Work has slowed down for my band (for which I am the lead singer). Usually when this happens I just get going, join other groups, push myself to do some open mics and solo gigs. But I’m doing nothing. I wonder if I just need a break? This lapse of action hasn’t happened to me before – and I really do want to build my career. Instead I’m watching DVDs. Sorry if this isn’t a vocal-coach kind of subject.
This is a good question and something I deal with constantly in my work with singers: how to stay motivated and inspired when times are tough?
First of all – it may be harsh, but if you cannot “erase and continue” and get back up after falling off the horse, you are not made for this business. Go somewhere quiet or lock yourself away for a few hours. Think. Figure out what you want, your objective. You may have several. Allow yourself to dream. Your biggest dreams: what are they? What is important and meaningful to you? If the answer is to be a famous singer in a band then stop watching DVDs.
Go to some inspiring concerts. Write a list of things you need to get done. Possibly find a new manager. If you do not have a manager, find one – or find a good vocal coach. Swap a day with another singer and manage each other for a day. Write e-mails. Get your publicity organized. Practice. Practice harder. Write songs. Read great books. Check out that you are not suffering from depression as this can bring on lethargy. Go for runs and exercise to get motivated.
Don’t kid yourself. Competition is fierce. However, you must get to the very bottom of what is going on with you first. Is it an unspoken conflict with another band member or perhaps a feeling that things, as they are, will never progress in the way you would like? Then change it. Take charge. Form a new band if you have to. Broaden what you do as a singer. Try other genres. And go for it. Don’t be worthy but damnably uninspiring. Be astonishing and allow your audience to observe glorious talent and commitment. Allow them to see your soul. Anything less is not good enough.
Leontine Hass is an internationally renowned Vocal & Performance coach. She works with singers in commercial recorded music including pop, rock, jazz, soul and R&B. She also works with performers in the world of musical theatre and opera. Her large international client list includes chart recording artists, most recently Shakira, as well as West End leads and swings, opera singers with technical challenges and singing teachers. She has served as vocal consultant to major West End shows. See https://leontinehass.com/