Articles

Category :

A&R

Letting Go of Perfection





Letting Go of Perfection

By Robin Yukiko - June 1, 2013


As I come to the end of a four-year recording project, I look back on vocal tracks I did two years ago versus a month ago. The difference is striking. After trying so many versions of the same song, I have come to understand something so fundamental but which has eluded me for years:


A good vocal track is not about being perfect.


I am a classically trained chorus girl ‘til the end. I’ve spent my entire musical career aiming to sound as perfect as possible. And while I have managed to make an impression on many, I know now that this attitude held me back from truly finding my voice and delivering my message.


To let go of perfection is to let go of fear.


I recently played at a friend’s music video release party. Keeping in mind the things I had learned during the recording process, I didn’t push my voice too hard, but instead let it settle into its “sweet spot”. I used my eyes to communicate with the audience, which instantly translated through my voice. I playfully played with dynamics, which kept my listeners’ interest.


Enveloping myself in the song’s message, my voice became expressive in a way that it never could if I simply thought “sing expressively”. I don’t know if I sang any wrong notes because there were no wrong notes.


The biggest difference though, was how firmly I now believed in the songs. In the past, I have often rushed through my tunes with the mindset that I have to fit in as many as possible before people get bored. But after recording them and hearing them with lush string arrangements, I knew that, as long as I hear those parts in my mind, the pared down versions would hold up. And they did! The trick was to not be impatient with them and to give them room to breathe.


True, many other factors came together to help create this magical set. The audience was extremely receptive and patient (there were plenty of technical delays which they happily drank through), and I had received a great introduction. But I would like to think that, should circumstances not be so forgiving, I would be just as confident in my delivery having learned these lessons.


Have you had an “Aha!” moment during a live performance that connected you with your audience? Log in and share your story!





Robin Yukiko is a Berklee College of Music grad, singer-songwriter, pianist, and music educator. She recently released her second album, Love War, and is enjoying nerdly pursuits. For a free song, join Robin’s mailing list at www.robinyukiko.com/contact.




Live-Banner-General-Homepage.jpg




2 Biggest Promotion Budget Mistakes

Consumers Are Starving For Your Music

Getting a record deal

How To Send The Perfect Demo

6 Music Industry Myths

Creating the Perfect Set List

Loving what I used to hate

Cliches You Need to Stop Using Now

Why You Might Need a Producer

10 Worst Song Demo Mistakes

Why Vocal Training is Important in Becoming a True Artist

The A&R Guy

THE RECORD LABEL EXEC.

It's Not The Tools That Don't Work, it's The Band

Artists Should Build Lifelong Relationships with their Fans

7 Tips to Increase Your Exposure and Potential

8 Steps to Your First Song: From Idea to Professional Production

Unbundling the Album: A Business Case for Releasing Single Songs

From Riches to Rags

What Are The Best Books on Music Promotion and The Music Business?

So…the CD is dead? The trick is to Diversify.

If I Never Made a Dime

What Are Your Fans Saying About You?

How To Change Key Successfully In Your Music

What Are The Essential Features Of a Hit Record?

The Importance of Being a Frontman

How to Do a Great Cover Song

What's The Real Cost of Signing A Major Record Deal?

Want a record deal? Here is what you need to do.

Inside the Mind of an A&R

What Record Labels Are Looking For When Scouting Artists

Finding The Best Record Label For Your Style Of Music & Goals

Defining Your Style

The Truth About Mainstream Success

How Releasing Holiday Covers Can Skyrocket Your Promotion

Why Streaming Your Music Is A Good Thing

Being a Well Rounded Musician VS Mastering One Instrument

3 Tips For Landing A Record Deal

How Youtube Can Get You Seen, Heard, and Trended

Why You Should Care About Your Image

3 Simple Tips for Getting Noticed In Today's Music Industry

Signup Free