HOW TO USE RIFTS AND RUNS WHEN LEADING WORSHIP.


He was just entertaining us with his fine voice instead of worshipping Brother can't you just sing simple without all those plenty things you do with your voice? Ever heard some of this comments when and after you finish worshipping? Even though you know deep within you, you are expressing yourself genuinely to the father? And yet this comments keep coming and they somehow frustrate you. you are not alone. You must understand that Musically speaking your audience are made up of 3 categories of people;
1. THE MUSICAL DUMMIES: This one's are the most irritated with rifts and runs or vocal styles, they know little or nothing about music. They are addicted to the traditional pattern of singing. In Nigeria we call it Ariaria. They have no ear for detecting good music or good vocal embellishments. 

2. THE MIDDLE MEN: this one's are not too good, but can appreciate a good vocal and music style when they hear it. They are found often in choirs but sometimes lazy to really work and build up a good vocal system. They can fall in the category of the dummies sometimes when it comes to advanced or developed music analysis and they can fall in the category of the enlightened sometimes. But generally they enjoy and can appreciate good music, good rifts and runs and good vocal techniques.

3. MUSICALLY ENLIGHTENED: this one's are the musical genius or call them music addicts. Over time they have Practiced. So they can decipher, appreciate good music, good rifts and runs at any point in time. WHY THE RIFTS AND RUNS? WHY THE VOCAL STYLES? WHY ALL THE TECHNIQUES IN WORSHIP? first lets get you to understand what a Rifts and Runs is. it is simply singing more than one note in the syllable of a song e.g in the song "casting crowns by Nathaniel Bassey. the first two syllables "casting crowns...." the crowns is a little bit elongated and stressed, the musical note for the first two syllable is "DOH, TI, LA"... more notes can be added to the Crowns (La) which automatically makes it a Rift, it becomes runs when its fast and spontaneous involving too many notes at once.
Now you must understand that the rifts and runs, vocals styles and embellishments are their for variety of reasons:
1. To enhance the message of a song: some messages will be communicated better with the falsetto, head voice or chest voices, or with the growl, masking or phrasing and vowel or note bending etc. It's left for the singer to use his or her discretion and know what point to bring in the styles to drive the message home. imagine trying to sing the word "I love you so much" this words are already too emotional and thus will need a good emotional expression from the voice to convey the intensity of the emotion. Your audience can tell if you mean it or not from the way you sing it. I don't imagine a growl here because its gonna sound too intensified and thus the emotionality of the song might be missed. But surely it all depends on the singer.

2. To enhance the emotionality of a song: You must understand that the centre piece of music is emotions. in Priceless Music Academy we refer to it as the "currency of music" Music deals with emotions and the sole purpose of all the vocal techniques and styles is to ENHANCE THE EMOTIONALITY OF A SONG. To do a good rifts and runs, not distracting and disrupting it must come from deep and strong emotions.

3. To add life and sophistication to the rhythm, and melody: Rifts and runs, and other vocal technique is useful in enhancing the rhythm, melody or harmony of a song, when a singer becomes too monotonous with a particular style of melody, or rhythm he/she becomes boring therefore the need to add variety is inevitable. HOW DO I APPLY THIS THINGS WHEN LEADING WORSHIP?. First you must understand what your audience are made up of and how they are likely to respond. The musical dummies will find it hard to relate to your good rifts and runs, or vocal styles The middlemen might not have issues With it to the extent it is done. If complex they might have issues with it. The musically enlightened might tend to get too excited and start rehearsing or trying out some stuffs in the middle of the worship, thereby loosing the real essence of the moment or they might be offended to the level at which it is done.

This is likely the response you will get from each of the category. believing you understand the need for all the vocal techniques it's important you should know some rules to apply when doing them:

1. Learn to give the song a breathing space: Do not feel up every bar, space or part of the song with rifts and runs, thereby not allowing the emotions of the people absorb what you are trying to do when it becomes too much it becomes distracting.

2. Start simple if possible: it's important you buy the mind of the people with simplicity of vocals first then when doing the song again you can add rifts and runs in one or two places, A good voice, clarity, good diction and tone is a nice place to start from. This will make the people interested and prepared to hear more of what you have to offer.

3. Take advantage of spaces or long vowels: E.g. when singing casting CROWNS by Nathaniel Bassey you will find out that the CROWNS seems a little bit elongated. Take advantage of it, add one or two rifts or simple vocal style there.. Also apply this in other songs.

4. Do your rifts and runs in your ad lib: You are free to express yourself more when you are ad libing but be careful not to do too much. The ad libing is a good place for expression but don't do too much or else it becomes entertaining. It's entertaining because it excites the people instead of getting them sort of sober, you know thats what worship is geared towards. imagine using too much of a blue scale in worship. You will end up raising frenzies in the people. Hope this was helpful. Share to your friends and let them also enjoy what you have enjoyed.

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