October 10, 2012

Take a breath!

There are few things less inspiring than an air that has no – well – air!  You hear them all the time – lifeless, soulless presentations of tunes that should make you feel something.  But when it’s through, all you fell is relief that it’s over.

Which story are you telling - the rich full one or the one that needs some air?

Don’t let your airs be like that!            

1. Make it breathe – phrasing is not something only to be marked on classical scores and then forgotten.  Phrasing is the breath in the music – make sure yours has some air! If you’re not sure where to put the phrasing, sing it (in the shower if you’re squeamish) – everywhere you need a breath – put one in the music!

2. Make it feel – airs are essentially a story.  And while many are songs and therefore come prepackaged with a story, you can always tell your own story.  Give it your take.  And make sure your audience can tell what the story is!

3. Make it lifelike – in addition to breathing, the story needs to shine through and the audience has to know what you’re telling them – assure that your arrangement helps tell your story – make it minor when bad/sad/not great things are happening, make it major when happy/good things are going on and make it funky if it starts to get boring!

4. Make it live – when you’re arranging the tune, make it have a life, don’t just repeat it relentlessly.  Put the arrangement together so that the story is supported – and be sure to bring your audience along for the whole tale.

Just these minor tweaks will make your airs breathtaking – and there’s nothing wrong with that!

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