The Lesson of the Ritardando

The Lesson of the Ritardando

Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Worship Leading | No Comments

I thought I had learned my lesson. In fact, we just talked about it last week. I learned not to add weird breaks into songs that would unintentionally trick the congregation into coming in vocally before we would.

Yet, this past Sunday, I felt inspired to change up the ending to a song. Rather than ending after the chorus, I wanted to softly tag the first two lines of the verse. In practice, it sounded awesome. Here’s the problem. Once we started the verse, why would the congregation think we were going to stop halfway through?

They didn’t. And kept singing a few words after I had stopped. I felt awful – like I had vocal juked them (inspired by Jon Acuff’s “Jesus Juke” analogy).

Luckily, there was a more densely populated second service to try and redeem myself. So, I added a ritardano (slowed down) those last two lines of the verse to make it clear that I was coming to a close. Everyone followed. I learned my lesson – again.