How To Sing On Stage
Now that we have established how to develop a higher level of confidence when you sing, you can naturally move into the transition of performance and how preparation and the development of your voice is truly an art.
In the last lesson, we mentioned the names of a few popular artists who display confidence in their music and themselves. We discussed how this was necessary so that these artists could push themselves to new singing heights. In some cases, they have been able to push their music beyond even what they thought possible. The first thing we should learn from this is that music has no limit. New songs will always be written and no two pieces are alike. New words will always be put to a melody and an artist or performer will always manage to capture their audience. With these limitless possibilities comes plenty of room for expression. And, why shouldn’t it be you who expresses yourself in new and enlightening ways?
This sort of expression; however, comes at a price. It comes from years of careful study, devotion, practice, self-monitoring, professional instruction, and a willingness to express yourself in front of others so that you and your song are brought out to their full capacity.
Now, think again of your favorite singer or performer. How long has he or she been famous? Did you like someone else just a few years ago? Now, think about what it is, perhaps even his or her stage presence that makes him or her popular.
Put this particular singer’s singing style and ability aside for a moment and think about how they perform. In all of these examples, each one of these performers has or had a unique presence on stage that emits from within them and into the audience. The audience, in turn, connects with the singer or performer on stage in what becomes a group connection through song. Artists that are able to bring people together to not only hear a certain message, but to feel it, are the most adored.
So, it can be safe to say that performance and message might be more important than voice. This might be true in today’s popular music, or mainstream world. If you want to sing in front of any significant audience, be it in a bar, a café, or other venue, you are going to have to be able to have a certain presence on stage that tells the audience you are sure of yourself and confident in your singing abilities. Then, you are going to have to lull them into a sort of trance where they connect with you, where the focus is on you and your music. It may take a while for you to overcome your fears and shyness, but it is a necessary procedure if you want your audience to do more than clap.
If you are attempting to sell CDs, great! But, the reason that people attend concerts or small music venues is because they have already connected with your song. Now, they want to connect with you. You may be able to sing on stage, but you are also going to have to perform. Connecting with your listeners via CD isn’t the same as connecting with them live and in person. What are you supposed to do on stage? Or, what are the other members of your group supposed to do? They should communicate not only with their music and words, but with their bodies, rhythms, and intensity.
While you perform, those watching and listening will monitor all of your actions. If you are not on a stage or raised platform, then you will have an even better opportunity to connect with your listeners. Remember, your gestures will speak as loud as your music. Would Elvis Presley have been able to connect with his audience as much as he did without what was considered at the time, his earth-shaking moves? It was his presence on stage, his outward display of emotion through his dancing and movements that allowed his audience to bond with him on another level.
With a Group or Band:
If you are going to be performing with a group or band, you will have to be able to ignore them right from the start. This may sound absurd, and a bit harsh, but you never want to turn your back on your audience even for just a second. It is considered a sin on stage to turn your back to your listeners and watchers for any amount of time. If you do, then the bond you are working on strengthening, the relationship of trust you are developing with your listeners will be broken. If you sing towards your band members, such as in a practice session, you will lose your audience’s complete attention. If you are the lead singer, it is your job to be the performer on stage, to capture, indulge, excite, and connect with those who are present. This rule should be followed whether you are performing in a café, bar, nightclub, or onstage at concert.
The Performance Promise
When you perform, you are essentially signing an agreement with your listeners. They are giving you their time and they expect something in return. And, they expect it to be worthwhile. You must be prepared to give them something.
What you must give them is a time to escape. As they watch you and listen to your music, they expect you to take them on a journey into another realm. On this voyage, you are expected to cause feelings or even images to spark into their minds and hearts. Each person will get a feeling from what you are singing. And, this all has to be done so that you take them past their regular, everyday lives. It has to be able to move them and take them to a different level.
How to Deliver
One way you can do this is to sing songs that are well known. Singing cover songs of artists and songs that are well known is one way to connect with the audience. They will most likely know the songs and sing along with you. This is exactly what you are aiming for. Watch as they fervently sing along with you. For that one moment in time, they have been transported away from their everyday lives and are singing with you. Even if your style or version of the song you are singing isn’t done in the way that the original artist performed it, it doesn’t matter. The fact that you have reintroduced an old favorite will create nostalgia in the audience surpassing any slight modifications you have made to the song.