take an expert to treat the disorder. Below is a list of ten vocal symptoms that may require attention from a speech therapist.

1. Pitch breaks
2. Phonation breaks (voice completely cuts out for a second)
3. Increased vocal fatigue as the day progresses
4. Harsh vocal quality (raspy, gruff, etc…)
5. Low pitch
6. Frequent laryngitis
7. Frequent throat clearing or coughing
8. Inappropriate breath support (odd breathing patterns)
9. Obvious vocal and/or neck tension
10. Reduced loudness or vocal range

If you hear these symptoms in your voice while signing or talking it may be time to request a referral from your primary care physician for an evaluation by a licensed speech and language pathologist.

 

Good luck and happy singing!

Top 10 Ways to Keep a Good Voice from Going Bad

Top 10 Ways to Keep a Good Voice from Going Bad

When is the last time you saw your favorite singers live?  If you’re like most of us, it’s been awhile.  Maybe that’s why what you’ll hear can shock you.

You get tickets, jam into the venue and cheer as the drums start.

But then they sing.  And as they go along you start to realize  they don’t sound at all like you expected them to.  In fact, sometimes they’re just… really, really bad.

It seems to be happening more often than ever before.  Voices who don’t sound as great as they used to.  Like Mariah Carey, Steven Tyler, Julie Andrews, Kelly Clarkson, John Mayer, Meghan Trainor, Sam Smith…and thousands of singers who you haven’t even heard yet.  Singers who haven’t even started the fun part of their career yet.  Singers like you.

Maybe you haven’t had to cancel a tour and miss out of tens of thousands of dollars in lost income. But the problems you hear in those live performances are just an exaggeration of the basic problems all singers face.

 

How Good Singers Go Bad

Every singer has (or has had) some pretty bad habits that they don’t think are a big deal. But what you see in the headlines is not about singers that suddenly got worse.  Just like the rest of us. they didn’t see it coming either.

Every little bad habit we ignore grows as we use our voices more.  I have students who gig more than I did but even when I was doing sessions, gigs and voiceovers full time none of that talent I worked with ever worried about vocal damage.  Having to ‘rest your voice’ was almost like the proof that a singer was working a lot or rehearsed more than other talent.  Wow.  What a lie.

 

How do you know you’re getting vocal damage?

Honestly, unless your voice gets the heavy and regular use that a touring or up and coming singers voice does, you probably won’t.  Busy singers feel it sooner because they have a better idea of how their voice performs under different stresses.  But because their voice is their money maker it’s even harder not to do what the rest of us do: ignore it.

Ignoring the signs of vocal problems that can lead to damage is easier when you sing less often.  That’s because it never really hurts bad enough or lasts long enough for us to get worried enough about it.

Even those who get to the point where they’re ready to ask for help, finding the right professional to get the right diagnosis can be very daunting, expensive and time consuming.  And you may not even get any advice that you can really do anything with.

But wouldn’t it just be easier to know the top ten things you can change today so you don’t have to go down that road?

Then let’s do it!

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Get my 10 action QUICK TIPS to keep my voice from going bad and, while you're at it, send me a some more free vocal training stuff.

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10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Escape Vocal Problems Later

 

10.  Get Some Rest Already

Physical fatigue has a really bad effect on the voice.  If you feel exhausted and almost not yourself you’re may not be getting enough REM sleep to spark the cellular repair we need from sleep.

You’ve probably heard the result of this before.  If you were to follow an actual live singer on a tour from beginning to end, you’d actually start to hear when their fatigue starts dragging down their voice.  In addition to regular sleep, if your life becomes more demanding (vocally or even just stress) you actually need more sleep to keep your vocal cords from fighting off irritation or damage.

So “Yay YOU!”  You just got a great excuse to take more naps!   Nighty night.

 

9.  Watch Those Burritos

**Important ‘common sense no one thinks about’ alert! **

Nothing you eat or drink affects your vocal cord or voice directly.  And don’t believe anyone who tells you that Lays Crinkle Cut Potato Chips can ‘grease your cords’.  Your vocal cords are in your windpipe.  Any food or drink gets diverted down the other pipe when the Epiglottis (the flap at the junction of the pipes) reroutes it.

So all that chip grease does is build a layer of grease glop onto the Epiglottis, making it even harder for it to open the door to your beautiful voice.

But while food and drink don’t directly affect your voice, singing involves your whole body.  And science, studies and everyone in the front row after a singer has just binged on bean burritos say that your singing brain can’t be at it’s best if another part of your body is suffering.

That’s why spicy, greasy, milky or heavy foods (farewell Mr. Cheesecake; I knew you well) are big no-no’s  in that 24-48hr window before you sing.  (That goes for food sensitivities and allergies too, so no cheating.)

The best advice is the simplest: just eat a healthy, well balanced diet all the time.  But….. if you don’t…. just commit to backing off the junk food 2-7 days before you sing.  It helps.  It really does.

 

8.  Make H20 Your Favorite Element

Your vocal cords are teeny tiny, slippery little suckers.  They vibrate so fast during speech (or singing) that it wasn’t even until the last year or so before they developed a camera that could slow down enough to even see that they flutter.  But without adequate hydration, they can’t perform those incredible rolling waves of vibration nearly as well.

Keep them slippery. Make 80 ounces of water your daily minimum.  If your kind of singing involves walking around or running the stage and lots of body movement, try to double it at least two weeks before your show.

Not in the habit of drinking that much?  Me neither.  So I’m as bummed as you that the single bottle of spring water I grab during the show doesn’t even start to cut it.  That’s because it can take up to TWO WEEKS to re hydrate your body when you don’t drink enough daily.

We’ll wait while you go get a glass.

 

7.  Get in Shape

Even if you don’t have to serve as your own backup dancer, the better shape you’re in, the more energy you have (and give) in your performance.  And that little edge could mean turning those people who would rather play on their iPhones than really listen to you into your loyal fans instead.

Not that in shape?  Don’t even use that as an excuse not to sing!  We may all want to fit into those size 2 leather pants (you too,right?  Tell me I’m not alone) but that’s not what we’re talking about.

