If you are really and truly in an intimate personal place with your audience they will be yours for the rest of your career.
—Micah Barnes, singer
So SCENE asked the former Nylons member for his five tips on becoming a better singer:
Tip #1: Your job as a singer isn't to impress anybody with your voice but instead to make a powerful relationship with your audience. We're not interested in notes or lung power we want to get to know the singer as a person. If you are really and truly in an intimate personal place with your audience they will be yours for the rest of your career.
Tip #2: Know your material well enough that you can really inhabit it onstage or in the studio.
Don't just memorize lyrics, really take the time to understand where the song lives in your own experience. If you can personalize and experience the emotional life of your material while you are singing then I guarantee your audience will come along for the ride.
Tip #3: Know what keys and kind of material suit your voice best and stick with what works best for you when the pressure is on. If you aren't sure what you sound best singing ask your closest friends for their input. Certain voices lend themselves better to certain styles and if you are armed with that knowledge you can put your best foot forward when important folks are listening.
Micah Barnes (Geoff George)
Tip #4: Don't be afraid to ask questions and take advice careerwise. No artist can be knowledgeable about everything in their career. It takes a village of support to make any real success story, so don't get stuck because you're not sure how to go about the next steps. Ask everyone you can and be willing to reach outside of your comfort zones to get the results you are looking for. Being willing to risk is a singer's greatest asset.
Tip #5: Breath is always the answer. The most important secret to being a good singer is in working your breathing. If you can breathe without tension then there will be no "difficult" note or song that will escape your ability to sing it.
Can't wait to work with everyone at Saturday's workshop in Winnipeg!