It can be tempting to do something just because you can. After all, you spent a lot of time practicing and perfecting it. Don’t fall into this trap – says Shlomo.
As a performer it can be really easy to put all of your energy into technique.
However, when I’m actually watching a performer, I would say that what makes a performance enjoyable to watch comes down to 85% energy, and only 15% on technique.
If a performer is in their zone, singing from the heart and giving the performance all they have, it is irresistible. The technique comes secondary to their emotion and connection with the moment.
A Common Trap
Watch out for the trap of feeling you have to impress people with your technical skills.
This leads to rushing things, trying to squeeze all of your impressive licks into too short a space of time.
Compare a performance full of impressive vocal feats to one where the singer sings in a more simple way – but makes every sound with love, attention and focus.
Performance Connection 101
This is why I will often encourage my students to slow down, take a breath, simplify and perform the same material with less technical content and more love for each sound that they make.
It can be tempting to do something just because you can. After all, you spent a lot of time practicing and perfecting it.
It’s hard to follow this advice because you know that certain ‘tricks’ can be pulled out of the bag for a guaranteed reaction – it seems painless to take the easy route.
Think carefully about every note you sing, every sound you make and every word you say:
Do I mean this?
Does this represent me?
Is it deliberate?
Simplify and create something with love each time you perform – this will represent you a lot better and stop you from presenting a diluted form of yourself. Choose something meaningful over technically “impressive”.
Get Inspired Again
I think the way through this issue is to simply get inspired again.
If you find yourself going through the motions (even technically impressive ones), go back to those things that inspired you to do your music in first place.
Put your headphones on and listen to whatever you love – from Miles Davis to Lady Gaga – whatever puts fire in your belly. Revisit the music that always leaves you wanting to make some music.
Let this rekindle your desire to express yourself with conviction in your next performance.
My Reaction to This Week's Singing Competition Entry
Carly Eaton - State Of Grace
Great vocal sound, and there’s lots of lovely space in the recording and performance. The most engaging parts of the video are when you get a little more intense, and you look like you’re really connecting with the emotions in the song. I think your pitching will improve as your confidence builds. More of this please!
Shlomo gave up astrophysics to perform his amazing vocal pyrotechnics. It was a good move. Since then he has won global acclaim and worked with some of the biggest names in music; he’s also won the World Loopstation Championships in LA.