DEXTEROUS MUSIC MINSTRELS #D’Minstrels Training Week 2 (Part A)
The assignments of the Soloist (in a group song) Praise Leader (in a praise session) and a Worship Leader (in a worship service) are similar except that each person only functions per time. Hence they are individually referred to as a LEAD VOCALIST.
A Solo is a piece of music for everybody, done one person. It makes the skeletal piece of music have so much relevance to the audience at the current setting with respect to age, time and class.
The most commonly called solo pieces are those written as part of the main song the composer. Very often, the soloist sticks to all the words in this piece irrespective of the age, time, sex and class of the singer. Thus it restricts the control and expression of the soloist to a particular range and performance with little or no improvisations.
The other class of solo piece not often seen as one, is that which is not pre-written as part of the original song but brought in the performer. This is often referred to as ad libitum in music.
According to Habakkuk 2, the Lead Singer (Soloist, Praise or Worship Leader) is the watchman of the group who determines a lot things about the pace and relevance of the song to the lead vocalists, backups and audience generally. Thus, taking a cue from there would grant a clearer assignment of the Lead Singer.
From Habakkuk 2:1-4
I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live his faith.
This is expounded into The 12 Assignments of Soloists Praise & Worship Leaders below:
- Stand Upon Your Watch: The first assignment of the Lead Singer is ALERTNESS & SENSITIVITY. A leader who doesn’t know where he/ she is headed is simply taking a walk and would soon discover he/ she is alone in the trip. Just like a pilot waits on frequent instructions from the tower to know what lies ahead and when to land, so is the Lead Singer on the altar so as not to crash land and destroy both himself/ herself and all others on board.
- Set upon the tower: Where you stand determines what you see… The Lead Singer’s position and frame of mind is of great importance too if he/ she must catch what is signaled his/ her way. The height taken is the highest in the land that is set to watch over. This is why a couple of time, the stage/ alter is raised higher than any other platform within the auditorium. Spiritually, the person occupying that place is ready to receive information from afar and alert the others who constantly looks out for the signal and directives on what is seen.
- Watch to See What HE Will Say to You: There is always a word for the audience you are faced with per time. Never depend on what was sung the last time to determine what to sing to your present audience. The phrase sung per time with relevance to the setting (time, age, social class, gender and culture) of your audience determines your best choice of ad lib. The most dependable and never changing personality is depending on God. HE knows all things best but will only show it to you when you set out your heart to search diligently before time and stay connected while the ministration is still on.
- Prepare Your Answers: There is always a right response to every phrase sang. This proficiency is only shown when the Lead Singer prepares way ahead of the ministration.
- Hear The LORD’S Answer: Only the ready and alert will God answer. “The meek will HE show His ways…” There is always a program on the air waves, yet you only can receive from the frequency you are connected and tuned to per time.
- Write the vision: Many a time Lead Singer believe only amateurs write out their ad libs rather than just get on stage and sing it. But events have unfolded that the faintest pen is stronger than the most retentive memory.
- Make it plain upon tables: The place the vision for the song should be placed is specific. Any vision that can be found just anywhere is without great value. Where you place and share your vision determines how greatly you understand and cherish that vision. The table mentioned sets a particular class of people that it should be made available to. As people approach the table with a particular sense of reverence to it and the content placed there. People seated around a table is always bound a specific class. This class of people per song consist of the Lead Singer, Backups, Instrumentalists, Conductor and audience alike so as to know what to expect, be alert and identify it when it starts happening.
- Take The Flight Path Ahead While Others Run that Read: All who care to read what you have set out to accomplish with the song will run. This implies that for the writer of the vision to stay ahead as the Leader, he must have to fly ahead. If readers run, then writers fly…
- Understand Musical Timing & Season in the Song: Every ad lib written out is yet for an appointed time. It is immature to rush in singing all your ad lib lines the first time the song is done. It obviously would be repeated a number of times on the same stage that day so WAIT…
- Ensure You Make Logical Sense: A professionally laid out ad lib will make perfect sense when put together at the end of the song. The ad lib is meant to complement every other part of the song, not just a phrase at some point.
- Be Patient & Mature: There is hardly any way the song will be delayed any longer than it is meant to run for. Be disciplined enough to hit the right timing and place for every prepared line. A word in due season is an indescribable good done to another person’s soul…
- Avoid Proud & Hasty Words: Pride always goes before a fall and destruction. This generational truth cannot be exempted from the professional musical standard. I once watched with awe of disappointment when five professional artistes were put together to ad lib a song and some of them were struggling to out do others on stage in a live recording. The actual result they got is not far from what you just imagined happened; SHAMEFUL NOISE…
In Conclusion: BE FAITH FILLED because just shall live his faith: Believe that everything will turn out just fine and display confidence in your co-singers too. There is a faithful and notable saying that can never be overemphasized, “HE who began a good work will be faithful to complete it”. Especially because faith is the substance of what you hope for and the only evidence of what you are about to see. So relax and don’t be hasty, use right timing that’s faith…
Congratulations and best regards,