Take your audience into a peak experience –says Mark Baxter
There are scads of performers gyrating on stages around the globe each night and an equal number of people having sex.
Some will be adventurous and make the moment a peak experience while others will go through the motions, waiting for magic that never comes.
A great performance, like an orgasm, only occurs when people are willing to let go.
Arena performers have a tremendous advantage with respect to foreplay. The audience is already in love.
The star just steps on stage and the crowd roars with approval. If this seems unfair, just remember: Fan loyalty is built from years of great performances — starting in the clubs, on YouTube or on a TV talent show.
The purpose of “paying your dues” in clubs and online is to expose yourself to strangers (I’ll try and keep the puns to a minimum).
Those who relate to you will come together in support. Should you win a majority vote; the momentum will sway the undecided.
It’s called collective consciousness, and it’s definitely a peak experience for all involved. This will never happen, though, if you aren’t willing to risk rejection.
When You’re Shot Down
No one likes to get shot down, but some people you sing for will simply not agree with your tastes. That’s life.
But before a listener can decide you’ll have to connect with yourself first. This is usually where the inexperienced get into trouble and feel compelled to push the voice to extremes.
Besides being lousy foreplay, coming on too strong may scare away potential fans.
Singing with more force does not equal more emotion. If your music requires you to sing hard, then do so. But what bonds people together is a belief that something is true.
If your singing doesn’t authentically represent you people will feel it and become indifferent – the worst reaction of all!
Only after you connect with your passion will people make an up or down vote. Gather all the up votes in one place and you’ll have the necessary environment to make some magic.
It’s at that point when you can heighten their experience by teasing and timing your set so it peaks just right.
Make your listeners feel like you are focused solely on them and they will never forget you.
Soon your draw will require an arena and your performances will always finish with the big “O” (an ovation of course)!
My Reactions to This Week’s Peer Review Vids
Austin Criswell “Not Gonna Worry”
Fantastic job Austin! Great song. Great singing. You paint the song with a variety of vocal colors and dynamics – always appropriate with the lyric. You allow yourself to be both confident and intimate. This performance is a wonderful demonstration of how to make a song come to life!
Thornberry “Mad World” (Cover)
Tastefully done Mr. Thornberry. My wish when listening to you was that you would allow your voice to venture off the melody a little as you so skillfully did on piano. We often hold back on the singing in order to ensure nothing bad happens – but the risk of a bad note is the only way to reward your self with some great ones. You’ve got a very musical mind – let your voice off the leash!
Sheena Cruz “How to Save a Life” by The Fray (Cover)
I like how calm and collected you are Sheena. Your laid back demeanor is perfect for the song. The key you chose is too low, though, and it’s why your voice falls apart on the low passages. It is worth the effort to practice some vocal exercises (along with singing songs) to build up some strength so the choruses of songs can be sung out more. Keep going – you have a promising musical future!
Mark Baxter has worked as a coach with Aerosmith, Journey, Goo Goo Dolls — and many others. He is the author of The Rock-n-Roll Singer’s Survival, creator of The Singer’s Toolbox instructional DVD, Sing Like an Idol instructional CD. Mark operates vocal studios in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and online via Skype. Visit his website: VoiceLesson