Get Some Stage Swagger

Get Some Stage Swagger - Photo Accreditation: hitch3r / Shutterstock.com
Have your audience feel like the 5th Beatle: engaged with your voice AND moves – says Jaime Vendera

Over my years of teaching, I’ve come across some great singers/mediocre performers and mediocre singers/great performers.

Thus, the dilemma of being entertained by EITHER a great voice or a great stage performance.

The complete package: a singer who sounds just as amazing live as they do on record, who also gives a visual live performance equal to that of their voiceNot to sound cruel, but rarely have I seen the complete package: a singer who sounds just as amazing live as they do on record, who also gives a visual live performance equal to that of their voice.

No, I’m not talking about a million boy-band-dance-moves as the lead vocalist lip syncs to a pre-recorded track so they can do head spins.

I’m talking about genuine “I’m gonna sing and perform my arse off” musicians!

Amazing Incarnations

One singer that comes to mind is Josey Scott, ex-singer for Saliva. Believe it or not, Saliva is as heavy a band as Disturbed in my opinion, though you wouldn’t know if from their radio friendly songs.

Well, that’s because the harder songs like “Superstar” and “Raise Up” never saw the light of radio play, but were always club favorites live.
I’ve always enjoyed watching Saliva perform because Josey had this way of connecting with his audience.

There was something about the way he moved to the music and worked his eyes; he could pull you in and make you think he was singing right at you.
And that my friend is the job of every lead singer and musician in a band: make the audience feel like they’re the fifth Beatle, by the way they connect to the audience whether it’s running around the stage, interacting with their band mates, or getting the crowd to sing along, but in the end, it all boils down to having swagger.

The Secret Revealed

So, here’s my little secret (and it’s such a simple one) for getting swagger. Go to YouTube and consume every live performance video of your favorite singers.

Consume every live performance video of your favorite singersStudy their moves and begin incorporating similar moves into your stage show. If you’re covering Van Halen, learn to do backflips like DLR.

If pacing the floor like Ozzy works for you, you better learn to make a groove pathway across that stage.

Bottom line, study others and try out some of their moves (preferably at home in front of a mirror first, ha-ha) until you find moves that work for you.

How will you know if it works? The crowd will go crazy. Now, check out Josey getting his swagger on.

My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids

Jordan Britt Jordan Britt – “Nothing Fancy” by Dave Barnes (Cover)

Jordan, wow, what great tone! The dark and smoky sound gave me chills :) You were one of my favorite singers during this critique. You just expressed yourself through raw emotion, no crazy licks; just true passion. Your technique seemed fine, so all I’d suggest is if it isn’t broke don’t fix it, but ALWAYS warm up and take care of your voice :)

Nic Nelson Nic Nelson – “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol (Cover)

Hey Nic, nice, soft tone. Very appropriate for this song. But, I want to get a little more resonance out of you. If you haven’t studied voice, I suggest diving into some info on breathing. I watch your shoulders rise, especially on the chorus, which can hamper your breathing and actually block some of that resonant tone. Keep the approach you have because I like it, but see if working on your breathing helps to open up the tone just a smidge more ;)

Allison Singletary Allison Singletary – “It Will Rain” by Bruno Mars (Cover)

Allison, first of all, NEVER make excuses as you did in your video description. ALWAYS believe in yourself 110%!!! :) With that said, you have a pretty tone, and I know that if you dig deeper for more soul and power, you’ll blow your own mind. I believe I mentioned this to someone else, but you need to connect to that “baby cry”, that pushing down to tighten the stomach for more support and power, especially on your softer notes – to keep them dead center in tune ;) Listen to your falsetto “ooos”, they were awesome, clean and spot on. That’s the tone you want for all your soft sounds ;) Keep singing, I really enjoy your voice :)


Jaime Vendera Jaime Vendera is a Vocal Coach, world-renowned for his wineglass-shattering voice as seen on shows like MythBusters, Dr. Oz, and Super Human Showdown. Many of his books, including Raise Your Voice 1 & 2, The Ultimate Breathing Workout, and the Sing Out Loud series have been read by… READ MORE


  • Les

    Thanks for the great idea. I just reviewed Steven Page. (look up “break your heart barenaked ladies” on youtube). Wow.