How to Recover from a Mistake…

Mistakes. What are they, and how do we handle them? Instagram artists share their stories...

We asked some performing artists on Instagram: “How do you handle mistakes?” Here’s what they said!

Mistake you say? You’re an artist!

Sam Robbins @samrobbinsmusic As far as mistakes go in performing – and I know this might seem kind of crazy – but I think that they don’t really exist. In my performance experience, I’ve found that audiences are not there to see you nail every note, run, and every piece of vocal technique. The audiences are there to have an experience they wouldn’t otherwise have – they want to feel something, have an emotional moment that exists only right there, in that space, at that time. Usually, I find that that doesn’t really coincide with how technically “perfect” a performance is. When people are feeling something, it won’t matter to them if you hit that note, or sang that with the correct vocal. It goes deeper than that! I recommend the book “Effortless Mastery” by Kenny Werner if you want to explore this kind of thinking more.

When in doubt, improvise!

Cat Leblanc @catleblancsongbirdWhen I used to make mistakes, I would pause slightly and become flustered, which is problematic and glaring to an audience. I have learned to keep on going and have become more expert at improv. If I forget a word or words in a song, I’m able to quickly make up similar sounding words that keep the flow of my song going as I sing it. This has been amazing and fun. I practice this and at one of my gigs (Beer on a Bridge) made up songs on the spot which people enjoyed. Read More…

Record yourself and assess!

Milica Kiprovski @milica_kiprovski – From a young age, my father, who is also a musician and plays the Accordion, taught me to record/film myself during rehearsal. I always study what I do. Is there a particular part of the song I struggle with? Do I do a distracting facial movement? I just look at myself from different points of view and make it the best performance possible. At the end of the day, if I make a mistake I’ve learnt to not show the emotion of defeat and just keep going. Most of the time no one knows you’ve made an error and the flow allows you to move on.

Hit that mental ‘reset’ button

Jermaine Jones @jermainejonesmusic – Most times, the audience isn’t even aware that you made a mistake. So why give it away if you don’t have to? The first thing I do is intentionally go in to a state of denial so that I don’t show that I just made a mistake on my face. I may feel insecure on the inside but on the outside all I show is confidence. It’s something you can train your mind to do if it doesn’t come to you naturally. I immediately identify where I am in the song and where I should be. I hit a mental “reset” button in my head, forget about the mistake, move on from the thought, and finish the song. This all happens in the matter of 1-2 seconds. I have all the time in the world to feel sorry about myself after the song is finished. Right now, finishing the song is most important, and finishing strong often times results in your audience forgiving you of the mistake you made if they recognized it. Read More…

Power through and have a good laugh.

Johnnie Ferro @johnnieferroHonestly, I just power through! Part of how I manage to do this is to remember most people probably didn’t notice
If I ignore the mistake and focus on really delivering the rest of the song, I can create such a profound and memorable impact that most if not all people will forget – or at the least forgive – the mistake. At the end of the day, it also pays to be able to have a good laugh at your own expense and focus on whatever mistake you made while practicing so it doesn’t happen again (believe me, none of us are perfect and it happens to the best!).

Don’t Fret. Work it into your practice!

Marina @mina.singss – Mistakes are going to happen. It’s a part of life and apart of singing. I’ve made many mistakes and when your recording something you can easily start over and it didn’t happen, but live is another story. The main thing that I’ve been told over and over again is that only you know if you’ve messed up for the most part the audience won’t realize you made a mistake unless you show it. I’ve made many mistakes while performing and I’m going to make many more. Everyone is their own biggest critic and I know I’m not alone when I say I’m very hard on myself when it comes to my singing. I used to be very negative when I would make a mistake and it brought my self esteem down and made it hard to keep on wanting to perform. I decided to change my attitude and instead of bringing myself down when a mistake was made I’d figure out how to fix it for next time and move on instead of continuing to dwell on the mistake.

More About Our Contributors:

Cat LeBlanc is a New Brunswick singer/songwriter/composer/musician whose compositions are incredibly personal in their lyrical imagery. She plays classical and acoustic guitar. Her Style is: Dreamy Enya/Kate Bush/Joni Mitchell. She specializes in Folk, Pop, and Electronic music. Cat’s Sound: youthful, ethereal, and haunting. Cat has collaborated with New Brunswick and international music artists and is currently being mentored in songwriting by Canadian award-winning singer/songwriter Dan Hill. Cat has a body of original songs and music to her credit and has also produced music for film and commercials. She received an ArtsNB scholarship and additional grants to expand and develop her songwriting, composing, and arranging as well as a grant from the province of New Brunswick to do her first music album. Check out Cat’s Blue to Blue album and her electronic music on Spotify!

Milica Kiprovski. My name is Milica Kiprovski and I’m a singer song writer from Sydney, Australia. I’ve been singing all my life and also sing in several languages such as Macedonian, Serbian and Lebanese/Arabic. I was accepted into Newtown Performing Arts High School and was even selected as top 1% in Australia to perform solo at the Sydney Opera House. I sing a variety of styles, and music is my life! I can be found on Instagram @milica_kiprovski.

Jermaine Jones ​moved to New York City from Toronto Canada where he was born and raised in 2010 to chase his dreams as a singer. He has since then performed the national anthem at the Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, toured with Universal Recording artist Ryan Leslie, Trey Songz, Ne-yo and won BETs’ Apollo Live with a standing ovation from the legendary Gladys Knight in 2013. Jermaine’s music is about love and heartbreak. His first single “Promise You’ll Stay​” along with his 2012 EP tilted “The Gentlemen Code​” were projects heavily influenced by that 90’s RnB sound. Since then, Jermaine’s music has evolved into a soulful and classic sound, reminiscent of the 60’s, which you can hear in his recent release “Regret The Day​” (2018). You can find him on Instagram @jermainejonesmusic. You can also visit his website at WWW.JERMAINEJONESMUSIC.COM

Johnnie Ferro is a professional recording artist, performer and producer. He is currently working on his next solo album, performing with the Todd Stanford Country Band (guitars and vocals) and is constantly putting out content on his YouTube and social media sites. Johnnie is an endorsed artist with Minarik Guitars, GHS Strings, G7th Capos and Wathen Audiophile Speakers. For more information and to hear Johnnie’s music, be sure to check out www.johnnieferro.com and follow him on Instagram at @johnnieferro.

Sam Robbins describes himself as an “old soul singer songwriter.” A Nashville based musician whose music evokes classic singer songwriters like James Taylor and John Denver, Sam Robbins has gained recognition as the first artist to perform a Jim Croce song on NBC’s The Voice, bringing a 1970’s sound to the modern era. He continues to gain considerable attention as he tours promoting his latest release “Remind Me” and plans to release a full album in Summer 2020. Follow him on Instagram at @samrobbinsmusic.

Marina Kosor is a16 year old sophomore in high school whho has been singing and performing for over nine years, and she says music has always been the best part of her life. She loves musical theatre, choir, and was recently apart of her school’s improv team. Marina loves to perform and express herself through preforming arts. She’s been apart of her schools musicals and choir concerts for the last two years, and while in middle school she was apart of a traveling competitive musical theatre team. In her free time, she loves to hang out with her friends, go to the beach, and do makeup! Music has shaped her life since she was young and she says she can’t imagine her life without it. Follow her on Instagram @mina.singss

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