Just start thinking about how you’d like to move around the platform or interact when you sing.  Then consider all the time on your feet from setup to tear down and saying thank you to all your adoring fans.  Then add an activity that will give you twice as much energy as you need to do that without getting winded.  It’s so much easier not to have to fake energy when you could’ve had enough to enjoy every bit of the night.

 

6. Don’t Rock ’till You See the Doc

When was the last time you saw an Ear, Nose and Throat doc?      Really?  ….well then, time to get out your calendar.

Singers of all levels should get to know a good Ear, Nose and Throat doc.  **My secret tip to getting better medical care for your voice is in the free download of this article.  Don’t miss it!**

Having a baseline for how you sound and what your anatomy looks like provide a hugely beneficial tool that can make it easier for your doc to help you head off dangerous damage you might not see coming down the pike. (Have you heard my story about my first appointment that almost costed me my voice?)

 

5. Let’s Clear the Air

Smoke = bad.  Secondhand smoke = worse.

If you tend to sing in smokey venues, start booking more outdoor gigs or places that have a no smoking rule for the room where performances take place (some casino’s do this).

You breathe in much more when you’re singing than when your not.  And unlike food and drink, smoke DOES go right down that windpipe where you vocal cords live.  Serious singers have this one in their performance riders because it so greatly impacts your ability to keep your instrument healthy.

You don’t need to be ‘big enough’ to have a performance rider to start protecting your voice from smoke.  Just make it a non-negotiable when you access requests to sing. It should be just next to requesting that you have access to a bathroom.  it’s that important.

 

4. Don’t Play with Pain

If you have pain while singing or after a show, somethings amiss in Singersville.  Pain is NOT a part of being a singer, regardless of what style you sing.  Danger, Will Robinson.  Danger.

Remember that ENT doc you’ve got in your contacts?  This is why.   But that’s not all you’ll need. 

While your doctor is going to look for physical signs of trouble in your mouth, throat and maybe vocal cords, don’t be surprised if your doc says it all looks fine even when it feels anything BUT fine!

This is why you need the second half of your vocal care team: a vocal coach who specializes in vocal repair.  We don’t have to see damage to hear the effect it has on your voice.  A good vocal repair coach (not a speech therapist) can help you pinpoint what’s caused the problem and give you an action plan to start to repair the problem and fix the bad habit that caused it in the first place.

And a good vocal repair coaches can also show you how get through a ‘can’t-miss’ singing opportunity and sound healthy even when you’re on vocal rest awaiting vocal surgery.

 

3. Save it for the Show

 

I give Celine Dion five gold stars for the level of commitment she makes to vocal care.  Because of the demands on her voice in an arid desert, she goes to the extent of using sign language instead of speaking on the day of a show.  Now THAT’s commitment!

That little sign language bit is the reason Celine Dion sounds as good or better today than she has been in the past, when all the other singers whose stars rose at the same time as hers have either had to quit singing, sing rarely or just sing horribly.

Because your singing opportunity is probably not as time consuming as Celine’s you don’t need to download that Sign Language App just yet.  But you should make a habit of finishing all prep work on your song(s) in time to allow you to keep quiet as least 24hrs. before you sing. (more if it’s outdoors).

Skip the screaming for your favorite team (GO HAWKS!).  No long gab sessions with your friends.  And definitely no long verbal arguments when you have a demanding show coming up.  Give you voice at least 24hrs. of rest (until soundcheck, then rest again until it’s your time).  You’ll be glad you did.  And just think of how many people will love this pleasantly quite new you!

 

2. Step Up Your Style

Many times bad vocal habits that get huge start with a styling trick we copied to sing fancier.  A good vocal styling coach can help you take out the harmful approach and give you healthy ways to spice things up.

A good vocal coach will also teach you some new styling options that keep you from defaulting to potential damaging ones.  For instance, there’s a way to do a healthy ‘growl’ and a really damaging way.  There’s a way to add that ‘edge’ to a line without scraping the edges of your vocal cords.

 

1. The RIGHT Teacher Knows Best

A qualified vocal technique instructor who understands how the anatomy of your voice works should be able to assess how your lifestyle and bad little habits affect your vocal potential. Even better, they can show you how to sound great (even when you feel like crap.)

Regular vocal training is not just about improving your skill level. Your vocal coach should also give you usable specific tips that take into consideration your unique voice, style and singing demands.

 

 

Good singers who don’t ask for help are the ones that stand to lose the most ground when a habit becomes a real problem.   But taking the time to build a stronger, healthier voice will make the journey even more incredible!

Grab the free QUICK TIPS!

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DON'T READ THIS

Just wanted you to know that there is a button at the bottom. Don’t click the button. It goes to some stuff about the big secret we’ve been hiding about what’s coming. But, don’t.  In fact, you can’t.  You’d need security clearance. And the guy that does that is a super grumpy guy.  You wouldn’t like him. It’s because he drinks cheap coffee.  So, basically………..wait.  You’re not really thinking about pushing this button are you?  STOP IT.  Don’t you know that ‘no means NO’? Have you no decency?  I mean, sure, would you LIKE to know what’s going on?  I mean, if you only knew…..wow.!  But, as already clarified, this button is not for you.  So…..don’t.        

Come on, now. Get that clicky arrow thing away from the button.

Do….not…….CLICK..the freakin’………………..

THIS IS THE BUTTON - DO NOT CLICK IT
The Answer – Was Lady Gaga lip syncing at the Superbowl AND how YOU can work the stage like a pro

The Answer – Was Lady Gaga lip syncing at the Superbowl AND how YOU can work the stage like a pro

 

In the last post, I gave you some tips to assess the video of Lady Gag at the Superbowl with new eyes.

Now that you’ve had a chance to learn how to spot a lip syncing singer and put your new skills to work, it’s time to answer the question: was she actually lipsyncing?

(If you haven’t, click here to read the previous post so you can see how much you know!)

 

Those of you who said she was NOT lip syncing are…….CORRECT!

 

All of the tips from you used to tell if a singer is faking it usually give you pretty solid results.

But the one reason people call out singers for lip syncing when they’re really NOT is because we think this:

“They HAVE to be lip syncing!  

How can anyone run around that much and still hit all the notes?!”

Good question.

