!-- Beacon Ads Ad Code -->

Sponsor Ad:

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Worship teams singing light on consonants

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Worship teams singing light on consonants

    In light of MJ's death, I was recently listening to Thriller and noticing how the backup vocals sounded like they were singing "rilla". This example reminded me to post the following question that's been on my mind:

    Would it be better for us to have our praise teams focus on singing the vowels and go light on the consonants for a better blend? Intelligibility could still be retained by ensuring that the lead vocal sang the consonants strongly.

    I'm thinking that this approach would prevent the vocals from getting too "muddy".... Instead of singing "God of Wonders", it would be more like "Ah uh Andas" while the lead sang it clearly....

  • #2
    I think you might be right. I had not thought of that before but it makes sense. Nobody really needs the sharp esses and tees from backup vocals to follow a song anyway, but un-synchronization of them is very noticeable.

    And I think taken to a further degree could be to just use ooh's and aah's in some places.

    Lou
    Last edited by louca; 07-03-2009, 08:42 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've always been a big fan of the oohs and aaahs...I also like an alto singing tight harmony, and another tenor singing what I call 'phrase vocals'.

      Just my 2 cents.

      Smitty
      Love ONE woman...MANY guitars!

      www.davidsproblem.wordpress.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Hmm .. I've never thought of that really (and though I'm a producer and have produced/recorded plenty of records, I'm no Quincy Jones .. but I do constantly remind our vocals to shorten their syllables and sing shorter ... by the time it bounces around in the room, it's plenty long enough.

        Sloppy, slurred "legato" phrasing is one of the things I notice most in working with praise teams who've had no vocal coaching. It's like sludge.
        Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
        blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

        Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
        www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
        www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

        Comment


        • #5
          tight sound

          In my experience in singing sometimes people tend to put too much bass in the mics. Bass is good to a certain extent. There is a fine line where you can get too much bass and it can affect the sound. Listen to Michael W. Smith. I've tried to create a sound like that and I've been very successful. He has a crisp clean sound. And I have found that if i back off the bass just a bit until I get that crisp clean sound, all of the words will be clear to the listener.

          I tend to not like the aaaahhhhs. I find a happy medium in between and make sure we are all singing the same way. Sometimes I think the aaaaaahhhhhs sound too fake, and can tend to take away from the worshipful, natural feeling.

          I do like to have everyone enunciate and put a soft ending on words. You don't want harsh "t" or "s" endings but a soft ending to the words completes the word. Actually all "t" and "s" sounds should be soft even in the middle of the words. I would have my biggest pet peave is sing the words "that you" and "let us". Here are prime examples why you need to ennunciate. "That you" come out sounding like "atchoo", and "Let us" could come out sounding like "lettuce". So you need the soft sound of the "t" but you would want a strong interrupting "t".

          Anyway, just my opinion, and it's all worked for me.
          Last edited by Wrapped in Jesus Love!; 07-04-2009, 10:56 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would think that would get confusing to the singers and take away some of their worship, to not be allowed to say "God", but have to say "ah". And how far does it go? To continue with your God of Wonders theme, wouldn't they have to sing:

            ah uh anders ee-ah ur aa-a-ee
            oo r o-ee, o-ee
            u-i-ers ee-ares ur a-estee
            oo r o-ee, o-ee

            and so on.

            that would be weird, I think.

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree

              Originally posted by musicianinthestates View Post
              To continue with your God of Wonders theme, wouldn't they have to sing:

              ah uh anders ee-ah ur aa-a-ee
              oo r o-ee, o-ee
              u-i-ers ee-ares ur a-estee
              oo r o-ee, o-ee
              I would have to agree that singing this would be strange. That would take away from my worshipful feel. It would take the focus off of why we are up there singing in the first place. I think if you sing from your heart and really mean what you are singing and ennunciate, it will come through loud and clear (as long as you set your sound system accordingly).

              Comment


              • #8
                sounds goofy to me as well.

                Nate
                Practical Worship

                Please Pray For My Wife

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wrapped in Jesus Love! View Post
                  I tend to not like the aaaahhhhs. I find a happy medium in between and make sure we are all singing the same way. Sometimes I think the aaaaaahhhhhs sound too fake, and can tend to take away from the worshipful, natural feeling.
                  I think if ooohs and aaahs are too loud in the mix, they do sound strange, but no more worse than any other instrument that is not at the proper level. When done properly, you should not really be able to hear the ooohs and aaaahs, but rather just sense them. I basically feel the same way about harmony, BTW (see below).

