Archives For Background Vocals

Feeling Time

Jared Taylor —  October 20, 2014 — Leave a comment

Tele Time

It’s hard to overstate the importance of time in music. On a macro level, time is about tempo: how fast or slow is a song and are we following it. But on the micro level, we can talk about something called “time feel”: the subtle way musicians interpret time as they subdivide beats.

Subdividing beats simply means dividing larger beats into smaller beats. Whole notes can be divided into half notes, then quarters, eighths, sixteenths, thirty-secondths and so on. Mathematically speaking, these subdivisions are very simple to place on a grid. But human beings subdivide beats in our heads, we don’t always do it with flawless mathematical exactness. Subtly and often unconsciously, we push and pull certain beats in a pattern that is repeatable, but hard to deconstruct. Continue Reading…

When it Clicks

Jared Taylor —  October 16, 2014 — Leave a comment

96-bpm

My first guitar teacher and I lasted six months before I broke it off. I wasn’t being challenged, and felt I was learning more from guitar magazines than the guy we were paying every week. If you know me, this will make sense–I needed to know I was learning the correct way. I needed assurance that we were starting from the beginning and taking all the right steps. So we did a bit of homework, bought a classical guitar and a footrest, and I started up with one of the best guitar teachers in the region.

I’ll never forget my first and sixth lessons. My sixth lesson was thirty minutes dedicated to proper nail-filing technique. But my first lesson was my first time using a metronome. We used the metronome ALL THE TIME. It was ticking when I came into the lesson, it was ticking when I left, it ticked in the background while my teacher gave me feedback. The constant ticking was enough to drive you mad, but you know how they say there’s a fine line between madness and genius?

Continue Reading…

Blog - Vocal Range Header

Worship leaders should have one approach to their leadership:

Lead in such a way that only provides encouragement towards (not distraction from) an opportunity to join together in singing declarative truths about who our God is and who we are as His people.

That may seem very self explanatory, but think about the things that could be a potential distraction for someone wanting to engage in musical worship.  Anything from inappropriately placed screaming guitar solos to lyric slides that show up a line too late (and everything in between) can fall into this red flag zone.

There are many things that can distract us from entering into engaged musical worship experiences, but I would say towards the top of “The Most Distracting List” can be the key a song is led in.  If a song is too high or too low, what are people going to do? They’ll just stand there. If they’re wanting to be singing by they physically can’t, it can be frustrating.

REALITY CHECK FOR TRAINED VOCALISTS WHO LEAD: If you choose a key based on where it sounds best or is even most natural to sing in your range, it’s probably not a good key to lead that song in corporately.

Continue Reading…

Taking it Apart: the Voice

Jared Taylor —  January 22, 2013 — 4 Comments
Part 8 of 8 in the series Taking It Apart

Nathan_Scott

If our job is to lead people in singing, then the voice is the most important source in the mix. We’ll suffer through mediocre floor tom tuning or a few missed beats in a clarinet solo, but if the vocals don’t sound right it’s game over.

Our ears and our brains are engineered for understanding spoken words, particularly consonants which are spoken at half the volume of vowels. In the consonant range we’re able to detect sounds 100 times quieter than other sounds and our sensitivity to pitch is 10 times more precise. This is why we have a strong negative reaction to a flat vocal but can barely tell if a bass guitar has been tuned in the last year.

We also know how voices should sound because we listen to them for 12 hours a day! Most of your friends can’t tell if the acoustic guitar was a little too bright but they absolutely know if they can’t understand the words. And they’re right! In this instance, as a sound person, you really are mixing in a room full of experts! And, because you need to be a chief expert among experts, I’m going to share with you some of what I’ve learned about the voice. Continue Reading…

A new year is before us — new excitements, new joys, new challenges …
I’m going to let Tim Day, the Sr. Pastor of The Meeting House, take the first post of 2013.

This is for anyone who is involved in a weekend service context. Musicians and techs alike, be inspired and join with us to make way for the Spirit moving in our communities, and to be used to raise the temperature of our weekend services!

(Having trouble viewing this video? Click here: http://youtu.be/6qP2DZHsLAo)

I Lift My Eyes Up

We interrupt this current series to bring you a crucial piece of information …

Think about an in-person conversation that you had with someone today. Not about what was said, but about what was done. Or, if you haven’t seen anyone yet today, stop reading this point, go find someone, have a conversation about the weather, and come back to finish reading this post.  Continue Reading…

The 100% Rule.  It all comes back to the 100% Rule.  Following or ignoring this rule will make or break the sound of your band.

Continue Reading…

You get to that intimate, worshipful moment in your set. The Spirit is moving … and then this happens.  Sometimes, you just can’t avoid awkward moments — learn to laugh at yourself — yes, even in public!

If you were with us on Saturday, November 17th at the Amplify Conference, you will remember the general session we had about playing together as a team.  It’s one thing to be very talented on your instrument — certainly, keep developing that skill!  But, the first thing that you notice (hopefully) when you show up to a rehearsal for the first time is that it takes far more than skill on your instrument to fit into the overall sound in a band context.

In the coming weeks, I’m going to be posting video clips and articles that relate to just that — what it means to play together as a band.  Did you know that it’s possible (and very common) to overplay?  Do you know what to listen for when trying to figure out your part?  Did you know that there are other instruments in the band that have the potential of clashing with your instrument just by where they’re playing on the fretboard or octave on the piano?  How do we listen for these potential issues and what do we do to avoid them?

Stay tuned — We’ll dive into all of these questions and much more in the coming days and weeks!