 

 

Where do singers learn to look so great on stage?

 

There’s a reason singers improve so fast on shows like The Voice, America’s Got Talent and the now debunked XFactor.  And it ain’t the vocal coaching (which btw, is worth it’s own post since it has damaged more voices than it has helped.  Don’t get me started).

The real answer is live show producers.

Just like record labels or tour management, TV shows employ a live show producer (sometimes under other titles, but the purpose is the same).  They are the ones who create the vision that the choreographers, vocal coaches, the wardrobe department, and the singer(s) will use to bring that incredible performance to life.

Live show producers know exactly how to look at what a singer can and can’t do and move them quickly through what they should master next to look incredible, inviting, and much more marketable on stage.

The longer a singers career involves a live show producer (& depending on the level of commitment of the singer), they can be transformed to the level where they can do amazing things like you Lady Gaga do.

 

How do I try things on stage as a singer without looking stupid?

 

It’s one thing to have the vision of what you want your live performance to look like and quite another to know how to make it happen.

Most singers don’t get a lot of experience ‘filling a large stage’ until until they’re performing on one. And that’s not the best time to try to figure it out,

But long before then you WILL have opportunities to sing on a platform that’s big enough that you really should be moving on it. 

How do you know how MUCH to move?

The more energy a song has, the more movement there needs to be on the platform.  The type of music you sing will determine what that movement should look like.  Look at videos of the top five artist in your niche (no one lower – you may just pick up the same mistakes they’re making). Below I’ll show you how to go from watching their show to designing yours.

Now it’s time to ask that question again: how can I sing that incredibly demanding song AND move all over the place without having a heart attack on stage?

 

Here is the ‘trick’ to what Lady Gaga did on stage live

 

There is only one way to sing your very best while really ‘working’ the stage without faking it: Exercise.

Stick with me here.

We’re not talking bench pressing 250lbs. or looking like some of the borderline anorexic singers you’ve seen.  What we ARE talking about is being at a physical level that allows you to sing full out without the activity affecting your voice.

As far back as singers have been their own dancers, managers and show producers have put singers through as much physical exercise as vocal exercise.

The Back Street Boys once complained that their manager made them jog in a line while singing their entire set during tour training.

 

Do you really need to jog for two hours while singing or sing while descending from a wire in a harness?  Proooooobably not.

Here’s a good starter guide for working up your physical fitness to meet your performing demands.

 

Infographic-How to Work the Stage Like a Pro

Determine what level of movement works for what you’re doing.

  1. Watch any videos of the top 3-5 singers who do the kind of music you do.  Skip other singers,  We’re hoping the top three have been coached out of their bad habits so you don’t pick them up. Pick songs with the same kind of energy as the songs you sing.
  2. Identify the ‘attention grabbers’: dancers, pyrotechnics, video backgrounds, etc.  Ignore any that you won’t have in your performance.
  3. Ignore any movements the lead singer uses that utilizes props or stage items you won’t have on stage (like jumping off an 8 foot speaker stack)
  4. Taking those items out, how much does the lead singer move?  What kind of things do they do?
  5. Pick the 2-3 you feel most comfortable doing and work them into your song.

 

Build the muscle memory & the mojo.

  1. Do any of the movements you’re adding require more physical stamina than you currently have?  Up your cardio workout.(anything you enjoy doing that makes you sweat.)
  2. After you’ve up’d your cardio for at least two weeks (preferably), start singing your song(s) during your cardio workout at tempo. Expect your singing to suffer at first.  This will become a gage for how well you can really move comfortably on stage.
  3. Take out your lyric chart and note where you’re going to add movement and what kind of movement it is.  It makes learning the new pattern of movement much faster..
  4. Every time you sing the song, add the movements (make them as big as your practice space allows).  Prioritize your weakness!  You can’t focus on singing and moving the exact same amount.  Get one down well.  Then only focus on the other.
  5. PRACTICE!  Every time you sing the song the muscle memory for movement needs to be attached. This makes it look like second nature even if you feel weird doing it.

3 Foolproof Steps for Looking Like a Pro On Stage

  • Stage movement always LOOKS smaller than it FEELS.  Plan to go over the top.
  • It’s NORMAL (even for pro’s) to feel weird, nervous or stupid when adding something new.  Expect it.  Embrace it.  Do it anyway.
  • Your FACE will tell your audience if they should love it or judge it.  Your face must say “Heck YEAH I meant to do that!”, never “oh…crap.  you didn’t see that did you???” regardless of what you think about how you look or sound.

 

You’ll be amazed how much more revved up your audience will be when you make the choice to give them a better show.  Two artists or bands can do the same song just as well and the audience will chose the one that moves every time.  That’s because it gives THEM permission to move and enjoy what you’re bringing them.  And that’s what they wanted all the time.

Note for worship musicians: Don’t think this doesn’t apply to you.   It’s probably more important for you. What you do or don’t do on the platform will determine your audience’s focus.  If you’re not comfortable moving during worship music, look for artists videos that don’t come off as ‘me-me!’  Try those, then let your authenticity drive you on from there.

But for heaven’s sake, please don’t just close your eyes and stand there!  That says. ‘hey I’ve got a really cool thing going on here….butt out.”

 

Looking like you’re having a great time on stage is more important than you think.  We’re a very visual generation with short attention span.  If your music, your message, your identity as an artist is important to you, take it seriously and grab their attention.

If you don’t, something else will.

Was Lady Gaga Lip Syncing at the 2017 Superbowl?

Was Lady Gaga Lip Syncing at the 2017 Superbowl?

Ok, Gaga haters. Stick with me because I live in your camp.   Gaga lovers – don’t judge… just yet.

I’m not a Gaga fan and I honestly wasn’t planning to watch Lady Gaga’s performance at the 2017 Superbowl Half Time Show live.  I just happened to walk in as she descended from the heavens and struck a pose.

I rolled my eyes and almost left but the vocal coach in me made me stay for the game.  Not football.  I mean a little game I play while watching live performances where I spot the non-singing ‘singers’ who are paid to not sing.

