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Emotions and Singing Part 1: Using Emotion to Capture Your Audience!!!!

The job of a great vocalist is the ability to make the audience feel everything you are singing about. A great vocalist can capture their audience within the first few minutes.

Vocal style, charisma and the ability to capture  your audience quickly (make them feel and believe what you are singing) are all major aspects to becoming a charismatic and versatile vocalist.

In Part 1 of this article we will be covering Capturing your Audience by portraying emotion and creating your own unique charisma on stage. Although one of our Free Lessons states that, for working on the fundamentals of singing you need to clear your mind of any emotional debris so you can focus on specific fundamentals such as breathing, posture, increasing range, reaching those high notes etc., performing live is very different. You need to incorporate all the fundamentals of singing along with creating the MOOD of the song through facial expression, vocal emotion and body language.

 Capturing Your Audience

It’s always easier to perform something you can relate to; such as a situation you have been through yourself or have personally felt.  

“A listener (your audience) comprehends not only the content and grammar of what is sung, but the emotion and melody of how it is sung – what a singer feels.” , Dr. Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D.  “Feelings, be it anger, happiness, sadness, sarcasm, empathy, etc., are often communicated by varying the rate, amplitude, pitch, inflection, timbre, melody and stress contours of the voice.” 

When there is a void (emptiness) of vocal contour (meaning all these dimensions are missing from your vocals), then the singing becomes monotone, bland and your audience experiences difficulty distinguishing your attitude, context, intent, and feeling.

For instance, if you were to sing the following lyric “Door 612 awaits you” (Lisa Smith)  By the inflection in your tone and stress contour of the voice, you can describe to the audience emotionally whether what’s waiting for you at Door 612 is something that makes you angry, something that makes you sad, something that frightens you, or something that makes you happy – all by adjusting the timber, tone and stress contour of your voice.

In addition to this, adding body language, movements, and facial expressions with confidence define the aspect of performing. (Charisma: the ability to inspire; enthusiasm; interest; affection in others.)  So along with all the fundamentals of this craft you also create your magnetic personality on stage. Become what you sing!!  

Try this –

Each time you practice, try taking a line of a song that can have many different meanings and practice giving the lyric different emotion as you would if you were expressing the emotion in actuality.  There are 16 Basic Emotions. As an exercise, try taking a line of a song and giving it that emotion as if you were truly feeling it. Go to a place in your mind of an event when you’ve actually experienced this emotion and use that emotional energy to make the song come alive with that feeling.  Make your audience feel the emotion you are experiencing.

Here are some basic emotions below for you to try:

Sadness     Trust     Disgust     Fear    Joy     Anger     Surprise      Sadness     Anticipation

I also included a great Wikipedia link with a list of many branches of the basic emotions for you to try:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emotions

In Part 2 we will be talking more specifically about using emotions through various styles of singing.

Ready to take your singing to a whole new level? Click here!

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One Response to “Emotions and Singing Part 1: Using Emotion to Capture Your Audience!!!!”

  1. Bonnie says:

    I have been waiting for a feature like this! Yesterday while I was listening to a nostalgic tune from high school I thought to myself, I wish I could sing like that.. and now I can.

    Thanks for the update! Looking forward to more articles in the future.

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