Passion Before Technique

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It takes a bit of acting and a LOT of courage to perform passionately – says Vocal Coach Mister Tim

VoiceCouncil Vocal Coach Residency: Mister Tim : week 1

Greetings, singers! I’m giddy with excitement for this chance to work with many of you. While I’d rather we hang out in person for a few days, I’m grateful that the magic of the internet allows us to communicate across great distances.

Put Passion Before Technique

Before the video reviews, a general idea to think about: there is much great information here at VoiceCouncil Magazine to help you be a better singer. Pay attention to the technical advice you get. However, never lose sight of the end goal, which is to enrich lives and to entertain. It doesn’t matter how powerful your message is; if you are boring in your delivery, no one is going to care to listen.

There is no greater sin for a performer than to be uninteresting. We strive for quality, but the technique means nothing if the performance lacks life, passion, intrigue. Venue, audience, genre, and music selection will change the expectations of what makes a performance interesting, but never forget you are an ENTERTAINER. You must be entertaining!

Videos in the YouTube age can be particularly tricky to make interesting. Remember that we who are watching your videos don’t know what time of day it is when you filmed, or what mood you were in, or who was in the other room. We only see your performance, so make it GREAT. It’s similar to going into an audition: you have to give everything, otherwise we won’t know what you are capable of. It takes a bit of acting, and a LOT of courage, to perform passionately to ‘nobody’ (your camera).

My Reactions to This Past Week’s Peer Review Vids

Michael Stefinkjak – Sunny Afternoon. Michael, you have such a great voice: strong, earthy, there’s so much character. Very accurate and consistent. Your performance gets really interesting when you hit the chorus: “squeeze” and “big fat momma” have personality. Can you convey that kind of interest throughout the whole song?

Michael Greenberg – Best of Us Die. Smooooooth. Sweet, effortless vocals. I like that you know and respect the sweet spot of your voice and stay in that range: it fits with the vibe of the song. There are so many nice touches in the song: don’t throw any of them away. Every hum, every “bring it back now,” every “ohhh,” every pause should have meaning, otherwise why is it there? Those are moments that you can vocally express more than what the lyrics are saying.

Megan Mason – Show Me What I’m Looking For. You seem to have a grasp on the sound you want to make, and to have well-developed pitch and stylistic control. A very nice interpretation of the song, sung well. The audio in your video seems very produced, so I’m not confident what I’m hearing is an accurate representation of what you can really do.

– Mister Tim

See Mister Tim’s Exclusive Interview for VoiceCouncil Magazine

Mister Tim is the mastermind behind more than a dozen award-winning a cappella groups, including 2010 Harmony Sweepstakes champions Plumbers of Rome, internet sensations moosebutter, beatbox quartet Mouth Beats, and all-original vocal bands VoxBom and THROAT. He is a published composer and arranger, a dedicated teacher, and a solo artist, most recently with his solo vocal live looping show “Vocal Magic.” He was a headline performer in the Las Vegas Strip production of “Toxic Audio,” is in demand for speciality corporate music projects, and is an active educator, coach, and clinician. mistertimdotcom.com


  • Claudia

    Hi there from Switzerland, I’m very happy to learn so much from your comments. Can you also comment only audio clips or do I have to film myself if I’d like to get your input ? Thanks for helping us pour singing souls… :-). Happy singing, and have a wonderful day, Claudia

  • Mister Tim

    Hi, Claudia,

    You have to submit video through the Peer Review option here: http://voicecouncil.com/submit-a-video-for-peer-review/

    Good luck!

  • Videohere

    I love what you said about passion before tech.