 

Let’s face it, many singers are not signed because they can (or can’t….Madonna..shhhhhh) sing.  The lable just fixes it in the mix and runs the ‘fixed’ version over the live vocal on tour so that the ‘singer’ can sing as much, but usually as little as they want.

It’s been done that way longer than most people know.  And now that you’re onto them, producers have gotten better at hiding the lip syning in live shows. But there are still ways to know if you’re really getting a ‘live’ show.

Maybe you’re ok with paying premium ticket fees for a not-really-live show.  That’s ok too.  It’s a bit tougher for the hundreds of genuinely good live singers out there.  Singers who have spent years honing their skills, learning how to keep their pipes in shape on the road and doing the work of developing their own sound.  Singers who are really worth hearing live.

For them, watching a sometimes 100% lip synced concert is like watching a robot take your job and do things not possible for a human.   It’s kind of buzz kill.

 

Whether you relate or not, it’s handy to have a way to know if you’re getting what you thought you paid for.

Wanna learn how?

 

 

How to Spot a Fake Singer

 

Since I know a few of the tricks commonly used to fake a live show I like to look for the signs of a cover up.  Educated guesses, let’s call them.  If I can spot three or more incidents of any of them, it’s proooooobably not a real live vocal.

Here’s how you can spot a ‘faux’ singer (which appropriately means ‘fake’) next time you see a live show.  Look for ‘faker flags’ like these:

  • The singer is very physical on stage (lots of dancing, running, etc.) but you never hear breathing when you would expect to
  • You don’t hear the singer breathe between phrases of the songs, only when speaking (or at the beginning and/or ending of songs for the sneaky ones)
  • The singers mouth doesn’t line up exactly to the vocal you hear (there’s a reason there’s not a close up shot sometimes)
  • You see 3 backup singers (and those dancers really are just lip syncing so they don’t count) but it sounds like there’s 10.
  • There is any volume change when the singer moves between singing and talking.  This one is harder to detect because live show arrangements are generally produced so this there’s more time to make the switch. But if the singer is talking to the crowd, starts to sing and they’re suddenly louder, you get the bonus point.

 

Keep in mind sometimes only parts of a song or just certain songs are not 100% live.  This is usually due to a singer recovering from surgery or damage or because the singer can’t dance and sing at the same time without breathing like a creeper on a prank call.

I just call ’em like I see ’em.

So are you saying Lady Gaga did NOT sing LIVE at the SuperBowl?

 

 

 

 

As if I’m just going to give it away.  Come on.  I just told you how to find out.

So you tell  me!  Click the video above to watch it again.

Look for Faker Flags. 

Tell me what you see in the comments below.


Next time, I’ll tell you exactly what I saw. AND I’ll spill an ‘industry insider tip’ that you can use to sound so good live, your audience may think you’re lip syncing.

(Join the mailing list so you don’t miss it!)

WHY you still don’t sing better (sorry)

WHY you still don’t sing better (sorry)

If you’re like me and you’ve sat through endless hours of singing lessons (and if you aren’t, be REALLY glad!), you know that these singing lessons are NOT for asking questions.

They’re for doing what you’re told.

 

If you’re one of the very bravest (or like me, completely clueless of impending scorn) and you have dared to timidly raise a hand in the presence of the almost-mythically-robed-wise-ones and ask the dirtiest three letter word to ever exist, you know the wrath of a teacher without a good answer.

Why you don’t ask why

I have always been a front-row, hand-always-raised kind of girl. So I’ve had the opportunity to experience the entire pool of possible reactions from a teacher who is…

a) caught of guard

b) doesn’t have any idea how to answer

or 3) has their identity way too tightly strung around their vocal degree

 

If you’ve had a teacher that can’t help you, everything that follows your question will boil down to this:

It’s YOUR fault!

  • You didn’t practice hard enough.
  • You didn’t listen to the directions clearly enough
  • You didn’t rub your tummy and pat your head in the right order while you sang and missed that note.
  • You’re just getting too big for your britches listening to all that ‘pop-singer-voodoo’ and what-not.

Blah blah BLAH.

GOOD LORD!  It’s no WONDER we all think we can’t sing!

 

THE POWER OF WHY

“WHY?” is the single best question you can ever ask. And it is absolutely essential if you’re trying to sing better.

“Why does it hurt when I sing?”

…can be opening to a discussion that gives you the tools to avoid serious damage or an understanding of when you need to see a doctor and what to ask them.

“Why can’t I hit this note?”

…could lead to a the design of a simple to remember quick tip you can use so you never miss it again.

“Why is my voice strong here, but too soft here?”

…is a wonderful invitation to learn HOW your voice works and how you can learn to DECIDE how EVERY note comes out, EVERY time.

“Why isn’t the training I’m following giving me better results?”

Be prepared.  THIS is the question at the bottom of it all.  But this one isn’t for your voice teacher.  This one is for YOU.

If you have listened intently to your teacher and followed precisely what they’ve given you as the solution to your concerns, there should be a reasonable expectation that you will see. hear, and/or feel a difference very soon.  With The Voice Club Method, we expect it pretty immediately.

Because if nothing changes and you’re left not knowing what to do outside of blaming your own lack of ability, one of these things has happened:

  1. You weren’t honest about following what they gave you (you have to be responsible to do your part)
  2. Your instructor didn’t know how to effectively communicate to you, or
  3. What they gave you isn’t going to give you the results you wanted

(spoiler alert: it’s almost always #3)

How can I claim that spoiler alert?  Because the majority of singing lessons and vocal instruction out there does not take one major thing into consideration: your anatomical voice.

Sound like a no-brainer, but then I’m simple girl.

 

What Can I Do?

Start asking ‘why’ about everything when it comes to your voice.  If the answer makes sense to you, ask yourself ‘why’?  If it makes no sense at all, ask yourself ‘why’?  This is the start of taking control of your own voice and vocal education.

Now go through our Vocal Bootcamp training video.  It’s basically a roadmap through vocal myths and fluff with clear, concrete tools to see the truth of how your voice works.

We don’t train a single singer or group of people at a conference without starting with our Vocal Bootcamp training. It is literally everything you should’ve been told about your voice and what you need to be empowered to ask even better questions so you can know what to look for when you’re trying to sing better.

