Vocals

Tutorials

What is Our Job?

As a vocalist, it’s your job to facilitate worship
by leading songs or supporting with melody
and harmony.

Why Do We Do What We Do?

God gave his son Jesus to save us from our sins.
He is good and worthy of our praise!
“You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!
I sing for joy because of what you’ve done.”
Psalm 92:4 (NLT)

Preparing for a Weekend:

1.) Use Planning Center

Planning Center is the place to find all of the resources you need to prepare for a weekend. Log in online or download the app on your phone to use recordings of each part in a song, lyric sheets, lead sheets, and more.

2.) Listen, listen, listen!

As soon as you know what songs you will be doing for your next set, listen to them as much as possible. This helps you become familiar with the structure, tune, and lyrics of the song.

3.) Develop your own way to memorize lyrics

Even with a confidence monitor, it is very important to know all song lyrics well. Technical issues could cause the confidence monitor to fail, so it is your responsibility to know what words to sing at what time. There are several ways to accomplish this besides listening to a song. Here are a few ideas that might work for you:

– Make flashcards

Write out the lyrics of a song on flashcards in the order that they occur. Label each section (verse 1, chorus, bridge, etc.) to help familiarize yourself with these terms. The guide voice that you will hear uses these terms to direct the band where to go next in the song.

– Recite the lyrics like a poem

Memorizing the text of the lyrics by itself is helpful for some people to get the words down before putting it together with the tune.

4.) Practice….a lot!

Before Thursday rehearsal comes around, practice at home on your own so that you are prepared. Even if changes are made at rehearsal, you will have an easier time adjusting if you have your part solid. So close your bedroom door, turn up the music, and sing your heart out!

Other things to Remember…

  • We are facilitators of worship. We worship our Heavenly Father to thank Him for all He does for us. It’s not about us– it’s all about Him.
  • Let your pride go. He created all of us to be loved and treasured equally– none of us are holier than the other.  “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” – James 4:10
  • Stage presence. We must find the balance between performing and worshiping. If you enter into a set with a heart of worship and desire to praise the Lord, that message will shine through you. A simple smile or natural movement of your body can go a long way. Just relax and praise your Heavenly Father!
  • Always be joyful! Sometimes all it takes is adding a smile to create a genuine connection and allow God to shine through you. “I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have ransomed me.” – Psalm 71:23

Exhortations

Tips, Reminders, and Examples
  • Uses a personal story/experience to relate to and connect with the students
  • Avoid phrases along the lines of “when I was your age,” or anything that might make a student feel less important or like a kid. The goal is to share worship together and unite in God’s presence despite our ages.
  • Keep the story/experience short and relevant. Use it only as an aid in making your message relatable to the students.

Example:

Hey everybody, as we go into our last song here, I just want to share something that’s been on my heart lately. A little while ago I was stuck in a rut. I felt like everything I did was wrong. I didn’t really know what to do. I would still go to church or youth group every week but this feeling of disliking myself and feeling a step below the rest just continued to grow. After a while, I eventually had to be honest with myself. It was then that I realized the reason that I was stuck in the first place. I was pushing God to the side in my life. He was tugging on my heart all this time and I kept ignoring it because I thought that I could and even had to do everything on my own. I think there might be some people in this room today that feel like I did. You’re stuck. Not sure how to get out. Your heavenly father created you to be you and nobody else. He loves you so much. Let Him take you all the way. Let’s all worship Him together with everything we have in this last song.
  • Uses a bible verse to introduce/reinforce an idea or to encourage the students
  • Short, meaningful scriptures work best. Memorize a scripture that holds meaning to you and share this with the students. If the scripture is too long, your message drowns in the wordiness– the students will quickly lose interest.
  • Eliminate/explain any complicated or foreign words in the scripture. The Bible uses a lot of high-level vocabulary, unconventional wording and words from foreign language/origins. If these words aren’t relevant to the message you’re trying to communicate, find a translation that makes the meaning clearer. However, if these words are directly relevant to the message you are trying to send (such as words from the Greek that identify a certain action, person, or emotion), BRIEFLY and simply explain the meaning in a way the students will understand easily.

Example:

In Philippians 4:13 it says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Think about that. It’s amazing, isn’t it? We can do anything through Him. This verse has really been on my heart lately. Sometimes it feels like nothing is going right. Sometimes it feels like everything is going right. Wherever you’re at, this verse is a great reminder of how much our heavenly father loves us and how much power we have through Him. As we sing this next song, really pour your heart out to Him. Thank Him for this amazing promise and trust Him to give you strength in everything you do.
  • Uses the lyrics of the next song to illustrate a point or introduce a thought for the students to consider during the next song.
  • Choose a small portion of the lyrics to focus on. Trying to explain the meaning of the entire song is overwhelming and unnecessary.

Example:

So this next song is one that you all know. The chorus says, “Pull me a little closer, Take me a little deeper.” Even though you may have sung these words many times, we sometimes can forget the power in them. When you sing these words, sing them with all of your heart. Let Him pull you closer. Let Him take you deeper. He wants to. All you have to do is ask.

 

Some things to keep in mind…

  • Keep your transition concise yet meaningful. Wordy explanations and thoughts that trail off can distract the students (and the worship team!) from God.
  • Always always always write out your transition before sharing it during a service. This may seem over the top or unnatural, but preparing for a transition during a worship set should be handled like preparing for a sermon. Anything (correct or incorrect) that you say can heavily impact a student’s life. To ensure that this impact is a positive one, it is very important to put thought and time into what you choose to share. Writing out an outline for what you would like to say is the perfect way to do this. That being said, you should not simply memorize what you write. The key to a powerful and meaningful transition is sharing with a genuine heart for God. The outline you prepare beforehand gives you a record of what God has put on your heart, and from there you can vocalize these thoughts naturally and comfortably. If you trust God to let His words come through you, then you can let go of your fear of sounding nervous, rehearsed, or random.
  • Avoid giving instructions. Engaging students in clapping or raising their hands can be done in an effective way by sharing the “why” behind the “what’ of these sorts of actions. Simply telling the students to raise their hands can be extremely awkward and forced. Inviting the students to raise their hands as a sign of surrender, for example, attaches a meaning to this action. One can similarly encourage students to come closer to the front with a meaning attached. Emphasizing that we are God’s children here only to worship Him and prompting the students to shift their entire attention from the room around them to Him and Him only, for example, provides another “why” behind the “what”.
  • NEVER single out a specific student for any reason. For example, sometimes students will not stand during worship or will not raise their hands, etc. If you or another worship team member has already invited the students to engage in such actions, it is not your job to parent this student or force him or her into the action. Allow God to work in this student’s heart rather than placing them in a potentially embarrassing situation which will likely drive them further away from engaging in worship.

Cleaning Up After A Weekend

Your XLR cable (mic cable) should be wrapped up neatly and placed near the back of the stage, with the microphone on top facing the back of the stage. We put them like this because we may not use them the next weekend and this prevents any possible feedback they can cause if they are accidentally left on.