By: Kol Isha and T.R.U.E. Confessions
We go to them all the time, Baruch Hashem. They are of course, wonderful, simchadik events and there is no question that music is an integral part of this most momentous of occasions. The right music can get the dance floor filled with people eager to fulfill the mitzvah of being misamayach chosson v’kallah. The wrong music can get people walking out the door just to catch a break from what is nothing more than glorified noise.
Below, our pet peeves, when it comes to wedding music.
Volume: Pages and pages have been written in the Letters to the Editor section of the heimishe papers complaining about the volume levels at simchos. Plain and simple, louder isn’t better. Loud music isn’t more melodic or more enjoyable, it is just loud and quite frankly, annoying. The bochurim insist the music has to be loud to be leibidic? Sorry, not only are they not music experts, they are not paying your salary. It doesn’t need to be loud to be leibidic. It needs to be the right music, with proper sound, well played, by musicians who are in sync with the mood in the room.
Jewish wedding halls aren’t built with sound in mind. Huge rooms with high ceilings eat sound and without a proper sound system, the only way to get the music to carry is to pump the volume up, big time. Find someone who knows how to play the room so that guests don’t walk out because the volume is too disturbing.
You orchestras out there listening? If the people on the dance floor can’t hear the person who is right next to them you are doing something wrong.
Singers Who Think They Are Giving Concerts: News flash. While you may be the guy with the mike, you are NOT the star of the show. That honor goes to the chosson and kallah. You are not up there to promote your latest album, you are not up there to show off, you are not up there to invite people to watch you sing instead of dance. You are there to bring simcha to the chosson and kallah, the true stars of the evening.
The Chupah: There is so much that can be said here. Chances are that if there is someone up there who is singing at the chupah, that person has a close, personal connection with the baalei simcha. So do us all a favor. Don’t harmonize with the singer or try to become part of the chupah. While you may be talented, if the chosson and kallah had wanted you singing under the chupah they would have asked you. Make sure you know what the singer will be singing and what key they will be singing it in. If at all possible, get this information in advance so that you can get any sheet music that you need and become familiar with the song if it isn’t one you already know.
Keep Your Eyes on the Ball: If you are accompanying a singer by the chupah, make sure you aren’t going ahead or lagging behind the vocalist. Be aware of what is happening on the dance floor so that you are in sync with the crowd. If the bochurim are singing Vayihi B’yeshurun Melech as they accompany the chosson and kallah to their table, don’t play a jazz version of the song, not matter how cool it sounds, because your role here is a supporting one – follow the mood of the crowd.
Song Selection: We know that you are going to have to play any bizarre requests made by the chosson and kallah and their respective families. Yes, we need to hear the classic wedding songs, but mix it up a little. We want to hear the hottest new songs, but be sure to mine the archives of Jewish songdom for some of those great musical gems! Not everything new is good, not everything old is bad and it is your job to line up a selection of songs that is going to keep everyone on their feet.
Got any pet peeves of your own? As long as they are loshon hora free, feel free to share them with us in the comments!