 

Start Now

Whether you’re working with a singing teacher or not, take this challenge:

Get a notebook and any time a question pops into your head, write it down.  No question is too stupid.  Actually the ‘stupidest’ questions are usually the ones with the most ‘ah-ha’ invoking answers!

Then go through Vocal Bootcamp When you’re done, go through your list and see how many questions you can answer.  The next time you’re around a singing teacher, ask them the same questions. 

Then write down the answers you got from them. 

THEN, ask yourself which one makes the most sense and ask yourself ‘why’.  You will be amazed at how much you know and clear things become!

 

 

The more you know about your voice, the better you’ll be at seeing what will really help  your voice get where you want to go.

 

Go forward…..and ask ‘WHY?’

 

Remember that dream you ‘got too old’ for?

Remember that dream you ‘got too old’ for?

We’ll dang it if it ain’t a new year again.  That dreaded time when you tuck away the real dreams that once nagged at you and replace them with something much easier, like a new workout or another trendy diet.

So im just gonna cut to the chase and admit I know what one of your longest held dreams is.

In fact, if you’re a singer, I could put money on the name of that dream you’ve shoved clear to the back corner of your mind where dreams go to die.

Do You Have the ‘Singing Dream’?

When you’re younger you might have called it a “dream to be a famous singer”.

For those who dare to rise to start working on it, it comes to you as a dream to “take it to the next level”.  Ironically, this is the stage where many singers give up on their singing dream.

Some of you have dismissed that nagging desire to be a singer so long that you hardly notice it anymore.  But it’s still there, more recognizable as a regret then a dream

“If only I had….”

Why Is It Still There?

Isn’t it interesting that no matter how many years have passed, the dream to sing is still there? Does it know something we don’t?  What is it waiting for us to do with it?

Having been there myself and having helped other singers navigate ‘the dream’, I offer you this:

Maybe the dream to be a singer is not unreachable for you. 

Perhaps you’ve just been led away from it by believing the misconceptions about what being a singer really is. 

Maybe it was possible all along.  And still is.

 

How Do You Make an Illusive Dream Come True?

Have you asked this question?  Most ‘singing dreamers’ never do.  And for those who do, there is rarely an answer that doesn’t seem

TheVoiceClub.com

more far fetched than the dream itself.

I want you to know that if you have the dream to be a singer, it’s there for a reason. 

And this year, I’m going to show you why.

I’m going to focus on sharing stories of other singers who’ve managed to put the dream in action and what the result was.

I’m also going to give you some tactile actions that will start turning that badly neglected dream into an organized actionable plan.

It has nothing to do with how old you are or what your specific dream looks like.  If you follow along with me, you can resurrect that dream and achieve it!

Are you with me?

I’d like to share your dream too.  What is your singing dream?  How did you think you would make it come true? What happened to put it on the back burner?

Put it in the comments below or email them to me.  I’ll share mine too.

This year, we’re going dream hunting. And you’re going to be amazed at what you find out about your dream to sing.

Make sure you’re on the mailing list so you don’t miss a post.  You’ll also get some killer free singing tips too.

Get ready to reenvision, resurrect, and finally realize your singing dream!

 

Don’t forget to share your dream in the comments below!

Review: STAR on Fox ain’t no Glee but…

Review: STAR on Fox ain’t no Glee but…

If you’ve been looking for a little vocal inspiration to fill the hole in your heart that opened after the last season of Glee, you won’t find it in Fox’s new show STAR.

That said, if you loved Empire, you’re probably going to love STAR.

 

The Story

TheVoiceClub-Foxs Star JanuaryDirected by Lee Daniels, the co-creator of Empire (see the connection there?), STAR pulls loosely from the rags to riches stories of girl groups like The Supremes and Destiny’s Child.

Just a side note for the very young aspiring singers in our readership: don’t expect to meet a rich co-writer online and stumble into a record deal the next week by running away from home and stabbing a guy on the way out. You know that’s not real, right?   Right?

Good. (professional obligation met)

There are no great career-starting role models here but the vast creative license taken for the sake of a good story line might just make this a great show.

 

Queen Latifah is the real star

TheVoiceClub-Foxs StarMy personal thanks goes to Lee Daniels for putting a ‘white girl(?)’ behind the mic.  It gives us all hope that we can somehow embody that level of soul.   I mean, what every soul-singing white girl secretly wishes (and don’t go all PC police on me here) is that she were black.

 

TheVoiceClub-Foxs Star ReviewJust keepin’ it real.

Every time I hear Queen Latifa sing I want to BE her.  But then I see me dancing in the mirror and hear that voice in my head that says, “Girrrrrrrlllll.  Just….. stop.  Seriously.”

 

 

 

TheVoiceClub-Foxs Star

The music of Star

Like Empire, I’m pretty sure the music will be a big draw for STAR.

Remember back when independant artists’ songs were on every major show so the network could save music licensing fees?

Ahhhhhh.  The good ‘ol days. Shame that the networks have figured out that they can make even more money from creating their own show music and sell it on iTunes.

So if you love the music in STAR but not the mature content of the show you can just buy the album!  Just be aware that lyrics aren’t PG either.

 

STAR premiers on Fox January 4th, but you can watch the complete first episode online here.

Did you see it?

Did you see the first episode?  What do you thinlk? Leave your opinion below.

 

 

 

 

No Jingle Bells for Meghan Traynor This Christmas

No Jingle Bells for Meghan Traynor This Christmas

Have you heard? 22 yr. old Meghan Trainor (“All About That Bass”) has officially cancelled all remaining performances in 2016  to rest her voice?  And it’s not the first time.

What Happened to Meghan Trainor’s Voice

An Instagram post she sent seemed to blame bronchitis and coughing for the need for vocal rest.  But the truth revealed that she is up for her second surgery for vocal cord hemorrage.  And that’s not caused a virus.

Meghan also suffered a vocal cord hemorrhage (polyps) last year, almost ruining the recording of her 2nd album and causing the cancellation of almost have of her M Train tour.

vocalcordhemorrage

Vocal Cord Hemorrhage (aka blood blister or polyp)

(a hemorrhage and polyp exist together in basically a blood blister on the surface of the vocal cord from too much strain on certain notes, generally the in the ‘vocal 2nd bridge’)

A pop star has a surprisingly short life in which they have to take every opportunity to stay in the minds of fans and convince labels that they’re worth the investment.

