I’ve always had, and still have, a successful career, by applying a belief, that
"Attitude is Everything!”
A valuable lesson, that was strongly drummed into my tiny brain, very early on in my performing careera, by my performance family of highly experienced-
"Unless your performance is totally believable, and from the soul, then leave the room".
HOW TO FIND ATTITUDE
1/ Look at the "lyric content" of the piece you are presenting.
Is it -
A tender rendering of the heart?
A romance revenge?
A night of drinking?
A hometown reflection?
A hope of things to come?
2/ Listen to the "rhythm pattern" in the music
Are there underlying patterns, obvious or inferred?
3/ What instruments are being used? (Are there prominent instruments in the mix?)
Awareness of these elements, will help define a "direction" of how you can approach your song.
HOW TO USE ATTITUDE
What I DID (and still do) is-
Use the introduction of the song as my "zone in" time, to focus on which direction I am headed in, which shall now guide my "ATTITUDE".
FOR EXAMPLE -
- When singing in "Big Bands", I would imagine myself as "Mr Smooth".
- When singing "Country" I would imagine "a horse, a check shirt and storytelling".
- When singing "Blues", I would go inward, for "passion and soul"
- When singing "Modern Pop" in function bands, I would be jumping around like an idiot, and leaping off the stage, to involve everyone and get them engage in the song.
Each of these "zones" in my head, determined my ATTITUDE toward the piece. Keep in mind, these are "My" mental pictures. Yours may be, and perhaps, should be, totally different.
NOW - Your turn!
1/ Find a song you would love to perform well
2/ Consider the lyric content
EG What is the mood? Is it melancholy? Uplifting? Hopeful? etc
3/ Read the lyrics "out loud".
This will bring your words to "life". You will notice natural "breathing spots", exclamations, questions, pauses, statements etc which will direct and enhance your "attitude".
4/ Write a sentence or 2 next to the lyrics of your summary of the story in the song words.
5/ Time to sing the song!
- Use the introduction to "zone" into the mood.
- Listen for the rhythm of the song, so you can lock your syllables on to the feel.
- Allow the "picture in your mind" to influence Attitude you are using to present your piece.
- Sink into your performance, and forget about "you".
- When you finish your piece, feel yourself "releasing" from the world you just spent the last 4 minutes in.
6/ Now get ready to change your attitude, ready to zone in on the next song.
Here comes the intro ........... and ........
Did you do it?
The only way to involve and engage your audience is to give them your soul.
An audience wants to see and hear you "bleed".
If A tightrope walker is 6 inches from the ground, is it as exciting as when they are high above the ground?
A wonderful example of soul - Stevie Wonder.
He sings as though every song is the last one he will ever sing. Watch the whole clip........Now that dude knows that "attitude is everything!"
How to find your soul- Develop an attitude that allows you to access it.
I have the words of a wonderful mentor of mine, Renee' Williams, from one of her workshops, ringing in my ears.
"You have permission to - forget words, sing the wrong notes, trip over on stage (Jimmy Buffett, Dave Groll), we are human. We don't have permission to, bore our audience".
Attitude is everything!!