I’m so impressed when singers make a slight mistake and keep going, not letting the lapse in lyric memory or the place they are in the song blow the rest of it for them.
I’ve seen singers sabotage themselves – especially in auditions by letting nerves steal their concentration.
It’s so important to move onto your next song free of the past and fully ready for what is to come.
A Tactic to Try
Here’s a tactic I’ve developed over the years to help me make a full transition from one song to the next.
Sometimes when I’ve just finished singing a song, I get a little light-headed, as though I’m out of my own body, and watch the whole room from the perspective of the audience, the band, the sound engineer, the waitresses and bartenders, etc.
I’ve gotten used to doing this whether the song went well or terribly, just getting a vibe from the room as to a general atmosphere.
Most of the time the mistake I made was noticed by no one but me or the keyboard player, or possibly the songwriter if they’re present; in other words, the whole gig didn’t fall apart because of that misbegotten phrase.
I remind myself that there’s really nothing I can do about the previous song, and I certainly don’t have to let the rest of my show suffer just because of any lapses in concentration.
I’ve also learned at the end of the gig to accept any and all compliments with grace and a smile (I’ve practiced this in the mirror!!!), and not correct the audience members.
What they don’t know won’t hurt anybody.
This kind of thinking has been my savior, this transitioning away from what I just sang. NEXT!
It’s only over time, after many successful gigs filled with great and grim outcomes, that I’ve come to understand excellence.
Excellence is not a single moment of performance success, but the culmination over one’s life and career of successful performance tactics that work to keep you focused—focused on the musical life you want to live and to communicate with others.
So keep on blazing through every song and performance experience.
And try to have a grand and glorious time no matter what mistakes were made.
In the spirit of Scarlett O’Hara:
there’s always the next song!