Have you ever started a song where it feels like everything’s going okay, then you get to the chorus and you realize… whoa…this is way too fast!!!
I’ve been there. Suddenly there is no ‘feel’ to the song anymore. It just feels like everyone is holding on for dear life! It’s like a runaway train! It’s difficult to sing, the words are all mashed together, it’s sounding loose, etc. Nothing to do now but end it as soon as possible!
We musicians tend to rush things at times, especially when we get excited about a song. 🙂
So here’s a little trick, or tip, if you don’t happen to have a metronome handy: before you count off the song for the rest of the band, sing…in your mind…the busiest part if the song—the part that ends up being too fast. Make sure you have that part right. Make sure that part feels comfortable to sing. You’ll be surprised how much slower the countoff and the other parts will seem, even though they’ll be right where you want them.
An example: this happened to me this past weekend. We used Aaron Thompson’s “Blessed One
” as a Song of Gathering. At one Mass I began with the refrain
. It’s a bunch of longer notes with the text “Ave, ave, ave, ave, ave, ave, Blessed One.” Even if you sang it at a faster tempo, it sounds and feels okay because the notes are elongated, or held out. Unfortunately, that’s what I did at one of the Masses. I wasn’t concentrating and just started too quickly. When I came around to the verse…well…it was a little fast. I had to apply the brakes in a something-odd-just-happened sort of way. Lesson learned…again!
What I should have done was sing the VERSE in my head before even starting the song. I would have realized that I needed to slow down a bit.
Consider taking some time to practice this. You’ll be glad you did. So will the rest of the group!