Overthinking: Don’t Do It!

Written by on in Informative
Gears turning don’t equal work done.

Namaste, Dear Music Lover,

This will be one of my briefest posts here. I just want to acknowledge the importance of gaining control over one’s own mind—being a key aspect of training oneself as a pro vocalist.

We are given notes and guidance from composers about how to approach various texts and melodies (the voice being almost exclusively an instrument for ‘monophony’ [one pitch at a time]), yet in the course of “working up” (practising, rehearsing) a song, we can tend to overthink it.

We get immersed in the text, the style, the nuances of vocal inflections, or maybe the issues with the instrumentation, the mics, the mix and soon our performance suffers from mental overload. Nowhere is this sort of problem more prevalent than in live performance. I can speak to the pressure of singing live in a TV studio—possibly going out to millions of homes where one wants to be a welcome presence singing the best possible version of the song… in any live scenario “stage fright” is one obvious potential issue.

This can quickly become problematic. (Especially if the intent of the song is not to be some ambitious concert closer.)
The main point I want to share here is that every song is different, and it will have its own learning curve and trajectory. 

I think we as playback artists need to convey as strict or loose of an interpretation of any given song to fit the movie soundtrack in the ways wanted by both the filmmaker and its music director (while sometimes admittedly the ultimate goal ‘may’ be to create a “hit song” that will vastly outlive the movie; songs like Pritam’s “Gerua” and “Saree Ke Fall Sa” have been such gems for me). 

My point is simply this: avoid overthinking, really meaning don’t dwell so much on minutiae or potential down-sides of anything (to the detriment of what you would otherwise produce in terms of your vocal output). Avoiding that vicious cycle of doubt and stress will help your career. Trust me!

Overthinking: Don’t Do It! 

Namaste,

AM

PS: This goes along with some other basic concepts for aspiring singers: stay as healthy and as happy as possible—including get enough sleep to function well at a high level when called upon for any gig. 

We hear a lot about the new “gig economy” wherein not only musicians but all workers are expected to come in, perform a job function and leave, never expecting it to be a steady thing. 

I will finally close with this thought:

Don’t treat your professional and personal relationships like a gig or one-night thing. Word. Common sense (2 words), lol. It’s a good way to think, even for the most cerebral artiste!

PPS: Underthinking? Don’t do it, either, lol.

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