It seems we hear about singers having vocal damage so often that we barely lift an eyebrow when we hear news.  It’s sad.  You hope you haven’t already bought tickets.

 

But if you’re a singer, you may just be missing the main point.

The Real Cost of Vocal Damage for a Singer

Imagine that it’s you.  You have built this amazing career.  It’s all finally happening.

Then the doctor tells you your’e going to have to cancel your upcoming performances at the All Star Christmas concert in Connecticut, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Florida, not to mention The ultimate Jingle Ball Celebration in Madison Square Garden in New York City,

 

Can you imagine how much money you’re walking away from?

Now imagine that your record label is a little peaved that you’ve already had vocal surgery and cancelled other shows in the past.

Maybe they’re considering replacing you with another up and coming act and putting you on their back shelf because you’re not really the most reliable to book and you’re losing them money again.

How good are you going to feel about telling your label you’ve got vocal damage……again?

 

Why Singers Don’t Learn How to AVOID Vocal Damage

The reality is that most current top singers never learned to sing at a high level with a healthy voice before they became big.  And you’d be shocked to realize how little help you’ll find getting the time and training you need to retrain your technique so you stop getting vocal damage once you’re a bookable resource..  Surgeries are quicker and they want you back on stage.Meghan-Trainor_All-About-That-Bass_video-snap

This is typical of both artists and labels. Artists don’t want to disappoint fans and afraid to lose label support.  Labels and promoters are losing huge amounts of money and they just want it stopped.

Any singer who’s ever seen a vocal surgeon (and the labels who send them there) knows that vocal surgery puts the vocal cords at greater risk of future damage.

By scraping away the affected tissue on the vocal cords, there will always be less tissue.  And the thinner the tissue, the easier it is to damage.  Especially when most singers go right back to their damaging habits right after vocal rest.

 

Vocal Surgery is the New Botox

I’m not a betting girl, but I’d put money on another future vocal surgery for Meghan is she makes no changes to the cause of the vocal damage.

It reminds me of the story an associate of mine told me about Kelly Clarkson.

After repeat instances of vocal damage her manager was able to convince the lable to let her go to a very good vocal coach.  And knowing what I do I am convinced that she wouldn’t never had repeat damage if she had just spent a few weeks training and continued on the road.

But she didn’t.  She had people telling her this happens all the time and probably reminding her of how much money she and the label will lose every day she’s gone.

So instead of getting help that would’ve changed the course of her professional future, she patted the vocal coach on the head and said. “your a nice man” and walked out.

Since that date Kelly Clarkson has had repeat vocal damage to the point where she performs very rarely (did you notice?).  She’s tried country (songs that are less demanding on the voice).  And duets, where she can take the simpler part and only hit one or two of the ‘big notes’ that used to monopolize her earlier music.

And, as a singer, it makes me sad to see these incredible voices literally destroyed because of misinformation and, let’s just be real, greed.

 

Is Your Voice at Risk Too?

I’ve worked with many singers with vocal damage.  Heck, I had to bring my own voice back from the grave after an intubation from an unrelated surgery ripped through my right vocal muscle.  So I admit I take this stuff very seriously. voice-disorders-totalhealth.co.ukSo as someone who has been there and has walked others through the process, you need to know that you literally can avoid vocal damage and surgery if you start with solid vocal coaching that originates from the health of the anatomy (ie.takes all the lectures a vocal surgeon would give you as it’s origin and puts that into actionalbe training) The right vocal coaching will not change your signature sound.  It will not minimize your power.  In fact it will strengthen your vocal muscles so that they can handle a higher level of performing.  And it will expand your range and make the ‘hard notes’ soooo easy. If you’ve had vocal damage, please find a qualified vocal coach so you don’t continue to harm your voice.  I spent ove a year without any voice and I can tell you first hand it is nothing short of devestating.  It doesn’t just affect your singing, it chips away at your very identity. If you haven’t had vocal damage, be aware that trying different free vocal tips and trying to sing like your favorite recording star can start you down the same path….the path to the OR. You only have one voice. Isn’t it worth learning how to take the best care of it so it will always be there for you?   Have you had vocal damage or afraid you might?  Tell your story below.

Top 2 Gifts Every Singer Wants

Top 2 Gifts Every Singer Wants

Enough with the socks and gift cards!  Give the singers in your life something that they will actually use all year; a quality microphone to record their cover tunes, original tunes or their next album.

But how do you pick something great without having to do a bunch of research? (and who has time for any of that this month?) It’s easy to spend too much on the wrong stuff when it comes to musical gear.  But some things you just can’t cheap out on.

No worries.  I’ve put together of the best microphones that I’ve used professionally as an audio producer and vocalist and for fun projects like recording free demos for aspiring singers.  And being one half professional audiophile and one half frugal mother of four, this list starts at cheap and goes to moderately priced.

Which Price Range is Best for the Singer on Your List?

The lower priced items will get you good quality for any singer who sings for fun (not for money). They’ll be able to get a great sounding

If the singers on your gift list are recording a demo or an album, the higher end products I’ve recommend will give them a professional level result without slapping down thousands of dollars. (No, you really don’t need a $5,000 mic.  Someone would love to sell you one, but unless you make your living from singing and/or recording fulltime, it’s not time.)

Either way, the lower priced items will be a welcome addition to any singers gear bag, so if you’re like me (the half of me that strives so hard to actually stick to a budget) you can feel just as great if you have little to spend.  (I use affiliate links for a quick way to get you to the goods where I almost always find the best price. I make a few cents if you do, which is greatly appreciated.)

1. Microphones

THE BEST

Recording microphones are different from live singing microphones.  Most singers don’t have to supply their own live mics, but every singer needs a quality recording mic (aka condensor microphone).

I’ve chosen to include two microphone packages because they’re an incredibly good deal and the add-ons are well worth the price. You can also buy just the mic, but you generally won’t save much.

