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Taking Command of Your Vocal Performance, by Jeannie Deva

taking control of your vocal performance

Otherwise known as stage projection, presence or charisma, the ability to command your performance space is an essential ingredient to your song delivery and performance success. When you perform, if you are closed-in to yourself, you will not be able to emanate enough energy from the stage and to the audience to create much if any impact. Conversely, extroverting your attention outward to your audience can help to give you a sense of space and certainty into which you can project yourself and your communication. 

Being a dynamic performer does not necessarily mean jumping all over the stage. It does mean that you fill the performance area (rather than shrink from it) and give to your audience rather than being focused on receiving from them. I'm not saying you won't get anything back, just that while singing and performing, you are placing yourself in the position of the one who puts out rather than takes in. 

Of course developing a voice that you can trust and through which your emotion can flow is a very important facet of the flip side of the coin.

To accomplish all of these factors, having a Pro vocal coach can be essential. You need to have someone who is both objective as well as knowledgeable in how to bring out the best in you, your voice and performance.

How do you Measure a Great Performance?

A great performance is not just how you feel by the end of it. It is more to the point if you look at it from the response of your audience and how they feel.

Let’s look at it from the perspective of you throwing a party. The success of the party is based on how your guests feel about the time they had. You may have spilled a drink and even had to run out to buy more food, but if they had a good time, that’s what matters.

A successful performance is measured similarly.  You may have forgotten lyrics or even cracked on a high note. But if you kept your audience emotionally involved with each song you sang and made their hearts sing, you succeeded.

Choosing the Right Song

You may have an excellent voice. But if you have not picked the right songs, you have a big strike against you. If you’re not singing your own material, it can be challenging to take a song that is well known and turn it into something uniquely different enough to give it your own signature.

The songs your select must include several factors:

  • 1) You believe in the message enough to pour your own heart and soul into it.
  • 2) The style of the music allows you to do things with your voice that bring out the best in your tone and unique attributes.
  • 3) It is a song or interpretation that will not automatically compare you with the original artist.
  • 4) The song permits you to take chances both emotionally and vocally.
  • 5) The song inspires you to make certain melodic and phrasing changes (from the original recording) while still keeping it true to the basic song.

Your audience’s attention will be guided by what your attention is on. If you are not fully engaged in your song, its meaning and message neither will your audience.  If your attention goes to something other than the delivery of the song, your audience will also lose focus. As the performer you are the travel guide.

“Selling” Your Song

Watch Jeannie's Free Vocal Lessons

Having selected the right song(s), you need to know how to sell it; how to really bring out your voice and take the risks that will make this song the most memorable performance your audience or judges have heard to date. You need to know how to bring out the best of yourself and put it on the line.  When you practice, focus first on resolving any technical details. Then practice for the performance of the song.

Most successful performers develop their skills from experience over a long period of time. But if you work on each aspect of performance as you do your voice, you’ll be able to acquire these skills faster than by hit or miss experiences.

May you take the stage by storm!


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voice lessons with Jeannie Deva

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Jeannie Deva is the Celebrity Vocal Coach seen on E! Entertainment and TV Guide Channels as well as many other television and radio talk shows. Author of the internationally acclaimed "Contemporary Vocalist" book and CD series, as well as the “Deva Method Vocal Warm-Up” CD, she is flown to recording studios worldwide for album vocal production and is endorsed by producers and engineers of the Rolling Stones, The Cars, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac and others. She is the Originator of The Deva Method® - Complete Vocal Technique for Stage and Studio™ and founder of Jeannie Deva® Voice Studios celebrating over 42 years of helping singers be outstanding. Past and present clients include Grammy Award Winners, American Idol, The Voice and America's Got Talent contestants, Latin Music stars Emmanuel and Ana Victoria, members of the J. Geils Band, Foghat, Felecia Howse of Bone Thugs n’ Harmony, Broadway leads in Fame, Color Purple, Lion King and Wicked, singers for Sting, Stevie Wonder, Pink, Joss Stone, Christina Aguilera and others. There is a growing network of certified Deva Method teachers in the US and Australia. Jeannie teaches in her Los Angeles voice studio, travels on location to work with singers in the recording studio and prepare them for concerts as well as internationally via her ArtistWorks video exchange online voice school. 

© 2013 Jeannie Deva. Reprinted with permission. The Deva Method and Jeannie Deva are registered trademarks owned by Jeannie Deva Enterprises, Inc.


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