By the time we get to the performance of a song we need to be free of the necessity to analyse what and how we’re doing.
When our minds are evaluating our sound quality, tuning, phrasing and other technical aspects they can’t also be guiding the body to stay in ‘the zone’ (the free, relaxed and easy place we’ve reached with many hundreds of hours of practice). If we keep evaluating our technique as we sing, our minds are also unable to engage in the main reason for performing in the first place – communication.
If I’m worrying about the upcoming high note, I’m not communicating whatever passion it was that caused the composer to write that high note.
The wonder of the times in which we are living is that with ever smaller, less expensive and better recording devices each of us has access to a technical coach and analyst – ourselves.
Sure, we do our technique practising – but when we sing the song, we press record, sing the piece with our minds focusing solely on emotion and communicating that emotion, then listen later for any technical difficulties. These technique issues can then be rehearsed in isolation till they’re ironed out.
I often do the following exercise with my students. (I think I mentioned this in an earlier post – but it’s worth repeating)
I ask them suddenly to stop and listen for some very small sound in the room. If I ask this with some urgency in my voice, which makes them think that this is important, they will stop breathing.
Singers cannot afford to stop breathing in order to listen for and evaluate something that they feel is important – like the high note they’re singing. They need to just keep creating and creating and creating the correct environment for the high note and damn the torpedoes. Analysis – rejoicing, or wailing and gnashing of teeth can come later.