In his previous article, Rob Stam discussed the first four “deadly sins” one can make as a technician, musician and/or worship leader. If you missed it, click here to catch up. Rob checks in here with the final three, with experience-based commentary and advice along the way.
Yes, technical people and musicians can get along and work as true partners in worship excellence – while having fun at the same time!
Deadly Sin #5: Not holding one’s tongue (or, how I offered a suggestion and made things worse…).
When I’m mixing, I want everything to sound as good as possible.
Sometimes, however, things are happening on stage that just seem to get in the way of the sonic nirvana that’s etched in my brain.
Perhaps it’s a guitar that’s too loud, perhaps it’s an off-key singer, or perhaps “everything” just isn’t working. (Mama told me there’d be days like this, and mama was right!)
Should we feel some obligation to offer some advice? Of course. Should we act on this feeling? Well…
Telling a musician he or she isn’t sounding too good is kind of like telling an artist you don’t like his/her painting.
How many times have you looked at a painting and asked, maybe sarcastically, “they want how much for this?”
I may not like someone’s “art” but in the minds of many, including the creator of that art, it’s serious, meaningful and perhaps brilliant.
The moral of the story is to hold one’s tongue and consider the big picture. Ask the question: will our ultimate goal be furthered if I suggest a change? (No matter my intentions – how will this input be received?)
The bottom line is that there are facts, and there are opinions, and the truth often lies between.
Often you can lose more than could ever be gained by pushing your own agenda, no matter how “right” you may be.
Tossing out opinions can also ruin the team spirit so vital to the mission, and yes, also the joy of praise and worship.
And showing distrust and/or lack of respect for others may lead the worship leader to question your own goals, agendas and visions.
Obviously there are exceptions. If a guitar is just so loud that you can’t create a good mix below 110 dB, best to gently encourage a change.
If a singer is off-key to a noticeable degree, maybe mention it to the worship leader, subtly and behind closed doors. If the leader agrees, change becomes his/her responsibility.
I’ve learned a lot from talented production people. They’re always positive, always put full effort into their work, and always have an attitude of appreciation toward everyone else they work with.
This attitude transcends minor problems, leading everyone to follow the example, resulting in a better production. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, one attained through the power of encouragement and positive thinking.