WOW! That really sounds sexist doesn’t it?
In a way, though, it is the opposite.
Over the last 3 decades I have had the opportunity to have 3 sabbaticals to do post graduate study in various subjects: music, theater, and advertising. In virtually every class I took, there were more females than males—sometimes A LOT more! Through that, I discovered that women are much more likely to “better” themselves by learning and discovering new things than that OTHER gender.
It starts early. In high school, girls are more likely to JOIN things, including youth choir. Guys on the other hand would often prefer to sit with a friend at a computer and play video games all day. (Guys we REALLY need to step up our game!)
So how does this play out in youth choir attendance. The girls are more likely than boys to participate and to make rehearsal the priority. In a way, the actual selection of repertoire matters more to the guys than it does to the girls.
If you don’t believe me, just try packing your current music packet with “touchy” “feely” “butterfly” songs and the guys will find other things to do—in droves. (actually, don’t do that—you might not ever get them back)
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I am always monitoring what the kids think about the music that we are singing. I don’t require that they like or even love ALL the music, but I do want them to like the overwhelming majority of the music.
“I love this song! I can’t sing it, but I love it”—said by no guy, ever!
And this leads us to the first principle. For a guy to LIKE the song, he has to be able to SING the song.
That seems basic, right? But there are so many songs out there that call on the guys to sing way too high or way too low. In my experience, more often the former than the latter.
Music from the radio, sung (often) by tenors might simply be too high for the average high school guy to sing. Of course, there are always exceptional guys with great tenor voices, but the stats show us that the average guy sings (at best) in a baritone range.
I never ask a high school guy to sing above an F and even those are few. You will always have a some of us who were future 2nd basses for whom singing a middle C is a stretch!
“My favorite part of that song is where the guys get to rock out!”—said by guys all the time!
For a song to be a song that guys like to sing, there has to be some part of it maybe just 8-10 measures that really “features” them. Usually that means it has a great line where the guys get to show off a bit.
This is not always a characteristic of a “favorite” but it helps.
“We’re crushing the girls on that song, aren’t we?”—said by guys all the time!
Remember, for a high school guy competition is never more than a nanosecond away from his next thought. It’s true that guys can have a quiet, sensitive side, but from time to time they just need to win—at everything. Singing is no exception.
I remember several times during a concert with the junior high choir, I would walk up to the guy’s section and quietly say, “hey, guys, the girls are out-singing you!” and that was like red meat to a hungry lion. They starting singing—big time.
“I love what this song says, but even more I like HOW it says it!”—OK, I have never heard that either, but I can hope.
The subject of the text is important to the guys, even if they don’t realize it.
Guys tend to like songs that speak about Jesus being strong, a rock and refuge. They like to sing about being victorious with the Savior. They like to sing about strength and power.
This list below I have been compiling for many years. There is no way you can sing all of these, so make a special note of our guys current favorites indicated by the asterisk. If you would like to check out any of these titles, you can borrow a copy from us. Just send me an e mail at
Title _____Composer/Arranger Category
A Call to Joyful Praise* by Martin General
African Sanctus by Harlan General
Amazing Grace/Pachelbel Canon by Shafferman General
Believer’s Creed* by Hayes General
Christ is the Rock by Williams General
Down to the River by Curry Spiritual
Footprints in the Sand by Martin/Angerman General
Gaudette by Batastini Christmas
Go Tell it on the Mountain* by Vangeloff Christmas
God is my Rock by Harris General
God is our Refuge and Strength* by Pote General
Grace by Hayes General
Great Light by Barrett/Angerman Christmas
Hallelujah Amen by Handel General
Hark! by Wolaver Christmas
He Is the Everlasting God* by Martin General
He Never Failed Me Yet* by Ray General
Hold On to the Rock* by Choplin General
I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say* by Larson General
I Will Rise* Arr: McDonald General
If Any Man be in Christ by Bryce/Harlan General
I’m Going to Sing So God/use me by Pote General
Joyful, Joyful by Beethoven/Warren General
Know My Heart by Harland General
Lay Up Your Treasures in Heaven by Choplin General
Let Everything that Has Breath by Ames General
Lightshine by Martin Christmas
No Eye Hath Seen by Smith Christmas
O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing by MIller General
O The Blood* by Miller/Kirkland General
O Wondrous Star by Shackley Christmas
Praise Him by Courtney General
Praise His Holy Name* by Hampton General
Praise the Lord by Handel/Hopson General
Praise the Lord our God Forever by Mozart General
Psalm 139 by Pote General
Rejoice and Sing Out His Praises* by Hayes General
Set Down Servant by Shaw Spiritual
Solid as a Rock by Sterling General
The Lord in my Shepherd* by Pote General
The Majesty and Glory of Your Name by Fetke General
The Mind of Christ* by Mark Hayes General
The Power and the Glory by Bacak General
The Third Day* by Pote General
This Child is by Frizzell Christmas
This is the Day the Lord/Made by Hayes General
Thy Will Be Done by Courtney Good Friday
We Believe by Cox General
What’er My God Ordains by Pachelbel General
Wings Like Eagles by Pote General
*2013-2015 Guy’s Favorites