Many of us find ourselves having to sing and lead worship simply because we are one of only a handful of musicians available. We might be far more comfortable just focusing on the keyboard or guitar but there simply isn’t anyone else available to lead. So what can you do if your vocals are less than perfect?
- It’s about leadership.
You don’t have to be a great vocalist to be a great worship leader but you do have to be good at providing something that people can easily and comfortably follow. I’ve worked with non musician worship leaders who can’t sing but can direct a song. Sometimes its easy to get caught up or pressurized into striving for a 1st class musical performance at the expense of helping people bring an offering of worship.
- Use vocal cuing if you’re not a strong singer.
People can pick up the songs direction just by the odd cuing word or even in the expression of your body language so cue at least two bars in advance and people will follow.
- Do everything to provide a clear lead.
Even if you can’t sing think about how your team can provide a clear melody. The lead singer doesn’t have to be the worship leader. If there are no strong singers can an instrument be cuing the tune so people can follow?
- You don’t need to be a great singer but you do need to be in tune and time.
Whoever takes the lead vocal needs to work on tuning and timing. Flat vocals are bad but sharp vocals are much worse. Don’t be afraid to invest in your craft and take lessons. Properly warming up and breathing exercises to help you relax will do wonders for your tuning too. We produce a The Worship Vocals Course and a number of warm-up and work-out exercises for singers that you can use to stretch your voice every time you sing. There’s even a workout program for male singers.
- Don’t go ‘off piste’.
If you can sing well try to resist the temptation to add the odd riff, harmony or change up the melody. Most people in congregations just need a clear lead to follow so do everything to build that.
Have you any advice for weaker singers who find themselves having to lead worship?
Musicademy provides internationally acclaimed training DVDs teaching worship-focused guitar, vocals, keyboard, bass, drums and orchestral instruments to church based musicians at beginner to advanced levels.
You can find out more about Musicademy’s training resources for worship musicians over at www.Musicademy.com