My thoughts...Wisdom from over the years


Posted in: Blog, tip of the week ♦ Thursday, May 9th, 2013, 11:01 am ♦ No Comments on THE ULTIMATE VOCALIST PART 3

The Ultimate Vocalist PART 3

Last time I began outlining five “P” words to help you remember some key basics in becoming the best – the ultimate vocalist you can be.  These were:  Prepare, Practice, Position (your larynx), Perceive and Presentation. If you missed that article, you can find it archived online at  Because of the importance of the final “P”-Presentation, I decided to dedicate an entire article to this aspect of singing.

The actual presentation of a song is really the culmination of all the other work you’ve done so far. Yet, in spite of the importance of all of those—none compare to the impact of this particular aspect. In actuality, if you could somehow get a hold of your presentation and do a great enough job with it, you could conceivably accomplish nearly all of your primary goals as a singer. I say this confidently because of the incredible number of singers out there who clearly have not worked on some of the finer points of singing and yet they touch us. They move us. Why? The answer is: their presentation.

The Goal

So what is your goal as a singer? You need to remember that everyone who comes to see/hear you sing is looking for an experience (even if they don’t immediately realize it). Depending on the venue, the experience they’re seeking will likely be slightly different. For example, if you’re singing in a coffeehouse, people may be looking for one type of experience. If they’re coming to see you at a large outdoor concert, then it could be a slightly different type of experience they’re looking for. If they’re coming to see you in a church…you get the idea.  Yet even though these experiences are different to a degree, they’re likely to be very similar in that it’s an emotional response most of us crave when it comes to music, especially singing.

Unlike other types of music, singing can direct your thoughts more pointedly. All types of music are capable of moving you and creating a response, but with vocal music we can communicate more specifically.  Because we have the advantage of language in our music, we can communicate very specific concepts. These concepts are designed to touch people and reach them where they live. Those are the types of experiences that people enjoy and remember. So we need to make sure that our primary goal as a singer is to be a servant. A servant that serves up a message that can touch, effect  and even change our audience.


What It’s Not

Many singers, intuitively recognizing the goal as stated above, can get confused as to how to get there.  I often see performers mistakenly thinking that THEIR emotional response to the message or the song itself is what will move their audience. There is a big difference between a displaying of your own emotions versus an evoking of emotion in your audience. Make sure you understand the difference.  Try to remember this: the audience is not so interested in how you feel, but you make them feel.  Lots of outward emotional responses and overused hand motions simply become distractions for the audience and prohibit them from getting in touch with the message themselves.


Along this line it’s important to remember that when you are nervous or uncomfortable in any way, this will also greatly affect your audience. They will naturally respond to your needs and find themselves concerned for you rather than simply responding to the song. This is because your message has changed, it’s no longer rooted in the song you’re singing or its message, but instead the message has become all about you and your emotional state.



Tags: ,

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply