Archives For vocals

Blog - Stage Signals

I was asked to lead the music at a youth conference in Toronto this past Saturday. The band rehearsed a couple of times and felt good coming into the weekend. Long story short, a couple of circumstances left us scrambling to find another drummer on Friday evening … hours before our first set. Eventually, we found someone to fill in, but walking into the building at 6:15am on Saturday morning, I knew, more than ever, my stage signals to my band that day had to be clear.

It’s not always that you’re left playing a service or an event without any rehearsals with your band (I don’t recommend this), but even with rehearsal, the direction of a song can turn on a dime and it’s now on the leader to keep that from becoming a distraction.

We’re going to jump into a series that will occasionally pop up over the next number of weeks relating to on-stage communication. This will relate far beyond the “Good morning everyone!  Stand up and sing with us!” We will talk about that direction of communication, but more importantly, we’re going to talk about communication between the leader and the band both in a rehearsal and during the service or event. Continue Reading…

Blog - Lead Line Header

Once the band is locking into each other rhythmically and not clashing with each other sonically, you’ll have a great sounding rhythm section. One thing is missing from that picture though … Lead Lines.

A lead line is basically the melodic line that you hear at the forefront of the mix. It is determined in rehearsal as “the most important sound of the moment” that will attract the listener’s ear. It can be anything from the riff of an electric guitar to the sung vocal line of the lead vocalist. We all understand when and where the vocal line fits into the overall picture of the song (the songwriter determines that) so in talking about lead lines this week, I want us to focus on those melodic lines that, in a band context, we typically hear in the electric guitar or right hand of the piano.

A song without any lead lines would be excruciatingly boring.

Continue Reading…