Have you ever noticed how whether you’re a singer, a singer-songwriter or a singing musician, each piece you learn defines its own rules for mastery? We’re not just talking about getting the basics of notes and timing.
There are some pieces that you get frustrated with that you’ll try pushing or pulling a certain way, and it still just doesn’t feel right or maybe you start thinking it just flat will not work. Maybe it is a case of a song that might need a major or minor overhaul. But, there are intangibles that factor into the creative process that sometimes seem uncooperative or out of sync to the point of being impossible to work through.
There may even be times in getting familiar with a song that you can’t hit certain notes in your mix, or your timing seems off for some reason. Even though you get where the piece is coming from a technical perspective, it still isn’t coming together. You keep running it over and over and you still fall flat or keep tripping up. Then, as soon as you’re about to give up and throw it away, the light goes on, and it’s an interpretive issue. You’ve misread a lyric or didn’t get some subtlety in the deeper meaning of the song.
Whenever you feel that a song isn’t working or doesn’t seem to mesh from a technical perspective, stop and think about the meaning of the song. This approach can work for singers, songwriters and musicians alike. The technical gaffe, missed notes, botch tempo or miscue may go a little deeper and be rooted in something interpretive.
Subject To Movement
Another point to bear in mind is that not all songs will come to you quickly – just as not all paintings take the same amount of time to fill a canvass, grab your attention, or make a lasting impression. So much of art and creativity is subjective and fluid. There are also times a song will strike you differently as far as images and feelings it provokes. You then work it from different angles until you feel it is best served to the fullest.
Whether you sing or play or write, your muse and all that feeds and engages it, is alive and often in a state of flux. So, remember to commit to taking whatever time is required to become familiar with each piece you bring to life as a singer, singer-songwriter, or singing musician.
Time For Attention
But time is a constant and needs your attention. Of course you should make a daily commitment to practice for a specified amount of time. However, life happens, feelings change, inspiration comes and goes. So, mastering a song doesn’t always stick to a routine set schedule or timetable. This isn’t a good or bad thing per se; it’s just the way it goes.
So, just because a song comes quickly doesn’t mean it works well or that’s mindless fluff. Just because a piece takes forever to master doesn’t mean it doesn’t work nor does it mean it’s a masterpiece. You simply have to give it time.
It’s A Relationship
Your relationship with a song is a lot like your relationship with a friend or lover. The song craves attention and deserves respect. It wants to be understood, wined and dined, romanced, showed off proudly, and loved.
Taken To Heart
The rule of thumb is to treat each song as a unique creation that will require some degree of patience and persistence as you take it out to play and show it a good time. Each song deserves the time and attention required so that what you deliver can be taken to heart by your audience. You want your audience to feel like you do about each song you present.
Share your struggles and triumphs with learning or creating new material. Use the forums at singingsuccess.tv to post your stories of challenges faced as you bring a song to life. What are your most frequent challenges? What tends to trip you up? How do you work through it? What is the longest period of time it has taken to learn a song?
Timing is a huge factor in your success that more often than not calls its own shots and follows rules that defy logic. The best you can do is to make a firm commitment to give your best, be grateful for your gifts, respect the creative process, and love what you do. The time for your singing success will then come right on cue in its own uniquely determined full measure.