Fellow bass Peter Bowers gives us the following:
Advice to Singers when dealing with Worship Leaders:
- Never be satisfied with the starting pitch. If the leader uses a pitch fork, insist on your preference for the pitch pipe - and vice versa.
- Complain about the temperature of the room, the lighting, the lack of space, or a draught. It is best to do this when the leader is under pressure.
- Bury your head in the music just before an important cue.
- Ask for a seating change. Ask often.
- Loudly clear your throat during pauses (tenors are trained to do this from birth). Quiet interludes are a good opportunity for blowing your nose.
- Long after a passage has gone by, ask the leader if your low C was in tune. This is especially effective if you didn't have a low C or were not singing at the time.
- Wait until well into a rehearsal before letting the leader know that you don't have any music.
- At dramatic moments in the music be busy marking your music so that the climax will sound empty and disappointing.
- Look at your watch frequently. Shake it in disbelief occasionally.
- Whenever possible, sing your part either an octave above or below what is written. This is excellent ear training for the leader. If he hears the pitch, deny it vehemently and claim that he must be hearing the harmonics.
- Tell the leader, "I'm not sure of the beat." Leaders are always sensitive about that, so bring it up frequently.
- If you are singing in a language with which the leader is the least bit unfamiliar, ask him as many questions as possible about the meaning of individual words. Occasionally, say the word twice and ask his preference for pronunciation, making certain to say it exactly the same both times. If he remarks on their similarity, give a look of utter disdain and mutter under your breath about "subtleties of inflection".
- Ask the leader if he has listened to the recording of the piece you are rehearsing. Imply that he could learn a thing or two from it. Also good: ask "Is this the first time you've sung this piece?"
- If your phrasing differs from that of others singing the same phrase, stick to your guns. Do not ask the leader which is correct until just before time to sing in public.
- Remember - softer means slower.