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Country Vocals Lessons: Interpreting a Lyric

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Here you're gonna get an opportunity
to apply some of the ideas that we've
talked about in the last few lessons.
You've been given a couple of
different lenses through which you can
look as you approach, working on a song as
you approach the performance of a song.
We have talked about
approaching it as an actor and
thinking about actor questions like to
whom am I singing, when I sing this song.
To whom am I singing and
how does that inform the way I sing?
And the other question you would ask
as an actor, what is my motivation?
What's my goal?
Why am I singing this song?
What do I want to accomplish in this song?
And how your choices in what
emotional tools you're gonna use
inform your approach to the song.
The other lens we looked through
is the great literature lens,
where we're thinking
about things like tone.
What is the tone of this
song that I'm going for?
Do I want it to be ironic?
Do I want it to be energetic and
effervescent and happy?
Do I want it to be dark and
ponderous and steeped in misery.
What is tone of the performance that
you're going for and what is the style?
What kind of language are you using?
What's the vernacular?
Be conscious of it.
How does that affect your diction?
So you're gonna do this performance for
this video submission.
When you submit this song, you're
gonna be thinking about those concepts
as you approach interpreting this song.
So for this video submission,
you're going to learn a new song.
And that brings us to a couple of other
great tools to practice and apply.
Every singer faces the challenge
of learning a new song.
Sometimes we don't get very
much time to learn a new song.
And so
we have to develop tools to very quickly
learn and memorize a new piece of work.
So here's a spot where you can
apply some great techniques for
memorizing new material.
I'm going to give you just
a few tips on memorizing and
learning new material, new songs.
I've got a couple of ideas about
good memorization methods.
First of all, whatever the lyric is, you
wanna tell the story in your own words.
Just kind of scan through the lyric and
just in your own mind,
just tell yourself the story.
What happens in this lyric?
Then take out your song journal
that you've been keeping,
hand write the lyrics
in your song journal.
Hand writing a lyric is a very valuable
tool to memorizing a new lyric.
The tactile, the physical connection
between your hand your eyes,
how it sits on the page, it's almost
like another kind of mnemonic device.
There are many times that I can
actually see in my memory when I've
handwritten a Lyric.
I can see it on the page and remember,
this word at the beginning of the chorus,
that's sitting right up next to
the margin in my handwriting.
I can see the little blue
line on the notebook paper.
It's amazing how helpful
little devices like that
can be when you're trying
to memorize a new lyric.
Practice, practice, practice, practice.
Sing through the song while you're washing
the dishes, while you're washing your car,
while you're doing laundry,
while you're making your bed.
While you're physically occupied,
your brain is kind of in the mode
of doing a task that's very familiar and
kind of wrote physically.
And it just helps your mind,
your brain to connect those memories of
what you want to memorize in the lyric
in a slightly different mode.
So singing the song,
singing the lyric while you're
physically occupied with something else.
And finally, you cannot over estimate
the value of your brain's night mode.
Yes, more and
more brain research shows evidence that
when we sleep at night,
far from our brain turning off,
our brains actually go into
a very active mode of work.
That's very different from
the mode that it operates in,
in our conscious, waking hours.
I have come to really rely
on my brain's night mode.
When you're in night mode your brain
spends a lot of time organizing,
sifting through data that it's
taking in during the day.
Kind of discarding or
putting on a back burner
information that it determines
it's not immediately relevant or
that important, and
making associations most importantly with
things that have already been
suggested in your brain are important.
So, if you tell your brain
right before you go to sleep,
this piece of information is important.
I want to memorize this lyric.
I want to internalize and
become very familiar with this new song.
Spend a little bit of time with
it right before you go to sleep.
Read through the lyrics so that you see
them with your eyes, sing them out loud.
Do that as the last thing before
you turn out the light and
put yourself into sleep mode.
And your brain will actually do a lot of
work on it for you while you're asleep.
Test that one out and
see if it proves itself to you.
Okay, so you're going to make your
video submission of this new song that
you're going to learn, and I'm gonna give
you a guide vocal on it right now so
that you have a reference point.
I don't want you to imitate or
copy my interpretation of the lyric.
I want you to see what
you bring to this scene.
Look at it through your actor lens,
look at it through
your literature lens,
and learn this new song,
and submit your
interpretation of this song.