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Many people today are interested in how to sing gospel because they know that it’s the song of hope, compared to the “Blues” that are regarded as songs of despair. Gospel music is a kind of music that is created to serve as an expression of belief about Christian life. This music genre was first introduced to get an alternative to the prevailing secular music at that time.
It is generally known that this is a difficult genre to master. However, if you can set some of your time, and be patient in learning it, then, you’ll be able to perform just like those famous gospel singers in the past. The major factor to be considered in singing the gospel is hard work, which you should be determined to practice if you want to reach the limelight of success in this craft.
What You Need to Know About Gospel Music
A perfect gospel singing performance is best achieved by the beauty and power of your performance. Gospel is a type of music that expresses your energy and emotion. Some of the famous gospel singers that display this expressive show of emotions include Mahalia Jackson and Andrae Crouch. They are only 2 of the gospel music icons that you can possibly come across if you can master this type of music.
Actually, it may be difficult for common choirs to learn gospel singing techniques because it requires a different mindset and technique to obtain this skill compared to traditional church-based music. If you want to have the ability to narrate a story in gospel music convincingly, you should be able to display your emotion about the song that you’re singing.
Let us watch some Gospel singing performance by Mahalia Jackson and Andrae Crouch, so you can learn its concept and style easily.
If you fail to do this, your performance may be viewed as boring, and your audience may just fall asleep.
Important Factors in Soulful Gospel Singing
1) The Dynamics
One great exercise on singing gospel music is applying dynamics known as the “messa di voce” or placement of your voice in the Italian language. You do this by inhaling deeply and try singing a pitch at half your range whichever is comfortable to you. To sustain your pitch, do it very softly, and increase the volume of your sound gradually, then, make it softer again in a slow manner.
2) The Expression
You can attain this factor by studying the meanings of the gospel song you going to sing. Read it aloud just like what you’re supposed to do when you’re reading a story to your child. After that, you can continue singing the song with the kind of expression that you used when you were uttering it.
An excellent idea that you can do is watching videos on YouTube showing famous gospel singers such as Mahalia Jackson I have shown you above.
When you’re ready to join choral music or choir, look for them at your local church event and start auditioning to join them.
3) Sing Like You Are Telling A Story
Every gospel song has its unique meanings that the singer tends to convey to you through their singing voice. If you want to perform the gospel song more soulfully, you need to pretend that you were telling a faithful story in the song like you are speaking to your audience spiritually.
Gospel Singing Exercises
- Control your breathing by performing the “Fontanelli” exercise. You do this exercise by having a good posture, and in a controlled manner, start breathing in slowly through your mouth. While counting up to 4 silently, exhale air slowly to the count of 4 again. Here, you should be able to expel all the amount of air that you took in initially.
- The next step is to make sure that you’re expanding your midsection completely. You will know this by viewing yourself in front of a full-size mirror, and ensure that you’re maintaining that level of expansion while you’re in the process of exhaling.
- Once you have completed this exercise at the count of 4, the next step is to perform it at the count of 5. After that, try to make it 6, and upon reaching 7 or 8, render a hold phase. Start breathing in at the count of 4, hold your breath at the count of 4, and release all the air at the count of 4.
- In these singing exercises, they do involve watching yourself to make sure that you’re able to achieve something and get a good expansion. Remember that this is not a kind of exercise that you can accomplish at once, so, you have to practice every day, and increase the count accordingly.
- One important thing that you should keep in mind when singing gospel is to show a happy facial expression since the gospel is supposed to be a joyous song.
How to Sing the Contemporary Gospel Songs
The Gospel has been developed into a more modern style. The contemporary Gospel is a modern version of the traditional gospel. It involves many urban singing genres into the gospel song. And the gospel choir has utilized many elements of soul music as well. Thus, it’s easier for a beginner to master contemporary gospel songs as well as compared to the traditional one.
The contemporary Christian songs are also categorized as the gospel. But, It can also be considered as a kind of modern gospel genre.
Today the Christian singing groups can be divided into several different types. One radio station may call it AC and yet another station may name it pop or contemporary or modern rock. The Dove company has several categories for such singers and the Grammy calls any song with Christian religious content as “Gospel.” The Christian musical groups to add to the confusion release songs which can fall in any one of these genres.
Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) or alternately known as “Inspirational Music” is quite a popular style of music followed by people with no age or gender bar. The lyrics of these songs are mostly concerned with the Christian faith. There are several bands and solo singers who are famous for this style of singing. To name a few are the Nashville, Tennessee based pop/rock music industry with artists like Avalon, Barlow Girl, Jeremy Camp, Steven Chapman, David Crowder Band, Amy Grant, Jars of Clay, Mercy Me, News Boys and many more.
These artists and bands are being ranked in Billboard Magazines as ” Top Christian Albums” and “Hot Christian Songs” and by Radio Stations and Records Magazines as Christian Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Hit Radio, Inspirational, Christian Rock and Christian and Gospel genre in iTunes Store.
However not all music or songs with Christian faith content as lyrics come under Contemporary Christian Music. Many punks, holy hip-hop and hardcore deal with complicated issues of the Christian faith, but they are not part of the Nashville music industry. Artists such as Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Lifehouse, and U2 have sung several songs with Christian faith lyric content, yet are not considered as CCM artists.
Some of the popular CCM or modern gospel artists are listed below:
After his debut in 1996, there was no looking back for Bebo Norman. This Christian Contemporary Music artist has come a long way from singing in small college campuses to the more discerning and appreciative audience who love his style of singing with a religious message.
Adrina Thorpe is a new arrival on this style of singing and is blessed with a commanding voice with a powerful reach. Her site features sound clips, photos, a biography, latest news, and essential supplements.