I have a good voice, but not great. My backing vocalists are much more talented vocally than I am, but their harmonies also make me sound good. I am considering having vocal lessons, but I don't know whether it will make a difference or not. Has anyone here had any vocal lessons, and if so, did your voice improve dramatically?
My best friend is a vocal coach and I met her taking an introductory class at a Christian Musician Summit. You could benefit on so many levels. many professionals do not take proper care of their voice and over time ruin it. she had a lot to say about vocal health, like instead of clearing your throat, try to swallow, and breath through your nose as much as possible, and so much more. To a beginner and o even experienced folks this was so helpful, and there is lots more. get books too, practice the vocal exercises, expand your range, etc. Blessings to you!!
Yes, definitely, go for it. Lessons from a good coach will help you to get the very best out of your voice, extend your range, increase your ability to sing long notes, control your breathing and, as already stated, protect your voice. I'm a very poor singer but I took lessons for a season. I'm still not very good but I learned so much. It was worth every penny!
No seriously, we focus on the worship which is great, but an improved voice will make a big difference in a worship leaders life and also prolong your singing 'career'.
I am speaking with my team this year about working on our skill area. We spend a lot of time on the spiritual area, but the Levites were 'skilled' and I think no harm certainly can come from giving this side a little more attention.
Voice lessons have made me able to keep my voice for years. It has also helped me to identify issues with other vocalists and help them. If this is your ministry and you think it could help, i would go for it. I still learn some heavy rock tunes that are on Guitar Hero, just to relate to the 12 year old kids i lead worship for. If I can show that you should do everything in the ministry to the best of your ability, even 12yr old kids pick up on my dedication to God and His purpose. I think we should do our best to look at serving in worship as a privilege and try to increase our talents. I think lessons can be a great way to increase the technical gift we use in the ministry. Not to scare you, but I have had College level voice teachers who wasted much of my time. When I majored in Voice, I got the best teacher and saw the quickest results. He apologized for all the teachers who actually taught me incorrectly...so be aware that good vocal teachers should have students who have seen growth vocally and you can also try and talk to one of the students about their experience with the teacher.
If you are looking to improve your voice, I think taking choir or a voice class at your local community college may be a way to go. I recently did this, and as a musician I gained new insights on warmups, blending with others, group leadership and choral conducting, among other things....
Yes Definately. Better is always a good thing. Anything that you improve 'in part'.....improves 'the whole'...you will find that it will make you better in 'other area' that you had not thought of.....a bonus.
I should also.....
I took vocal lessons for over a year from a future Broadway singer..it helped because she taught me about BREATHING!
It's so much about air..also..and this is CRITICAL..record yourself and as painful as it may be...listen to it. You will very quickly have a great desire to improve!
Shaun, Everyone has said so much and well that I don't think that I have much to add. I have given voice lessons for individuals as well as training for future worship leaders. I have seen dramatic improvements with people after only one lesson. One girl had such a quiet voice. You could barely hear her. The sound guy was always telling her to sing louder as he had her as high as he could put her. With one lesson I showed her how to breath properly. The next time she sang people were amazed at the difference. I too thought it was amazing! Lessons can help with keeping in tune as well as with breath support. Also, like someone else said with preserving your voice for the long haul.
I also think that we should do whatever we can to improve and continue to improve our skills. It says in the psalms??? to "play skillfully". I think that goes with singing too! I definitely think that it is well worth the money. But I also want to add a word of caution from my own experience. Don't let singing properly ever interfere with singing from your heart. There are some very talented singers who know all the techniques, but they are boring and heartless. Learn the techniques, know them, then let your heart and the love that it is in it shine through.
At times I have struggled with your same thought. As a worship leader you always want to give your best to the Lord, of course! I believe that He always expects excellency on our behalf as well. That doesn't mean 'perfection' as the world tends to view it or even how worldy professional musicians or vocalists view it, although I am not against their views. You can always learn from all! However, as a child of God you are annointed to perform in His service and serve in love to the people God allows you to draw close to Him through song. What an honor! God chose you...!
I can only share my perspective and personal experience on this...you will have to ultimately decide what you know in your heart what might be the best thing to do in your case. Note that there is no right or wrong in the choices you want to make when it comes to improve yourself as a vocalist...just do what you feel is right for you at the moment. And if it works for you GREAT and if it doesn't then GREAT too! The primary focus should be that whatever you do whether in thought or act... will it honor and ultimitely glorify God?
Let me share...I have a good voice, not the greatest compared to many artists out there. I have had vocalists with better voice or harmony then myself. That doesn't change who I am as a worship leader because my goal isn't to sing better or compete with the blessing (great vocalists) God ajoined to me as a singer. It is not good to compare yourself with any singer, vocalist or musician. You are different....special. And if those vocalists didn't think so, they wouldn't have joined you in the first place. Sometimes it's not so much how you sing but how people percieve your attitude as a worshipper and enjoy to be a part of sincere worship that flows from the heart. You are blessed brother!
I think vocal coaching is an excelent thing to approach when you feel that there are areas in which you would like to improve and expand your abilities as a vocalist. There is much more to vocal coaching than just learning to sing. It's very educational if you find a good teacher. There is an awesome teacher that I know who's name is Chuck Stewart and can offer online coaching if you are serious. WEBSITES: www.vocaleasy.com and www.singinglessonslive.com
Keep in mind that You CANNOT learn from any vocal coach how to praise and worship, for that depends on your relationship with Christ.
Don't focus so much on how great you can or cannot sing but if your worship is pleasing to God!
Believe in Him that your 'joyfull noise' is one that proclaims the goodness of His love and enduring mercy for all!