I must say that I’m very impressed with the new wave of young actors and actresses in the UK, they seem to capture reality in their acting, finding all the varying shades from sad to very happy, and make it all seem so very real. The vocalist needs to have the ability to apply this principle in a song, the difference being of course is, that the vocalist has only a few minutes to capture this in a song, so it does take some thought.
This technique has been the hardest one for me to learn and I feel that I am still working on this or perhaps it is a learning on the job situation. I have no absolutes for you on this one I can only give you the benefit of my own experience and hope that it is of some help to you.
Here is an example, the song is My Way, love it or hate it millions of people can relate to this song, try first of all by just singing the first verse, you know how it goes.
And now the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I travelled each and every highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way
The lyric is retrospective, you have lived your life and you are now looking back at it, whatever your age is, you have to accept this fact, everyone gets to a time in there life when they start to look backward instead of looking forward.
Now just read the first verse, and ask yourself, what is at the heart of it? Or how would you sum it up? I have performed this song countless times and the first few times I was only concerned with getting the high notes in the chorus, when I eventually got past that stage, I really started to think about the song and what it was all about and then I tried to put myself in the place of someone who’s family had grown up and had some kind family disputes perhaps even the loss of a loved one.
When I put myself into the lyric and tell the story the results were remarkable, really, I’ve seen grown men, bricklayers in tears or fighting to hold back the tears, why? Because they are not relating to Sinatra, they are relating to me telling the story of the song. There is more in the telling than there is in just saying it! How you say it (or sing it) has a much greater impact on how it is heard.
My final thoughts on the crooning, if you really want to listen to truly great singers, go to the opera, if you want to party, go to a dance that plays your kind of party music, if you go to listen to pop music and I include the crooner in this broad genre, then you are waiting to be reached by the vocalist who sings the words to you as if the melody, harmony and rhythm were always meant to be there. This is a very potent and powerful combinatation, that can touch peoples hearts like nothing else I can imagine.
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