                  Originally posted by musicianinthestates
                  I would think that would get confusing to the singers and take away some of their worship, to not be allowed to say "God", but have to say "ah". And how far does it go?
                  Why would it be confusing? It is no more confusing than if I have to play a pad on my keys instead of a piano sound. One is softer, the other is more articulate. It's just a different sound. Backup vocalists, especially when there are several of them, need to realize their job is not so much to deliver the words to worshipers, but rather to enhance the sound with a unique instrument - the voice. The lead singer (often times the WL) should deliver the words somewhat clearly. But in this day of projected lyrics, even that is not so critical any more.

                  And it goes as far as it needs to go - and NO farther. One of my pet peeves with background vocalists is when they sing harmony ALL the time during the entire song. It should be just at the right time and at the right levels. Otherwise, it's kind of like having a piece of cake with thick frosting on all six sides!

                  Lou

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    whatever works for you

                    I still tend to stay away from the aaaahhhs. I guess it's okay for the larger groups like the huge choirs , but for me in contemporary worship I just think it's a big turnoff. But we're all worship leaders at different places and we do what works best for us and the people we lead.

                    Louca said "Backup vocalists, especially when there are several of them,need to realize their job is not so much to deliver the words to worshipers, but rather to enhance the sound with a unique instrument - the voice. The lead singer (often times the WL) should deliver the words somewhat clearly."

                    I do think that backup vocalists should not overpower the melody voice(s), but in my leading worship I always want my main focus in addition to leading worship to be to sing with passion and sing your message to God.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In the studio, you sometimes tell bgv singers to lighten up on consonants due to the fact you'll be stacking several times. (for example, using 3 singers recording a phrase 5 times to make it sound bigger....cheaper than hiring 15 singers to do it once) When you do this you sometimes start emphasizing consonants too much and have to tone it down. In the end the lead has to be the lead. And yep, producers sometimes go to far and you get the "caveman" vocals like your hearing on Thriller.

                      Never heard of live singers being told to tone down consonants tho...the biggest thing is making sure everyone is singing the same rhythms. And if one offending singer is killing c's or p's you can maybe ask them to lighten up just a bit. Singing only vowels may make engaging in worship really hard for singers. (I have hard enough time getting words right as it is )

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I guess all this comes into play with some of the issues I'm having right now. I don't read music and everything I sing, play and do, is totally by ear... I don't pretend to have the knowledge and abilities that most of you have. So I'm wondering when all of it leaves the realm of worship and rolls over into just being a production. I guess all the issues I'm having right now fuel this question moreso than this thread, but still, I am wondering?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Every successful worship team and worship experience has at least SOME production value attached. For sure some churches tend to take it to extremes, and it ends up feeling more like a performance than an interactive experience. What makes me successful might not be the same things that make Louca successful, or that make Russ or Nate, or Yod successful. There are going to be some common elements to be sure, but the key is going to be an ability to relate to YOUR church, YOUR culture, YOUR community, and to make that relationship an engaging, inviting one.

                          What does that look like?

                          Start with the basics, my friend. make sure you have those DOWN, and then move on to more complicated concepts. Take small steps, and reinforce every success with more work on both fundamentals AND advanced concepts.

                          Need help? Ask.

                          Thats the biggest part of why we are here.

                          Smitty
                          Love ONE woman...MANY guitars!

                          www.davidsproblem.wordpress.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We went to a worship conference in Chicago last year and one of the speakers suggested the following exercise to get everyone "in sync" - we did it with a group of about 120 people and by the end it sounded like one collective voice.

                            Here it is:
                            Have everyone say a common memorized bible passage or the pledge of allegiance - whatever everyone knows - doesn't need to be very long - a couple of sentences will suffice. Have them all say it as they normally would. You'll notice it's muddy, etc. Next have everyone place their tongues on the roof of their mouth towards their front teeth and hold it there while repeating the same passage/phrase. Do this a couple of times and then have them say it again together using their normal voices. You'll be surprised at how concise it is. It helps you focus the consonants at the front of your mouth and use proper formation.

                            Anyway, thought I'd share - hope it helps!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I hope I can offer some perspective as a worship leader who has had several years of voice lessons. You are right. the vowels in the words you're singing should sound more British than mumbled-down and slangy American. Nice and open and clear with lift. Consonants should not be taken away from, though. When you have S, T or K sounds, they should be nice and crisp, but do not emphasize them as much as the vowels in words. You want to close off the word with a well-pronounced consonant tagged just in the nick of time before you're finished with the word. The best way to make this a habit of your vocalists is to do vocal warm-ups that emphasize vowels and minimize consonants to get the point proven and then remind them of it before singing. Nee-nay-nah-no-nu is a good one. After a while, you should notice clearer words when you lead.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X