As I mentioned in an earlier entry, music has shape… and I’m not just talking about form. Music has places where it builds, where it crests, where it pulls back, and where the bottom drops out of it. These places are determined by a number of things, such as volume, instrumentation, key changes, etc. The job of the individual band members is to know the shape and figure out how best to contribute to it. The job of the leader is to communicate the overall shape.
This is shape on the MACRO level.
What about the MICRO level?
Straight out, that is something that more likely has to be directed, particularly if your team is prone to go on autopilot. If you’re running a choir, those are the words or the phrases that you make pop with sudden emphasis or tone changes. You may repeat the same verse and deliver it a completely different way by drawing attention to different parts. That may be when you catch the eyes of your team and throw in an unexpected break or stretch out a vamp. We’re talking specific moments in time, often spontaneous. These micro-level shape moments often get overlooked or brushed aside altogether. And yet when done effectively, they can create the most memorable part of the song.