Karaoke master vs. "when it counts"
A few years ago I did some intimate sets with an acoustic guitarist, and I had to help sing "High and Dry" by Radiohead. Love the song, and it's in my vocal range for sure. But for whatever reason I always flaked out on some of the high notes when we performed. Not in the car, not in the shower, but when doing it with him it happened quite a few times. It made me so mad!
Cue to last night and I get dragged to a Mexican karaoke bar and my wife puts in the exact same song for me to sing. Well, I was a little buzzed so maybe I had a little more confidence, but one way or another I nailed it. Everybody suddenly seemed to pay a lot more attention when I was singing because apparently I was the first one that sounded "right". It felt great nailing that piece, people were even clapping just for the high notes. Even the guy emceeing goes, "Wow, nice job, a real singer," as I was sitting down.
So why the heck can't I do it that good in a band? Do I need a margarita before each set?? Should I insist all my bands only play in karaoke bars?? Honestly.
It's usually proper warm-up and mental preparation. I think you put too much pressure on yourself in the live gig situation. In the karaoke bar you were relaxed, having fun, and it came out in your performance. You know you can nail it. Now just have fun with it in all situations.
Thank you for your indulgence,
You psyched yourself out.
After years of performing, I am the opposite. A lady asked me to sing at her wedding, and, being the nice guy that I am, I agreed.
One of the songs was "Marry Me," by Train.
Every single time in rehearsal, the high notes croaked, or grated just a little.
During the wedding, smooth as glass.
Honestly, the song is JUST out of my range, now that my range is shrinking. But because it was a performance, I found the extra note.
I've had shows where I could feel my voice going, but somehow, it never quite goes until the very last note of the night has been sung. The next day, I sound like Rod Stewart or Peter Criss with a bad cold.
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