Mahesh

How Do You Keep Emotion?

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Frequently, it so happens that when you are rehearsing, you can deliver the songs much more genuinely with respect to emotions as compared to while performing the set itself. Being a songwriter and doing more of solo performances, this aspect is very important to me. Naturally, because of a lot more happening during the actual performance, it brings your focus down from the content of the song, even if very little.

 

What do you do to keep your emotions up while performing? 

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Guess this would be one method........... :whistle:

 

 
 
BTW - Advice from "Oprah".....not Tom LOL 
I'm certain Oprah would be pleased that her name is being bantered about in this fashion.
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LOL Tom,

Never tried that before (on stage *coughs*) but I do find myself connecting better with a Mojito (or anything that has just enough alcohol to calm the nerves and the mind).

 

I'm interested to know what people do or apply to naturally have their mind free enough to grasp the song. Even moving from one song to another might prove a potential factor in losing emotion (or adding). Emotion is so important when it comes to music and in a general perspective, I see that it is one of the least spoken of and looked at. I hope more people will contribute .

 

But Tom, I'm sure that's the first thing that came to yer mind, eh bugger? :P Oh how I wish to be in the 80s. lol

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I don't think I have access to that. I cant do something to enable a more emotive performance.

 

It is possible to simulate it to a certain extent. Ive seen lots of artists do this & I'm sure you have too, but you can tell the difference right?

An outwardly spirited or energetic performance is not an emotional performance. An emotional performance is more likely to be subtle. It will move you without you being aware of it at first.

 

Faced with an indifferent audience, I know I have tried this too. Its damned hard work, but I don't like doing it.

 

Sometimes playing well will touch me emotionally and it will develop into a more emotional performance. I don't think I have ever done this using my voice though.

 

It either happens or it doesn't. For me anyway.

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I don't think I have access to that. I cant do something to enable a more emotive performance.

It is possible to simulate it to a certain extent. Ive seen lots of artists do this & I'm sure you have too, but you can tell the difference right?

An outwardly spirited or energetic performance is not an emotional performance. An emotional performance is more likely to be subtle. It will move you without you being aware of it at first.

Faced with an indifferent audience, I know I have tried this too. Its damned hard work, but I don't like doing it.

Sometimes playing well will touch me emotionally and it will develop into a more emotional performance. I don't think I have ever done this using my voice though.

It either happens or it doesn't. For me anyway.

I agree Rudi, that's pretty much been my situation these days. I guess you can't force it. It's annoying when that happens though. When I see the biggies on YouTube performing at concerts, it seems like theyce figured it out. To stay true to the song. But I guess this is an outwardly opinion. Anyways thank you.

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It's about being in The Zone, Man.  When you're in The Zone, nothing else matters.  It's not about the audience.  They're only there in the before and after.  The performance is about you, the guitar and the song.   The "emotion" of your performance isn't something you can manufacture.  It's something you get from being in The Zone when you play and sing your songs, and you share that with the audience.  You're a solo, singer-songwriter/guitar player.  Don't worry about giving them "show."  You're not doing party songs or crowd participation numbers.  You are more an artist than an entertainer.  Give them a recital - give them you, and your amazing songs, voice and guitar all in The Zone.  You'll get encores, Bro.   :)

Edited by HoboSage
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It's about being in The Zone, Man. When you're in The Zone, nothing else matters. It's not about the audience. They're only there in the before and after. The performance is about you, the guitar and the song. The "emotion" of your performance isn't something you can manufacture. It's something you get from being in The Zone when you play and sing your songs, and you share that with the audience. You're a solo, singer-songwriter/guitar player. Don't worry about giving them "show." You're not doing party songs or crowd participation numbers. You are more an artist than an entertainer. Give them a recital - give them you, and your amazing songs, voice and guitar all in The Zone. You'll get encores, Bro. :)

You always know what exactly to say don't ya man? :)

Thanks Dave. That is so true. To just go there, not contemplate over what's happening , just sing. Just sing.

You know it's interesting. Though I can't manufacture emotion, me putting up this topic and eventually you getting to comment on it this way did help me stay more connected.

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Mahesh, two years on, you would be in a better place now in terms of performing with the right emotions in place. Maybe an update on how you've been faring?

 

A remotely related question - how does one maintain the performances in terms of emotional delivery when the same songs are performed over and over again?

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Sreyashi, 

 

Yup. I'm able to connect much better now with the gigs. Some days better  than others. Being in the zone as David mentioned still holds strong. Being able to emulate that emotion at the beginning will help get into the nature of the song a little more and then you end up being more connected, at least in my experience. 

 

Regarding your question of keeping emotion every time while doing a song repeatedly, I got this tip from John. To be able to reassociate the emotion in the song to a current situation or a recent life event really helps. 

 

At first this seemed a little difficult for me since my mind is used to associating the song to the original reason I wrote it for. 

 

But then, a song is interpreted by every person in their own way. In fact that's the beauty of it which brings people together through the music. This works for the artist too. You just got to get out of the habitual way of thinking. I'm known for tearing up on stage quite often. That's because of all these tips and things I've learnt from other musicians. 

 

Anyways, on a side note, there will be a new article about this - "Keeping Emotion" very soon. I'd interviewed John about this topic a while ago and being the editor, I added my own views a bit as well. This topic is super close to me and I look forward to publishing it soon. :)

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1 hour ago, Mahesh said:

 I'm known for tearing up on stage quite often.

 

Jeepers you surprised me for a moment there Mahesh!

 

I thought you meant ripping up the stage... no, I cant imagine you being violent so I had to read it again.

 

 

Oddly enough, I've lately considered this from a recording performance point of view lately. I haven't played a gig in nearly 3 months!

 

So I've spent time in my studio.

When playing or singing, I often don’t get it right. It sounds fine when I’m doing it, but on playback I hear all these little mistakes. Mistakes with timing / phrasing usually. Especially true when playing instruments I’m not good at; keyboards, violin, that sort of thing. Trying to play them properly can cause stress.

 

I cant just rely on concentration to get it right. That’s not enough. I have to remember to enjoy it. So I begin with relaxing. A few deep breaths, clearing my mind etc. When I’m relaxed I will just play a little (not rehearse) to get the proper feel of the music again. When I begin to enjoy it, I’m ready to hit ‘record’ again. It always produces a better take.

Simple things but important things.

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