What gets most singers in trouble is THINKING. When we perform, of course we can hear ourselves but.... we should not start listening. Confusing? Let me explain! You are about to go onstage, you invited a bunch of industry people, you're getting nervous. Lights go on, you step on that stage and start to look around while singing, BAM! Spotted one! Now you're becoming a little insecure, a bit more nervous, wondering if they like your music, your show and so on....you're watching their reaction...and guess what? You've just taken yourself out of the game! You've become an audience member, meaning you're watching yourself, analyzing, criticizing.
And why is that and how can you stop that?
Know who you are and why you're doing this. You might lack CONFIDENCE or have a bit of an identity crisis ! Maybe you want the fame more than the actual enjoyment of playing and performing? When you step on that stage you have to be confident and trust yourself. With proper training and lot's of practice you'll gain confidence.
You can never EVER worry what people think or say about you while you're performing. When you step on that stage, you have to switch it on and dive into your own world, engage the crowd, pull 'em in and let them forget about their reality for the next 45 min. You can only do that if you're 100% in your game.
FEAR will stop you. Face it and it will disappear. Shift your focus! Here are a few techniques you might want to do before the show!
#1 Meditate! BREATHE! Take 5 minutes and calm the mind. I know it's extremely hard when in a club, go outside, lock yourself in the bathroom or stay in the van/bus. Try doing it after or before your vocal warm up. (I recommend after)
#2 Vocal warm up. A cold voice never sounds good, plus, you could hurt your voice if you don't warm it up, especially when you're on the road. Find a quite place and spend the next 15 -25 minutes warming up. It will help you get in the mood, boost your confidence and make you sound great from the start!
#3 Stretch! yes, you read this correctly! A flexible body is a flexible mind.
#4 Visualize! Close your eyes for a few minutes and visualize the show, everyone having a great time, you being on top of your game, sounding great, your voice is open, your band is rocking, people coming up, asking for autographs after the show. It will calm you while at the same time charge you with positive energy. Imagine yourself playing your dream show.
#5 Improvise! Things happen. Technical issues, someone messes up, you forgot your lyric. Go with the flow! Have fun and don't take everything so serious! It's showbuiz, put on a great show and have a Blast!
Jacqueline van Bierk is a Singer/Songwriter/DJ/Film/TV Composer. She has fronted her electro pop metal band Otto's Daughter, done several US tours, written and produced many albums, writes music for film/tv and teaches Vocal Performance. Credits include the Oprah Winfrey show, Dr. Oz, MTV, VH1, Spike TV, CW Network