As Christians, we do our best to share our God-given talent. However, what happens when you’re faced with your worst nightmare…the singer who can’t sing! I’m talking American Idol highlight of terror bad.
Music Directors are eventually, and inevitably face to face with this dichotomy. Sometimes we inherit bad singers, and sometimes they request to join your team.
I’ve experience Music Directors who were borderline brutal when choosing talent. They hold no punches, and have little time or patience. Other churches, to their own detriment allow anyone to sing or perform.
So what are the options? My experience is to simply be honest. If the singer is mediocre and can sing harmony, they will usually work with my preferred singing trio, as long as they’re not pitchy. Additionally, a good sound-man will usually mix them a little further back in the mix for a better blend. A good news option is the TASCAM TA-1VP Vocal Processor with Antares Auto-Tune. It uses the Antares auto-tune algorithm… the best in the industry. This hardware will auto correct vocals… Live, among other built in advantages. The disadvantage is the hardware is only one per microphone. This can work wonders, but can get costly when attempting to auto-tune multiple vocalists.
If the singer is bad, you owe it to yourself, to the singer, and the church to be honest. We have all experienced the disillusioned singers on today’s reality shows, specifically American Idol. There they are, angry and confused; no one was honest with them. They face national humiliation as an audience of millions watch, astonished by their lack of talent, and clarity. As I get older, those segments are becoming more difficult to view.
As a Christian, I am torn… If the singer is serving God, should they be allowed to sing? It is painful to be the bearer of such potential life altering bad news. If they have talent, I will work to mentor them. Give them an opportunity to perform in opening set songs only. Why the opening song? Less of the congregation is present, and it is a little more laid back. It allows separation from the remainder of the worship set. The congregation will accept the risk of a mediocre performance as an opening, but not throughout the entire service. This format allows me to try out new talent without commitment. Most churches hire the most qualified staff, because it benefits the church. Bringing personal embarrassment to a bad singer, and disabling the talent of your praise team, should not be an option!
My opinion is to mentor those who can be mentored, and be honest to those who will negatively affect your praise team.
God Bless and sound off with your opinions!
Editor – Rockin’ God’s House
Copyright 2013 – Ecumenic Entertainment