Be sure that you’re ready for that “golden opportunity” – says Rachel Lebon
Golden moments to show your stuff can arrive at the least expected time.
You may be invited to “sit in” at a club or have the sudden opportunity to serve as a “sub.”
I was once requested – on the spot – to “sell” a song a cappella for an ad agency — which got me my first gig as a studio singer.
You could even be asked to read advertising copy for someone who finds your speaking voice marketable.
You want to be able to respond immediately. Here’s how:
1 Have the Tunes.
Have a few songs that you are prepared to deliver a cappella. One producer informed me that the reason he was interested in hearing me sing without accompaniment was to see if I could summon the energetic spontaneity, believability, style, and assurance without leaning on a track. I recall another producer closing his eyes and later explaining that he was visualizing associations that a listener might make with the vocal and lyric delivery that he was hearing.
2 Be Quick.
If invited to sit in with a band, don’t demure, take too much time selecting songs, or seem unsure of the keys —or you will miss the chance to make a good first impression. Have selections prepared for any spur-of-the moment opportunities.
3 Create a Mood.
A singer unable to “weave a spell’ with new material introduced on the spot, whether written or on a track, does not portend a positive reaction and opportunity. It’s important to sing with style and conviction even as you’re just meeting the music for the first time, and even if you’re not sure you’re hitting all the right notes.
So, pull out that prepared song, hit the lyrics and create a moment that your listeners will remember.
My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids
Shay Morelli – “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars (Cover)
You have a voice that is audiogenic and that works well with intimate songs, but you also have the ability to project naturally. Nice! Since you’re singing a well-known song cappella, you want your listeners to feel that the thoughts behind the lyrics are spontaneous, rather than memorized, so they focus on your version of the song. Each phrase should reveal a subtle shift in attitude or intensity…subtle, but a reason that you’re continuing and a reason for will keep your listeners tune in. You have nice potential. Keep on singing!
Matt Iverson – “Radar Love” by Loop (Cover)
Cool rendition of Radar Love. Have not heard this tune much, but it’s obvious that you are tech savvy. Effective use of tech! Difficult to discern if your voice is as husky as it sounds in the solo at the front, or effects prior to adding the “harmonies. Works either way, complimenting the guitar solo. Drums work nicely as well, along with the Bass intro. Do guard the voice, however, so that you don’t forfeit it completely. Might explore more repertoire as a one-man-band, though I suspect you already are. Enjoyed it!
Clevanne Caday – “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson (Cover)
Nice, original take on the Michael Jackson standard. Maintained an individualized interpretation also with the guitar accompaniment with a nice steady guitar rhythmic feel underpinning the tune. Nice and entertaining, You have an individualized sound and style, as well as vocal quality. You also have good range and some falsetto, which will develop increasingly as you explore it. There seems to be some tightness in the tongue that adds an interesting timbre to your sound, but could cause problems over time. Ideally, your falsetto should become robust enough so that it does not fall off too dramatically when you switch from the lower range. A smooth Falsetto that better dynamically complements your middle voice can facilitate achieving a smooth sound throughout the entire range. Enjoyed it! Keep on Singing!
Rachel L. Lebon, Ph.D. has been a professional vocalist and studio singer and is currently a professor at the University of Miami. She toured worldwide with Tops in Blue and has toured the Soviet Union and Portugal. Rachel is an author and lectures worldwide on vocal pedagogy and voice disorders. www.miami.edu.
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