On To More Productive Things

Let’s start talking about some great things you can do to help yourself. First, if you are not out performing yet, start singing or playing for people. Anyone and everyone who will listen. Have a party at your house with yourself as the entertainment. Ask your friends to give you feedback. Second, get yourself a wide full length mirror and use it every single day. Sing or play in front of it (even if you are just playing an instrument and are not the lead in the group, this helps because you still need presence to be kept as part of a band that’s going somewhere) every single day. Next, go to youtube and look up your favorite artists/bands, watch them perform live. Not the professional videos but the live videos of them performing. Try to take notes on what they do that seems to grab you. What gives them a special presence, how do they move and hold their mic? Not that you want to be just like them, because believe me, you want your own presence! But, it will give you ideas of  the things that work and appeal to people. Then go back to your mirror and let it rip. Start trying to make that same connection with yourself as the audience. Notice things like..do I look awkward or uncomfortable? Am I moving freely or am I actually moving too much? You get the idea. Pretend that person in the mirror is someone in the front row of the audience and make eye contact! Reach out to them.

You can also practice moving/dancing while singing. Make a small space for yourself and figure out how you are going to thrill people if you get stuck on a little two by two foot platform. Then try a bigger space. Figure out how you are going to move across a large area to get to your audience on each side of a large stage without being mundane or repetitive. These things are very very important when it comes to your appeal. You need to be able to engage people and you never ever want to be boring. Don’t just stand or sit up there and sing or play. Connect, connect, connect.

Some good extra things for you to do would be to look into a performance coach. I realize that can be difficult depending on your location. Not to mention a good vocal coach who won’t be hung up on training you classically singing songs you hate. You need a pop or rock coach. I’m not saying classical training is bad. But when it comes to Pop and rock, if you’ve been trained too heavily classically, it becomes quite hard for you to make the switch and come off with the natural kind of edge that today’s music is famous for. I know so many classically trained singers who just can’t sound ‘cool’ you know? They are just way too stiff. Now, vocal training is a whole other topic of areas that need addressing. But let me give you one trick. In order to gain breath support and be able to belt or get yourself out there while performing, while using the proper body parts…lie down on the floor, on your back. Load your abdomen up with big books. Now sing. Sing as loud as you can and don’t let those books fall off. This will teach you control and breath support. It’s fun. Try it! Not only is it fun, it works.

I will be back tomorrow with some great resources online. Go practice!! Eventually, we will have contests here and feature new artists that are working it well. Should be fun!

Maria

 

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