Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Singers' Lessons from the Ocean: Wait For It... Go For It

I just got back from my yearly vacation and my favorite sport… boogie boarding on the ocean! As usual, I am always doing research for you, dear reader:) Here’s how boogie boarding and singing are related: Timing.

After riding the surf a while, I noticed that if I considered my timing better I could catch the best waves. Sometimes, a good wave was best passed up because the best wave was just behind it. (Lordy, sometimes TOO good, a couple flipped me completely over!) I quickly learned to ‘wait for it’… the beautiful wave that had just crested, full of power but not too uncontrolled, then to completely commit and ‘go for it’. When I caught one big enough and timed the catching just right, I could ride it almost all the way to shore. It was so much fun the only way I could make myself come in was when my legs could barely pick me up from the sand anymore!

Anyway, here’s the vocal application of boogie boarding: Both depend mightily on timing. To paraphrase the Kenny Rogers' song, "ya gotta know when to... Wait For It or Go For It!"

  1. The Song
So you’re recording your project and looking for and/or writing songs right for the project. Listen to your gut, and get feedback from at least one other trustworthy, informed source such as your producer, manager, label or entertainment attorney, as well as non-industry individuals who understand the ears of your typical audience. Is each song you’re considering right lyrically and melodically and groove-wise for your voice, the type of project your doing, your demographics you are creating this project for? And most importantly… is it emotionally compelling, moving, exciting? If you’re writing it, is it truly finished well? If not, wait for it. If so, don’t stall…get any needed permissions and mechanical licenses from all writing/publishing parties and go for it!

  1. The Vocal Recording
Are you completely confident in your vocal ability to sing your chosen songs? Have you learned them so well you don’t need lyrics? Have you done some vocal lessons to iron out any potential problems and explore vocal options to use in the vocal booth? Have you arranged to have your vocals produced by someone you trust can get the best out of you? Are you in good health, physically and mentally strong? If not, wait for it. If so… get that studio and producer booked -- and go for it!

  1. The Showcase Performance
After the project is recorded, mixed and mastered, there comes a time for its debut performance. There is usually a significant performance set up to which music industry professionals are invited, with the hopes that the artist’s career will be somehow furthered. This can be a public show or a private invitation-only show; in either case I would suggest you consider it a showcase performance. Sometimes this event is called a record release party, at which the project is either played from the finished recording or performed live. 

For a showcase performance, it is wise to rehearse more, spend money/time on fliers, table decorations, food and other accouterments and take pains to make sure you are looking and sounding like the artist you want them to experience. This performance should be your personal best. It is also wise to make sure you invite the right people for your business goals, and that those people are actually coming. Too many times artists spend so much money/effort/spirit on a showcase where no industry professionals show up. 

Unless you are rehearsed and know who’s coming, wait for it. If you’re ready and you get multiple confirmations ‘they’ are coming, go for it and don’t look back! You may ride that wave all the way home!

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