1. Rhode NT1-A with Focusrite Scarlet2in2 and shockmount

$375

The Rhode NT1-A has been a favorite of mine for decades.  I’ve used the whole series of NT’s in broadcasting, recording voiceovers in major studios and for recording vocals. Like all professional level mics it requires something that’s called ‘phantom power’.  But if you by the package you’ve got that covered.

This is not a USB microphone.  But the included Focurite Scarlett preamp connects it to a computer.  USB mics have come along way but a good preamp is still the absolute best way to get the purest sound for any recording that really needs to impress.

Why I Love This Mic
  • Rhode is a quality brand with a long history of making top of the line recording gear.  Other brands that are known for their professional quality include Audio-Technica, Sennheiser and MXL but compare apples to apples.  A $300 Sennheiser doesn’t compare to a $3000 Audio-Techica but it can with a $300 Audio-Technica.
  • Great for ignoring room sounds so you don’t record what you don’t want.  It might seem like any mic should do that, but there can be a wide difference in how well they do.
  • Picks up all the ‘sparkle’ in both male and female voices
  • This series has adds a nice warm feel to the voice.  In other words, it peaks the best frequencies in the lower end of the voice without making it sound muddy.  Mics in this price range should do this but different brands and price points affect how well they can pull it off.  This mic does an especially good job of this.

 

Why the Add-on’s are Worth It
  • Every recording setup needs a preamp.  If the singers on your list don’t do alot of recording on their own they either need a preamp or need a better one and they will LOVE you for this add-on!
  • The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 preamp (aka ‘the red box’) is seriously the best preamp I’ve ever heard at this pricepoint.  To get better you’d need to spend in the thousands.  No joke.  I would buy this package just for the preamp. But my husband won’t let me.
  • The included Shockmount keeps the mic from picking up any sound from bumping against anything during recording.  High end mics generally come with their own Shockmount so it’s not really an add-on but it IS very essential. It’s a good $60+ value.
  • A Pop Filter keeps pops and clicks from getting picked up.  It is crucial to any high quality recording and it’s never bad to have an extra. It’s about a $20-30 value.
  • This package also comes with 20′ of Premium XLR(mic) Cable. Most singers will buy short, cheaper quality cable because they cost less, but cheap cables give out quickly and can add extra ugly noises into recordings.  Every recording singer eventually realized a high quality, long cable is what they needed all along.  This one is about a $20-30 value.
  • A Dust Cover for the mic is also included in this package.  I don’t know anyone who used dust covers in their studios. Most high end mics come with their own padded box but that’s really designed for engineers that have multiple microphones that need storing.  I’m guessing this is one area they cheaped out on to save themselves money on this package.  But that’s just fine.  A recording singer will usually only have one mic so they really don’t even need a box.  Chances are they won’t use the dust cover either.  But it does make your gift look larger!
  • Lower end companys won’t guarantee their product for very long but Rode’s included 10 Year warranty (when registered online) is proof that this is a quality mic.  They’re basically proving the mic will last ten years.  And it really will.
  • The monatarly value of the addon’s is around $100-150.  But the biggest advantage of buying this package is that the price of the microphone has come down in price.  The NT series of Rode mics used to cost over $500. Now you can get it for almost 50% off!

BUDGET FRIENDLY

On the lower end of the price range you can still find some high quality gems.  What’s the difference? Generally some of the parts are cheaper versions of the companies higher end products.  But that does have an impact on sound.

This particular mic has a much better sound than others in this price range but it generally won’t be as good as mics in a higher price range.

Audio-Techica AT2020

Why I Love This Mic
  • You’ll find Audio-Techica mics in any major recording studio.  They’re built well and sound great.
  • Though most AT mics in studios are the top of the line (and price point), the AT2020 is made with the same quality parts at an incredible price for the quality.
  • Most high quality mics will require something called ‘phantom power’.  If the singer on your list has a box or board they plug a mic into, they already have phantom power.
When the Add-on’s are Worth It
  • The included Neewer Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand and pop filter are perfect for those who record at a desk.
  • If recording is done standing, this stand will extend to a higher point.  This is great if you record next to a desk or surface you can attach the stand to.
  • This is a broadcast recording standard stand. It’s been used for decades in broadcast environments so it’s perfect for podcasts or recording done at the computer.  The standard vocal mic stand is tall and sits on the ground.  It’s all preference but this stand is inherently better built than a floor stand and can easily be moved out of the way or adjusted to different heights.
AT2020 Package – a really good deal

For $140 you’ll get the microphone (requires phantom power), suspension table mounted mic stand (mounts to table), pop screen (essential for recording) and cloth (that really does nothing)

Just the Microphone

$80  will get you the phantom powered microphone only (this is an amazing price btw)

$120 will get you the USB version of this mic that plugs directly into the computer.  Same mic but audiophiles (like me) will argue that the recording signal is always cleaner on the phantom powered mic but at this price range you won’t hear much difference.

TWO MORE OPTIONS WORTH CONSIDERING

1.  MIC ONLY 

Want to skip the add-ons?

You’ll still get a great price on the mic only (with shockmount and dust cover) for $230

2. GET THE PACKAGE PLUS A MIC STAND AND SOUND REDUCTION PANEL

Every recording singer absolutely needs a stand and some kind of sound reduction for recording.  SoundPROOFING is different (and isn’t really necessary for most vocal/singing recordings. Unless the singer on your list has built their own recording room (if they have, believe me, you’ve heard about it), they will LOVE YOU for these to added products. 

(I have 3 just incase I record more than one musician at a time.)

This stand runs around $20 and the sound reduction panel runs $100-150 just by itself.

For just $450 for this package, you’ll get up to $170 in added value for just $75 more than the basic package. That’s a really great deal!

2. HEADPHONES

THE BEST

Sennheiser HD 630VB Headphone with Variable Bass and Call Control

$399

Why I Give These Headphones My Top Review
  • Sennheiser is one of the brands you’ll find in every top recording studio.  Becuase the bulk of their products are for professional studios, their lower end products (yes, $400 is lower end for them) benefit from a compny who knows how to get the best sound.
  • The soft padding on Sennheiser headphones serves a much bigger purpose than comfort.  It’s designed and shaped to capture sound and redirect it for better quality.  This is not true of all other headphones.  Another reason to buy for a top company.
  • A unique feature to these headphones is the variable bass control.  If the singer on your list is mixing songs (working on recording themselves) they will be able to highlight the voice for mixing by turning the bass down.  Super handy!
  • These headphones also work with all smartphones so you can use them for great listening on your devices and when making and receiving phone calls.  Definition: they will never take them off.

