Singing is a form of communication. Any song you sing has a message, weather it is a message of woe or joy. And every song tells a story, weather a sad or a happy one. That makes you a messenger and a storyteller.
Know Your Message
So, you need to know what your message is and what story you’re telling. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in high school choir, on a worship team, or singing Karaoke. You need to be able to answer the question: What is the message of this song.
Start by sitting down with a pen and paper (Ancient writing tools that you can Google). Summarize the song in two or three sentences. Next, take a deeper look by writing a sentence about each verse, chorus, bridge etc. The goal is to make sure you really understand the message. A surprising number of singers just sing songs. When asked, they can’t actually define or summarize the message.
What if It’s Unclear?
If you’re not sure what some parts of the song are about do some research. Learn about the songwriter. Use a dictionary or thesaurus to help understand unclear words. This is what prolific songwriters have done for years. It keeps the message real and genuine and the creative juices flowing.
Now That You Know What the Song Is About
Unless you’re singing the song in a choir, and can’t change the arrangement, look for things you can do to tell a clearer story. What words or phrases can you emphasize with a little more volume or holding a word out. What thought or phrase would be more powerful if it were softer, or sung with shorter words. Do some phrases need to be more talky or conversational? There are lots of options, and you need to do some experimenting. That’s what successful artists do. It’s how they find just the right way to express a song.
Don’t Just Sing a Song—Tell a Song
Study the song and communicate the message. You and your listeners with both benefit in every way!
Sing on! And remember: We’re here to help.