(side note: Best Buy usually has these at a discount near the holidays.  But I’ve done the math and after taxes you’ll still pay the same or more than on Amazon)

 

MIDDLE OF THE ROAD

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones

$100

Why I Love This Mic
  • You already know why I love and recommend Sennheiser products. This mic is cheaper due to the ‘less bells and whistles’ standard for this price range
  • You won’t feel like the music completely envelopes you like in the 630VB’s but you still get great clarity with these headphones
  • The HD280 Pro headphones are also collapsable so they’re easier to carry around with you.
  • The padding on these is designed for comfort only.  And they’re very comfy!
  • Headphones take a beating.  But what you won’t find in most headphones in this pricepoint is a unique feature of the Sennheiser HD280 Pro Headphones: replacable parts!  This feature alone can be worth more than the cost of purchase if you’ll use it.
  • Of the other headphones in this price range at the time of writing, these are my top pick for bang for the buck.
  • These would be a budget friendly solution to listening to your voice while recording.

BUDGET FRIENDLY

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

$58 (current sale)

Why I Love This Mic
  • If you were to buy the next model of these headphones, the ATH40x, you’d be back in the $100 price range.  And all you get for your extra money is a detachable coiled cord.
    But chose this model, which is almost exactly the same and you can save almost HALF!
  • The ATH30x’s are billed as professional studio monitor headphones.  This means they’re perfect for listening to your voice as you record. You can use them to mix music in a pinch but they’re better served as an entry level pair of headphones.  And at this price they kill the competition.
  • The ATH30x’s have a really strong midrange. which just means that the singer will be able to hear their voice a little better than other headphones in this price range that focu on accentuating the highs and lows.
  • These are made by a high end audio company so they tend to last longer and wear better than the competition.

Hey singers – what gifts would you put on your gift list?  Leave your list in the comments below!

The Top Reason Worship Songs are Ineffective (and what to do about it)

The Top Reason Worship Songs are Ineffective (and what to do about it)

Pick any church, any Sunday. Glance at the platform and chances are most (if not all) of the team is ‘eyes closed, hands up’.

Sound familiar? If this describes your team, you may be missing one of the most powerful ingredients of effective worship.

As a hired gun voice I spent quite a few years gigging with large event bands until 4am Sunday then a lead worshipper for three services starting at 6. And switching between the two allowed a window into how some singers connect with the audience while others unintentionally shut them out.

There is a basic set of expectations that come along with being a paid singer (and those of you who gig outside the church see this too).  You will sing well, you will connect with the audience, and you will lead them to celebrate/party/whatever the aim of the event is. It’s part of the job.

So it’s always seemed a given to me that those qualities would be apart of effective worship.

But after busy volunteers learn the songs, find the parts and try to look like it’s not awkward being watched on the platform, we tend to miss one of the most impactful elements that make worship come alive.

It’s not raising your hands.
It’s not looking super spiritual.
Not even remembering all the words.

The single element most worship teams completely ignore is PERSPECTIVE.

 

WHO ARE YOU AND WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO ME?

Most of us are good at reminding our teams to be a ‘lead worshipper’ on the platform. Perspective is the key to helping your team grab on to that concept and make it real.

Simply singing from the perspective of the lyric connects the singer to the message in a personally powerful way that people can feel all the way to the back row.

 

HOW TO PLUG IN TO PERSPECTIVE

For better or worse, your teams body language is already deciding who the message of the song is for.

Imagine your team singing with eyes closed and hands up. Now imagine yourself in the back row, a new visitor or a regular attendee who is still not sure what they believe.

The team sings Chris Tomlins’ “This is Amazing Grace” eyes closed, hands up.

You have just been told that this wonderful, amazing grace is not for you. The team may be enjoying it but you are still on the outside looking in.

Now imagine the team scanning through the crowd, smiling, excited about the message and looking right at you.

Now the Amazing Grace becomes an invitation. It’s for YOU too!

 

FOUR PERSPECTIVES OF WORSHIP

There are four general perspectives in worship music:

  1. From me to God
  2. From us (believers) to God
  3. To other believers about God
  4. To the world/unbelievers about God

 

Now let’s test your perspective skills.

Which perspective are the following songs written from?

  • Lord I Need You (Matt Maher)
  • Your Grace is Enough (Chris Tomlin)
  • I Give You My Heart (Hillsong)
  • I Will Follow (Chris Tomlin)
  • This is Amazing Grace (Phil Wickham)
  • How He Loves (David Crowder)
  • To God from Us – We Fall Down (Passion)
  • Forever/We Sing Hallelujah (Kari Jobe)
  • Revelation Song (Bethel)
  • God is Able (Passion)

 

Were some of them tricky? It depends.

Sometimes we’ll change ‘me’ to ‘us’ on a repeat. When the noun changes, the perspective changes.

 

TAKE IT TO YOUR TEAM

Every line of every song is not written to be a private moment between you and God and it honestly shouldn’t look like it is.

When we lead from the perspective of the lyric (and fill in that blank when it’s not clear) we will naturally focus our attention on the intended audience.

Scan the crowd when it’s a message to the world. Look between a few believers you know when the message is to the church. And don’t be afraid to look deep inside when the song gets personal.

Try this yourself or with your team next time you worship from the platform.

Identify the perspective of the song/lyric
Look at the intended audience like you’re having the conversation the lyric tells.
Make it personal by thinking of someone you are close to that represents that audience (a prodigal son or daughter, a close friend struggling with their faith, etc.)
SHY SINGER TIP: Feel awkward looking at people? Aim for the forehead or top of the head. They will feel like you’re looking them right in the eyes.

Changing your perspective will transform the way you look on the platform, create an environment of authenticity and open the door to more effective worship.

Does your team already do this? Tell us how it’s impacted your worship. Have another idea to add? Post it below!

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